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Washington's second city is far from Seattle, both geographically and culturally, and that's okay with Spokane. Near the state's eastern border with Idaho, Spokane (pronounced spo-can) is part of the "Inland Northwest." If it lacks Seattle's edge, it can claim to have been around longer. When white settlers arrived in the early 1800s, the area was already inhabited by Native Americans who fished salmon from the Spokane River. Spokane became an important trade center in the 1880s with the discovery of gold and the arrival of the railroads. Industrialists erected elegant mansions that still stand in the Browne's Addition neighborhood. These ...

Washington's second city is far from Seattle, both geographically and culturally, and that's okay with Spokane. Near the state's eastern border with Idaho, Spokane (pronounced spo-can) is part of the "Inland Northwest." If it lacks Seattle's edge, it can claim to have been around longer. When white settlers arrived in the early 1800s, the area was already inhabited by Native Americans who fished salmon from the Spokane River. Spokane became an important trade center in the 1880s with the discovery of gold and the arrival of the railroads. Industrialists erected elegant mansions that still stand in the Browne's Addition neighborhood. These days, much of the downtown activity focuses on Riverfront Park, a 100-acre patch of green by the Spokane River that was "rescued" for the 1974 World's Fair. Featuring a carousel and a skating rink, the park is also where you catch a gondola to glide over the impressively powerful Spokane Falls. Spokane's history and indigenous heritage are showcased at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, while the fruit of the region's vineyards can be sampled at several salons hosted by area wineries. Northwest of town, Riverside State Park boasts miles of bike and ski trails.

Daniel C. Schechter
About the Expert

Daniel C. Schechter has contributed chapters to more than a dozen Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the Mexico, Caribbean Islands, Andalucia, Guatemala, and Pacific Northwest guides.

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Daniel C. Schechter for Triporati

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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May to October