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Locals Share Their Spokane Secrets

Satinder Haer
October 8, 2015

Most people are surprised when they find out Spokane is the second biggest city in Washington. Located on the eastern side of the Cascade Range, this quiet city houses a burgeoning wine scene and dozens of amazing local lakes and parks. Yet it remains relatively unrecognized in the shadow of other Washington cities like Seattle and Tacoma. To find out what other surprises this city is tucking away, we asked the locals about their favorite things in Spokane, including where to live, dine and find 

If you’ve been contemplating a move to the Pacific Northwest, you might find yourself looking for homes in Spokane after getting these insights from Spokane residents.

1. South Hill or North Side

Both the South Hill and the North Side have their own special qualities that make them unique. I love the South Hill for its tree-lined streets, older homes and beautiful parks, but I love the North Side for its shopping and school systems. — Shannon Morscheck of Lady’s Little Loves

As a lifetime northsider, I would have to say the northside every time! We've got esteemed restaurants, high home values, some of the best schools, gorgeous scenery and our very own Costco … need I say more?! But, before I'm accused of bias, I should point out that the South Hill is pretty darn wonderful, too. The homes tend to be older with more character and there are a lot of fabulous coffee shops, restaurants and some beautiful parks, too. — Rachel Sandall of Apple Brides

2. What is something most people don't know about Spokane?

People don’t realize how much wildlife we have in the city: deer, raccoons, turkeys, moose, and coyotes. I have seen each of those species in my neighborhood multiple times. — Rebecca Mielke of Between My Peers

It’s the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis. — Lance Morris of Big Show Mobile Entertainment

3. Spokane is known as being a great place to raise a family. Where are the best places for young singles to live?

Hipper, up-and-coming neighborhoods such as the Perry District or the newer "it" neighborhood of Kendall Yards, a live/work/play urban community along the Spokane river. — Laurie L. Ross of Sip of Spokane

Browns Addition and the Perry District. Both areas offer lots of good social outlets - good restaurants, cafes and fun nightlife. — Sylvia Fountaine of Feasting at Home

Riverside Park
Riverside Park

Riverside Park

4. Spokane's motto is, "Near Nature, Near Perfect." What is your favorite outdoor activity in the area?

Depends on the season. In the summer, Spokane goes to one of the 76 surrounding lakes. In the winter, there are five ski hills within a 50 minute drive. — Laurie L. Ross of Sip of Spokane

Heading to the lake! We have over 200 lakes around Spokane so whether you want to hit up a posh resort town for dinner or find a desolate spot to set up camp, there is a lake for you! For my money though, Lake Coeur d'Alene has it all. — Rachel Sandall of Apple Brides

5. Where can you find the best cup of coffee?

My favorite place to go sit down and have a cup of joe is at Lindaman's on the South Hill, a local restaurant that's been around for more than 30 years. — Sabrina Jones of Movher

Lindaman’s Cafe, a longtime Spokane staple. Ask for Kirk, the best barista in town. — Sylvia Fountaine of Feasting at Home

I love a quiet, neighborhood cafe like ReBOOT Coffee Bar & Tech Services. — Rebecca Mielke of Between My Peers

6. What's the best neighborhood to live in?

My favorite is the Manito Park/Cannon Hill Neighborhood. Manito Park has many different areas to view seasonal trees, plants, flowers and foliage. There's the beautiful duck pond, Japanese Gardens, incredible rose garden and cafe with lots of walking paths. Cannon Hill Park is a little hidden gem, with a pond filled with wildlife - turtles, frogs and ducks. — Sylvia Fountaine of Feasting at Home

Shadle is a great neighborhood to live in. The older homes have so much character and the area is well-kept. — Shannan McIntyre from Raking In The Savings

Manito Park
Manito Park

Manito Park

7. What is the best park in Spokane?

Tough one. Manito Park is simply beautiful with an abundance of trees, a great duck pond, play equipment and splash pads for the kids as well a flowers galore. Riverfront Park is always fun, too, with a carousal, rides for the kiddos, an IMAX theater, mini golf, a giant wagon slide and more. — Shannon Morscheck of Lady’s Little Loves

The best park in Spokane is Finch Arboretum; no matter what time of year you visit, it is beautiful. — Shannan McIntyre from Raking In The Savings

8. What is your favorite Gonzaga sporting event to attend?

While we don’t have the opportunity to attend often, the Gonzaga basketball games are such a good time. The energy in the gymnasium is immense and the spirit continually running high. — Shannon Morscheck of Lady’s Little Loves

This is easy: basketball, men's AND women's teams. Great support for both. — Sabrina Jones of Movher

Basketball! We don't have a pro sports team so whether you attended Gonzaga University or not, Spokanites have adopted the Zags as our local team. — Rachel Sandall of Apple Brides

9. What local events is Spokane known for?

Bloomsday, an annual running event that over 50,000 people participate in, and Hoopfest, the biggest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the United States.– Sabrina Jones of Movher

Hoopfest and Bloomsday are the big events that get national attention but First Night and the Torchlight Parade are also great community events. — Laurie L. Ross of Sip of Spokane

Spokane Valley
Spokane Valley

View of the Spokane Valley

10. What's the best way to spend a day in the city?

A perfect day for me would start with wine tasting downtown, followed by a leisurely lunch at Sante, maybe some shopping at River Park Square, a walk at Manito Park to work up an appetite for dinner at The Wandering Table in Kendall Yards, and finish the night at the new Grand Hotel! — Rachel Sandall of Apple Brides

Golf in the morning, spending the afternoon at Riverfront Park and touring the Wine District, then catching an evening show at the INB Performing Arts Center. — Lance Morris of Big Show Mobile Entertainment

11. Which winery has the best views?

Arbor Crest Cliff House in the Spokane Valley is a Tuscan-style winery perch on a cliff above the Spokane River. The views are outstanding and the setting picturesque. The outdoor summer concert series is a popular Spokane tradition. — Laurie L. Ross of Sip of Spokane

Arbor Crest is the winner, hands down. They are on a high hill overlooking Spokane Valley; it's one of the loveliest places to be on a summer evening with a glass of wine in hand and listening to local musicians. — Sabrina Jones of Movher

If you're downtown, the Barrister Winery patio is the place to be. Bistro lights, old wine barrels, beautiful flowers and some of the best wine this town has to offer. It's a pretty hard place to beat on a summer evening! — Rachel Sandall 

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