“The Ultimate Spring Weekend in Spokane: A Local’s Guide”


Upon recently completing Jess Walter’s critically acclaimed novel, The Cold Millions, which vividly portrays the labor and free speech demonstrations that occurred in Spokane, Washington during the early s, I had the unique opportunity to visit this exact location. The experience was surreal, as the tangible city before me seemed to overlap with the fictional setting described in the book, creating a sense of deja vu. Unlike other popular tourist destinations in the Pacific Northwest, Spokane offers a more authentic and less commercialized experience for visitors.

The fusion of historical and contemporary elements renders it an enchanting destination, even if one is unfamiliar with the novel Cold Millions. The ideal location to establish a base for your exploration of the past is none other than the Historic Davenport Hotel situated in downtown Spokane. This opulent century-old establishment is a gem worth cherishing. Upon its inauguration in , it epitomized modernity as the pioneering hotel in the nation to provide air conditioning. However, this is not the primary reason for your reservation. You are drawn to this venue for its magnificence, intricate lounges and ballrooms, and a vast indoor courtyard renowned as Spokane’s central gathering place.

The central gathering space has a rich history as a focal point for the arts. Presently, it owes much of its cultural influence to the acclaimed singer Sacha Boutros and her establishment, Sacha’s Supper Club. This venue is renowned for its Swing with Bing series, dedicated to celebrating the musical legacy of Bing Crosby, a local artist with historical ties to Spokane and a frequent guest at the hotel. Notably, the vintage Bing Crosby Theater is located mere steps away from the hotel. Established in during the inception of cinema, this theater continues to showcase classic films, live music performances, and theatrical productions. Legends suggest that the hotel itself may be inhabited by spirits, a conjecture that remains plausible given the atmosphere of the establishment.

Imagine if you will the presence of a few literary specters in this locale – perhaps Ursula the Great, an accomplished vaudeville performer from the novel The Cold Millions, leisurely enjoying martinis in the opulent Peacock Room of Davenport’s hotel. This elegant Jazz Age establishment is renowned for its exquisite stained-glass ceiling adorned with depictions of peacocks, its signature cocktails, and its popularity among patrons of the theater scene, who gather for libations and refreshments both before and after performances. A brief stroll of ten minutes northward will lead you to the awe-inspiring Spokane Falls, where one can board the Numerica SkyRide gondola for a closer vantage point and take a moment to contemplate the contributions of the labor force responsible for constructing the area.

The journey continues with a visit to the ridges and railroads, followed by a leisurely walk through Riverfront Park for a deeper exploration of its historical significance. Don’t miss the opportunity to admire the exquisite hand-carved Looff Carrousel, created in by Charles I. D. Looff. This magnificent carousel, originally crafted for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, boasts intricately designed horses, a giraffe, a tiger, two Chinese dragon chairs, and a brass ring. For those traveling with children or grandchildren, be sure to explore the interactive Garbage Goat sculpture and the expansive Ice Age Floods Playground, encompassing , square feet and featuring a three-story Columbian slide tower.

The geology and history of the region are exemplified through attractions such as the Dam splash pad, log jam climber, and mammoth bones dig in Spokane. In addition to these unique experiences, the city boasts over twenty craft breweries that add character to its cityscape. Among these breweries is Lumberbeard Brewing, known for its diverse brew list featuring hoppy IPAs like the Bluetooth Sharpie, helles, pilsner, sour, and barrel-aged beer such as the Maple Goodness barleywine. No-Li Brewhouse is another must-visit establishment, being the city’s oldest taproom established in , offering a selection of IPAs, hazy ales, stouts, seltzers, and other delicious beverages.


After exploring the historical significance of Front Park and admiring the stunning Looff Carrousel, be sure not to overlook the interactive Garbage Goat sculpture and the expansive Ice Age Floods Playground. With so much to see and experience, Front Park truly offers something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a fan of intricate carousels, or simply looking for a fun day out with the family, this park has it all. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore this hidden gem in all its glory.


Hakan Author

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