Spokane is located 18 miles from the Idaho border and 110 miles from the Canadian border. Spokane is located in a unique area because within a short drive of the city travelers can be in the pines and beauty of Coeur d’ Alene, desert terrain, snow skiing in the winter or traveling among a sea of farms. The city is protected by the Cascade mountains from the wetter weather experienced to the west in Seattle and along the coast of Washington. As a result the yearly precipitation here averages only about 17 inches.
To experience the city’s primary highlights, travelers will need 2 or 3 days depending on pace of travel. If you like seeing as much as possible in the shortest amount of time then a single day or 2 days would be ideal.
For those who enjoy a slower pace of travel – perhaps activities such as resting on the greens at Riverfront Park, or relaxing at Manito Gardens, by all means consider a few extra days.
Regardless of how long one stays in the city, some streets that you will soon become familiar with are Sprague, Division, 1st and 2nd streets and Trent. Downtown and some of the streets near downtown are all one way. For some reason, Spokane has an abnormal number of one way streets.
The majority of Spokane’s streets are preceded by the designations, north, south, east, or west. For example, North Division and East Sprague.
During my stay in Spokane, even during rush hour I never found downtown streets overly crowded. Because downtown Spokane is so pedestrian friendly, I recommend parking your car in any of the public parking garages and exploring downtown on foot. One prominent garage, all above ground is located in the center of town – rising at least 15 stories. This garage is easily identifiable due to the slanted looking levels; this is not an optical allusion; they actually are slanted in one direction.
Another parking lot I used several times (in the shadow of the slanted level parking garage) is located next to the former restaurant Cyrus O’Learys location (516 W. Main Ave).
One attractive feature about downtown Spokane is 16 of their main city blocks are connected by skywalks, raised walkways above the streets allowing one to walk through stores without ever having to go outdoors. These are especially helpful during cold snowy winters, and hot dry summers. One can pass from one city block to the next without ever having to walk on sidewalks. One can enter a walkway at one end of downtown and exit on the other side, many blocks away.. These skywalks connect not only shops, but a mall, and financial businesses.
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