Five reasons to visit Spokane

If you have never visited Spokane, or have not visited in a while, you might be surprised at the changing landscape in the downtown vicinity and the newly energized historic districts. Here are a few suggested side trips when you need a break from conference sessions, or if you have time to explore the city after the conference adjourns.

1. Riverfront Park

2014 marks the 40th anniversary of Expo ’74. Some changes have been made to Riverfront Park over the past few years, including removal of the YMCA from the banks of the Spokane River, restoring the landscape with natural vegetation and soft walking paths. The City of Spokane recently adopted a Master Plan for Riverfront Park, with a bond issue ready for the fall election. A successful vote will bring significant and long-awaited updates to the park. Check out the Master Plan at Don’t forget the visit the garbage-eating goat (pictured), one of the enduring legacies from Expo ’74, the first environmentally-themed world’s fair.

2. Huntington Park/City Hall Plaza

Avista Corporation recently completed redevelopment of Huntington Park, which begins at a new plaza directly north of Spokane City Hall. The park provides a stunning, close-up view of the Spokane River within the shadow of the historic Washington Water Power substation and the spray of the lower falls. Avista developed City Hall Plaza as a gift to Spokane in celebration of the company’s 125 years serving Spokane and the larger region. The park includes interpretive signage, viewing platforms, seats, and art.

3. Kendall Yards and Centennial Trail Extension

Kendall Yards is located on the north bank of the Spokane River, connected to Riverfront Park and Downtown Spokane via a newly extended section of the Centennial Trail. The site includes 77 acres of formerly contaminated railroad land that is still the largest brownfield cleanup site in Washington State history. Since 2010, Greenstone Corporation has developed townhouses, condos, multifamily apartments, single-family homes, and a popular commercial district burgeoning with professional offices and eateries. Walking from the Davenport Hotel to Kendall Yards takes about 20 minutes.

4. Perry District

The Perry District is located on South Perry Street, about 2.5 miles from Downtown Spokane on the lower South Hill. Streetscape improvements and visionary entrepreneurs have revitalized the once downtrodden street into one of the most popular dining, drinking, and music districts in Spokane. Perry Street Brewing is the latest eatery to the area, joining the popular South Perry Pizza, Casper Fry restaurant, Lantern Tap House, The Shop coffeehouse, and numerous other shops and businesses, including Title Nine. The district includes a popular farmers market every Thursday, free outdoor movies in the summer at The Shop, and the South Perry Street Fair in late July.

5. Davenport Hotel

The 2014 APA Washington Conference is again being held at the historic, world class Davenport Hotel. Opened in 1914, the hotel has been visited by stars, explorers, writers, politicians, and other luminaries, including Babe Ruth, Amelia Earhart, Clark Gable, Conan O’Brien and, well, 50 Cent. Walt and Karen Worthy rescued the dilapidated from almost certain demolition in 2000 (it was closed in 1985). The hotel features hand-painted frescoes, ornate woodwork, and European-inspired marble floors and tiles. The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and is waiting for your registration.



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