Some Notes on Spokane - Rick Fletcher

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Subject:     Places in Spokane-Final Four
Date:        16 Dec 1997 20:00:54 GMT
From:        fletcher@news.uidaho.edu (Rick Fletcher)
Newsgroups:  rec.sport.volleyball 

OK, sometime ago, Ravi asked about live theatre in Spokane during the
Final Four.  Others have indicated a desire to get together.  I've been
tardy, but here's a list of things one might do while hanging around in
Spokane.  It's a list I'm generating on the fly, so it is not
comprehensive.  

Spokane is a small city, with a population of around 300,000.  This number
includes all the outlying areas, so the actual city is smaller than this.
The city consists of a downtown area which is south of the Arena and runs
for perhaps 15 blocks at most.  From the Arena, head south and cross the
Spokane river to get to downtown.  There is a south hill which is
residential, a northside which is accessed by Division street or Maple
street, and the Valley, which is east of downtown (towards Coeur d'Alene,
Idaho) and reached by travelling on Interstate 90.  Seattle is the other
way.  Every part of Spokane is within a 10 minute drive and it is
generally safe to walk anywhere at night... at least I feel safe.  Spokane
is situated in an area that is very rural and has easy access to nearby
lakes, although relatively undiscovered, are of equal quality to Lake
Tahoe.  The town (and lake) of Coeur d'Alene (ID) is within 30 minutes on
I-90, Sandpoint (ID) and the adjacent Pend O'Reille Lake is within 1.5 
hours north of Spokane.  This is the area's true draw, the outlying towns 
and forests.  Nightlife is not a major feature.  That said, here are some
ways to spend downtime in the Spokane area. 

Everything below is downtown, except where noted.

Ravi asked about Theatre, so let's start there.

THEATRE

Interplayers - "A Tuna Christmas"  (Sequel to Greater Tuna)
8 pm Fri, Sat; 174 S. Howard; 455-PLAY
Probably Spokane's oldest active theatre group, they've been around for
over 10 years.  Probably the best bet.

Spokane Civic Theatre - "Once on this Island"  (Musical re-telling of The
Little Mernmaid)
Th,F,Sat 8 pm; 1020 N. Howard, 800-446-9576, 325-2507

Lake City Playhouse (in Coeur d'Alene)  "Babes in Toyland"
F,S 8 pm; 14th and Garden (208) 667-1323

OTHER
Spokane Falls Brass Band (with Ann Hennessy, a singer)
"Christmas in Old Spokane"
The Metropolitan Theater ("The Met") 8pm Friday and Saturday
Tickets where you called for VB tickets, 325-SEAT


PUBS/CLUBS

The best beer in town is found at Birkebeiner Brewery.  A smoke free pub,
I like the homemade beer and the menu.  A good place to meet, no band.
Located at 35 W. Main, the area looks shady, but I've never had a problem. 

Fort Spokane Brewery - 401 W. Spokane Falls
They also make their own beer, but on a larger scale.  Here you will find
blues with your brews, a band usually performing in the small club on
weekends.  Usually a good band.

The Viking - 1221 N. Stevens
This place is close to the arena, and claims to have more types of beer
than anywhere in the Inland Northwest.  I believe it, I've never been
turned away.  A very low key place, but might be a good close meeting
spot.  Just don't order a Coors Light here, them's fightin' words.

Hobart's Jazz Lounge - In Cavanaugh's (Hotel) at 110 E. 4th.
The only place for jazz in the area that I know of.  (Except for the
Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Week in Moscow during February, excuse the
shameless plug.)  

If you want your music loud with tattoo's try Outback Jack's - 321 W.
Sprague.  Small place, loud college music and crowd.

For a touch of Vegas sleaze, you might make a visit to the Ugly Rumours
Lounge at the Mars Hotel.  Music and blackjack - 312 W. Sprague.

For the best country bar you will find *anywhere*, travel to Kelly's State
Line in State Line, Idaho.  You will find this 15 minutes out of Spokane
on I-90 to Coeur d'Alene, take the Stateline exit and look for parked
cars beginning i/2 mile away from the bar.  It's a big barn (really), with
a rodeo arena outback.  It's usually packed with cowboys and cowgirls of
the real variety, but they'll let anyone in here.  Just be sure and where
a really, really big belt buckle.  Don't worry, almost everyone here will
teach you how to dance.

The local meet markets are at Swackhammer's (end of N. Division, north end
of town) and a new place called the Bayou Brewing Company @ 1003 E. Trent.  

RESTAURANTS

I've limited this selection to those found right around the Arena.  There
are other options, although not that many worth a trip.

Clinkerdagger's - 621 W. Mallon; 328-5965

Cavanaugh's Inn at the Park - 303 W. North River Drive; 326-8000

C.I. Shenanigan's - a bit farther (across the river) @ N. 332 Spokane
Falls Ct.;455-6690

The Ram - right across from the Arena.
I haven't ever eaten here, and I can't recall going in, so I won't vouch
for anything.

SHOPPING

There are two large malls in the area.  Northtown is probably the largest
and is located north of downtown on Division.  You'll see it.  A new mall
just opened in the Valley called Spokane Valley Mall (go figure.)  Take
I-90, Exit 291.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Spokane hosted the world's fair in 1974.  The city claimed a park in the
middle of downtown on the river in return for too much cotton candy.  Of
interest is an ice skating rink (hrs 11-5, 7-10pm; 625-6608) and an IMAX
Theater.  There is also a "Big Top" (you'll see it) that the city can no
longer afford to keep clothed.  

There are several ski mountains in the area.  The local area and the
smallest is Mt. Spokane.  3 or 4 lifts, mostly for locals on a budget.
Silver Mountain is a large area, similar to a midsize Colorado resort,
located about 1 hour east of Spokane on I-90 (Kellogg, Idaho).  Ther is a
long gondola from downtown Kellogg to the top of the mountain.  Mostly
intermediate terrain.
The best mountain is Schweitzer Basin, located about 1.5 hours north of
Spokane outside of Sandpoint, Idaho.  This is a good mountain, with
terrain equal to all but the very best in Colorado (Vail, Breckenridge),
but the weather is very unlike Colorado.  Often foggy, but a great place
on a clear day.

Short cruises are still available on Lake Coeur d'Alene, including a Bald
Eagle watching cruise.  For info call (208) 765-2367.  It is not necessary
to be on a boat to see the Eagles, if you want a location, send me a note.

There are also airplanes that will show you the area around the lake, they
depart from the dock in city center, Coeur d'Alene.

In addition, The Spokane Naturals are sponsoring a nude swim.  Call
927-3860.

Lastly, if you want a treat, stay in Coeur d'Alene at The Resort.  For
about $100/night, you can have one of their rooms facing the water.  This
place is as nice as almost any hotel I've ever been in, and at a bargain
price for this kind of treatment.  The Resort has been discovered pver the
past few years, so it is difficult to get a room during the summer, but
winter is still available and at reasonable prices.  I beleive they make
their money off of golf packages (they have a great Nicklaus (or Palmer?)
designed golf course with this killer floating green out in the middle of
the lake), so winter is the off season.  This is my best suggestion if you
have the extra cash.

Well, that's it.  Hope this helps.  Any questions, just shout.  I'll see
you at the tourney, I'm in Section 205!
--
Rick
T. Rick Fletcher   -   http://www.chem.uidaho.edu/~fletcher/
Associate professor of chemistry  |  That's Idaho, not Iowa.    | ad hominem
University of Idaho               |  Upper Left Hand Corner.    | ad hominem
Moscow, ID 83844-2343             |  No, I don't grow potatoes. | ad hominem



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