Hotel at a Glance: Red Lion River Inn
The “River” in Red Lion River Inn’s title refers to the Spokane River, which flows through downtown Spokane and the town’s popular Riverfront Park. The hotel makes good use of this waterfront scenery—it gives its guests easy access to the Spokane River Centennial Trail, and it offers the onsite Ripples Riverside Grill, featuring an outdoor patio where you can eat fresh seafood and sip on wines while watching the peaceful river breeze past.
- Where you’ll stay: Stylish, contemporary guest rooms come with satellite TVs, refrigerators, and microwaves.
- Great for college visits: Gonzaga University is just a block away.
- Need a refresher? The hotel has two outdoor seasonal pools, ideal for hot summer days.
- Bring the whole family … including Fido. Pets under 100 pounds can be added to your room for only $15 per night.
- Stay connected with the complimentary WiFi.
Spokane, Washington: Bustling Arts District and Riverfront Park near the Rocky Mountains
Spokane is Washington’s second largest city, but it manages to stay in touch with its green side. In fact, the town’s motto is “Near nature. Near perfect.” Throughout Spokane, you’ll find tons of parks and gardens as well as the Spokane River, which flows directly through downtown. And then there’s the thundering Spokane Falls at Riverfront Park. The 100-acre public green space also features a century-old carousel, an opera house, and an outdoor Ice Palace that’s open for skating from October through March. There’s a host of recreational opportunities just outside of Spokane as well. You can go boating and fishing on Lake Coeur d’Alene across the Idaho border (it’ll take you about an hour to get there), and the nearby Rocky Mountains offer unparalleled skiing, biking, and hiking.
In recent years, Spokane has emerged as a bona fide cultural hub with a thriving arts scene. On the first Friday of every month, dozens of downtown venues stay open late to showcase paintings, sculptures, photography, and other works by local artists. At the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, you can take in a performance by the Spokane Symphony. For a quick bite before the show, check out one of the casual eateries highlighted on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, such as Elk Public House. A good bet for wine lovers is Barrister Winery, which produces fruit-forward vintages in a 100-year-old brick building.