How did Liberty Lake get its name, you ask? Was it something in the way the sun sparkled on the forest-rimmed lake one day that inspired a then-infant Matt Shea to first utter "libewty," forever memorializing the place with what would become his all-consuming mantra as its controversial lawmaker? No, no, turns out "Liberty" is in honor of some pioneer named Steve. Seriously.
Regardless of the history, the small city's namesake waterbody is far and away the most popular reason readers said to come visit. From "lake has the best beach" to "lake is a great spot to swim" to the succinct "lake," fans overwhelmingly oriented their answers toward that shining body of water. When they weren't giving kudos to the Fourth of July fireworks show or the fishing, the next most popular answers had to do with what's around the lake: the woods. Just southeast of the lake, hundreds of acres of park and conservation land waits ready for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and campers. Close to the Idaho border, Liberty Lake Park connects with the Cedar Grove and Mica Peak conservation areas, and between all of them there are miles of hiking trails that take users through thick forest to waterfalls and vistas.
But don't forget the urban folk! First-time visitors to Liberty Lake might double-take at an unusual set of vehicles zipping around the city: golf carts. All city streets with 25 mph speeds or lower are open to golf carts, which makes sense for golfers traversing between the three golf courses (Trailhead, MeadowWood and Liberty Lake) that sit north of the lake. Hungry? Other popular mentions included farmers markets, Pentagon Bistro, Ding How and, of course, Hay J's Bistro. And if that's not enough to sell you, maybe listen to the Inlander reader who said you should visit Liberty Lake because "you might make friends."