Must-see activities and attractions for any new visitor to the Inland Northwest

click to enlarge Catch some Spokane Chiefs hockey action on Feb. 28 and 29.
Catch some Spokane Chiefs hockey action on Feb. 28 and 29.

Casinos

Both Northern Quest Resort & Casino, run by the Kalispel Tribe, and the Spokane Tribe Casino can be found in Airway Heights, while the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's Coeur d'Alene Casino is in Worley, Idaho. All are participating in Inlander Restaurant Week and have plenty of slots and gaming options, of course, but also feature clubs, bars and other entertainment.


Spas

What better way to treat yourself before hitting the town? The Inland Northwest is home to many top-rated spas including La Rive (at Northern Quest Resort & Casino), Spa Ssakwa'q'n (at the Coeur d'Alene Casino), the Davenport Spa (at the Historic Davenport Hotel) and the spa at the Coeur d'Alene Resort.


Spectator sports

During Restaurant Week, you can catch some hockey when the Spokane Chiefs host the Seattle Thunderbirds

(on Feb. 28) and the Tri-City Americans (on Feb. 29) at the Spokane Arena. If basketball is more your thing, Eastern Washington University's men's team take on Northern Arizona on Feb. 22. And if you're lucky enough to score a ticket, Gonzaga's men's team has three home games during Restaurant Week: San Francisco (Feb. 20), San Diego (Feb. 27) and St. Mary's (Feb. 29).


The Museum

The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, or the "MAC" as locals call it, is just a few blocks west of downtown in historic Browne's Addition. The newest exhibit, Pompeii: The Immortal City, brings to life the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, buried by a massive volcanic eruption in 79 AD. Closer to home is another exhibit commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption, the most destructive in U.S. history.


Mountains

Mount Spokane is the closest to Spokane, with plenty of sledding, tubing, snowboarding and skiing at a reasonable price. Hardcore winter sports enthusiasts will also want to trek to the four other resorts within a short drive — Schweitzer, Silver, 49 Degrees North and Lookout Pass.


click to enlarge Make a day of it: shopping in downtown Coeur d'Alene and then dinner at one of the many participating restaurants.
Make a day of it: shopping in downtown Coeur d'Alene and then dinner at one of the many participating restaurants.

Downtown Spokane shopping

River Park Square, the mall just south of Riverfront Park, is the central shopping attraction, featuring mainstays like Nordstrom, Nike Factory Store and the Apple Store. But don't miss the independent bookstore, Auntie's, or Boo Radley's, where the quirkiest, strangest and most Spokane items reside.


Downtown Coeur d'Alene shopping

As a tourist town, Coeur d'Alene is perfectly prepared for visitors. Most of the shopping is concentrated on Sherman Avenue. Kids will love scampering about Figpickels Toy Emporium, culture lovers will want to see the paintings and sculptures at the art co-op Gallery Northwest, nostalgic old-timers may be most interested by Crow's Nest Antiques, while bargain hunters will want to seek out the smattering of thrift shops along Fourth Street.


Riverfront Park

It's the centerpiece of downtown and the single biggest legacy of Expo '74. During the winter months, the park's ice ribbon, filled with skaters, is by far the most popular feature. But your kids will want to ride the historic Looff Carrousel or feed the metal goat statue (press the button, and it eats garbage). Then follow the gondola line across the street to check out Spokane's widely adored Huntington Park.


Cork District

Pick a wine pairing to go with your meals. Spread out throughout downtown Spokane, the Cork District brings together more than a dozen different wineries within easy walking distance. Browse corkdistrict.com, where you'll find a map and winery listings to plan your Cork District tasting route, along with a few other wineries located further afield.


click to enlarge The Inland Northwest's brewery scenes continues to grow, led by longtime stalwarts No-Li.
The Inland Northwest's brewery scenes continues to grow, led by longtime stalwarts No-Li.

Ale Trail

What the Cork District is to wine, the Ale Trail is to beer. In the past decade, the number and quality of brewers in Spokane has exploded. Go to inlandnwaletrail.com to get the map of more than 30 regional brewers, and pick what sounds good. We suggest at least hitting up the nationally renowned No-Li Brewhouse.

Wallace Blues Festival @ Wallace

July 10-13
  • or