Bubbling over with inspiring art and culture, thrilling entertainment venues, mouth-watering cuisine and more adventure trails and outdoor spaces than you can shake a stick at, Spokane in East Washington packs quite a punch despite its relatively small population. This uniquely charming city, surrounded on all sides by greenery, has built up quite a reputation over the years, attracting thousands of tourists every year; proof that Spokane’s slogan - “Near nature. Near perfect.” - couldn’t be more apt.
Spokane offers a good transportation system. Not only is the city compact, making it possible to navigate on foot, but it is also equipped with buses, taxis and car rental services. Traffic is light, meaning that hiring a car will prove efficient, comfortable and quick. There sre also plenty of parking spaces located right next to the city’s main attractions, making your stay a breeze. A car will also make it possible to explore the city’s picturesque neighborhoods.
Variety is the spice of life, and Spokane is certainly proof of that. Riverfront Park is undoubtedly the city’s most popular attraction. Studded with notable landmarks such as the thundering Spokane Falls, the dramatic Great Northern Clocktower and the ornate Looff Carousel, this expanse of greenery offers hours’ worth of scenic trails, idyllic restaurants and dramatic scenery. Sports enthusiasts will find there’s plenty of hair-raising activity to be had. From the annual 12-kilometer Bloomsday Race to a spot of leisurely golf, and from zip lining to skiing, Spokane has everything you need to get your blood pumping. Art and culture buffs can treat their eyes to delightful art displays at the Corbin Art Centre or the 2,800-square-foot Jundt Galleries or spend a relaxing evening at Spokane’s numerous theatres.
Shoppers in particular will find their rental car exceptionally handy when it comes to pursuing their favorite pastime. Spokane is liberally speckled with exciting shopping areas guaranteed to deliver some serious retail therapy. Park downtown on 5th Avenue for a leisurely browse through the Spokane Farmers’ Market and a sample of local delicacies, and then venture outside the city center towards the Spokane Valley Mall for a plethora of high-street brands and department stores. Later, toss your heavy shopping-bags in the trunk and embark on the Spokane City Drive for a tour with a difference around this beautiful city.
Pick a season; any season. Whether you’re a sun-seeker, avid sports-and-outdoor-enthusiast or a piste-lover, there is something for everyone in Spokane, whatever time you choose to visit. The city enjoys four distinct seasons, each offering an alternative facet to this city of delights. Summer falls between late June and mid-September and is characterized by warm temperatures, regular outdoor entertainment and an abundance of fresh, cool water to frolic in. Fall, following just behind, transforms the city in a riot of burnished colors. Many activities in the locale are centered on harvest time, and the city is rife with pumpkin-picking, zip-line adventures and colorful events. Several Spokane neighborhoods also offer many exciting events during this time. Maybe hop into your rented automobile and explore the City of Airway Heights and North Idaho for more absorbing experiences. The onset of winter (December – February) brings with it magical snow, vigorous ice-skating and warming wine-tastings. Don’t forget to explore Spokane’s excellent wineries located in the north or to make the most of the ski season; Spokane boasts no less than five ski resorts, all located within driving distance. If snow isn’t for you, though, postpone your visit until the March-through-June window, because spring in Spokane is pretty, sunny and brimming over with feel-good vibes.
You’ll find that prices for car rentals won’t vary much over the year, due to the city’s regular influx of tourists. The city enjoys a low cost of living on the whole, and you can expect to drive away for as little as $30 per day. Do make a point of shopping around, though; several major car companies (including Avis, Kayak and Thrifty) are located both at the airport and across the city, and prices can vary greatly according to your pick-up and drop-off point. The list below gives an idea of what you can expect:
Driving in Spokane is more or less straightforward. Stick to the speed limit, and don’t forget that exits are all on the right-hand-side of the road. Winter driving may be tricky, so ask your rental car company to provide snow tires if you don’t already have them.