Monday, January 14, 2013
In my opinion, Spokane, Wash., is one of America’s most fun-loving cities. Soft adventure is right outside your luxury hotel. Raft the serene Spokane River, bike the picturesque Hiawatha Trail, photograph roaring falls in Riverfront Park. For an exhilarating aerial view, Back Country Aerosports will take you on a breathtaking ride in their ultra light aircraft over golden valleys.
Does anyone in Spokane ever go indoors?
I’m joking of course. Travelers with exquisite taste stay at the grand Davenport Hotel. Built in 1914 by Louie Davenport, the property was lauded as one of America’s “exceptional hotels,” for the attentive service, luxurious guestrooms and stunning architecture.
Davenport said “We wish you are so well pleased with your visit here that you will be glad you came, sorry to leave and eager to return.”
The Davenport was America’s first hotel with air conditioning, a central vacuum system, a pipe organ and dividing ballroom doors.
This is where the first “Crab Louis” was created and served.
Imagine the parties. Stars and VIPS like Mary Pickford, Tyrone Power, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Bob Hope and Elvis Presley created excitement and glamour. So did many U.S. Presidents and the writers Zane Grey and Dashiell Hammett.
By 1945, Davenport had sold his hotel, and after several decades she was nearly demolished.
Fortunately, Walt and Karen Worthy bought and restored The Davenport in 2002 to her original glory. She’s once again one of the world’s finest hotels, proudly a member of Conde Nast’s Gold List. Now the stars are back, like Sting, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Jerry Seinfeld.
Spacious sunny guestrooms are elegant with oh so comfortable beds, Travertine marble baths, original artwork and serene city views. Pamper yourself at the spa, swim in the pool, shop for gifts at Davenport Home Boutique. Dine on “Crab Louis” and fresh seafood at Palm Court Grill or sip espresso in the stunning lobby bar.
Venture out and sample Spokane’s many diverse restaurants and wineries. We enjoyed a glittering evening at Barrister Winery, where winemaker Greg Lipsker poured endless glasses of his award winning reds. We dined in their romantic 100-year-old Barrel Room, catered by Sante Restaurant and Charcuterie. Sante owners Jeremy and Kate Hansen serve only fresh, organic, locally procured seafood, meats and produce.
We relished their delicate scallops, pork tenderloin, mixed greens and decadent chocolate cake.
For more casual fare, try the crispy fried fish sandwiches at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille, a lively Irish pub in the heart of downtown Spokane.
Breakfast in a charming historic train car at Frank’s Diner, where you’ll feast on spinach omelettes and blueberry pancakes.
Frank’s outstanding food and service deserves their “Best Diner” and “Best Breakfast in Spokane” awards.
Love fishing and boating? Try a day trip to Sandpoint, Idaho, just over an hour from Spokane. Charming Sandpoint was named “Most Beautiful Small Town in the USA” by USA Today/Rand McNally, and for good reason.
Browse the unique shops, art galleries, restaurants and take in a theatre or music.
Buzz around on a powerboat on Lake Pend Oreille, America’s third largest lake, fishing for rainbow trout and small mouth bass.
Photograph elk, deer, moose and black bears prowling the forests around the lake.
Rent a sunny lake home in Dover Bay and spend the whole summer here, relaxing in this special award-winning town.
Out in the country
Minutes from downtown Spokane’s lively art, shopping, and restaurant scene is a beautiful area called Greenbluff, consisting of almost 40 privately owned farms.
Walter’s Fruit Ranch offers delicious homemade breakfasts on an outdoor terrace overlooking fruit orchards.
I recommend their creamy quiche, followed by warm homemade cherry pie.
Yes, pie is for breakfast when it’s this good.
Walter’s grows all the vegetables on your healthy diet, plus cherries, apples, peaches, pears, so enjoy the best pie of your life and then have them ship one home for your family.
Find out why Spokane’s 260 days of sunshine creates the sweetest fruit on Planet Earth.
Back in Spokane, enjoy a few nights at Northern Quest Resort, for relaxation and live musical concerts. This Native American resort is a wow, with a state of the art spa, swimming pool, gift shops, 14 restaurants, a lively casino and 250 beautifully decorated rooms.
Unwind with a steam, pedicure and heavenly massage, then dine at Masselow’s, Spokane’s only AAA Four Diamond restaurant.
After all your soft adventures in Spokane, you’ve earned four star pampering.