Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods

Moving to Spokane

Moving to Spokane

Spokane Relocation Guide Here’s all you need to know about moving to Spokane. If you’re still considering relocating to Spokane and feel undecided, then check this post out: 12 Reasons to Relocate to Spokane. 1) The bigots are (mostly) gone I have to be careful not to get cross-ways with the federal Fair Housing Act. Ironically, my fear is criticizing bigoted, uneducated, and willfully ignorant individuals might actually be a violation of the Act. Thus, I’ll let the previous sentence speak for itself. Spokane has long held the reputation of being a grey, downtrodden community surrounded by Aryan Nation brotherhoods and […]

Spokane Planner

12 Reasons to Relocate to Spokane

Considering a move to Spokane? Here’s why Spokane is your next start-up city. We ain’t what we used to be. Here’s 12 reasons why you should relocate to Spokane.

Shadle Park Water Tower Spokane

Ranking All Spokane Neighborhoods, 2020

All Spokane neighborhoods ranked from worst to first with pictures, maps, and descriptions.

Manito Boulevard Spokane - 2016

You Should Telecommute from Spokane

Spokane is the best place to work remotely. Telecommuting comes easy with this list of reasons to work from Spokane.

#20 Vinegar Flats

Vinegar Flats is one of Spokane’s best neighborhoods. Find pictures, map, and a description of Vinegar Flats Neighborhood here.

Garland Neighborhood, Spokane

#19 Garland Neighborhood

Garland is one of Spokane’s best neighborhoods. Find pictures, map, and a description of Garland Neighborhood here.

Back to Top

Economic Development

Spokane Planner

12 Reasons to Relocate to Spokane

Considering a move to Spokane? Here’s why Spokane is your next start-up city. We ain’t what we used to be. Here’s 12 reasons why you should relocate to Spokane.

Historic Davenport Rooftop

A Great Work of Fiction

Any contract that starts with proclamations of GSI’s excellence was written by an attorney so much as this blog post was written by a bikini model.

Spokane Sales Tax Rebate

The How is Now

In a county with few legitimate economic development tools and in a state that’s poor at providing them, we might be onto something with this 0.09 thing.

Downtown Spokane Parking Lot

10 Ways to Fix Downtown Spokane’s Parking Problems

Tired of fighting for a parking space downtown? Here’s how to fix it.

Riverside Avenue, Spokane

Ingredients That Create the Best Neighborhoods

What Makes the Best Neighborhoods? Like all cities, Spokane has a variety of neighborhoods with varying degrees of magnetism. Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods, like all the Best Neighborhoods, share the same critical elements. This article will identify and define them (in no particular order). An Identifiable Center Individual neighborhoods are like small towns within your city. Like all traditional small towns, there is a center. A common occurrence within larger cities is a classic “Main Street” environment that anchor older neighborhoods. In most cases these little Main Streets developed as separate towns until their mother city grew and enveloped them. In […]

Spokane Port District

Here’s How to Write Alternative Port District Legislation

Greater Spokane, Inc (GSI) intends to press our state legislature in the upcoming session to adopt legislation that will create an alternative port district for Spokane County. For those unaware of what port districts do within Washington State, they are (more or less) the premier economic development entities on a county by county basis. Spokane County does not have a port district, which is a significant disadvantage for us from an economic development perspective. If there’s going to be a push from GSI to forego voter approval of a Spokane County port district, as the law presently mandates, any legislation […]

Back to Top


Spokane Regional Transportation Council, Al French

No Indians Allowed

What Other Word is There for Al French’s Behavior Other Than Racist?

Downtown Spokane Partnership

DSP Has Company

City Council has delegated authority to manage $1.1 million in public funds to vampires who fear the sun.

Spokane, WA 99201

Proper Local Gossip

If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.

Spokane City Hall

Five Friendly Suggestions for Nadine Woodward

Life on the ragged edge. Moments and decisions when there are no maps, no models to follow because nobody has ever done it before – places without even a box to think outside of – are moments when you know you’re onto something special. The ragged edge doesn’t happen naturally. It flows from experts, those that have mastered their craft and traversed every detailed corner of their field. Upon mastery of your craft, you are then, and only then, allowed to bend (or openly break) generally accepted rules, like Cormac McCarthy not using quotation marks when he writes, or Jannett […]

Spokesman Review Building 2003

The Whims of Stacey and Betsy Cowles

Being born to legacy money is a heavy cross to bear. Family empires built upon timber, minerals, rail, and media during Spokane’s formative years have diminished significantly as mothers and fathers passed and kids born to privilege mismanaged their birthrights. Yet through the generations one legacy family has risen to the challenge of wealth management and maintained a firm grip on the empire their granddaddy built. Of course, I’m talking about the Cowles family. Owners of the Spokesman Review, significant local real estate investments, and timber interests, the family fortune is spoken for by Stacey and Betsy, brother and sister. […]

Curing Spokane

Curing Spokane (of Parochialism)

If old-Spokane truly wants to Cure Spokane, then take a hard look at the civic entities that you control and protect.

Back to Top

Spokane Restaurants

The Snake Pit, North Idaho

The Snake Pit Review

Recommendation: Love The Snake Pit! It’s the most unique man-made destination in north Idaho. Just let that north Idaho culture wash over you in all of its splendor.

Spencer's Zabuton Cut

4 Best Restaurants in Spokane, 2020

The best restaurants in Spokane ranked on overall food quality and flavor.

Flatstick Pub Spokane

Flatstick Pub Restaurant Review

Recommendation: Is Flatstick Pub a joint where upstanding bureaucrats, politicians, attorneys and local businesspeople choose to hang out? No. We prefer our beer and pizza playing real golf.

Geno's Steaks Phili

Spokane’s Food Identity

In a world full of secret sauces, Spokane is the cultural hearth.

Clover Restaurant Spokane

Clover Restaurant and Bar Review

Recommendation: Clover’s bust is on the Mount Rushmore of Spokane’s best restaurants. Exceptional food at an affordable price.

Steak Selection at Churchills Steakhouse

Churchill’s Steakhouse Review

Recommendation: If you were to bring Julia Child to one restaurant in Spokane, it would be Churchill’s.

Back to Top

Deep Reads

Mike Tedesco Spokane

#1 Spokane, Washington

Spokane, Washington. SpokanePlanner.

Spokane Masonic Temple

When It Comes to Creating Cities, Planners Are Better Than Architects

City planning is a field far-flung from architecture. It is mystifying to think that architects are more qualified to plan cities than, say, geographers, sociologists, or even civil engineers. Architecture is a peculiar field because it represents the marriage between empirical and subjective studies. If a building functions perfectly yet looks atrocious, has the architect failed or succeeded? Perhaps, because geographers, sociologists, and civil engineers do not get the luxury of subjective analysis per se, the architect can stake rightful claim as city planner. If we look closer, however, it is revealed the architect resides over an illusionary fiefdom. The […]

Downtown Spokane (5)

Spokane’s Economic Development Environment

Spokane Economic Development — Spokane’s economic development environment is elusive to articulate. Who, in fact, is in charge of it? If a tech firm wants to build their headquarters downtown, who should they talk to first? How about primary jobs, who signs the check providing incentives for those projects? Quality of life, urban infill, beautification, the arts (yeah, that’s economic development, too), what mechanisms fund those initiatives? Saturated with many actors, from the State of Washington all the way down to local non-profits, ask the folks who play in this arena and even they will have a hard time providing […]

Downtown Spokane Retail Mix

Of Leakage, Retail Trade Areas, and Losing Downtown Department Stores

The City of Spokane is about to lose its second Costco. The first one closed in the year 2000. Not in the history of downtown development is it a good thing to lose an anchor like Macy’s — alas, downtown’s last true department store. Costco needs more space (as did the first one that abandoned the city in 2000), and Macy’s is downsizing its portfolio. It hardly needs to be said but both closures are significant hits to Spokane’s retail environment, each for its own reasons. What does this all mean? How can Spokane better compete in the retail recruitment […]

Kiemle and Hagood

The Fallacies Money Can Buy

The Gateway to Old Spokane —  There’s a room in the office building Greater Spokane, Inc., calls home with a plaque outside its doorway. A lot of people walk by it on their way into meetings. GSI’s primary corporate conference room is big — can fit a healthy 50 or so folks. They hold press conferences in it, board meetings, committee meetings, even regular old routine meetings. This is where Spokane’s most influential power brokers conjoin, where they ritualize consensus building — a unique custom formed over the course of generations whereby the topic de-jure is thoroughly analyzed to ensure […]

BEA Trading Areas

The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle – The Boise State University football program has a lot in common with Gonzaga University men’s basketball program. Both programs suffered from decades of quiet, mediocre teams before bursting into the national sports psyche forcing east-coast-biased pundits to reorient their perspectives a bit more westerly. Ian Johnson’s Statue of Liberty, trick play, two-point conversation to win the 2007 Fiesta Bowl did just as much for the Boise area as Casey Calvary’s tip-in with four seconds remaining to beat Florida and advance to the Elite-8 in the 1999 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Boise State football is to the […]

Back to Top

Spokane’s Best Parks

Mission Park Spokane

#11 Mission Park

Spokane’s Best Parks – Mission Park squeezes a whole lot of amenities into 13 simple acres of flat, tree-lined greens. The Park is the recreational anchor of the historic Logan Neighborhood. Located only a few blocks from Gonzaga University, Mission Park provides a venue for students and families to enjoy the outdoors. The park is firmly woven into the fabric of Spokane. Historic buildings and old homes interplay with Mission Park’s surroundings almost to perfection. Not to mention, let’s count the amenities: baseball fields, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, playground, splash pads, Spokane River frontage, Centennial Trail connectivity, and a pool. […]

Corbin Park Spokane

#10 Corbin Park

Spokane’s Best Parks – Corbin Park is a former horse-racing oval that now offers a green oasis on the lower north side of Spokane. How cool is Corbin Park? The park was designed in 1916 by the Olmsted brothers whose father, not coincidentally, designed Central Park in New York City. Renowned park planners in their own right, parks throughout the City of Spokane were influenced by their wisdom, and Corbin demonstrates some of their hallmark planning techniques by creating different spaces in different places. Despite being a flat, nearly perfect oval, as you meander from one side of Corbin Park […]

Audubon Park Spokane

#9 Audubon Park

Spokane’s Best Parks – Audubon Park is 27 acres of rolling Ponderosa Pines, playgrounds, splash pads, ball fields and basketball courts. Located in northwest Spokane in the Audubon / Downriver neighborhood, Audubon Park anchors one of the quaintest neighborhoods in town. Acreage and playground space in the park gets a boost from Finch Elementary, located in Audubon’s northeast corner. Therefore, if the park’s playgrounds are a bit too rough and tumble for your toddler, you can wander up to the school and utilize their toddler-oriented playground and feel a bit more secure in their fenced-in play areas. Audubon Park is […]

Comstock Park, Spokane

#8 Comstock Park

Spokane’s Best Parks – Comstock Park is similar in almost every way to Audubon Park (the 9th best park in Spokane) except for one significant factor, instead of a simple splash pad, Comstock has a full-blown pool and aquatics area. Comstock Park is the first park on the list located on Spokane’s South Hill in the Comstock neighborhood. At nearly 25 acres, with rolling greens, mature trees, playgrounds, and ball fields, you may be surprised to hear that Comstock is one of the worst parks on the South Hill of Spokane. This says much about Spokane’s superior quality of park […]

Cannon Hill Park Spokane

#7 Cannon Hill Park

Spokane’s Best Parks – Cannon Hill Park is perhaps the most picturesque in Spokane. Meandering meadows, stone-built footbridges, and a rich canopy of deciduous trees create a scene fit a for a  La Grande Jatte painting. If Manito Park is the heart of the South Hill, Cannon Hill Park is the soul. Once a brick quarry, when the clay was mined out in the early 1900s, the famed Olmsted Brothers designed the rolling meadows and duck pond seamlessly into the surrounding neighborhood. Today, Cannon Hill Park serves as one of Spokane’s post-card scenes. Cannon Hill is the second smallest park […]

Finch Arboretum

#6 Finch Arboretum

Finch Arboretum may be the most unique on the list of Spokane’s Best Parks, and is the first park on the list that provides a landscape more diverse than simple greens with a playground or two.

Back to Top

About SpokanePlanner

SpokanePlanner is written and managed by a professional Urban Planner with the intent to highlight both the best and most challenging aspects of urban Spokane. What you get is an honest perspective from a home-grown expert.

First Impressions of Spokane

It surprises you. You fly over ragged shacks, spruce trees and barren fields on your way into Spokane, a city that's difficult to reach from most major metros with a direct flight. And then you land and realize you've been tricked. You step outside to walk along the sun-kissed Spokane River during an unseasonably warm afternoon -- past Riverfront Park -- and then you're enthralled by the glory of the Spokane Falls. The Native American tribes that discovered this plot called it "Stluputqu," which means "swift water." You stand on a bridge above the bubbling falls and its mist tickles your eyebrows and your fancy. The snow-capped peaks of Mount Spokane wink at you from afar as the cloud cover wallows above. Who knew Spokane, Washington, packed this splendor?
Myron Metcalf -- ESPN writer, when he was in town to interview coach Mark Few (Gonzaga)

Spokane Pictures (Need one? Help yourself!)

Expo Art in the Spokane River

Expo Art in the Spokane River

I don’t know what that thing represents but it is an art piece installed for Expo 1974. May, 2011.

Dick's Hamburgers Spokane

The Best Burger Joint in Spokane

Dick’s Hamburgers deserves a post unto itself on this blog. When I entertain out of town guests, be them personal or professional, Dick’s is among the first places I take them. Order a Whammy, some fries, and a malt. Don’t forget to dip your burger and fries in tartar as you eat them. May, 2011.

Spokane River Condos

Condos on Beachfront Property

Those condos on the left are among the first along the Spokane River. There’s not a lot of beachfront property left overlooking Spokane’s waterfalls but these residents have a front row seat to the best show in town. May, 2011.

Clowning Around Riverfront Park

Clowning Around Riverfront Park

One of the cardinal symptoms of a healthy downtown is enough street activity to motivate local entrepreneurs engage the market, albeit one person at a time. May, 2011.

Classic Riverfront Park

Classic Riverfront Park

This view of Riverfront Park shows three out of four iconic structures within it — the Pavilion, Imax, and power plant. The only one missing is the clock tower. May, 2011.

Bloomsday Statues

Bloomsday Statues

Artist David Govedare erected 40 life size statues in honor of Spokane’s annual Bloomsday race in 1986. May, 2011.

Back to Top