Eastern Washington's river city is blooming once again

Map and travel info

The intricate gold leaf in the lobby of the 1914 Davenport Hotelisn't the only thing giving Spokane its new glow. Renovated in2002, the elegant establishment (from $169; 10 S. Post St.;800/899-1482) is just one of the many projects that added up to arecord number of historic renovations that year ― nearlydouble that of any other city in the state, including Seattle.

Caterina Winery's tastingroom (12-5 daily; 905 N. Washington St.; 509/328-5069), housed in ahistoric 1910 dairy building downtown, recently expanded by addinga wine bar (5-10 Fri-Sat). In May all 10 local wineries offerextended hours as part of the Spokane Winery Association's SpringBarrel Tasting Weekend (11-5 May 7-9; free; 509/926-0164).

On the banks of the Spokane River, you'll find downtown'sRiverfront Park, where you can access the Centennial Trail. Giventhe city's whopping annual average of 260 days of sunshine,visitors will want to seize the opportunity to take a walk or bikeride here. Cyclists can follow the trail east along the river for38 miles to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, or travel through Riverside StatePark (509/465-5064) to the trail's western terminus at NineMile Falls, a distance of 14 miles.

There's more to see beyond downtown. South Perry Street is wherecreative entrepreneurs Mark Camp, Robert Hartwig, and JasonWilliams ― who co-own the recording studio where rapper SnoopDogg recorded an advertisement ― opened the Shop (924 S. Perry St.;509/534-1647), a coffeehouse serving great espresso inside a formerauto garage. In summer, they host a free outdoor movie series withclassics such as Singin' in the Rain.

Another effort by the dynamic trio is the Scoop (1002 S. Perry;509/533-1300), which opened last July and has great ice creamflavors; try Bruttles, made with soft peanut brittle from theDavenport Hotel. It's a reinvented classic ― just likeSpokane.

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