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Spokane, Wash.: 5 Things We Love

Washington’s second-largest city has plenty to brag about.

girl rides the 1909 Looff carousel in Spokane, image
Photo caption
Carved horses with real horsehair tails gallop to organ tunes.

The waters of Spokane River Falls leap back to life in spring. Still too chilly for you? Head indoors and you’ll find that Washington’s second-largest city offers plenty of attractions and distractions. Area code is 509.

1  Climb the winding road to Arbor Crest Wine Cellars for a panoramic view of the Spokane Valley and a taste of a spicy cabernet franc made from Columbia Valley grapes. Or for a downtown sip, pop into the second tasting room in River Park Square mall. 927-9463,

2  Make a friend at Blue Table Kitchen off an alley in Millwood, east of downtown. Diners gather at group tables for such dishes as gingersnapcrusted lamb with brandied fig sauce. Open twice a week, usually Friday and Saturday. Reservations required. 473-9087.

3  Tropical and subtropical plants unfurl their finery at Gaiser Conservatory and gardens in Manito Park in the South Hill neighborhood. Look for speckled orchids, lobster-claw heliconia, and the weird and white-maned old man cactus. 625-6600.

4  Settle into a wing chair surrounded by gold leaf, painted frescoes, marble floors, and stately columns in the posh lobby of the restored Davenport Hotel, a AAA four Diamond property. At its Palm Court Grill, dig in to the signature crab Louis salad. 455-8888,

5  Fifty-four bejeweled horses go up and down alongside a snarling tiger and a regal giraffe on the 1909 Looff carousel in Riverfront Park. Reopens March 1 after a winter closure. 625-6628,

Photography by Amy Sinisterra

This article was first published in March 2014. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.