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September 17, 2019
Categories: About the Spokane region, Quality of Life
Area: Visit Spokane

Discover Why This Town is the Northwestern Art's Scene Beating Heart

By Sunset Staff | Sunset Magazine

For more than a decade, Ginger Ewing has been encouraging artists, makers, and culture creators to stay in Spokane. Her nonprofit focuses on building community, economic opportunity, and innovative programming to keep the city’s artistic soul thriving.

Two of Ewing’s favorite parks are Manito Park (pictured above) and Cannon Hill Park. Manito Park has five major gardens: perennial, rose, classic European-style, Japanese, and lilac (Spokane’s unofficial flower). Cannon Hill Park “makes you feel like you walked into a Norman Rockwell painting no matter the time of year,” Ewing says. If you’re looking for a relatively easy hike, she recommends The Bluffs for its 23 miles of undeveloped land and stunning views of the city.

Ewing recommends the 1970s-inspired Lucky You Lounge (above) for the cauliflower fritters, pulled-pork sandwich, and the Final Ward cocktail. Whiskey lovers should head to Hogwash Whiskey Den, which is nestled in the basement of a cracker factory built in 1891. If you like your spirits neat, “there are more than 300 whiskies on the menu,” says Ewing. “But be sure to try the Scofflaw, whiskey sour, and old-fashioned.”

James Beard Award–nominated Italia Trattoria is one of Ewing’s favorite spots. “Chef Anna Vogel’s pappardelle lamb ragù alone is worth traveling to Spokane for,” Ewing says. For plant-based meals, RÜT Bar and Kitchen and Mizuna are her top picks. Ewing swears by RÜT’s buffalo cauliflower wings, and she is a fan of Alison’s Vegan Carrot Cake at Mizuna.

Vintage lovers like Ewing will do well at Boulevard Mercantile. “I go for the mid-century marvels, ’80s vintage clothing, and industrial furniture,” Ewing says. She also shops at Fringe & Fray, a locally owned resale boutique with one-of-a-kind finds and affordable prices.

The Historic Davenport Hotel is “an absolute must,” according to Ewing. “Have a cocktail in the Peacock Room and ask the staff about the resident ghosts,” she says. The Bing Crosby Theater and the Martin Woldson Theater the Fox are within walking distance of the hotel and are worth a visit in their own right.

For original Sunset Magazine feature, visit