Since we both work full time, we generally try to find spots where we can stay for a month. Sometimes that comes with the benefit of a monthly rate, sometimes not but it frees up our weekends to explore, which we did in Spokane.
Spokane RV Resort is actually quite a bit north of Spokane, by about 40 minutes. This made our visits not as frequent into town, but we still managed quite a few since it was a nice drive. Deer Park doesn’t have to much but they do have a nice grocery store and various restaurant chains, along with a few local eateries.
Our RV spot was golf course frontage and we enjoyed the views of the mountains in the distance. We were lucky to have quite a few beautiful sunrise & sunsets. The downside to this RV park is zero shade. We baked in the summer heat and we were totally exposed during one freak storm that actually blew one of our our basements open! Due to the constant wind, our awning couldn’t often be left out to help shield us from the sun.
Overall, it was still a really nice stay. The water pressure could be a bit light – probably because they are constantly watering everything on the course & in the RV park. If you are not an early morning person, the activity on the golf course can be a bit loud, and we heard some grumbling from others that even though they booked a month, they had to keep moving spots. The laundry room was clean with plenty of working units which we took advantage of. Luckily we didn’t have the above issue of moving and since we start work at 6am, the golf course noise didn’t bother us either.
We met a few people that make Spokane RV Resort a yearly visit and even with the small issues we had, I can see why.
We often focus on stopping at at least one local brewery, if not several when we visit a city. It’s a great way to get an idea of what the local market enjoys, and we tend to enjoy a pint after walking around a city
We enjoyed the small but comfortable spot Bellwether occupies and since we were in Spokane for a month, decided to really focus on visiting a bunch of breweries.
Our next stop was at Big Barn Brewing Company. We visited on a Sunday but we were unfortunately late enough in the day to miss the local music that plays weekly. On the plus side, it was a beautiful day to snag a picnic table, snack on some food from a food truck and enjoy a brew. I was especially happy to find a twist on black and tan the bartender suggested using Mead Honey Lager and Black Dog Stout. So good!
We did a midweek stop at Iron Goat Brewing Co. where I had a virtual happy hour with some co-workers. This was a really great spot in downtown Spokane and it was easy to have more than one round. I especially enjoyed the Dry Fly Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale, although I admit I am a sucker for Scotch Ales. I also enjoyed the charcuterie board here.
After work, we walked around the corner to visit Orlison Brewing Company. I tried the Toasted Dragon Pilsner, which was an interesting chile-type beer, and then also tried the Carabiner Brown Ale.
Finally, we decided to seek out a dog friendly brewery so we could hang out with our pup. While the English Setter Brewing Company had outdoor seating, it wasn’t the most beautiful spot, in the back of a small strip mall overlooking a weedy lot. The beers were fairly decent but I would skip the food if we had time to visit again. We did love the service however, and both servers that were around loved Sam, and loved giving local advice. Win!
Another stop, we visited another area of Spokane at a brewery/pizzeria combination called Bennidito’s Pizza. The space was actually quite nice, with an extremely roomy bar. The beer, for me at least, were just drinkable. I found nothing extraordinary about the Hefe or the Stout, but the Red Light Rye was the best of the bunch we tried.
Another day, another brewery and this time we stopped at one at one of the more unique brewery stops. I loved the history at the Steam Plant Brewing and loved the multi use of a previous steam plant building. The ability to look up the smokestacks was kinda neat and even if the stout I had wasn’t my favorite, we enjoyed some happy hour dishes and soaked in the environment.
Perry Street Brewing was tucked away in another area of Spokane we hadn’t yet explored, and Samantha was welcome on the patio. That always makes for a nice visit and the brews were rather delicious. The neighborhood was fun and even a little quirky, as across the street was a fun windmill structure.
Daft Badger is a brewery in nearby Coeur D’Alene and I loved the outdoor patio area. It was Samantha friendly, and even if I wasn’t totally crazy about the Scotchy Scotch Scotch, it was still a nice stop. We also found a great dog friendly restaurant at Fort Ground Grill where Sam got a ridiculous amount of attention and the food was quite good.
Waddell’s Brewing is more of a restaurant-brewery combination and occupies a large suburban space. I thought the Barkeep Bavarian Wheat was decently done and the service was friendly.
Black Label occupies a fun spot in downtown Spokane. It is a co-op of sorts with a number of different businesses, making it easy to grab a bite and a brew. This concept of multiple businesses would also make it easier for someone who doesn’t drink, to grab a coffee and still hang out in the same space. While it was’t my favorite Scotch Ale, I also think I was starting to suffer from beer overload. (who knew?!)
River City Brewing is another downtown Spokane spot and another dog friendly spot. We had an interesting combination of Chinese that was delivered from a nearby restaurant and beer. The bartender was really great and the inside of the place was a lot of fun as well.
All this beer travel was a great way to explore the area and crazy enough, we didn’t even hit half of the breweries on the trail. I continue to enjoy exploring local craft brews, even if every pint doesn’t knock my socks off.
We stayed a bit north of Spokane and when a co-worker asked why Spokane, I responded – why not?
Then, at one of the breweries, I saw a sticker that proclaimed “Spokane Doesn’t Suck”. Intrigued I asked the bartender what that was all about, since our wandering the city left us moderately impressed. I didn’t realize Spokane had such a harsh reputation but he said the last 10 years the city has been making a huge leap forward.
We rather enjoyed Spokane, but then again we are a bit attracted to gritty. We spent several afternoons wandering the downtown area and not only sought out local breweries (like 12 of them which is worthy of a post of its own!), but local craft cocktail places like The Volstead Act.
One night to celebrate my birthday we ate dinner at Wandering Table and had a rather enjoyable experience. It was a 8 course meal picked by the chef and it allowed me to experience dishes I wouldn’t have normally picked. Was it the most impressive dinner I’ve ever had? Honestly, no – but I like that a restaurant like this can thrive in Spokane and since this was very early on in our visit, I was encouraged.
We spent an afternoon with Samantha walking around the downtown area and the Riverfront park, home of the 1974 expo. I love this large grassy spot in downtown and loved the bridges and falls.
We also spent some time driving around Spokane. Some driving through various neighborhoods, some just random wanderings through fields of grain with mountains in the background. The scenery around the city is quite comforting actually.
We also left the state and visited Sandpoint, Idaho which was on our list the last time we came through this area and we never quite made it. A very quaint town, and luckily very dog friendly, we enjoyed an afternoon walking with Sam and enjoyed the views on the drive.
On the way back from Sandpoint, we decided to take a detour up to Priest Lake as some time in our travels someone recommended this spot. It ended up being a bit of a bust, as there were no major areas to be able to park and walk around. A few boat launches and plenty of private land was what we saw. We even stopped at the visitors centers to look at a map and see if there was something we were missing. Nope! Well, the view from the boat launch was staggering, but not quite worth the drive for us.
Overall, the month flew – especially with our ‘challenge’ to visit enough local breweries to get an Inland Brewery Trail growler. Next post with a bit more information on that fun!