January 12, 2018

Spokane, Washington

Life in Spokane, Washington, explained by people who’ve lived in Spokane:



*Click here to share your experience living in Spokane*

*Response format = Answer (Your name, How long you’ve lived in Spokane)


Spokane Favorites

What’s your favorite thing about living in Spokane?

  • Spokane Fair. (Chapman, 2.5 years)
  • Lots of opportunity, beautiful city. (Joss, 3 years)
  • Not much traffic and beautiful scenery. Lots of family friendly activities. (Laura, 7 years)
  • The nature and people are very nice. (Bri, 8 years)
  • I love all of the treed areas, particular on the South Hill. (Lindsey, 9 years)
  • Lots of places to shop and go out to eat. (Rebecca, 9 years)
  • Close to family. (Corinne, 12 years)
  • Riverfront Park and the malls. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • The beauty. (Cameron, 13 years)
  • It’s chill. (Daniel, 13 years)
  • Summer. (Shelley, 13 years)
  • Affordability. (Rodney, 15+ years)
  • The people. (Autumn, 16 years)
  • Big town with a small town vibe. (Shannon, 19 years)
  • Family is here, affordable, nature close by. (Anonymous, 20 years)
  • It sucks. (David, 20 years)
  • I love the coffee culture 🙂 it’s becoming more “hip” everyday. (Lexi, 20 years)
  • The creative culture and small-ish town feel. (Maddie, 20 years)
  • All the seasons. Living close to a lot of outdoor activities. (Arah, 21 years)
  • Summer time. (Eleanor, 21 years)
  • We have everything..all the different kinds of weather, outdoorsy stuff, a temple, and a ton of community activities and resources. (Thessaly, 27 years)
  • It’s home. I was born and raised here. I love how close we are to nature, but not too far from a city. Nice balance of both. (Anonymous, 33 years)
  • The food and drink scene here is really great & being near nature. (Lea, 35 years)
  • The 4 seasons. (Melanie, 41 years)
  • I can’t pick just one thing, I like it all the way around pretty much. (Tanya, 41 years)
  • Growth in art and culture. (Julie, 47 years)
  • Hoopfest and Bloomsday. (TS, 52 years)
  • City parks. (Laura, 58 years)
  • The geographical area. (Kathe, 60 years)
  • It’s God’s country in the Northwest. (Teresa, 60 years)
  • All the seasons. (Bill, 64 years)
  • It provides close rural settings and activities while maintaining a supportive economy near its urban core. “Near nature, near perfect.” I agree with the Spokane saying. (Martee, n/a)

Spokane Least Favorites

What’s your least favorite thing about living in Spokane?

  • The people and South hill in the winter. (Chapman, 2.5 years)
  • Increasing crime. (Joss, 3 years)
  • Crime. (Laura, 7 years)
  • The strong drug and crime presence. (Bri, 8 years)
  • The large population of homeless people begging on street corners. (Lindsey, 9 years)
  • Dirty streets in some areas of downtown. (Rebecca, 9 years)
  • The crime and the rednecks. (Corinne, 12 years)
  • The increase in crime the last few years. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • Potholes. (Cameron, 13 years)
  • All the cool stuff seems like a secret. (Daniel, 13 years)
  • Lack of sun in the winter. (Shelley, 13 years)
  • People moving here and bringing their crime. (Rodney, 15+ years)
  • Negativity of downtown. (Autumn, 16 years)
  • No zoo or aquarium. (Shannon, 19 years)
  • I have lived in big cities and it just doesn’t compare. Lack of emphasis on public transport, downtown is very lacking. (Anonymous, 20 years)
  • The lack of vegan options. That, however, is starting to change. (Lexi, 20 years)
  • The homeless population. (Arah, 21 years)
  • Icy roads. (Eleanor, 21 years)
  • It’s far too easy to feel alone. (Thessaly, 27 years)
  • Lack of opportunity to move up in some fields of work, unless you know someone. (Anonymous, 33 years)
  • The potholes. (Lea, 35 years)
  • The lack of shoveled sidewalks in the winter. (Melanie, 41 years)
  • Crime. (Tanya, 41 years)
  • Increased crime. (Julie, 47 years)
  • I would move if I could. (TS, 52 years)
  • Cold weather. (Laura, 58 years)
  • The crime rate increasing. (Kathe, 60 years)
  • Nothing. (Teresa, 60 years)
  • Poor job pay. (Bill, 64 years)
  • The resistance in progressive ideals is not conducive to a populous growing at the speed that Spokane is growing at. The governing body has been conservative in its tactics to providing adequate public transportation and public housing. This could be improved. (Martee, n/a)

Spokane Things To Do

What are fun things to do in Spokane?

  • Strictly Swing, walking by the river and Green Bluffs. (Chapman, 2.5 years)
  • Parks, malls, river, theaters. Good jump off point for back country exploration. (Joss, 3 years)
  • Mobius, Riverfront Park, hiking. (Laura, 7 years)
  • Hiking, annual events that are held. Like Hoopfest, Lilac Parade, Bloomsday, etc. (Bri, 8 years)
  • Japanese Gardens, lots of parks, hiking. (Lindsey, 9 years)
  • Riverfront park downtown has the imax theatre and gondola, Manito park on south hill, Mirabeau park in the valley has a waterfall. Spokane valley mall, Riverpark square or Northtown mall. (Rebecca, 9 years)
  • There are some good places to eat and some good breweries. Greenbluff is probably my favorite. (Corinne, 12 years)
  • Laserquest, escape rooms, walking Riverfront Park, Wonderland and Pattison’s. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • LaserQuest, Medical Lake. (Cameron, 13 years)
  • Hike, dance, Japanese sword fight. (Daniel, 13 years)
  • So much hiking so close to home. (Shelley, 13 years)
  • Casinos, shopping, scenery, bars. (Rodney, 15+ years)
  • Ice skating. (Autumn, 16 years)
  • Hiking, Centennial Trail, pools. (Shannon, 19 years)
  • Tons of breweries, good hiking spots, coffee shops, antique shops. (Anonymous, 20 years)
  • Nothing safe. (David, 20 years)
  • Trying new restaurants is my favorite :). (Lexi, 20 years)
  • Hiking, going to cool restaurants, seeing landmarks, thrift shopping. (Maddie, 20 years)
  • Hiking, centennial trail, ice cream at Brian freeze, eating out at local restaurants. (Arah, 21 years)
  • Walk/ride Centennial trail, First night, Manito parks’ gardens. (Eleanor, 21 years)
  • Running or exploring the mountains, visit the historic places in the downtown area, partake in the annual events (Bloomsday, hoop fest, pig out in the park), go to Green Bluff. (Thessaly, 27 years)
  • Go outside! Mount Spokane, Riverside State Park, a variety of restaurants, Riverfront park. (Anonymous, 33 years)
  • I love to hike, there are so many amazing trails around Spokane, that are minutes from downtown! (Lea, 35 years)
  • Getting outside. (Melanie, 41 years)
  • Shopping, movies, going to restaurants and the beautiful parks. (Tanya, 41 years)
  • Art galleries, outdoor activities. (Julie, 47 years)
  • Bloomsday, Easter egg hunts, Hoopfest, First Night Out Spokane (too cold). (TS, 52 years)
  • Picnics. (Laura, 58 years)
  • Exploring the area. (Kathe, 60 years)
  • Go to River Park, lots of lakes and mountains. (Teresa, 60 years)
  • Trails, hiking, river walks, and the new ice ribbon are outside activities I enjoy. Indoors there are trampoline parks, climbing walls, malls, and several local breweries and wineries. (Martee, n/a)

Spokane’s Reputation

What’s Spokane known for?

  • Mental health issues. (Chapman, 2.5 years)
  • Bloomsday, Riverfront Park. (Joss, 3 years)
  • The downtown falls. (Laura, 7 years)
  • Gonzaga and being on Live PD. (Bri, 8 years)
  • Bigger city on the east side of the state. (Lindsey, 9 years)
  • Riverfront park. (Rebecca, 9 years)
  • Meth. (Corinne, 12 years)
  • Hoop Fest, Bloomsday and Z Nation. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • Potholes. (Cameron, 13 years)
  • Marmots by the river. (Daniel, 13 years)
  • Medical, affordability, public programs, snow and friendliness. (Rodney, 15+ years)
  • Clock tower, basketball. (Autumn, 16 years)
  • Gonzaga, Big Red Wagon. (Shannon, 19 years)
  • Being a city that’s close to nature. (Anonymous, 20 years)
  • Crime. (David, 20 years)
  • I would say Spokane is known for Hoopfest, Riverfront Park, and the growing population. (Lexi, 20 years)
  • Nature and it’s unique art culture. (Maddie, 20 years)
  • Potholes. (Arah, 21 years)
  • Riverfront park. (Eleanor, 21 years)
  • See above.. plus Bing Crosby is from here and Father’s Day originated here. (Thessaly, 27 years)
  • Fathers day was founded here, Z-nation, near nature, near perfect. (Anonymous, 33 years)
  • The Spokane River & Riverfront Park. (Lea, 35 years)
  • Gonzaga University. (Melanie, 41 years)
  • Bloomsday, Gonzaga Basketball, Hoopfest. (Tanya, 41 years)
  • Area lakes. (Julie, 47 years)
  • Production jobs and nepotism in private and government sectors. (TS, 52 years)
  • Gonzaga Basketball. (Laura, 58 years)
  • Closeness to activities. (Kathe, 60 years)
  • Bing Crosby and worlds fair in 1974. (Teresa, 60 years)
  • Expo 74. (Bill, 64 years)
  • Riverfront Park where the 1974 World’s Fair was hosted. Founding Father’s Day. Bloomsday and Hoopfest. (Martee, n/a)

Spokane Crime

What’s the crime like in Spokane? (hot spot areas, etc.)

  • Felony Flats (West Spokane). (Chapman, 2.5 years)
  • Lots of car theft and drug related crime. Browns addition, lower south hill, west central can be rough. Increasing crime everywhere though. I lived in a decent area and had at least a half dozen pursuits through my complex. (Joss, 3 years)
  • Hillyard, lower South Hill, Sprague. (Laura, 7 years)
  • It’s awful. Hillyard is the worst. Lots of car theft, lots of drugs. A lot of homeless people. (Bri, 8 years)
  • Not terrible like Seattle but definitely present, particularly in thr Felony Flats and Hilliard area. (Lindsey, 9 years)
  • Downtown and Hillyard are probably the worst areas especially at night. (Rebecca, 9 years)
  • It’s bad. Some areas are better than others, but there are still problems, even in the nice areas. (Corinne, 12 years)
  • It’s getting worse by the day. A lot of property crime and theft and drug related issues. Hillyard area, downtown and the east side of town are the worst spots to be in. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • Driving over potholes. (Cameron, 13 years)
  • Drugs, lots of drugs. (Daniel, 13 years)
  • Not bad. (Shelley, 13 years)
  • Downtown and northside. (Rodney, 15+ years)
  • Moderate crime. (Autumn, 16 years)
  • Downtown areas can be sketchy. (Shannon, 19 years)
  • Hilliard, lower south hill, north central area. (Anonymous, 20 years)
  • Very high. (David, 20 years)
  • Felony Flats is a big one. Other than that, I’ve never personally had any problems. There are some areas on the lower South Hill, as well. Homelessness is growing unfortunately. (Lexi, 20 years)
  • Prevalent in Brownes Addition mostly. (Maddie, 20 years)
  • A lot along the freeway neighborhoods close to downtown and lower income areas like Hillyard and on Southill where they built the low income apartments. (Arah, 21 years)
  • Minimal homicides, high drug use. (Eleanor, 21 years)
  • Hillyard and parts of the lower south hill should be avoided. (Thessaly, 27 years)
  • Hillyard and downtown, felony flats are all hot spots, meth, car jacking, taking packages and other theft are popular. (Anonymous, 33 years)
  • More central areas have more property crimes & disturbances. (Lea, 35 years)
  • It’s everywhere. (Melanie, 41 years)
  • Bad over on the east side of town, as well as the west side. (Tanya, 41 years)
  • It sucks. (Julie, 47 years)
  • Spokane City Hall Offers unequal policing to low-end neighborhoods. (TS, 52 years)
  • An increasing problem. (Kathe, 60 years)
  • Not as bad as other places. (Teresa, 60 years)
  • It’s no worse than other cities this side. (Bill, 64 years)
  • Typical to other cities of its size. It does contain several rival gangs. These are known and well tracked by local law enforcement. (Martee, n/a)

Spokane Advice

Any advice for people moving to Spokane?

  • Go somewhere else. (Chapman, 2.5 years)
  • Have an open mind and take advantage of opportunity. This city can be whatever you make of it. (Joss, 3 years)
  • Don’t live in Hillyard. (Laura, 7 years)
  • Stay away from the Spokane area, find a house in the valley, Liberty Lake or the north side near Mead. The upper south hill is nice, lower is really bad. (Bri, 8 years)
  • Research the sex offenders in the area before deciding on a place to live. (Lindsey, 9 years)
  • Be very careful of the neighborhood you move into. (Corinne, 12 years)
  • Stay to the lower north side and way out north. Enjoy the outlying areas as well there are a lot of hidden treasures as well. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • Beware of potholes. (Cameron, 13 years)
  • Don’t mess with the cops. (Daniel, 13 years)
  • Eat local, no chain restaurants. (Shelley, 13 years)
  • Please don’t bring your crime with you, and Spokane Valley, South Hill, Liberty Lake, and Nine Mile Falls- safe best places to live. (Rodney, 15+ years)
  • Have fun. (Autumn, 16 years)
  • Spokane is an affordable city with lots to do, and keeps growing. If you like doing outdoors stuff, you’re in luck. Bar scene is small but exists and some great one off spots are there. (Anonymous, 20 years)
  • Don’t. (David, 20 years)
  • Avoid potholes. (Lexi, 20 years)
  • Stay in the suburbs of Spokane, Northside and valley. There are a ton of parks! (Arah, 21 years)
  • There’s a little bit of everything…but you have to actively look for it. (Eleanor, 21 years)
  • Immerse yourself in it! (Thessaly, 27 years)
  • Enjoy it here! Get out and explore the area and areas just outside of it. Learn the history of this city. And just have as much fun as you can! (Anonymous, 33 years)
  • There are so many unique and interesting neighborhoods in Spokane. Try to research or connect with someone from the are who may be able to point out what might work best for you. (Lea, 35 years)
  • Do your homework. (Melanie, 41 years)
  • Pick your area of town carefully, some are worse than others. (Tanya, 41 years)
  • Familiarize yourself with the area. Don’t be afraid to make friends. (Julie, 47 years)
  • Don’t move into populated areas and plan on providing your own protection. (TS, 52 years)
  • Stay away, we don’t want you here. (Teresa, 60 years)
  • Great place to live. (Bill, 64 years)
  • Research your desired neighborhood. It does make a difference in comfort and convenience where you plan on living. Be in mind the US 395 North Spokane Corridor will be greatly dissecting and altering transit along Market st to I-90 within the next 20 years. (Martee, n/a)

Spokane Stories

Share an experience you’ve had in Spokane (fun, crazy, dangerous, etc.).

  • Going to the ORV park and and going mudding. (Chapman, 2.5 years)
  • Summer weekends at riverfront with my dog…lots to do, see… (Joss, 3 years)
  • Seeing the falls in spring of 2017. The water level was so high and the falls we’re wild. (Laura, 7 years)
  • Hoopfest is always really fun! (Bri, 8 years)
  • I remember going to Riverfront Park as a kid and riding the carousel. (Lindsey, 9 years)
  • Visiting the parks like Manito on the south hill which has a Japanese garden among other areas. They even have fish in the pond. (Rebecca, 9 years)
  • I have done Hoopfest every year for approximately 8 years. It’s fun to watch the games, and spend time down town exploring. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • Cliff jumping at Medical Lake. (Cameron, 13 years)
  • Division is fun to drive. (Daniel, 13 years)
  • There are a lot of helpful resources and friendly people. (Rodney, 15+ years)
  • Homeless the last 9 years. (David, 20 years)
  • All my fun experiences involve eating at local restaurants :). (Lexi, 20 years)
  • Showing friends from out of town how beautiful it is. (Maddie, 20 years)
  • Cruising Riverside every weekend! (Arah, 21 years)
  • Tubing down the river. (Eleanor, 21 years)
  • I’ve never been able to leave for long without wanting to come back. (Thessaly, 27 years)
  • Staying at the Davenport Hotel. What an amazing experience. Also just being born and raised here, I can always find something to do, and learn something I never knew. (Anonymous, 33 years)
  • I joined a hiking group called Hike it Baby, which is all about connecting kids with nature & supporting other families to get outside & get moving. We meet up all over Spokane County and through this group I have discovered so much beauty in this place that I never knew existed. I even found a trail system within walking distance of the home I lived in for 30 years, that I never new existed! (Lea, 35 years)
  • Bloomsday. (Melanie, 41 years)
  • Going to thousand steps cemetery…and seeing the ground frozen in a spot there, during the SUMMER! (Tanya, 41 years)
  • The Party Trolley is a must! (Julie, 47 years)
  • I cannot give you a lot of information as I have received a settlement. (TS, 52 years)
  • Expo ’74. (Laura, 58 years)
  • Steering Committee for Expo 74. (Kathe, 60 years)
  • Cruising Riverside. (Teresa, 60 years)
  • Expo 74. (Bill, 64 years)
  • I had a college professor once explain why he moved here. He was a natural disaster researcher and geographer. He chose his top three places to live after grad school based upon their relative safety from natural disasters. Out of the three he applied for a teaching position, he chose Spokane (EWU campus in Cheney). Spokane is a safe place to live geographically. And for that, I am grateful. (Martee, n/a)

Spokane’s Future

How do you think Spokane will change over the next 10 years?

  • Negatively. (Chapman, 2.5 years)
  • Hopefully for the better. Increased industry, new businesses moving in, wider housing development and market. (Joss, 3 years)
  • Hopefully they will continue to improve downtown. (Laura, 7 years)
  • It will get really big. Crime might get worse, but that comes with bigger cities. Spokane is growing, it’s really hard to find a house. People come up from everywhere. Especially California. (Bri, 8 years)
  • Downtown is really cleaning up and becoming more attractive. I also hope that Spokane can have a smaller transient population. (Lindsey, 9 years)
  • It’s growing, more people, more housing. (Rebecca, 9 years)
  • Hopefully with all the rebuilding downtown we will attract a lot more exciting things to town. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • More potholes. (Cameron, 13 years)
  • More traffic. (Shelley, 13 years)
  • I’m hoping it will have less crime, but I fear the cost of living will rise, and more crime families will move here to escape their pricey cities. (Rodney, 15+ years)
  • I think it will get some more restaurants, bars, and the housing market will go up even more. (Anonymous, 20 years)
  • It won’t. (David, 20 years)
  • I think population will be a lot larger. New businesses are opening up everywhere and I think that’s very exciting. (Lexi, 20 years)
  • Gentrification. (More like Portland. Think how Kendall Yards is.) (Maddie, 20 years)
  • They may get another 100 feet of the new freeway finished….maybe. (Arah, 21 years)
  • Bigger name companies will come to the area. (Eleanor, 21 years)
  • I’m sure it’s going to keep growing, but it’ll always keep its mid-sized city feel. (Thessaly, 27 years)
  • Who knows…I just hope things change for the better. (Anonymous, 33 years)
  • I see more urban growth & walkable neighborhoods like Kendall Yards popping up. (Lea, 35 years)
  • Hopefully for the better. (Melanie, 41 years)
  • Hopefully crime will go down exponentially. (Tanya, 41 years)
  • Sadly, the cost of living is going to increase. But the arts and entertainment is going to get better as well. (Julie, 47 years)
  • More congestion. (Laura, 58 years)
  • Better downtown area. (Kathe, 60 years)
  • Get higher. (Teresa, 60 years)
  • It will grow. Infill development will have to happen at a greater rate. For example, developments such Kendall Yards. Level of service standards will have to change to support the infill. (Martee, n/a)

Spokane Facts

Any other interesting facts about Spokane?

  • Top 3rd in the country for ugly people. (Chapman, 2.5 years)
  • Spokane is in a really cool growth phase. There are still a lot of small town values and neighborhood pride, but there are increasing big city opportunities and attractions. It’s the best of both worlds. There’s something wonderful for just about anyone. I loved having so many neat restaurants in easy reach. (Joss, 3 years)
  • Largest Urban Falls. (Laura, 7 years)
  • Father’s Day started here! Bing Crosby also went to Gonzaga I believe. The Bing Crosby theater is named after him downtown. People usually call it “The Bing”. (Bri, 8 years)
  • Bloomsday is a fun event. (Lindsey, 9 years)
  • Parking downtown is spendy. (Rebecca, 9 years)
  • Hoopfast. (Cameron, 13 years)
  • People that move here are very intrigued and almost confused sometimes at our huge coffee culture. (Lexi, 20 years)
  • There are over 100 parks here! (Thessaly, 27 years)
  • Spokane used to have a ‘Chinatown’ in downtown Spokane years ago… (Anonymous, 33 years)
  • Bing Crosby, Craig T. Nelson and Julia Sweeney were all born here. (Tanya, 41 years)
  • The Spokane House has a great history that many are not aware of. (Julie, 47 years)
  • The City of Spokane and the County Sheriff’s Department have a strained relationship. (TS, 52 years)
  • Too many to mention. (Teresa, 60 years)
  • My grandfather came here when it was mostly Spokane Indians! (Bill, 64 years)
  • Spokane is leading in oyster research aimed at reducing the amount of PCBs in river bodies. (Martee, n/a)