Best Places to Live

Spokane, WA

Population: 210,695
LIV
SCORE
624
iStock Photo/digidreamgrafix

If you’re looking for a city that combines urban living with easy access to nature, Spokane is where it’s at. This Eastern Washington city earned high marks in the amenities category thanks to an abundance of parks, lakes (there are 76 lakes within 50 miles of Spokane!), museums, and fantastic music and food scenes. Local chefs here are always pushing the boundaries of creativity while highlighting local ingredients, and residents get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The Spokane area is home to five universities and two medical schools, boosting the city’s education score and providing residents with educational activities and job opportunities.

And when we say this city combines the best of nature and urban living, we mean it literally: there’s a real, actual waterfall right in the middle of downtown Spokane.

Local Obsession: Gonzaga University Men’s Basketball (GO ZAGS!)

Climate Described in 6 Words or Less: The best of all four seasons.

Top Industries and Employers: Top industries include healthcare, life sciences, agribusiness, aerospace, manufacturing and craft beer, wine and cider production. Spokane’s largest employer is Fairchild Air Force Base with more than 6,000 active-duty personnel, Air National Guard, Army National Guard and civilian members.

Local Dream Job: Craft brewer or winemaker

Quintessential Meal: Spokane is serious about eating local, and luckily the region has so much to offer, from salmon caught in Eastern Washington rivers to fresh vegetables grown on local farms. For dessert? Huckleberry anything!

Favorite Weekend Activity: Spokane is a perfect mix of urban and natural, which means the options are endless. You can have brunch at a fun restaurant in the morning and go hiking, skiing or rafting in the afternoons, depending on the season.

After-Work Meetup Spot: The Safari Room at The Davenport Tower

Best Brewery: Honestly, the beer scene here is so good it’s impossible to choose just one, but a few of our favorites include No-Li Brewhouse, Iron Goat Brewing, Whistle Punk Brewery and Black Label.

Beloved Bookstore: Auntie’s Bookstore. Since 1978, this independently owned bookstore has thrived in the heart of downtown Spokane. It has survived the big box bookstores and is a Spokane literary landmark.

Free Way to Have Fun: See the Spokane Falls! Roaring right through downtown Spokane, the Falls will take your breath away when you first see them.

Hidden Gem: Kendall Yards Night Market. This farmers’ market is set up every Wednesday from May through September in the Kendall Yards neighborhood just north of downtown Spokane.

- Winona Dimeo-Ediger

Read More:

Spokane is One of the Best Places to Retire to in the U.S.

Why Spokane is a Great Place to Live

8 Places with Waterfalls Right Through the Middle of Town

Spokane is the Spot for Craft Beer Lovers

“The most wonderful thing about living in Spokane is the people. The community is inviting, it’s down to earth and the people here have a real tenacity and drive. You can still find affordable homes, easy commutes, great schools, access to outdoor recreation like skiing and hiking, arts, culture, music, creative culinary and an awesome craft beer and wine scene. Once you’re here, you soon realize that unlike larger cities, you have time to enjoy it all. Good quality of life is the bottom line in Spokane.”

Kate Hudson
Public Relations Manager at Visit Spokane

Spokane, WA Ranking Data

Civic
38
Demographics
46
Economy
64
Education
66
Health
61
Housing
69
Infrastructure
81