Best Places to Live

Spokane, WA

Population: 227,620
LIV
SCORE
650
Photo by Dennis Isip

Though the Pacific coast tends to get more attention, it’s time to acknowledge how awesome eastern Washington is, especially Spokane. Home to some 215,000 residents, Spokane serves as a major hub for the Inland Northwest — which includes parts of Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon —  and thus has a robust economy. You’ll find jobs in everything from healthcare and communication to manufacturing and construction. If you’re looking for a fresh start, Spokane offers an affordable cost of living alongside a high quality of life — skiing, golfing, hiking, fishing and camping are just a few of your potential new hobbies.

Top Industries and Employers: Healthcare, aerospace, advanced manufacturing and transportation are thriving industries in Spokane.

Best Coffee Shop: Atticus Coffee & Gifts. Because who doesn’t love a coffee shop inspired by “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

Best Local Beer/Brewery: The aptly named Head Butt IPA or Goatmeal Stout from Iron Goat Brewing, which offers plenty of space to spread out and spend an afternoon with friends.

Must-Have Meal: The meatloaf dinner, the meatloaf sandwich or meatloaf benedict, served inside a historic train car at Frank’s Diner.

Best Co-Working Space: StartUp Spokane. In addition to offering co-working space, StartUp Spokane has everything — and we mean everything — your business needs to survive, including one-on-one entrepreneur assistance and tons of events, panels and gatherings.

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Head to Garageland with your coworkers for happy hour and vintage arcade games.

Creative Hub: Spokane Arts, a nonprofit that serves as the hub for all things arts and culture in Spokane. The group spearheads everything from a poet laureate initiative to an arts incubator.

Favorite Weekend Activity: Hit the trail — the 40-mile paved Centennial Trail — to walk the dog, ride a bike or just to clear the cobwebs after a long week. 

Free Way to Have Fun: Live and breathe some of Spokane’s eco-friendly history with a day at Riverfront Park, created for the first environmentally themed World’s Fair in 1974. The park offers 100 acres of public art installations, fountains and — wait for it — the world’s largest Radio Flyer red wagon.

Local Dream Job: Gardener at Manito Park, which has gorgeous flower displays, a conservatory, playgrounds and a pond.

Read More:
Why Spokane is a Great Place to Live
5 Unexpected Regions Producing Great Whiskey
Moving to Washington? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

- Sarah Kuta

"The energy of the city has continued to become more exciting and diverse. From street art, art galleries and art installations. Activity seems to be increasing and food and entertainment just keeps getting better!"

Julie Shepard-Hall
Garland Business District President

Spokane, WA Ranking Data

Civic
38
Demographics
32
Economy
68
Education
65
Health
58
Housing
43
Infrastructure
42