Monthly Archives: June 2014

Roaring Falls, a Gondola, a Carousel and a Giant Toy – Riverfront Park, Spokane, Washington

Spokane Falls and SkyRide over the falls, Spokane, Washington

Spokane Falls and SkyRide over the falls

Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington is more than your typical city park. Rarely do you find gorgeous, pounding waterfalls right in the middle of a city. But in Spokane, all you have to do is walk a couple of blocks from the downtown core, and you will find the 100-acre park and the spectacular Spokane Falls.

Spokane Falls

Spokane Falls

There are two falls – the Upper and the Lower Spokane Falls. Both falls have diversion dams built on them, but that doesn’t take away from the power and majesty of the falls. There’s a beautiful Riverfront Park located right next to the falls, and don’t for a minute think that you will just check out the park and not go to the falls. You can hear them and see the mist for quite a ways and they draw you to them. You can’t help but walk down to them and view them from several viewpoints in order to see the raging river.

Spokane Falls, Spokane, Washington

Spokane Falls and SkyRide

But if you really want to see the falls, check out the Spokane Falls SkyRide, which takes you across the lower falls. I wish we would have had the time to take the ride to see for ourselves, but just watching the gondola cars through the spray was beautiful to see. I can only imagine the thrill of feeling like you are right in the falls.

This unusual park, which was built for the 1974 World’s Fair, also contains an old 1909 carousel, an IMAX theater, rides and miniature golf, a train ride and an ice-skating rink! All that in one place!

Water Feature, Riverfront Park, Spokane, Washington

Water Feature, Riverfront Park

And last but not least – you know how we like roadside attractions! You have to check out the giant Radio Flyer in the park. It’s 12 feet tall and 27 feet long and the handle is actually a slide! Even if you don’t have kids, it will probably take you back to your own childhood.

Giant Radio Flyer, Riverfront Park, Spokane, Washington

Giant Radio Flyer

Spokane’s phenomenal falls and its impressive Riverfront Park with such a tremendous variety of activities should be another must-do when you’re in the Spokane area.

If you’re wondering where to stay while in the Spokane area, check out our article on the gorgeous Davenport Hotel at https://northwestrevealed.com/2014/06/03/spokanes-living-room-the-davenport-hotel/

 

 

 

Categories: Outdoors, Parks, Roadside Attraction, Uncategorized, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Anniversary North Head Lighthouse – Ilwaco, Washington

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North Head Lighthouse

Did you know that the North Head Lighthouse on the south end of the Long Beach Peninsula celebrates its anniversary every year? And this year was the 116th anniversary, so we had to head out to see what was going on.

I had read there was a shuttle from the store at Cape Disappointment State Park, but of course, like everyone else, we first had to make the trip up to the lighthouse parking lot to see if there was a spot. There wasn’t. So we went back down and went to the parking lot and caught the shuttle. Very smooth and easy, very little waiting. Until we got up to the parking lot and had to wait for all those other people (who also just had to see if there was a parking spot) to get out of the way.

Then it was just a short, easy walk out to the lighthouse. What a view! The day was just right, with a nice breeze and mostly clear skies.

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We spent some time enjoying looking out as far as we could see, then headed into the lighthouse. The entry room was very small, with only space for a few people. We were informed that we would need to wait for the current group to come back downstairs as they only allowed about eight people in at a time. We spent the time looking at the items in the room, the pot-bellied stove, and especially the map of shipwrecks in the area.

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It wasn’t long before it was our turn and we stepped through a short hallway into an inner room. There the guide started telling us the story of the lighthouse. The first thing she pointed out was the decorative mosaic tiles on the floor. She said that the designer wanted to put his best efforts into this lighthouse and this is the only one with this particular added feature.

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Then we slowly headed up the spiral staircase. We were told this was a free-standing staircase. It was only bolted into the landing and was not supported by any legs of any kind.

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As we headed on up, the stairs got more narrow until we finally emerged into the light room. There was another guide who then told us the history of the lighthouse, which began operation in 1898. One of the most interesting aspects to learn about was that each lighthouse has a “code” and the light blinks the “code”.

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After enjoying the view, we headed back downstairs and made another little easy hike up to the gift store. We were thrilled to see they had the shipwreck map there and immediately bought it, along with a Lighthouse Passport. We got it stamped and now we have it to take with us to every lighthouse we visit!

Next we headed over to the Lightkeeper’s House, which can be rented. There, wonderful volunteers were serving drinks and cake. Unfortunately, they had so many more visitors than they had had previous years that they were out of cake and were waiting for more to arrive. We toured the house but didn’t stay for cake, much to Josh’s disappointment.

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Modern residence, available for rent

We headed back to catch the shuttle back to our car. That’s when a confused raccoon decided to join the group and created all kinds of excitement.

1-IMG_8600The North Head Lighthouse is open for tours from May-September. Children under 17 are free, and adults are only $2.50.

 

 

 

Categories: Historical, Outdoors, Roadside Attraction | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Spokane’s Living Room – the Davenport Hotel

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The Davenport Fireplace

Time travel does not exist. But if you want to see what life was like 100 years ago in Spokane, Washington, all you have to do is make a visit to the gorgeous Davenport Hotel.

Built in 1914 and operated by Louis Davenport, it is located in historic downtown Spokane and contains samples of historical architecture from around the world. Italy, France, Spain, England and Russia – they are all represented here.

Walking into the hotel through the revolving front door and entry way, we were immediately in awe. You can see up two stories to a balcony that goes all the way around the second floor, then on up to the skylights. Medallions decorate the borders of the walls and intricate architectural details can be seen at every turn.

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Details, details, details

In the middle of the room is a fountain with Koi in it.

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Welcoming fountain in the lobby

One side of the lobby holds large chairs and loveseats for guests to relax in. The other side holds tables for a restaurant, and the fireplace. The fireplace is an important piece of the history of this building. Louis Davenport wanted a fire burning in it at all times, summer or winter, in order to make the place feel like home to guests. He called the Davenport, “Spokane’s living room” and wanted all guests to feel at home.

A story we were told illustrates his philosophy. One day when he was up on the second floor balcony, he looked down and saw a “scruffy” looking couple come in with a paper bag. They were planning to eat their lunch in “Spokane’s living room.” Louis saw them and asked one of his staff, “You see that scruffy looking couple there?” The staff person replied, “Yes.” Louis said, “I want you to go down there and put a while table cloth on their table. And I want you to get them some glasses and pour them some cold glasses of water. And get them some silverware.” He honestly wanted everyone to feel like it was their home.

Antique items are everywhere. Even the elevator has an old light system that shows which floor the elevator is on.

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Elevator floor indicator

Downstairs is where the pool is located along with a spa and exercise room (don’t worry, this whole area holds modern equipment.) In the hallway leading to the pool though is an original ornate silver water fountain.

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Original water fountain

The rooms are new and they were large and elegant. Two beds, a desk, chairs and yes, a TV. But there are not the other modern conveniences of a refrigerator and microwave. We didn’t miss them. The bathroom was spacious and felt like a spa with the soaking tub as well as a very large glassed-in shower. Hotel robes were provided for our comfort.

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Josh felt like he was the main character from “Castle” wearing his robe!

You really don’t want to just stay in your room in this hotel. The beautiful architecture lures you back out with the need to explore every inch and look at every detail. It seemed every time we went back out and looked around we would see another new detail. Exploring the Davenport, we were treated to grand ballrooms with elaborate chandeliers, gold filigree, and beautiful wood floors.

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The Grand Pennington Ballroom

The “Hall of the Doges” was most impressive with its gorgeous painted ceiling.

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Ceiling in the Hall of Doges

There were several historical pictures located throughout the hotel. It was an odd feeling to look at a picture from 100 years ago and then look around the hotel and see the exact same details.

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The Isabella Ballroom, 1916

The story of the hotel is a true miracle rescue. It had been abandoned in 1985 and was in danger of being demolished in 2000 when Walt and Mary Worthy bought it. They spent $38.5 million dollars and the love and dedication that went into restoring this piece of history, this “living room” for Spokane, truly shows.

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The Isabella Ballroom

Finally, there is one piece of living history at the Davenport, a piece that connects Louis Davenport to today. John is 84 years old and started working at the Davenport when he was 13. He said that Louis Davenport himself showed him the ropes such as how to set up the tables and chairs. When the Worthy’s finished the restoration and reopened the Davenport in 2002, John came back to work. He has no plans to retire any time soon. So if you’re lucky and it’s one of days of the week he works (currently Sunday through Wednesday), you’ll have a chance to meet this charming, friendly man and learn about the Davenport’s history first hand.

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John and Nancy

People often just drive through Spokane on their way to places like Yellowstone, and we did as well. We had no idea what we were missing. So next time you are driving through Spokane, put the Davenport on your itinerary as a must see. You just might truly feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

Address: The Davenport is located at 10 S. Post St., Spokane WA 99201

Website: www.davenporthotelcollection.com

Phone: 1-800-899-1482

 

Categories: Historical, Uncategorized, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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