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Spokane makes top 10 ‘winter vacation cities’ list

Some people are cool and collected as they speed down the hill on the inner tubing hill at Bear Creek Lodge on Mount Spokane.  (Rich Landers)
Some people are cool and collected as they speed down the hill on the inner tubing hill at Bear Creek Lodge on Mount Spokane. (Rich Landers)

WINTER SPORTS -- Spokane has been named to a list of Top 10 Best Winter Vacation Destinations by, a national website that highlights more than 500 of America’s best places to live and visit.

Note: It's not clear if Mayor Condon owns this site.

The list highlights "communities that embrace their cool climates and offer residents and visitors a wealth of outdoor recreation, arts and culture, dining and entertainment options."

Note: Salt Lake City is not on this winter destination list, for some reason.

To narrow down the list, editors started by identifying those cities with an average temperature below freezing and an average annual snowfall over 25 inches.

Editors looked for cities that offer an ample number of outdoor recreation options – cities near ski slopes or frozen lakes or with large open areas perfect for snowshoeing or snowmobiling.

Note: Spokane is on the same list with Casper, Wyo.  (See below).

“Winter can be a great time to travel because often hotels and attractions are more willing to offer discounts to get people in the door,” says John Hood, spokesman for “But just because a city has cold weather does not make it a good winter vacation destination. We chose cities that offer the amenities tourists look for – good, local and independent restaurants, a thriving arts scene, nightlife, shopping, and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities.”

Note: OK, we can go with that.

Says Mr. Hood:

Moonlit snowshoe hikes, snowmobile tours and downhill skiing are just some of the winter activities visitors and residents enjoy in Spokane. A hot nightlife scene, unique restaurants and a large collection of theaters, art galleries and museums provide plenty of ways to stay entertained and warm during Spokane's coldest time of the year.

Spokane's location near five ski mountains, lakes and forests puts it in a prime spot for winter recreation. Spokane's cultural and historic attractions music and art lovers from around the region. An annual Bach Festival, which begins in late January, showcases the city's talented collection of orchestral musicians, while venues like the INB Performing Arts Center, Bing Crosby Theatre, and the Knitting Factory Concert House offers stages for popular rock, pop and country acts.

Top 10 Best Winter Vacation Destinations
1. Anchorage, AK
2. Spokane, WA
3. Minneapolis, MN
4. Traverse City, MI
5. Reno, NV
6. Waukesha, WI
7. Missoula, MT
8. Bangor, ME
9. Concord, NH
10. Casper, WY

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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