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Rob Curley: ‘100 Things to Do in Spokane Before You Die’ is an insider’s guide to your town

September 30, 2018

Unless you’re from around here, Spokane is one of those places that almost no one pronounces correctly. It’s a friendly place, but people aren’t nearly as likely to tell you where to get a good cup of coffee or where to find huckleberries if you can’t say Coeur d’Alene or Pend Oreille the right way.

And you have almost no chance if you pronounce our city’s name incorrectly.

I get asked to speak to a lot of community groups. Rotary clubs. Kiwanis. Businesses. Churches. Scouts. Schools. Heck, I’ll show up to the opening of an envelope if you ask nicely.

When I talk about our newspaper’s different missions to these groups, I explain our hope to be a daily instruction manual to life in our community.

How to get to work on a snowy day. How to understand what’s going on at City Hall or with the Avista sale. But also where to get a good slice of pie or where to park for the concert you’re going downtown.

You know, the practical stuff that’s super useful.

We have a newsroom full of people who write about these things daily. That’s when we got another idea. We decided to put together a book based on our own bucket lists – an insider’s guide to the best Spokane has to offer. And yes, we included some key pronunciation pointers, too.

On Monday, the staff of The Spokesman-Review publishes “100 Things to Do in Spokane Before You Die,” a book that explores the best of local dining, entertainment, recreation, culture and shopping.

You probably know about our famous hotel, but do you know what to eat there?

Yes, we have a river with breathtaking falls running through the middle of the city, but did you know you can raft right downtown?

Or how to get seats at a Zags basketball game, the hottest ticket in town?

Or that our most famous resident had more hit songs than Elvis, the Beatles and Michael Jackson? Bing Crosby even won an Oscar. And you can see it at Gonzaga University, another local name outsiders rarely pronounce correctly.

The Spokesman-Review has been this region’s daily newspaper for 135 years. We know things. We love to share the secrets behind our iconic clock tower and the gargoyles that guard our sister newspaper’s building.

Writers, editors and photographers throughout The Spokesman-Review newsroom pitched in to create this handy bucket list for locals and visitors alike.

“100 Things to Do in Spokane Before You Die” is published by Reedy Press and is available wherever books are sold. On Wednesday, the Northwest Passages Book Club is holding a Bucket List Bash at 7 p.m. at The Spokesman-Review building.

The event is free, but tickets are required. You can get them by clicking on the Northwest Passages link at the top of our website. If you come, you’re going to hear all sorts of great insider stories from our reporters and editors, as well as tips from legendary Spokesman-Review outdoors writer Rich Landers.

We’re even going to give tours of our newsroom. And we have a few other surprises up our sleeves, as well. More important, you’ll be able to pick up a copy or five of our book.

It’s a fun read and a good deed: Proceeds from the sales of this book help support our local journalism and our popular community forums. (Besides, publishing a book seemed way cooler than holding a bake sale.)

The hardest part of this book project? Paring down an ever-growing list for a slim volume of just 100 picks.

So we’d like your help: What bucket list destinations did we miss? Please share your favorites by messaging bookclub@spokesman.com. Or just tell us in person. We’ll be asking all of those in attendance at our book launch event what their favorite things are in our region.

We can’t wait to hear what’s on your Spokane must-do list, too.

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