Local Area

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Local Area


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3 College Junior

Local Area: The immediate surrounding area of GU is terrible

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Local Area: Spokane grows on you. There is always something to do if you look hard enough. Downtown is only a mile walk away from campus.

4 College Freshman

Local Area: Spokane is a kind of sketchy place- but downtown is becoming more vibrant and fun. The movie theater/mall is only about a 15 minute walk from campus, so theres always something to do when you're really bored.

4 Recent Alumnus

Local Area: Spokane has many events going on. Often they are very cool and unique. I like this college more for these reasons.

3 College Sophomore

Local Area: Our campus is located right in the heart of a neighborhood, but students have access to Safeway which is only a 2-3 block walk from campus. Generally, people are pretty nice toward Gonzaga students.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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If Spokane were a glass, one could spend days arguing whether it were half full or half empty. Truth be told, there's a strong case for both. The half-full Spokane has a quiet upscale downtown nestled picturesquely on the banks of the Spokane River. It has snazzy new restaurants, old brick buildings, coffee shops, and cinemas, as well as Riverfront Park and Spokane Falls. There is a thriving local music scene attracting concerts and events. People remark on how it feels like a small community, even if it has the advantages of a mid-sized city. Not too far from this is hiking, climbing, swimming, and skiing aplenty. The half-empty Spokane is notable for low-rent housing, ugly and abandoned buildings, and congestion. It easily falls into the white trash stereotype with poverty, drug abuse, and mullets being endemic. This is the Spokane that has an influx of meth houses and sexual predators.

Gonzaga is positioned somewhat between the two. The campus is on the river and only a 15- or 20-minute walk from downtown, Riverfront Park, and all the sports and concert venues. But it is also surrounded by the somewhat impoverished Logan neighborhood, and one can quickly run into the depressed and ugly sections of town. The campus itself, however, is clean and beautiful. It's entirely possible to live only in the nice Spokane, mainly on campus but enriched by excursions to downtown or the South Hill. But to think that’s all there is to Spokane would be blatantly false.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. The first Saturday in May brings more than 50,000 intrepid people to participate in the annual Bloomsday 12K run.
  2. Spokane's Hoopfest, played on the streets of downtown, is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world.
  3. Within a couple hours of Spokane, there are dozens of places for outdoor maniacs, such as climbing (Minnehaha, Vantage, Leavenworth), backpacking, fishing, biking, skiing, snowboarding, and kayaking.
  4. Spokane means "Children of the Sun" in the Spokane tribe's Native American language.
  5. The downtown area is connected by the second largest skywalk system in the United States, keeping your shopping-to-freezing ratio optimal.
Notable Natives
  • Bing Crosby – singer, actor
  • Craig T. Nelson – actor
  • Michael Winslow – "Man of 10,000 Sound Effects," actor ("Police Academy")
Local Slang
  • Spokies: Spokane residents, usually less-than-savory
  • Spokompton, Spokanistan, Spokanee: Fond variations on the city name
  • Spo-Po: Spokane Police
  • The Westside: Seattle, or anything on the other side of the Cascades
Points of Interest
  • Auntie's Bookstore
  • Centennial Trail
  • Lake Coeur d'Alene
  • Manito Park
  • Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture
  • River Park Square
  • Riverfront Park
  • Riverside State Park
  • South Hill
  • Spokane Falls
Shopping Centers
  • NorthTown Mall
  • River Park Square
Movie Theaters
AMC River Park Square 20
808 W. Main St.
(888) AMC-4FUN
Movie Theaters
Garland Theater
924 W. Garland Ave.
(509) 327-1050
Movie Theaters
IMAX Theatre – Riverfront Park
507 N. Howard St.
(509) 625-6686
Movie Theaters
Regal NorthTown Mall 12
4750 N. Division St.
(509) 459-0570
Major Sports Teams
  • Spokane Chiefs: Minor league hockey
  • Spokane Indians: Minor league baseball
  • Spokane Shock: Arena football
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Portland, Ore.: : 5 hours, 30 minutes
  • Seattle: : 4 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 53 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 56 responses

  • 27% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 29% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 2% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 43% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 55 responses

  • 47% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 45% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 7% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 54 responses

  • 9% Totally.
  • 57% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 33% No way.



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