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Things to do during Mobility Guardian downtime

Units heading to Fairchild Air Force Base can take advantage of all that spokane has to offer

Spokane Falls is a must-see when visiting the Spokane area. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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This year, Mobility Guardian, the Air Mobility Command's flagship exercise, takes place at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane during the month of September. The exercise will include more than 2,500 airmen, soldiers, Marines and servicemembers including 32 international allies and partners. With units from Joint Base Lewis-McChord set to participate, we have put together a few ideas for how to spend your free time for those heading to the exercise.

The welcome packet for the exercise comes with an extensive list of restaurants, but it's hard to know where to go if you aren't familiar with the area. Close to the base is the town of Airway Heights. One restaurant not on the list is the Longhorn BBQ who has been serving tasty barbecue for over 60 years. For a more upscale meal, check out Masselow's Steakhouse featuring great steaks without a stuffy dress code. The Rusty Moose is a family-friendly, affordable option.

Spokane has a big foodie scene with celebrity chefs and great food. There are so many options, but here are a few standouts: Anthony's is a local chain in the South Sound, but the incredible view of the cascading Spokane Falls sets the Spokane location apart. Cochinito Taqueria features what I would describe as gourmet Mexican food. Ingredients are locally sourced and prepared by chefs who know their stuff. Luigi's Italian Restaurant, located in the historic Salvation Army building downtown, has been a Spokane institution for more than 30 years. 

If you have any free time during Mobility Guardian, there is a lot to see and do in Spokane. The website is a wealth of information on all the activities and attractions in the area. It includes itinerary ideas for day trips which focus on innovation, local history, tribal culture, and the craft brewing scene. There is truly something for everyone. A must visit is Riverfront Park, which is nearing completion of a $64 million update. Highlights include a carousel, winter ice skating/roller skating in warmer months, and the gondola over the Spokane Falls. Or take a nice stroll in the park along the river that features pedestrian bridges connecting both sides.

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