Davenport - The gateway to the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, this town also houses the Lincoln County Historical Museum. Among exhibits on the railroad and Native tribes stands an impressive display about Harry Tracy, an Old West outlaw known as "The Last Desperado," who was killed by a posse.
Wilbur - This wheat country town draws its name from settler Samuel Wilbur Condon—also known as "Wild Goose Bill" because he allegedly mistook tame geese for free-roaming ones and shot several. The area has kept its sense of humor intact, hitting international headlines with mysterious crop circles in 2012 (thought to be a local spoof). Stop by its Big Bend Historical Society Museum for a more sincere interpretation of the region’s intriguing lore.
Republic - Dig in 49-million-year-old fossil beds at the Stonerose Interpretive Center, which rents chisels and hammers. Then explore the village of Republic, settled by gold-miners in 1896. It eventually outgrew a rowdy reputation that included a penchant for downtown horse races. Today its rustic Victorian charm still draws visitors, along with fishing, hunting, and horse-riding opportunities in the surrounding hills.
Chewelah - After winter sports at the 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort, roll into town for après at 2 Loons Distillery or ChewVino Wine Bar. Bird watching and turkey shooting are big in this town, too, along with horse riding.
Newport - This small town was once a trading post for one of America’s last homestead frontiers. Catch a taste of its history at the Pend Oreille County Museum. Home to a community theater, Newport also hosts the Create Art Center (createarts.org), where you can take carving and glass-art classes.
Cheney - Explore the eclectic pioneer architecture and restaurants of the Central Cheney Historic District (between the Eastern Washington University campus and the old Northern Pacific railroad tracks). Nearby sprawls the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, where ponderosa pine forests thrive. As the ice thaws, look for trumpeter swans making a comeback there.
-- Amanda Castleman