The city's recorded history began in the 1860s and 1870s, when the first settlers arrived in the Western town. Native Americans had long resided in the area before that time. Rumors of a new railroad line and word of the area's abundant timber and fresh, bubbling springs led to the first permanent settlements.
The town is named after Benjamin P. Cheney who worked his way up from a stagecoach driver to the owner of an express line between Boston and Montreal that later merged with American Express. He also became the director of the Northern Pacific Railroad. He drove the last spike joining the eastern and western divisions of the railroad in Cheney in 1883.
In 1858, the Battle of Four Lakes took place just five miles north of the city at Four Lakes, Washington. It was the last of the Indian Wars as the government took on a confederation of Coeur d'Alene, Spokane, Palouse, and Northern Paiute tribes. The tribes were defeated and forced onto reservations. The battle is also known as the Battle of Spokane Plains, and a monument to the conflict can be seen at the corner of Electric Avenue and 1st Street in the town of Four Lakes.
The city remains strongly rooted in agriculture, and its winding frontier trails continue to call to visitors and locals just as they did the first settlers. The land surrounding Cheney is also dotted by beautiful lakes and waterways including the Spokane River and Little Spokane River which offer excellent opportunities for water sport.
Life in Cheney revolves around the University in many ways. Spend some time in historic downtown Cheney and you'll find all kinds of small businesses, shops, and restaurants to delight you, just four blocks from the EWU campus. The town also hosts numerous community festivals and a farmer's market for the benefit of the college population as well as local residents and visitors.
Fairchild Air Force Base also brings many government and military workers and their families to Cheney. The base is located just 7 miles north of the city. It was established during World War II and remains a vital refueling station for the west coast fleet, as well as the nation's main training location for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape training for special forces, aircrews, and service members stationed in high-risk areas.
Cheney offers the best of everything, from serene natural beauty to easy access to Spokane, the Fairfield Air Force Base, and Eastern Washington University. Whether you're in town on business or need a great escape to the lake or ski slope, Cheney is the destination for you.
When should you visit Cheney, WA?
Cheney experiences a semi-arid climate at the base of the Selkirk Mountains, with hot, dry summers that soar into double digits and wet, extremely frigid winters that dip into negative double digits with severe wind chill. These extreme temperature ranges mean that spring and fall are often the best times to visit Cheney, unless you're looking to take part in seasonal water sports or winter sports.
You may also wish to visit during one of Cheney's major annual events like the Lilac Bloomsday Run in May. The Cheney Rodeo Days are held in early July each year with three days of exhilarating rodeo competition: The Happy Hoofers Fun Run, the Cheney Rodeo Days Parade, and much more. The Spokane Hoopfest basketball tournament in downtown Spokane takes place in late June. Cheney Farmer's Market is also held from June through September. Be sure to book your accommodations in advance during these popular spring and summer events to ensure availability.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Cheney, WA:
Cheney, WA: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. price trends by star rating class in Cheney, WA. Browse these illustrations to evaluate the cheapest time to stay in Cheney throughout the year.
What are the best hotels in Cheney for luxury lovers?
4 Star Average Prices: $134.00
In nearby Spokane, you'll find numerous luxury hotels to suit your taste. The Historic Davenport Autograph Collection lies just minutes from city sites like the Knitting Factory, and the historic property is outfitted in grand traditional style. From the pillowtop bed, made with Frette Italian sheets, to the four-poster beds and ornate linens, each room is dressed to impress. The property's indulgent amenities extend to a full-service spa, indoor pool, spa tub, and 24-hour fitness center, rivaled only by its first-class service. You can even book a babysitter on-site or contact the concierge to coordinate dinner reservations, a roundtrip airport shuttle, or whatever else you need.
If you prefer a modern luxury style, consider the Davenport Grand, Autograph Collection in Spokane instead. This hotel lives up to its grand name, offering three impressive restaurants and a location just steps from Riverfront Park and the Great Northern Railway Depot Clocktower. You won't even want to leave, though, once you settle into the Frette Italian sheets and turn on the television to enjoy digital programming and wireless internet (for a small surcharge). You can order down for room service and then wind down with a relaxing shower using the free designer toiletries.
What are the budget hotels in Cheney?
3 Star Average Prices: $108.77
Budget travelers to Cheney need look no further than Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Spokane Airport Airway Heights. This airport motel delivers essentials like complimentary wireless internet access, in-room coffee and tea makers, and a complimentary hot and cold breakfast served daily plus a roundtrip airport shuttle, 24-hour business center, and complimentary casino shuttle.
2 Star Average Prices: $78.21
What are the discount hotels in Cheney?
AAA members and seniors will find excellent hotel discounts at Best Western Plus Peppertree Airport Inn in Spokane. This pet-friendly property welcomes the whole family with style and comfort that far exceeds its affordable discounted rates. Here, you'll enjoy the ease and convenience of an in-room fridge and free wireless internet access, plus an indoor pool and on-site fitness center.
Wake up each day to a free, full breakfast, and wind down on select evenings with a complimentary reception. Guests can also shop for sundries and snacks at the gift shop or get tour and ticket assistance from staff before hopping on the complimentary area shuttle.
What are the best value hotels in Cheney?
Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Cheney-University Area offers an all-around value that's hard to beat, plus a location just minutes from Eastern Washington University. Guest rooms come equipped with welcome amenities like fridges and flat-screen televisions, safes, and desks. Your tech needs are also met with free satellite programming on a flat-screen television, phones with free local calls, and complimentary wireless internet access.
Beyond your room, the hotel keeps guests entertained and accommodated with an indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, and free daily breakfast. You can also take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service that operates within seven miles of the hotel.
How can you enjoy the parks and recreation in Cheney?
Cheney is rife with outdoor recreation opportunities year-round. Visit Columbia Plateau Trail State Park, a beautiful and historic destination that offers both challenging hikes and leisurely recreation, according to your pleasure. You can hike, bike, ride a horse, watch for birds, ski cross-country, or even snowshoes, depending on the weather.
Columbia Plateau Trail State Park visitors also like to walk the original rail bed of the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railway, which is now a 23-mile trail that leads from Cheney to the Tri-City area (Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick). The challenging trek is worth it, as along the way, you will encounter both interpretive kiosks and magnificent scenic vistas.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge in 1937 with a stroke of his pen, thankfully preserving the unique "Channeled Scablands" ecosystem. The otherworldly landscape juxtaposes rugged canyons with ponderosa pine, lakes, marshes, and wetlands. This 16,000 acre stretch of glacial flood land was carved out at the end of the ice age, and has become a key nesting ground for migratory birds. That makes the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge a haven for bird watchers.
In warmer months, you can play an 18-hole round at Fairway's Golf Course. Summer is also the perfect time to visit Riverside State Park, 10 miles east of Cheney, for rock climbing and rafting adventures. If you're traveling in the winter, you can snow ski at four different regional locations including Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park, 49 Degrees North, Schweitzer Mountain, and Silver Mountain, Idaho.
Visit Hagelin Park in the summer for free open swimming, and stick around for free concerts in Sutton Park on select summer evenings. If you love to fish, clearly Fish Lake is the place for you. It's also a favorite spot for families thanks to the playground and swimming area with a sandy beach. Pack a picnic or bring supplies to barbeque at the on-site grills. Granite Lake also offers fishing away from the crowds, surrounded by serene views.
Endless recreation opportunities and all-season fun make Cheney the perfect year-round destination for outdoor lovers. The city's proximity to Spokane also makes it attractive to business travelers. Whatever brings you to Cheney, you'll enjoy your stay.
FAQs about hotels in Cheney
How much does a cheap hotel in Cheney cost per night?
In the last year, a 2 star hotel in Cheney can be as cheap as $78.21 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a 3 star hotel in Cheney cost per night?
In the last year, the average 3 star hotel in Cheney has been $108.77 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a higher-end hotel in Cheney cost?
In the last year, the average 4 star hotel in Cheney has been $134.00 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)