Welcome to Spokane, Washington, a hidden treasure nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. With its stunning landscapes, vibrant arts scene, and rich history, Spokane beckons travelers seeking a unique blend of urban sophistication and outdoor adventure. Whether you're a history buff, foodie, or nature lover, Spokane offers an array of unforgettable experiences tailored to your passions. Let this guide be your compass as you navigate and uncover the many wonders of Spokane. So, let's get started and explore what this charming city has in store for you!
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Spokane, Washington is tucked away in the eastern part of Washington state, a scenic four-hour drive from Seattle. Nestled near the Idaho border, this vibrant city straddles the Spokane River, and is surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Selkirk Mountains and the Columbia Plateau.
Seattle, WA to Spokane, WA: 279 mi | 3 hr 58 min | Google Maps
Coeur d'Alene, ID to Spokane, WA: 33 mi | 37 min | Google Maps
Portland, OR to Spokane, WA: 351 mi | 5 hr 7 min | Google Maps
Vancouver, BC to Spokane, WA: 668 km | 6 hr 45 min | Google Maps
Calgary, Alberta to Spokane, WA: 684 km | 7 hr 35 min | Google Maps
What is Spokane, Washington best known for?
Spokane, Washington is situated in the eastern part of the state, near the border of Idaho. It's known as the 'Lilac City', after the beautiful flowers that bloom in great abundance each spring. Spokane is renowned for its natural beauty, offering a plethora of outdoor activities with numerous parks, rivers, and lakes. The city also boasts a vibrant arts scene with a variety of galleries, theaters, and music venues, attracting artists and art enthusiasts alike.
What is the weather like in Spokane?
Spokane experiences a full four seasons, with hot, dry summers and snowy winters perfect for skiing. With over 170 days of sunshine a year, Spokane experiences beautiful weather even when it's hot or cold. So, pack your bag with everything from your swimsuit to your snow boots when you're getting ready to explore all the things to do in Spokane.
What to do in Spokane, Washington
Now that you know a bit about Spokane's location, what it's famous for, and it's weather, let's dive into the heart of this guide - the various activities and attractions this gem of a city has to offer. In this section, we'll cover a wide range of things to do in Spokane, Washington, ensuring all tastes are catered to. From nature enthusiasts to history buffs, food lovers to art aficionados, there is something here for everyone.
Explore the breathtaking Manito Park
Located in the heart of Spokane, Washington, Manito Park is a verdant oasis spanning 90 acres. This park is adored for its meticulously planned gardens, including the fragrant Rose Hill and the vibrant Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden. Manito Park's lush landscapes offer a tranquil retreat for both locals and tourists. Don't miss out on a serene walk around Mirror Pond or a picnic amidst the picturesque surroundings. It's a must-visit spot for nature enthusiasts when in Spokane!
Address: 1702 S Grand Blvd, Spokane, WA 99203 | Google Maps
Hours: Summer 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Fall 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Winter 8:00 AM - 3:30P M, Closed on all major holidays and occasionally at the random discretion of Greenhouse staff.
Visit the Spokane Falls
One of Spokane's natural wonders, the Spokane Falls is a sight to behold. This thrilling cascade of water in the heart of the city's downtown offers an exciting visual spectacle all year round, with the flow varying according to the season. During spring, witness the roaring power of the falls at its peak, while autumn brings a gentler, more tranquil scene. Spokane Falls are the centerpiece in the downtown Spokane area with a children's park, walking trails, and seating all around for a relaxing time to unwind in nature amidst the cityscape.
For an adventurous experience with a fantastic view, hop on the SkyRide Gondola in Spokane's stunning Riverfront Park. As you glide over the roaring Spokane Falls, you'll get a bird's eye view of the city's heart, making it a truly unforgettable ride. It's a must-do in Spokane, especially for first-time visitors! The ride is wheelchair and stroller accessible, ensuring everyone gets to enjoy this amazing experience. So buckle up for this breathtaking journey, and don't forget your camera!
Address: 720 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201 | Google Maps
Hours: Everyday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Admission: Adults: $12.95, Children (3-12): $8.95, Ages 2 and under: Free
(Ages 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult)
Run, bike, or walk the Spokane River Centennial Trail
Spanning 40 miles from the border of Idaho to the heart of downtown Spokane, the Centennial Trail is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're an avid runner, a leisurely walker, or a cyclist, the trail provides a scenic route along the Spokane River. As you venture along the trail, you'll be treated to stunning views of the river, various wildlife, and an array of flora and fauna. You can choose to tackle a section of the trail or spend a day traversing its length. Regardless of how you choose to enjoy it, the Centennial Trail is an integral part of the Spokane experience.
Personally we enjoy a good run on the Centennial Trail every time we're in Spokane. It's always very relaxing, the trail is well maintained, and it's a nice way to get a bit of exercise in while in town or a good leg stretch in while on a long roadtrip down I-90.
For a taste of local culture and the freshest produce in Spokane, make sure to visit the Spokane Farmers Market. Here, you'll find an abundant selection of homegrown fruits, vegetables, and homemade goodies. It’s a fantastic place to meet local farmers, grab a cup of coffee, and shop for unique, handmade crafts. Not to mention, it’s the perfect spot to pick up a picnic lunch before heading off on your next Spokane adventure. The market is cash-friendly, but most vendors now accept credit cards too.
Address: 2195 W 2nd Ave, Spokane, WA 99201 | Google Maps
A visit to Spokane, Washington wouldn't be complete without a stop at the city's iconic gigantic Radio Flyer Wagon. This red wagon, a symbol of American childhood and a nod to simpler times, is actually a playground slide located in Riverfront Park. Kids love climbing it and sliding down its handle, while adults appreciate the nostalgia it brings. It's a wonderful photo opportunity and a fun, free activity to do in Spokane. This charming attraction is a testament to the city's quirky, creative spirit, and a must-see when exploring downtown Spokane.
Address: Centennial Trail, Spokane, WA 99201 | Google Maps
Experience Spokane's arts scene at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture
The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, fondly known as MAC, is a treasure trove of local history, art, and culture. Discover a diverse collection of exhibits ranging from regional Native American artifacts to contemporary art. The museum also organizes frequent educational events and workshops, making it a dynamic hub for the Spokane arts scene. It's a must-visit for art lovers and history buffs alike!
Just a short drive away from Spokane, Green Bluff offers a unique agricultural experience for all ages. Home to over 20 family-owned farms and orchards, you can pick your own fresh fruits, vegetables, and even pumpkins during the fall. It's a wonderful way to spend a sunny afternoon, strolling through the orchards and tasting the freshest produce straight from the tree. Don't forget to check out the local farmer's markets and farm-to-table restaurants for a taste of Spokane's local flavors. So, grab a basket and let's go fruit picking at Green Bluff!
When we visited Spokane last it was in the fall so Green Bluff was in peak season. We had so much fun eating apple cider donuts, picking out a pumpkin, and eating way too many apples. Our favorite orchard was High Country Orchard but do know it's one of the most popular so be prepared for some crowds on the weekend. We'd also recommend hopping right across the street and visiting The Farmhouse on Green Bluff for some wine with a view.
Spokane's thriving art scene extends beyond its museums, with a wealth of free art galleries scattered around the city that offer a diverse range of artistic styles and mediums. Whether you're an art aficionado or a casual observer, taking a tour of these galleries is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. From contemporary installations to traditional Native American art, these galleries provide a fascinating glimpse into the local culture and aesthetic. One particular favorite is the Barrister Winery, not only for its excellent wines but also for the rotating exhibits by local artists displayed in its tasting room.
Delve into the rich world of wines in Spokane's Cork District. Home to over 20 wineries, this area is perfect for wine enthusiasts or anyone who appreciates a good glass of vino. Each winery features its unique blends, from classic Cabernets to crisp Chardonnays and everything in between. Whether you're a wine connoisseur or a novice, exploring the Cork District is a delightful way to spend an afternoon in Spokane. Remember to sip responsibly!
Enjoy a show at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox
Located in the heart of Spokane, the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox is an iconic venue with historic charm and world-class performances. This restored art deco theater hosts a variety of shows, from Broadway productions to rock concerts and classical symphonies performed by the Spokane Symphony. The theater itself is a piece of art, with stunning murals and a starlit ceiling that leaves everyone in awe. It's a fantastic place to spend an evening in Spokane, whether you're a fan of the performing arts or simply enjoy beautiful architecture. Remember to check their schedule ahead of time to see what performances coincide with your visit.
Address: 1001 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201 | Google Maps
Take a break from the city and immerse yourself in nature at the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. Spanning over 18,000 acres, it is a sanctuary for wildlife and a haven for nature enthusiasts. Here, you can explore a diverse landscape of wetlands, forests, and grasslands, home to a myriad of wildlife species including moose, elk, and over 200 species of birds. Whether you enjoy bird watching, hiking, or simply soaking in the serenity of nature, Turnbull offers an unforgettable outdoor experience. Don't forget to bring your camera for some amazing wildlife photography opportunities!
Address: 26010 S Smith Rd, Cheney, WA 99004 | Google Maps
Hours: November - April 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM, May - October 6:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Visit Mount Spokane State Park
For nature lovers, a visit to Mount Spokane State Park is a must. Nestled in the Selkirk Mountains, this park offers a wide array of recreational activities throughout the year. In the warmer months, enjoy 100 miles of hiking trails, wildlife viewing, and picnicking with panoramic views. During the winter season, the park transforms into a winter wonderland perfect for snowshoeing, downhill and cross-country skiing. We spent a whole day exploring the park during our last summer visit and were astounded by the beauty of the landscape, the diversity of the wildlife and the peacefulness of the surroundings.
Address: 26107 N Mt Spokane Park Dr, Mead, WA 99021 | Google Maps
Hours:Summer 6:30 AM. - dusk, Winter Park: 7:00 AM. - 10:00 PM, Selkirk Lodge: 7 :00 AM - 5:30 PM December through March
Admission: Discover Pass required - $35 annual or $11.50 day pass
Try some delicious local dishes in the Garland District
Nestled in North Spokane, the Garland District is a charming neighborhood known for its vibrant food scene. The eclectic mix of restaurants offer an array of cuisines that reflect the city's diverse culinary landscape. Don't miss the chance to indulge in classic diner style food at Fergusons Fountain Cafe, or in made-from-scratch pastries at The Rocket Bakery. Don't forget to stop by the famous Mary Lou's Milk Bottle for a deliciously creamy homemade ice cream. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you when you try the huckleberry milkshake!
Less than an hour's drive from Spokane, Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho is well worth the day trip. This scenic lake offers a myriad of recreational activities, from boating and fishing to hiking and birdwatching. There are also several waterfront restaurants where you can enjoy a meal with a view. Don't miss the chance to take a scenic cruise for a stunning view of the lake's surroundings. Whether you're an adventure hunter or a peace seeker, Lake Coeur d'Alene has something for everyone.
Marvel at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist is truly a jewel in Spokane's crown. Perched on a hill, this grand English Gothic Revival-style cathedral offers a spectacular view of the city. Internally, the cathedral is equally impressive, with intricate stained glass windows and an awe-inspiring pipe organ that fills the lofty space with heavenly music. Be sure to check out the cathedral's schedule for choral evensong services – a serene and enchanting experience that you won't forget. It's a peaceful haven in the heart of the city, and a must-visit when you're in Spokane.
Address: 127 E 12th Ave, Spokane, WA 99202 | Google Maps
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Tuesday 1:00 - 4:30 PM
Explore the John A. Finch Arboretum
Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of nature at the John A. Finch Arboretum. This 65-acre garden in West Spokane is home to a vast variety of trees and plants, carefully arranged and marked for easy identification. Stroll along the winding paths, enjoy the captivating colors of the seasonal blooms, or simply sit back and let the soothing sounds of Garden Springs Creek wash over you. It's a fantastic spot for photography enthusiasts, bird watchers, or anyone seeking a peaceful escape from the city hustle. Don't forget to pack a picnic for a leisurely lunch amidst the greenery!
Address: 3404 W Woodland Blvd, Spokane, WA 99224 | Google Maps
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Take a craft beer tour around Spokane
Spokane's craft beer scene is booming, making it a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts. With over 40 local breweries, each boasts their unique brews, taking a craft beer tour is a fantastic way to explore the city's vibrant beer culture. You can start at No-Li Brewhouse, renowned for its award-winning ales, before heading over to Iron Goat Brewing Co. to sample some of their creative concoctions. Be sure to also drop by The Steam Plant, where craft beer is served with a side of Spokane's history. The tour is not just about tasting; it's an educational journey into the art of brewing. Whether you're a long-standing beer lover or a curious beginner, you're in for a treat! So, get ready to sip your way through Spokane.
Take a ride on the Looff Carrousel
A visit to Spokane isn't complete without a ride on the historic Looff Carrousel. This hand-carved, beautifully preserved merry-go-round is not just for kids, but a nostalgic journey for adults, too. Its charming antique horses and other whimsical creatures have been delighting visitors since its creation in 1909. Located in the heart of Riverfront Park, a spin on the Looff Carrousel is a fun and enchanting activity for all ages. Trust me, it's a joyous ride that takes you back in time and adds a sprinkle of magic to your Spokane adventure!
Address: W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201 | Google Maps
Hours: Vary by season
Admission: Single Ride: $3.25, Unlimited Day Pass: $7.95, Ages 2 and under: Free (Note: 10% discount is given for seniors (65+) and active duty and military veterans.)
Take a day trip to Wallace, Idaho
Just an hour's drive east from Spokane, the charming town of Wallace, Idaho awaits. Brimming with historic charm, Wallace is known as the "Silver Capital of the World" and offers a delightful journey back in time. Start your day trip with a visit to the Wallace District Mining Museum to immerse yourself in the town's rich mining history. Follow it up with a trip to the Sierra Silver Mine, where you can descend into an actual silver mine! Don't miss out on exploring the town's quaint shops, tasting the local cuisine, and if you're an outdoor enthusiast, there are abundant trails for biking and hiking. Make sure to pack your camera – the scenic beauty of Wallace is absolutely breathtaking!
Spokane, Washington boasts an incredible blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and a burgeoning craft beer and arts scene that makes it a must-visit destination for any traveller. Whether you're a nature lover seeking tranquility at the Finch Arboretum, a history enthusiast marveling at the grandeur of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, or a beer aficionado exploring Spokane's vibrant craft beer landscape, there's no end to the adventures that await you in this captivating city. So pack your bags, put on your explorer's hat, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through Spokane, Washington.
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We're Chris and Sara
A creative husband and wife duo from a small-town in Tennessee with passion for all things travel. Checkout the links below to join us on our past, present, and future adventures!