Located just a short drive from the Idaho border, the city of Spokane in Eastern Washington is one of the state’s best cultural hubs and an excellent destination to enjoy a variety of activities. From cultural establishments like the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture and the Fox Theater to the vibrant Downtown district where travelers can experience the city’s microbrew scene and go on a shopping spree, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Spokane.
Nature lovers visiting the second biggest city in the state can look forward to exploring hiking trails and picturesque parks in summer and enjoying snowshoeing and skiing in winter, while families traveling with children can visit kid’s museums, antique carousels, and historic farms. Make the most out of your Washington vacation with this list of things to do in Spokane Valley.
1. Riverfront Park
Set along the Spokane River, Riverfront Park is an oasis of greenery where visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery and go for a relaxing walk. The park’s main attractions are the Pavilion, a 150 feet tall metal frame, and the clock tower. There is also a nice historic carousel in the park that is surrounded by many shops and restaurants. In summer, Riverfront Park hosts outdoor concert series on the weekends. In case you are visiting in winter, don’t miss the annual Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
2. Manito Park
Located in the beautiful South Hill Neighborhood, Manito Park is home to many amazing attractions including the Butterfly Garden, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, and Lilac Garden. Apart from admiring exotic desert and tropical plants, visitors can stroll along the paved paths, take photos in front of the charming Mirror Pond, and explore the Gaiser Conservatory. In summer, the Park Bench Café is an ideal place to enjoy delicious food and listen to live music.
3. Spokane Falls
Travelers will find the magnificent Spokane Falls in the heart of the city’s central business district. Divided into two parts including the Upper and Lower Falls, It is one of the most popular attractions in Spokane and attracts large crowds of visitors all year long. Nature lovers who wish to enjoy spectacular views of the Spokane Falls can head out to the Monroe Street Bridge.
4. Riverside State Park
One of Washington’s largest state parks, Riverside State Park is located just a short drive from the city along the Little Spokane Rivers. Whether you wish to enjoy water activities like swimming, kayaking, and fishing in summer, cross country skiing in winter, or picnicking and camping, this charming state park is an excellent destination to escape the busy streets of Spokane and reconnect with nature. The park is home to dozens of cool areas including the Nine Mile Recreation Area, Bowl, and Pitcher, and the 37-mile long Spokane River Centennial Trail. If you wish to learn more about Spokane Indians and the history of the park, make sure to stop by the Spokane House Interpretive Center.
5. Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
One of the best museums in Spokane, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is a large cultural institute that boasts 5 underground galleries and ever-changing special exhibitions that focus on the local Northwest history and American Indian culture. The museum is home to more than one million artifacts and offers many workshops and classes. You can also tour the Campbell House that is located right next door and exhibits a variety of displays that tell the story of people who have stayed in this Neoclassical Revival building.
6. John A. Finch Arboretum
John A. Finch Arboretum is an excellent destination for travelers who wish to see native plants and trees while visiting Spokane. Located close to Grandview Park, this 65-acre arboretum is home to nearly 3,000 flowers, shrubs, and trees. The amazing Touch and See Nature Trail for the blind is one of its most unique attractions. As for the trails weaving through the arboretum, they are well-maintained and relaxing to explore. Events and activities are held throughout the year.
7. Mount Spokane State Park
A popular destination for locals and tourists alike, Mount Spokane State Park offers everything from 100 miles of hiking trails to winter activities such as snowboarding, Nordic skiing, and snowmobiling. Since the park is located an hour’s drive from the city, it makes for a perfect weekend getaway destination. If you are planning to visit in summer, enjoy outdoor activities like wildlife viewing, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Many visitors will want to spend the night here and the good news is that Mount Spokane State Park is home to eight fabulous campsites.
8. Mobius Children’s Museum
Looking for things to do in Spokane with kids? Head out to the Mobius Children’s Museum in downtown Spokane where you and your children can have hours of fun and entertainment. With dozens of hands-on activities including Bubbleology, Science Center, Shark Day, and Cooper’s Corner where children can drive a car and learn about traffic safer, this extraordinary museum offers a variety of educational activities. Not to be missed is the Out of Hand Art studio where children can paint and draw using materials like feathers and beads.
9. Centennial Trail
If the weather is nice, hiking is always an option. Welcome to the Centennial Trail, a 40-mile paved trail that extends from the Washington/Idaho state line to the picturesque Nine Mile Falls. Since the trail is a car-free zone, travelers can enjoy a bunch of different activities here including biking, horseback riding, running, and canoeing. You will come across many historic sites along the way like the Slaughter Camp Monument. The best time to go on this awesome hike is in spring and summer.
10. ROW Adventure Center
As you’ve probably noticed, there is no shortage of fun outdoor activities in Spokane. Travelers who are into whitewater rafting should visit the ROW Adventure Center, a superb outdoor tour company. Hop on their tour that starts downstream from Spokane and takes you past scenic areas such as Riverfront Park, the gorge, and the Spokane Falls. From spotting eagles, admiring the beauty of Ponderosa pine forests, and seeing impressive rock cliffs, there is plenty to look forward to when going on a whitewater rafting tour with the ROW Adventure Center
11. Avista Stadium
An outdoor sports venue that is home to a minor league baseball team called the Spokane Indians, Avista Stadium is one of the best places to mingle with the locals and experience the city’s sports culture. Some of the main features of the stadium include a lovely field level picnic spot, skyboxes, and a Kids Zone where the little ones can play during the match. If you are into minor-league sports and wish to see a game while visiting Spokane, Avista Stadium is the place to go.
12. Spokane Symphony
Welcome to the Fox Theatre, a beautiful art deco building that also happens to be home to the famous Spokane Symphony. This professional orchestra consists of a talented group of musicians who do everything from outdoor concerts to indoor smaller performances. From a variety of classics to music from movies like Star Wars and Harry Potter, Spokane Symphony performances are really amazing and worth going to. They also offer many educational and school programs.
13. The historic davenport hotel
Built in 1914, the Historic Davenport Hotel is a must-see attraction when exploring Spokane’s downtown district. Celebrities like Amelia Earhart and Clark Gable used to spend their nights at this first-class hotel that was renovated in the early 2000s. Admire the historic photos on display at the mezzanine, see the event spaces, or have a nice meal at one of the hotel’s restaurants. You can even enjoy spa treatments at the on-site Spa Paradiso.
14. Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox
Opened back in the 1930s, the historic Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox used to be one of the favorite gathering spots for the residents of Spokane. It hosted everything from silent films to theatre performances and had a capacity of 2,400 seats. Artists like Frank Sinatra and Catharine Hepburn. In 2000, the theatre received a complete renovation and today it’s a defining cultural establishment in Spokane that hosts operas, ballets, and theater performances.
15. Mica Moon Zip Tours
Interested in zip lining tours while visiting Spokane? Mica Moon Zip Tours takes visitors through dense forests and across valley and mountain streams as they hang from a line high in the treetops. This exhilarating adventure is led by professional guides and allows travelers to enjoy an adrenaline-pumped activity. The tour also includes two trail hikes where you can spot hawks and elks.
16. Green Bluff
Located in a farming area outside of the city, Green Bluff is a historic farm that offers a variety of activities and entertainment. Whether you wish to pick fruits like strawberries, enjoy magnificent views of Mount Spokane, or listen to live music during the summer season, this farming community offers something for every visitor. It’s also an excellent place to visit with your kids who can learn more about harvest seasons and how to grow fruits.