Did you know that Father’s Day was started in Spokane, Washington? Or that it’s just an hour away from a total of 76 different lakes? There’s plenty to learn about the Lilac City and even more to do, particularly if you’re a fan of the great outdoors.
After all, it’s nestled among a number of natural attractions, including the always-popular Riverfront Park, Mount Spokane and the Spokane River.
If you’re interested in visiting the pacific northwest, make sure check out our list below. We’re bringing you our favorite things to do in Spokane, Washington.
Quick View: The Top 22 Things to Do in Spokane
- Riverfront Park
- Centennial Trail
- ROW Adventure Center
- Mobius Children’s Museum
- Green Bluff
- Manito Park
- Northwest Museum of Arts
- The Campbell House
- The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
- Avista Stadium
- The Historic Davenport Hotel
- River Park Square
- Spokane Symphony
- Monroe Street Bridge
- Gonzaga University Campus
- Arbor Crest Wine Cellars
- Spokane Sculpture Walk
- Spokane Farmer’s Market
- Mount Spokane State Park
- First Interstate Center for the Arts
- John A. Finch Arboretum
- Clear Lake
You can’t walk around Spokane Washington without stumbling upon Riverfront Park. Located in downtown Spokane, the park was originally constructed as part of preparations for the 1974 World’s Fair.
The park possesses a natural beauty few others can achieve. The Spokane River flows through the heart of the 100-acre campus, leading to the famous Spokane Falls, the largest urban waterfall in the United States.
There’s also a scenic trail system for visitors to explore (see below). Did we mention that the park is conveniently surrounded by tons of shops, restaurants, wineries and places to stay?
Centennial Trail refers to a 40 mile stretch that winds right through Riverfront Park. You can bike, hike and even horseback ride your way through!
Though the trail starts in the city’s downtown area, it doesn’t take long to encounter some of the more scenic spots located along the path, like the Nine Mile Falls Dam, which is about nine miles away from where the trail begins.
Originally constructed back in 1908, the Nine Mile Falls dam stands 60-feet high. If you keep going, you’ll eventually hit the Idaho border!
If you’re looking for things to do in Spokane with kids specifically, head over to the ROW Adventure Center. The place offers family packages designed to introduce kids to the world of rafting and water adventures.
All excursions take place on the Spokane River. You can also try your hand at fly fishing, biking kayaking and floating!
Speaking of things to do with kids in Spokane, have we mentioned the Mobius Children’s Museum? Watch your kids interact with different museum exhibits dedicated to the worlds of art, science and culture.
Its “hands-on” theme is perfect for little kids looking to explore around in a big way. Aside from that though, there’s plenty of other things for toddlers to do as well.
5. Green Bluff
Did you know that strawberries grow really well in the pacific northwest? The climate seems particularly well suited for cultivation of the fruit. Local farmers figured that out back in the early 1900’s.
To help protect them from outside competition, the Green Bluff Growers association was formed. Headquarter on the rolling hills of Mount Spokane, the organization now helps provide all sorts of seasonal activities for the local community.
Bring the kids up to Spokane Mountain and enjoy some strawberry picking, hayrides and more. There are also tons of places to eat and drink on your way down!
6. Manito Park
If you’re into flowers, then you’ll want to check out Manito Park. This popular recreational area is home to five major garden areas. With floral arranged inspired by different areas of the world, Manito part has been celebrated for its diverse horticultural displays.
The park consists of 78 acres of native and cultivated landscape, and an extra 20 acres of botanical gardens. Other features include Mirror Pond, where you can feed the ducks and waterfowl, the Loop Drive and Bridge, playground area and Park Bench Cafe.
As one of Washington state’s five Smithsonian affiliates, this is where you go to get a little culture. The Northwest Museum of Arts, also known as “MAC,” boasts the largest collection of Plateau Indian art and artifacts in the world.
One million objects are maintained and preserved within the walls of the Northwest Museum of Arts.
Explore the historic Campbell House, which was belonged to one of the most prestigious families in Spokane! Learn about what life was like in Spokane during the early 21st century and explore the wealth of artifacts preserved inside the building.
Even if you aren’t a particularly spiritual person, St. John’s Cathedral is worth a visit. The stunning structure contains Gothic towers and architecture, stained-glass windows and a 257-foot pipe organ.
Today, the St. John’s Cathedral is considered a mainstay of the Spokane skyline. It’s home to some amazing pieces of art, as well.
The cathedral hosts a series or rotating exhibits as well as some permanent features, including 19th century tapestries, Japanese vases, two 12-foot high menorahs and more. St. John’s is also a pretty great place to listen to some live music. The choir performs every Sunday!
10. Avista Stadium
Baseball fans, you’re in luck. Avista Stadium is home to the Spokane Indians minor league baseball team. Check out a game or sign up for some of the on-site kids’ activities offered. Let your little ones meet the mascots, circle the field or play catch following a Sunday game!
The Historic Davenport Hotel was originally constructed back in 1914 but underwent a massive reconstruction in 2002.
During the time of its original opening, it was the first hotel in the United States with air conditioning, a pipe organ, a central vacuum system and housekeeping carts, making it a pretty modern place to stay.
Today, it remains one of the more high-end hangouts in town. If you’re not staying overnight, you can always pop in to check out the spa, bar and lounge, fine dining options and more.
Time to get some shopping in! River Park Square is located in downtown Spokane, just a short walk away from Riverfront Park and the Spokane River.
The indoor-outdoor shopping complex carries a mix of high-end and national brands to cater to all shoppers. There are also tons of dining options located around the mall. Think quick bites, cocktails, romantic dinners and more!
13. Spokane Symphony
If you’re looking for more live music, head over to Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, where the Spokane Symphony resides. The venue offers specialty events throughout the year, including performances for kids!
Though the music is quality and the dress code is casual, which can make traveling with kids a whole lot easier. There are a lot of restaurants around town that offer special rates for symphony-goers, including the historic Davenport Hotel, so do your research and plan accordingly!
Looking for some more spectacular views of Spokane Falls? Head this way. The overpass has become a popular Spokane landmark. After two failed attempts at construction, the third installment of the bridge was successfully implemented in 1911.
It’s adorned with subtle yet dramatic details, including life-size buffalo skulls, wagon wheels, chain handrails and more. These etches are said to embody the pioneer spirit of Spokane’s earliest settlers.
Take a tour of the Gonzaga University Campus! Enjoy the healthy blend of classic brick buildings and more modern facilities. The campus is just minutes away from Riverfront Park. If you’re a sports fan, make sure to see the students tear it up on the field. Go bulldogs!
If you can sneak away from the kids for a day, take a ride over to the Arbor Crest Wine Cellar. The venue is located in the historic Cliff House, which is perched 450 feet above the Spokane River Valley.
Originally built back in 1924, the grounds now serve as headquarters for the Arbor Crest Wine Cellars. Here, you can find award-winning wines, amazing views, live music and much more!
Who doesn’t like free entertainment? This walking tour will introduce you and your family to some of Spokane’s most celebrated statutes, for no cost whatsoever.
The tour weaves through Spokane’s Riverfront Park and Centennial Trail and wraps up right over Spokane Falls. All are relatively modern pieces or art, with the oldest sculptures dating back to the 1970’s.
The most recent, constructed in 2008, is titled, “Alive, Lively, Living.” The structure consists of three stainless steel panels and boasts irregular edges on its tops and sides.
The Northwest is known for its healthy stock of fresh farm produce. The Spokane Farmer’s Market is where you go to bring those goods home. The market, which has been in operation since 1998, offers baked goods, meats, eggs, and organic vegetables for sale.
Why settle for a room with a view when you can explore an entire summit? Hiking is by far one of the most popular things to do in Spokane.
The Mount Spokane State Park is home to tons of trails, but if you’re looking for a more “family friendly” path, look towards the Quartz Mountain Lookout Trail.
While it’s the third highest summit within Mount Spokane, it’s actually one of the easiest hikes throughout the park. If you make it to the top, you’ll find the famous fire lookout, which is perched at an impressive 5,129 feet.
If you still can’t decide on what to do in Spokane, think about taking in some more live entertainment. The First Interstate Center for the Arts is can be found in downtown Spokane, along the south bank of the Spokane River.
Originally opened in preparation for the 1974 World Fair, the venue has hosted major names like Jerry Seinfeld and major products like “Phantom of the Opera” and “The Lion King.” The 2,600-seat center also hosts family shows, stand-up performances, concerts, and more!
Keep your eyes to the skies! Or, at least to the tops of the trees. The John A. Finch Arboretum is situated on 65 acres of wooded hills. The botanical collection consists of over 2,000 labeled ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers.
Visitors can enjoy the different landscapes the park provides, from the native pine forest to the shady glen, filled with rhododendrons.
22. Clear Lake
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – this place is home to a lot of outdoor activities. Although, not all can be enjoyed from downtown Spokane.
If you came to town looking for a good fishing spot, head over to Clear Lake. The 377-acre lake is about a 20-minute drive from outside of the city center. This area is a major hotspot for rainbow and brown trout as well as largemouth bass and black crappie.
Clear Lake even hosts a “Fishing Kids” derby each spring for beginner anglers ages five to 14.
That’s about it for our list of things to do in Spokane. If you find yourself traveling across the state, check out the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound. We’re located just 20 minutes from downtown Olympia.
The resort offers tons of activities to explore, from water park adventures to the more leisurely activities scattered throughout the lodge. Be sure to sign up for our email list to learn about our best deals!