The 17 Best Things to do in Spokane, Washington

Spokane is a great place to visit with lots of fun things to see and do. While Seattle to the west often gets more buzz, Spokane is Washington State’s second largest city and has year-round outdoor recreation options, unique shopping opportunities, interesting museums and a growing music and microbrew scene…all with a whole lot less rain than you’ll find in Seattle!

Whether you’re visiting for a day or a week or a month, here are the best things to do in Spokane, Washington.

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    Spokane Riverfront Park
    ••• KarenMassier / Getty Images

    Legacy of the 1974 World's Fair, this 100-acre park sprawls along the river in downtown Spokane. At its center is the Great Northern Clock tower and the steel-cable structure of what was once the World's Fair's United States pavilion. It's a great place for the whole family to wander around, enjoying beautiful scenery, outdoor entertainment, community festivals, and fun amusements.

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    If you want to see Spokane Falls, but you want to see it in style, the SkyRide is the way to go. This new attraction will open in summer 2018 and will whisk riders past City Hall, drop down about 200 feet (slowly – this isn’t a thrill ride) over Huntington Park Natural Area, venture under the Monroe Street Bridge and over Spokane Falls. The ride lasts about 15 minutes in total. While the ride will be open all year, the falls are at their biggest and best from March until June.

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    Built in 1911, the Monroe Street Bridge offers a few things – a bit of history (stop and read the plaque about this landmark if you enjoy understanding your surroundings – it’s the third bridge on this site and the longest lasting), a unique place to walk and some pretty stellar views of the Spokane River, including of the waterfall below the bridge. You can get to the bridge via a trail that leads from Riverfront Park and combine that short walk with a stroll across the bridge.

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    Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane
    ••• Murderbike / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    This excellent museum, located in Spokane's historic Browne's Addition, features both regional history and fine art. In addition to exhibits from the museum's own collection, you can enjoy the ever-changing special exhibitions featuring local Northwest culture and history. A tour of Campbell House, the Neoclassical Revival home of prominent Spokane citizens that's located next door to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, is included with museum admission.
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  • 05 of 17
    Golf Spokane
    ••• Courtesy of The City of Spokane
    Spokane is a great city for golfers. Whether you just sneak in a round during your visit, or make golf the focus of your entire vacation, you'll find many challenging courses. Hangman Canyon Golf Course, Indian Canyon Golf Course, and Meadow Wood Golf Course are all highly rated.
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    Located on the Spokane River, the rock formations known as the Bowl and Picture got their name because - you guessed it! - some people think they look like a bowl and a picture. The Bowl and Picture are located in Riverside State Park near Spokane, WA.
    ••• I, Murderbike / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
    In addition to its many parks and golf courses, Spokane offers abundant opportunity for outdoor recreation. Bicycling, river rafting, hiking, fishing, boating, skiing, and wildlife watching are all available at various times throughout the year.
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    Yakima vineyard
    ••• Tracy Hunter / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Washington is known for its wines and Spokane has some of the best in the state. Visitors can enjoy tasting local wines, wandering around lovely winery grounds, and learning more about wine making. Spokane's wineries often host seasonal festivals, special dinners and events, and evening entertainment.

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    Manito Park Spokane
    ••• Danita Delimont / Getty Images
    Surrounded by magnificent historic homes, Spokane's Manito Park offers 90 acres of gorgeous gardens, stately trees, and a conservatory. The diversity of the gardens and recreation spaces makes Manito Park a fun place to visit in any season.
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  • 09 of 17
    The Davenport Hotel
    ••• Allie Towers Rice / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
    Even if you aren't an overnight guest, there is lots to see and do at Spokane's magnificent Davenport Hotel, a hub of the community. Things to check out during your visit include the lobby, the mezzanine, the event spaces, the gift shop, and the candy shop. You can also enjoy a meal in one of the Davenport's restaurants, a drink at the gorgeous Peacock Room, or a spa treatment at Spa Paradiso.
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    Northern Quest Resort & Casino
    ••• Courtesy of Northern Quest Resort & Casino
    The Northern Quest Resort and Casino is a huge facility loaded with opportunities for fun. In addition to all the usual table and machine games, Northern Quest guests will find a long list of restaurants and lounges and live entertainment. The Q, a spectacular sports bar, is a particularly awesome space to gather with friends and take in a game. For a special evening, Masselow's offers fine dining featuring local Northwest foods. Northern Quest Resort and Casino is located on the west side of town near the Spokane International Airport.
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    Spokane County Speedway
    ••• Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images for NASCAR
    Motor vehicle races of all kinds take place throughout the summer months. The Spokane County Raceway was formerly known as Spokane Raceway Park.
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    Shop at Spokane Flour Mill

    Spokane Flour Mill
    ••• Murderbike / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Located adjacent to Riverfront Park, Spokane's historic old Flour Mill is filled with unique shops and restaurants. Diners at Clinkerdagger's restaurant can enjoy a great view of Spokane's Riverfront Park and Spokane Falls.

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  • 13 of 17
    River Park Square
    ••• Courtesy of River Park Square
    This downtown network of stores, restaurants, and entertainment includes such major retailers as Nordstroms, Macy's, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware.
  • 14 of 17
    Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge
    ••• Darrell Gulin / Getty Images
    Turnbull NWR offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and numerous trails that loop through wetlands and pine forest habitats. There is a 5.5-mile Auto Tour Route that you drive, bike, or walk to access scenic views of the refuge environment. There are also short trails and a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk which loops to the edge of beautiful Blackhorse Lake.
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    Finch Arboretum Spokane
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    Spokane has no shortage of parks, but if you just want sheer natural beauty and plenty of local flora to wander among, then Finch Arboretum is perfect. This 65-acre arboretum is fill with more than 2,000 labeled trees, shrubs and flowers. Whether you want to check out what each and every plant is or not, the trails weaving through the park and the creek that flows through it are lovely and relaxing to explore.

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    Bing Crosby
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    Bettmann / Contributor/Getty Images

     

    While Bing Crosby was born in Tacoma, Washington, he moved to Spokane when he was three-years-old. If you can’t watch “White Christmas” without humming along, a visit to the Bing Crosby Collection at Gonzaga University might be in order. The collection includes about 200 items from Crosby’s life and career, ranging from records to photos to books. If you dig on what you see at Gonzaga University, there’s more memorabilia on display at the Bing Crosby House at 508 E Sharp Avenue, and it’s got free admission as well.

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  • 17 of 17

    Kick Back to Some Live Music

    Spokane’s music scene is popular and active, with venues large and small offering options for all musical tastes. For larger venues and touring headliners that come through the area, look to the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena or the Knitting Factory (don’t actually expect any knitting going on here). If you prefer smaller, more intimate venues, The Bartlett and the Big Dipper are all-around great places to check out. The Bartlett is an all-ages venue at all hours, so it’s perfect for date nights, groups of friends and families alike.

    Updated by Kristin Kendle.