17 Best Things to Do in Spokane, Washington

Wide shot of Spokane Falls

TripSavvy / Chris VR

Located in eastern Washington State, Spokane is a great place to visit. While Seattle to the west often gets more buzz, Spokane is Washington State’s second largest city and offers year-round outdoor recreation activities, 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. From exploring the Riverfront Park and sipping regional wines in the countryside to enjoying live music by local artists, there's no shortage of great activities to enjoy on your trip to the "Inland Empire" of Washington.

01 of 17

Treat Yourself to a Theatrical Performance

Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox in Spokane

Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox

1001 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99210, USA
Phone +1 509-624-1200

For a real treat, take in a theatrical or musical performance at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, home of the Spokane Symphony and a delightful Art Deco building that dates back to 1931. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the theater has hosted shows by everyone from television psychic Theresa Caputo and comedian Jay Leno to Beatles tribute bands and 90s alt-rock group Everclear.

Nearby, the First Interstate Center for the Arts is the go-to spot in Spokane for Broadway shows—recent touring shows include "Hairspray," "Dear Evan Hansen," and "The Book of Mormon," among others—stand-up comedy by big-name comedians like Jo Koy and Jerry Seinfeld, as well as family-friendly shows like "Blue Man Group," "Peppa Pig Live! Peppa Pig's Adventure," and "Blue's Clues & You!"

02 of 17

Take the Kids to the Mobius Discovery Center

Mobius Discovery Center in Spokane

Mobius Discovery Center

331 N Post St, Spokane, WA 99201, USA
Phone +1 509-321-7121

If you're traveling with childrem, definitely make time to visit the Mobius Discovery Center, an interactive playground where they can learn about traffic and bicycle safety, create their own masterpiece in the art studio, play with bubbles, learn how to give and get an eye exam, launch a bottle rocket, take on epic brain teasers, build model bridges and buildings, and get up close to reptiles and other animals. There's also a Kids Market, where they can practice shopping at the supermarket, and a number of sensory exhibits and play areas for the center's youngest guests to enjoy.

03 of 17

Try Winter Sports at Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park

29500 N Mt Spokane Park Dr, Mead, WA 99021, USA
Phone +1 509-238-2220

Winter sports enthusiasts should head to Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park, a nonprofit ski area located at the top of Mount Spokane about an hour's drive from the city center. Spend some time enjoying its 52 runs and seven ski lifts, taking on the terrain park, or honing your skills at ski school—there's something here for every age and skill level. It's also part of the Freedom Pass, a season ski pass that offers three free days at the mountain as well as at any of its partner ski resorts.

04 of 17

Catch a Ball Game at Avista Stadium

Avista Stadium, home of the Spokane Indians baseball team

Spokane Indians

602 N Havana St, Spokane Valley, WA 99212, USA
Phone +1 509-343-6886

Fans of minor league baseball can root, root, root for the home team, the Spokane Indians, at Avista Stadium, located just a 10-minute drive east of downtown Spokane. Seasons typically run between early April and mid-September. Take the whole family along for a wholesome day at the ballpark—the sunsets here can be quite spectacular as well.

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05 of 17

Spend Some Time in Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington

KarenMassier / Getty Images

507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201, USA
Phone +1 509-625-6600

Riverfront Park, located along the river in downtown Spokane, was created for the 1974 World's Fair—Great Northern Clock tower and the steel-cable structure of what was once the World's Fair's United States pavilion can be found at the center of this 100-acre park space. It's a great place for the whole family to wander around and enjoy the beautiful scenery, outdoor entertainment, community festivals, and other fun amusements. Stop by during the summer months for outdoor concerts on the weekends and don't miss out on the Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations that take place here in the winter.

06 of 17

Cross the River on the SkyRide

View of several trams crossing the river

TripSavvy / Chris VR 

720 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201, USA
Phone +1 509-625-6600

Named one of the "Top 12 Scenic Cable Rides in the World" by Conde Nast Traveler, Daily Traveler, and MSN in 2013, Numerica SkyRide is an experience unlike any other in Spokane. If you want to see Spokane Falls in style, this is the way to go. Opened in the summer of 2018, this attraction whisks riders past City Hall, drops them slowly down about 200 feet over Huntington Park Natural Area, ventures under the Monroe Street Bridge, and goes directly over Spokane Falls. The ride lasts about 15 minutes. While it is open all year, the falls are at their biggest and best from March until June.

Numerica SkyRide shares a ticketing booth with the Skate Ribbon, another popular Spokane attraction located at the corner of Spokane Falls Boulevard and Post Street. Tickets are required to board the SkyRide, and children under 15 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

07 of 17

Walk Along the Monroe Street Bridge

Monroe Street Bridge

TripSavvy / Chris VR

218 N Monroe St, Spokane, WA 99201, USA

While you can spot the Monroe Street Bridge from the SkyRide, take the time to cross this historic bridge on foot during your trip. Built in 1911, the current Monroe Street Bridge is the third constructed on this site and the longest lasting version. It's a unique place to walk and you'll be able to enjoy stellar views of the Spokane River, including the waterfall below the bridge.

Access to the Monroe Street Bridge is available via a trail from Riverfront Park. Connecting the north and south sides of the city, the bridge also grants visitors access to a variety of great attractions. On the north side of the river, stop by the Alpine Bakery Company for some tasty confections. On the south side, visit the Historic Davenport hotel, the Patsy Clark Mansion nearby, or the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

08 of 17

Visit the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

Exterior of the museum

TripSavvy / Chris VR

2316 W 1st Ave, Spokane, WA 99201-5906, USA
Phone +1 509-456-3931

After you walk across the Monroe Street Bridge, stop by the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture for a full day of educational exploration. 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, 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, is included with the price of admission.

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09 of 17

Play a Round of Golf

Golf Spokane

The City of Spokane

2210 E Hangman Valley Rd, Spokane, WA 99223-9572, USA
Phone +1 509-448-1212

Spokane is a great city for golfers. Whether you just want to sneak in a single round or you want to make golf the focus of your entire vacation, you'll find many challenging courses in and around the city. Latah Creek Golf Course, Indian Canyon Golf Course, and Meadow Wood Golf Course are all highly rated—there's even a disc golf course set up at High Bridge if you're interested in a different sort of putting. The Downriver Golf Course, located near the Spokane Falls Community College, is also a popular choice offering 18 professional-level holes where you can spend the day trying to get a birdie.

10 of 17

Enjoy Some Outdoor Recreation

Trees with mutli colored leaves in Manito Park

TripSavvy / Chris VR

1702 S Grand Blvd, Spokane, WA 99203, USA
Phone +1 509-625-6200

In addition to its many parks and golf courses, Spokane offers abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation. Bicycling, river rafting, hiking, fishing, boating, skiing, and wildlife watching are all available at various times throughout the year. Popular outdoor recreation destinations in Spokane include the Spokane River Centennial Trail, Manito Park, Riverfront Park, Spokane Falls, and the John A. Finch Arboretum, just east of downtown. Be sure to check out the annual events at Riverfront Park, such as the Junior Lilac Parade in May, the LGBTQ+ Pride Parade and Rainbow Festival in June, and the Independence Day Celebration in July.

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. Located at 17th Avenue and Grand Boulevard, this public park is open from sunrise to 11 p.m. daily throughout the year. While not nearly as popular as the Riverfront Park for special events, community organizations often host smaller celebrations at this spacious park instead.

11 of 17

Taste Some of the Region's Best Wines

Numerous barrels of wine

TripSavvy / Chris VR

13030 E Indiana Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99216-1118, USA
Phone +1 509-926-0164

Washington is known for its wines and Spokane has some of the best vineyards and vintages in the state. Some of the best-known wineries in Spokane include Arbor Crest, whose award-winning wines and landscaped grounds make a great day trip. Latah Creek Wine Cellars, which boasts an impressive selection of acclaimed merlots, as well as Barrister Winery, Grand Ronde Cellars, Knipprath Cellars, Lone Canary Winery, Robert Karl Cellars, and the Townshend Cellar, are all worth a look.

Visitors to any of these great wineries can enjoy tasting local wines, wandering around the curated vineyards, and learning more about winemaking through a variety of special tour packages available from travel agencies and tour groups around the city. In fact, there are even special bike and wine tours available to active guests who wish to enjoy a bit of exercise with their wine. Spokane's wineries often host seasonal festivals, special wine dinners, and concerts, so check each winery's calendar for upcoming celebrations before your trip.

12 of 17

Shop at Spokane Flour Mill

Exterior of the Flour Mill where people are sitting out on the patio

TripSavvy / Chris VR

621 W Mallon Ave, Spokane, WA 99201, USA
Phone +1 509-838-6541

Located adjacent to Riverfront Park, Spokane's historic old Flour Mill is full of unique shops and restaurants with a view—diners at Clinkerdagger's restaurant can enjoy great views of Spokane's Riverfront Park and Spokane Falls while they eat.

The Spokane Flour Mill was originally opened in 1900 and served as the primary mill for the city of Spokane until it closed in 1972. The city later converted the mill into a shopping center in preparation for EXPO '74 and it has since remained open as a hub for a number of local specialty shops, including Tobacco World and Olde Joe Clarke's Photography Studio.

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13 of 17

Shop Some More at River Park Square

Entrance to River Park Square

TripSavvy / Chris VR

808 W Main Ave, Spokane, WA 99201, USA
Phone +1 509-363-0304

If you still haven't had your fill of shopping in Spokane, head to River Park Square in the downtown area of the city. This network of stores, restaurants, and entertainment spots includes retailers such as Nordstrom, Macy's, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware, among others. River Park Square also hosts a number of special events throughout the year including sales, celebrations, and several festivals of its own. With more than 50 stores and restaurants to choose from, River Park Square is Spokane's one-stop destination for all your shopping and entertainment needs.

14 of 17

Look for Wildlife at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Tall grass with the sun setting and light peaking through the grass

TripSavvy / Chris VR

26010 S Smith Rd, Cheney, WA 99004-9326, USA
Phone +1 509-235-4723

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and numerous trails that loop through wetlands and pine forest habitats. There's also a 5.5-mile Auto Tour Route you can drive, bike, or walk on to access scenic views of the refuge environment. Additionally, several short trails and a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk loop their way along the edge of the beautiful Blackhorse Lake, making the site accessible for nearly everyone who wants a taste of the outdoors.

It's located six miles south of Cheney, Washington, about 30 minutes away from Spokane. You can access the Wildlife Reserve via Interstate 90 West and Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson Memorial Freeway.

15 of 17

Go Green at the John A. Finch Arboretum

The arboretum where trees are going through changing of the leaves

TripSavvy / Chris VR

3404 W Woodland Blvd, Spokane, WA 99224-2240, USA
Phone +1 509-363-5466

Spokane has no shortage of parks, but if you just want sheer natural beauty and plenty of local flora to wander among, then the John A. Finch Arboretum is the perfect place to add to your itinerary. This 65-acre arboretum is filled with more than 2,000 labeled trees, shrubs, and flowers. The trails weaving through the park and the creek that flows through it are lovely and offer a relaxing environment to unwind in.

The John A. Finch Arboretum is located just outside Spokane near the Indian Canyon Golf Course and Grandview Park. The Arboretum is free and open to the public year-round from dawn until dusk, but restrooms and other facilities are only open from May 1 through October 31, weather permitting.

16 of 17

Explore the Bing Crosby House Museum

Bing Crosby House Museum Spokane

Bing Crosby House Museum

508 E Sharp Ave, Spokane, WA 99202, USA

If you can’t watch “White Christmas” without humming along, a visit to the Bing Crosby House Museum at Gonzaga University might be in order. Bing Crosby was born in Tacoma, Washington and his family moved to Spokane when he was just three years old. The museum collection includes about 200 items from the crooner's life and career, including records, photos, and books. If you want to learn more about his life, head to the Bing Crosby House at 508 East Sharp Avenue to see even more memorabilia on display (it has free admission as well).

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17 of 17

Kick Back to Some Live Music

Live music Spokane

Peter Cade / Getty Images

720 W Mallon Ave, Spokane, WA 99201-2134, USA
Phone +1 509-279-7000

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. If you prefer smaller, more intimate venues, The Bartlett and the Big Dipper are all-around great places. The Bartlett is an all-ages venue at all hours, so it’s perfect for date nights, groups of friends, and families alike.

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17 Best Things to Do in Spokane, Washington