Spokane may not be mentioned as often as other Northwest cities like Seattle, Portland or these days, but its a must-see destination in Washington. But within is a cornucopia of adventure, both indoors and out. Raging rivers, breathtaking views, mountainous terrain, vibrant dining and deep-rooted history are infused into this little part of eastern Washington, truly embodying so much we love about this section of America. So next time you’re looking to head this way, consider taking some time to explore Spokane. And if you do, these are the best things to experience.
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Manito Park’s meticulously manicured gardens can be appreciated through all the seasons, especially fall and spring. There’s something highly tranquil about the perfectly divided and sectioned flower displays, and you’ll also find themed areas such as the Japanese garden. Playgrounds, walking paths and generous room to spread out, making it a family-friendly stop or the perfect option for a date. Visitors mention a little ice cream shop, The Scoop, as being a great place to walk to after a day exploring.
The Martin Woldson Theatre
The Martin Woldson Theatre at The Fox has been around since the 1930s, and still hosts shows today within its historic walls. Also on the National Register of Historical Places, it’s a significant structure at least stop and snap some photos of, even if you don’t take advantage of the fantastic local performances. Notice the detail of the auditorium, and be transported back to the movie palace era.
Spokane is an outdoor haven, so there’s always something to see in the natural environment. Spokane Falls is just one of the marvels right within the city, and it can be seen from Riverfront Park, which is a destination all of its own with amusement rides, paths and ongoing events. A couple of restaurants, Clinkerdagger’s or Anthony’s, that is nestled right beside the water feature, are perfect for viewing from as well. When trying to select the best time to visit, opt for spring, as the snowmelt adds to the surge creating a jaw-dropping, powerful spectacle. Ride the Gondola over the falls for the most optimal glimpses.
Trek Mount Spokane
Mount Spokane sits on the edges of the city and, of course, is a phenomenal ski destination in the winter, at Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park, which also offers night skiing. A tubing hill is perfect for those wanting to take it easy, and great cross country trails stretch the area. In the summer, the mountain becomes prime for hiking, picnicking and just escaping the bustle.
Eat at Domini Sandwiches
With both fine dining and extreme cheap eats, the food scene of Spokane is your oyster. While picking one favorite is impossible, we’ll settle for mentioning Domini Sandwiches, because not only is it highly rated, but extremely light on the wallet. When customers “ooh and ah” over just the bread, you know you’re in for a stellar sandwich. Meats like roast beef are piled high atop the fluffy, carby goodness, and each satisfying bite is paired with a freshly popped bowl of popcorn. Sure it’s simple, but it’s a place of greatness.
Drink Some Coffee
Seattle isn’t the only Washington city to boast tasty roasts—Spokane is filled to the brim with cafes and bakeries who can make a mean cup of Joe. Atticus Coffee and Gifts has a snickerdoodle that pairs seamlessly with a perfectly balanced latte, Cafe Affogato whips up some seriously Insta-worthy creations, and the aroma piping out of Vessel Coffee Roasters immediately pulls those passing by in. And you have to try the floral noted vanilla rose latte!
Soak in the History
The Campbell House is a museum displaying family life of Spokane in the early 1900s, joining other historical sites such as the ornate Cathedral of our Lady Lourdes, the 1911 constructed Monroe Street Bridge and crooner Bing Crosby’s childhood home. Be sure to call ahead before planning on touring either home or the cathedral. However, the bridge is always there for your gazing enjoyment.
Have a Drink
Wineries, breweries and distilleries are no stranger to Spokane—Maryhill Winery has tastings and views of the river and downtown, Dry Fly Distilling makes killer cocktails with spirits crafted from local wheat and other grains, and Whistle Punk Brewing is a flawless brewery example with tap selections like a Spruce Tip Pilsner and Chinook Red. Traversing the beer, wine and spirits scene could take you days!
Riverside State Park
Riverside State Park—Bowl and Pitcher Area, provides an overview of the nature and wildlife of the Spokane area—you’ll likely spot deer and, of course, the native foliage that emerges particularly in the spring and summer. However, early fall holds its own too, with gorgeous changing leaves among the towering trees. While having access to hiking, biking and water activities along the Little Spokane River, the recreation haven still resides closely to shopping and restaurants. So if you decide to camp, the best of both worlds is right there.