Top 10 Things to Do in Spokane, WA

Top 10 Things to Do in Spokane, WA Featured Image
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Brimming with scenic views, parks, trails, entertainment, indoor and outdoor activities, and an unforgettable culinary scene, Spokane, WA, creates a beautiful year-round destination.

Many things to do in Spokane will fill your memories with fun, excitement, relaxation, and learning. Read on and discover the top things to do in Spokane as you prepare to visit the Lilac City of Washington.

1. Riverfront Park: Enjoy The Scenic Beauty And Recreational Activities

Riverfront Park: Enjoy The Scenic Beauty And Recreational Activities

Riverfront Park is a 100-acre urban park located in downtown Spokane, WA. This park offers space to indulge in the city’s scenic beauty and provides entertainment space, rivers, falls, and more!

Here are some activities the park offers, which you can add to the list of things to do in Spokane with your friends, partner, or family.

Visitor Information Center

Before hopping to have fun, visit the visitor information center first and discover local maps, visitor guides, brochures, and help from local travel experts.

Just outside the Visitor Information Center, you’ll find the Rotary Fountain. It has five shiny steel columns shooting water 24 feet high and 40 jets overhead. Together, they create a dome-like waterfall in the middle, and eight geysers shoot water into the sky.

Both kids and adults can run through it, so it’s a fun water play spot, but keep in mind that it is only open from May to September.

Take a Photo on Bloomsday Runner Statues

“The Joy of Running Together” is a unique artwork celebrating the Spokane Bloomsday Run, an annual 12-kilometer race for over 40 years.

It is located near the finish line, aiming to boost the runners’ spirits as they approach the end of their race. The artwork is made of steel sculptures that serve as an excellent backdrop for family photos and allow you to pretend you’re a part of the race by posing among the metal runners.

It is a 16-foot-wide and 650-foot-long ribbon of ice where you can go ice skating when visiting Riverfront Park during winter, and it is open from November to February.

You can rent a pair there if you don’t have ice skates. Fire pits are nearby, where you can chill with a hot drink and watch families skate on the ice.

During summer, instead of ice skating, you can bring out your skateboard, scooter, or rollerblades and cruise around the Skate Ribbon. So, whether it’s freezing or hot, this place is a year-round magnet for fun!

Here are the associated fees when visiting Numerica Skate Ribbon:

AgeAdmission Fee
Ages 13 and above$9.95
Ages 3-12$6.95
2 and BelowFREE
ItemRental Fee
Skate Rental$6.95/per visit
HelmetsAvailable to check out free of charge.
Unlimited Ice Pass
Age Admission Fee
Ages 13 and above$38.95
Ages 3-12$27.95
Unlimited Ice Pass
Age Admission Fee
Ages 13 and above$38.95
Skate Rental Add-On$18.95
Unlimited Ice Pass
(Numerica Skate Ribbon Admission, Ice Skate Rental, Numerica SkyRide Admission, and Looff Carrousel Unlimited Day Pass)
Age Admission Fee
Ages 13 and above$28.95
Ages 3-12$23.95

Walking around the carousel, you will spot the Garbage Goat. It’s a steel goat that “eats” garbage. This quirky creation was made for the 1974 World’s Fair Expo. It’s a playful way to message about taking care of the environment.

This goat eats small pieces of garbage with its vacuum digestive system. It works by pressing a button on its right side and holding up a paper. The goat’s vacuum-like system helps it munch on small bits of garbage.

It might seem straightforward, but once you start, you’ll likely find yourself digging through your pockets, purse, and even the park for any bits of paper to feed this garbage-eating goat.

Looff Carrousel

Image by 12019 from Pixabay

People carved the Looff Carrousel by hand in 1909, and it has maintained its place on the National Register of Historic Places. The carousel has 54 horses, a giraffe, a tiger, and two Chinese dragon chairs.

There’s also a brass ring you can try to catch. It is also designed to let people in wheelchairs enjoy the ride too. Riders must be 42” tall to ride alone. Those under the required height can ride with an adult standing beside the saddle and holding the child.

Here’s the admission fee for Looff Carrousel:

Age / PassAdmission Fee
Single Ride$3.25
Unlimited Day Pass$7.95
2 and BelowFREE

In 1989, the Jr. League of Spokane commissioned a big red wagon called the Childhood Express. This 12-foot-high, 12-foot-wide, and 27-foot-long Radio Flyer wagon is dedicated to Spokane’s children. It’s like a nostalgic symbol of the past, made in the present and meant to last in the future.

It’s a great family stop where parents can relax, sit on the wagon, and watch their kids enjoy sliding down the wagon handle. The scenic view of the river adds to everyone’s enjoyment.

Riding the SkyRide must be one of the things to do in Spokane, Washington, and you should definitely try it! The SkyRide offers impressive views of the Spokane River and Spokane Falls downtown.

Conde Nast Traveler recognizes it as one of the world’s top 12 scenic cable rides. During a 15-minute round-trip ride in a weather-resistant cabin, visitors pass by the art deco City Hall, descend 200 feet over the Huntington Park Natural Area, cross the Spokane River in front of one set of falls under the historic Monroe Street Bridge, and return to Riverfront Park.

The best time to ride the SkyRide is from March to June. Don’t forget your camera to take memorable photos from the cabin windows open for clear shots!

Here are the age brackets and admission fees for reference:

AgeAdmission Fee
Ages 3-12$8.95
Ages 2 and BelowFREE

Visit Havermale Island and the Clocktower

The Clocktower was an important part of the Great Northern Railroad Depot on an island until the 1974 Expo. It has still worked the traditional way since it was built in 1902.

Someone climbs five stories every week to wind the clock 99 times. The island was a haven during a battle with the Nez Perce Indians in 1877 and also provided refuge during Spokane’s Great Fire of 1889, which devastated downtown Spokane.

Enjoy the Open-Air Entertainment

When you go to the right from the Clocktower, the Lilac Bowl provides an open-air Amphitheater where concerts, movies, or other entertainment events occur. If you’re lucky, you might catch an incredible show or movie during your trip.

But if there’s no event, you can still enjoy the fresh breeze from the Spokane River. As you move north from the Lilac Bowl, there’s a prominent outdoor structure called the Forestry Shelter. It’s an excellent spot to take a break, use the bathroom, and prepare for the rest of your island adventure.

Enjoy Events at Riverfront Park Pavilion

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

The Pavilion is the center of Havermale Island, having been around since 1974. It recently got a makeover, replacing the old white canvas with state-of-the-art lighting that put on amazing light shows at night.

There’s also an elevated platform where you can see stunning river views. If you’re into live music, the Pavilion hosts many concerts and performances yearly.

If you’re heading to Spokane’s Riverfront Park with kids, check out the Ice Age Floods Playground. It has a 3-story slide tower, a fossil dig adventure, and a realistic rock climbing boulder.

It’s the perfect spot for your kids to have fun and burn off some energy while you’re at Riverfront Park.

This basketball court is located near the Ice Age Floods Playground and features vibrant mural painting, making it look colorful and exciting while playing. Basketball enthusiasts in Spokane love this place because it has two full-size courts, giving them plenty of space.

It features a full-sized bowl,ledges, rails, and smooth slopes, giving skaters plenty of options, perfect whether you are a beginner or a pro.

It’s Spokane’s first all-inclusive play place that welcomes all kids, no matter their abilities- physically and socially. What’s unique about it is that children who use assistive devices, like wheelchairs, can have a great time and move around freely.

It’s a one-of-a-kind playground, and it’s part of Spokane’s efforts to cater to the diverse needs of its residents.

Manito Park: Immerse Yourself In Botanical Wonders

Image by Dar1930 from Pixabay

Manito Park is a public park established in April 1904. Over the years, this space has evolved significantly. Initially, it was a simple recreational area with basic amenities like a few flower beds, places for picnics, and a small zoo.

Now, it has become one of the primary attractions in Spokane, showcasing much more developed and diverse features. The park is nationally known for its various horticultural displays.

The park comprises five main garden areas, including the following:

  1. Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden
  2. Duncan Garden
  3. Rose Hill
  4. Lilac Garden
  5. Ferris Perennial Garden

In addition to these gardens, there is also a conservatory and a pond within the park.

It is a beautiful Japanese garden with blooming flowers, a small pond & a playground. Spokane chose the name “Nishinomiya Tsutakawa” for the garden to show respect and appreciation.

It honors Spokane’s sister city, Nishinomiya, in Japan and pays tribute to Ed Tsutakawa, who initiated and established the special connection between the two cities.

It is the most picture-perfect and dramatic garden in Manito’s garden. It’s designed in a fancy European Renaissance style, spanning 3 acres.

It has neatly trimmed grass and lots of vibrant flowers all over the place. The garden has bilateral symmetry, with a water feature and a path right in the middle.

It is a treasure filled with 150 different kinds of roses, making it Spokane’s best rose garden. You can find various roses here, such as hybrid tea, Grandiflora, floribunda, miniature roses, and even classic old-fashioned ones.

In 2007, the All-American Rose Selections honored Rose Hill as the best rose garden in the state.

It has more than 100 types of lilacs from 23 different species. This makes Manito’s Lilac Garden one of the western region’s most significant places for lilacs.

The garden also features a rare type of pink lilac known as Syringa vulgaris’ Spokane.’ This specific lilac is one-of-a-kind to Spokane, which is fitting, knowing Spokane is called the Lilac City.

It is the relaxed counterpart of Duncan Garden. It features 300 different types of plants, and back in 1996, they increased the space for plants that come back every year, making the beds much bigger.

Now, these beds and little trees create a garden that always looks different as the seasons change. In the spring, you’ll see bulbs and primroses. During fall, there will be asters blooming.

Mirror Lake

The pond was originally a natural lake called Mirror Lake, which would dry up during summer. A concrete base was installed to prevent that, filling the pond with water year-round. When visiting the pond, you can rent canoes on-site.

Moreover, there’s a cafe inside the park called “Park Bench Café.” It is located between the Mirror Pond and the Ferris Perennial Garden. It opens from late May to September yearly, serving with pastries, freshly made sandwiches, wraps, salad, espresso drinks, and more.

Park’s Information:
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture: Explore Spokane’s Rich History

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Established in 1916, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, or MAC, is the Inland Northwest’s leading cultural organization that serves over 100,000 visitors annually.

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is dedicated to preserving and cultivating the region’s rich heritage through collections, exhibitions, and programs.

The museum preserves artifacts and archival materials that showcase the diverse history of the Inland Northwest. This extensive collection includes a variety of art, historical objects, and textiles from the region.

Notably, the museum has the world’s most extensive collection of Plateau Indian art and artifacts, with over one million objects, including fine art, historical artifacts, documents, photographs, and cultural items from the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Joel E. Ferris Research Archives, part of the MAC, also provides researchers worldwide with a unique opportunity to explore their vast collection.

You can bring a piece of the MAC’s charm by visiting the museum store, which is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm, with no required admission fee.

You will find various unique Northwest-made gift items, from original artwork, prints, cards, and calendars to jewelry, books, candles, toys, games, and more.

Museum Information:
Spokane Falls: Witness The Awe-Inspiring Natural Beauty

Spokane River Falls is Spokane’s most captivating natural attraction and the center of Riverfront Park. Flowing 111 miles from Lake Coeur d’Alene to Lake Roosevelt, the Spokane River undergoes a breathtaking transformation as a falls.

The falls have two main sections: the Lower Spokane Falls, characterized by a narrow rocky chute with few cascading tiers, and the Upper Spokane Falls, featuring a wide, two-segment drop split by Canada Island.

Whether on foot or by air, the park provides different viewing spots, making it a must-visit destination.

For the best panoramic views, you can visit the following viewpoints:

Pedestrian Suspension Bridges

You can easily see the upper falls on the park’s north side. As you stroll, you’ll find two suspension bridges near the impressive white Washington Water Power building.

The water level rises high in spring, sometimes soaking the pedestrian bridge. It’s the perfect chance to get a close-up view of Spokane Falls. Once you’ve taken in the upper falls, reach the lower ones.

Located between Mobius Science Center and City Hall, visit the Tribal Gathering Place, surrounded by calming water features and basalt stonework. Walk straight ahead to see the lower falls.

Once you’re in the park, explore gravel paths, art pieces, and sculptures placed with benches for resting. These paths lead you close to the lower falls.

Post Street & Monroe Street Bridge. On the north of the big brick building with the green Washington Water Power sign, cross the bridge, and you’ll hit the Centennial Trail.

Follow it down, and you’ll see the fantastic view under the Monroe Street Bridge. There’s a spot under the bridge where you can catch up close to the waterfall and the beautiful Huntington Park on the other side.

A Place of Truths Plaza

This is the latest spot to catch a great view of Spokane Falls near the city hall. You’ll find impressive statues created by a talented member of the Colville Tribes that serve as reminders of Spokane’s native roots and the significance of taking care of the pristine river that flows through the city.


It offers a 20-minute fly-over for a bird’s eye view and allows you to see everything from a bird’s perspective as you slowly descend 200 feet, giving you fantastic views of falls along the way.

5. Centennial Trail: Take A Scenic Journey On Two Wheels

Centennial Trail: Take A Scenic Journey On Two Wheels

Photo by Pille Kirsi

The Centennial Trail is a 37-mile paved pathway for transportation and recreation. The Centennial Trail is one of Spokane’s most scenic outdoor spaces, inviting you to ride a bike, hike, or a leisurely walk.

You are welcome to bring your dogs with you, provided they are kept on a leash unless there are specific areas or times when this is not allowed.

With diverse terrain, the Centennial Trail has something for everyone, offering adventure’s complexity, routes through forests, canyons, and even the urban city center, depending on the trailheads you choose.

There are 12 trailheads along the way:

Each trail opens up to different paths, catering to various preferences and activities.
A day pass is necessary, which can be purchased online or by phone (866 320-9933). Here are your pass options if you are interested to visit them:

Type of PassFee
Annual pass$30
($35 with the transaction and dealer fees if purchased at a licensed vendor, by phone, or online)
One-day pass$10
($11.50 with transaction and dealer fees if purchased at a licensed vendor, by phone, or online)
Gonzaga University: Walk Through Academic Excellence

Photo by Pixabay

Gonzaga University is a private Jesuit university situated in Spokane, Washington. When visiting, you can expect a campus tour, an information session about admissions, and the option to attend a student panel.

Here are some noteworthy places to explore while at Gonzaga University:

The Myrtle Woldson Collection

This place features a collection tributing Miss Woldson’s life, business ventures, and philanthropy. The interpretive center shows her story through narrative panels and multimedia displays.

You can also see replicas of rooms from her home in Spokane, like furniture, art, and décor from her life and travels.

The museum houses the Print Study Room, a research facility containing materials on individual artists and art history. It also provides access to the electronic catalog of the museum’s holdings.

Performances at the Auditorium

You can enjoy watching performances at the university’s auditorium, which opens for seating 30 minutes before each show. To secure your tickets, you may visit The Box Office, which is open from noon to 5 pm on weekdays and 90 minutes before each performance.

You can explore its campus map here for an extensive view of what the university offers.

University Information:

8. Local Cuisine: Indulge In The Diverse Culinary Scene

Local Cuisine: Indulge In The Diverse Culinary Scene

Photo by Chan Walrus

Spokane, WA, is a melting pot of cultures, with many delicious and unique restaurants dotting the city.

From award-winning Spokane local restaurants to casual dining experiences, Spokane offers a diverse food scene that will satisfy whatever you’re craving.

Here are some recommended restaurants you should add to your bucket list as you plan your visit to Spokane, WA.

It is a quirky café adorned with vintage knick-knacks, where you can dig into classic American comfort food and pastries. This is popular for breakfast and brunch among locals.

It is also a go-to spot for those who love starting their day with fresh, mouthwatering dishes and coffee surrounded by music and art.

Popular on their menu are Scrambled Eggs, Blueberry Muffins, French Toast, and Chicken Fried Steak.

Restaurant Information:

It is an airy and retro-themed spot that offers delicious comfort foods sourced from local farms. This daytime eatery is known for its clever breakfast offerings and sandwiches.

The menu highlights mouthwatering dishes like chicken and waffles, huckleberry pancakes, Corned Beef Hash, Deviled Eggs, Breakfast Burrito, and chorizo and’ egg tacos.

Restaurant Information:

This seafood restaurant in the Pacific Northwest is known for offering delicious local catches, in-season local produce, Northwest wine, and microbrews. It is beside picturesque Spokane Falls and provides a stunning backdrop for lunch or dinner.

Some favorites on the menu include clam chowder, Crispy Calamari with Lemon Aioli, Dungeness Crab Fettuccine, and a touch of local flavor with huckleberry options. It’s a down-to-earth spot to enjoy hearty seafood with your family or friends.

Restaurant Information:

9. Arts And Entertainment: Immerse Yourself In Cultural Experiences

Arts And Entertainment: Immerse Yourself In Cultural Experiences


Spokane is a hub of artistic expression and culture in the Pacific Northwest. This city serves as a gathering place for a diverse community of artists, performers, curators, musicians, and creative individuals of various kinds.

From art galleries, museums, theaters, and historic buildings, there are many things to do in Spokane that will keep you busy and entertained.

For recommendations of places to enjoy arts and have fun, check out the following sites!

  • Avenue West Gallery – A local co-op that showcases the region’s finest artists that use different mediums, from oil and acrylic to mixed media, photography to glasswork and woodwork.
  • Trackside Studio Ceramic Art Gallery – A working ceramic studio and sales gallery in downtown Spokane that features a monthly ceramic exhibit.
  • Spokane Valley Heritage Museum – It offers interactive exhibits covering the Coeur d’Alene tribe, pioneers, and the Space Age. It also houses thousands of archived photos and information about the Spokane Region.
  • Spokane Symphony – It is the largest performing arts organization in the Inland Northwest and typically presents over sixty concerts annually, featuring a seventy-piece orchestra. Comedians, rock stars, and actors also perform here.
  • Live Entertainment – For big-name concerts and events, Spokane is the place! Spokane Arena hosts various events, concerts, NCAA Basketball Tournaments, and sometimes the Figure Skating Championships – The Knitting Factory also hosts incredible concerts.
  • Outdoor Venues – The outdoor concert is the best when you are in Spokane, especially during summer. The Northern Quest Resort and Casino regularly hosts recognized acts in their Outdoor Summer Concerts.

    The Pavilion in Riverfront Park is newly renovated for outdoor concerts and events. In Spokane Valley, the CenterPlace Regional Event Center offers another spectacular outdoor venue space for live entertainment.

10. Shopping Districts: Enjoy Retail Therapy In Vibrant Districts

Wherever you go, shopping districts are treasure troves for anyone looking to enjoy a bit of retail therapy. The good thing is that Spokane offers a vibrant shopping scene where you can find vintage and antique shops, local boutiques, grocery stores, and major department stores. These are the places where locals usually spend their time shopping.

This downtown area features many stores, national chains, and independent and locally-owned businesses. This place is also perfect for those looking for the latest trends!

Shops you will find here includes:

  • Atticus Coffee & Gifts
  • Auntie’s Bookstore
  • Boo Radley’s
  • Carhartt Bennett Block
  • Cues
  • Davenport Home
  • Garland Resale Boutique
  • Lululemon
  • The Kitchen Engine
  • Uncle’s Games
  • Puzzles & More
  • Echo Boutique
  • The North Face

It is a shopping mall and entertainment complex with local and national shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Some of the shops that you will find at River Park Square are the following:

  • Anthropologie
  • Apple
  • Athleta
  • Bath and Body Works
  • Free People
  • LUSH
  • Nike
  • Pottery Barn
  • Banana Republic
  • Williams Sonoma
  • Pendleton
  • From Here
  • Francesca’s
  • Urban Outfitters

If you want to shop for antique or vintage items, this place is for you. Some shops selling antique and vintage items here are the following:

  • 1889 Salvage Co.
  • Almost Antiques
  • Chic & Shab
  • Marilyn’s on Monroe
  • Paint in My Hair
  • Tossed & Found

Another place to find antique and vintage treasures! Some shops you might want to visit are:

  • Blue Cat Vintage
  • Rusty Mug
  • Sprague Avenue Vintage
  • Two Women Vintage Goods

Farmers Markets

Over 2500 markets in Spokane sell fresh fruits, vegetables, organic greens, and other local produce.

Here are the markets you may want to visit, depending on where you are in Spokane:

  • Emerson-Garfield Farmers Market
  • Kendall Yards Night Market
  • Spokane Farmers Market
  • Liberty Lake Farmers Market
  • Perry Street Farmers Market
  • Millwood Farmers Market
  • Wonder Saturday Market
Top 10 Things to Do in Spokane, Washington

Wrap Up

The city has something to offer you wherever you are in Spokane and whatever activity you want. There are indeed many things to do in Spokane, WA, waiting for you, your friends, family, and loved ones!

If you are interested in learning more about this bustling city or would like to know your housing options, please book an appointment with me anytime. You can reach us by calling (509) 230-5363 or emailing us at

I also invite you to follow my social media channel to be updated with Spokane’s latest news and events.

The best Time to Visit Spokane, WA

Photo by Oleksandr P

Frequently Asked Questions

The best time to go to Spokane is from March to April when it’s not too crowded. The weather is excellent, too, during these months, making it perfect to fully enjoy what Spokane has to offer.

Take advantage of the numerous attractions, museums, and parks with free admission! Some museums also offer discounts or free admission on certain days.

Since dining in is part of visiting the city, look for budget-friendly restaurants. Doing some research before visiting the city will be very helpful so you can distribute your budget and avoid financial problems.

You can visit the Spokane Transit website, which provides nearly all the information you need as you take transportation in Spokane, such as bus routes, schedules, fare information, and ways to ride.

Yes! Some free attractions in Spokane are Riverfront Park, Manito Park, Spokane Falls, and Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

There are also free art galleries throughout the city, perfect for art lovers. Several lakes and rivers in the city also offer outdoor recreational activities that you can enjoy without a fee.

Yes! Visiting parks, theme parks, and shopping malls are some outdoor activities families can do in Spokane.

The Riverfront Park, for instance, is filled with attractions and activities that can be experienced and enjoyed by all family members, from Skyride Pavilion, events, rides, and playgrounds for children, skating, courts, and more. Some parks in the city also provide camping sites.