When it comes to things to do in Spokane, you're spoiled for choice. The Lilac City has plenty of opportunities to stop and smell the flowers in its extensive parks and public gardens, but it's also a cultural hub of the Inland Northwest, featuring dozens of museums, galleries and historic sites.
Stay Alfred at M Apartments is right in the center of downtown Spokane, less than 10 minutes on foot from Spokane Falls, Riverfront Park and Mobius Science Center. Take advantage of your incredible location to check out all our fave Spokane attractions.
Photo above courtesy of VisitSpokane.com
This roaring waterfall and man-made dam at the center of the city is probably Spokane's most famous landmark. The falls are sacred to Native American tribes and were an annual gathering place for thousands of years. The best views are from the pedestrian suspension bridge, where you can get close enough to feel the mist on your face. If you have a head for heights there's also the Skyride, a 20-minute cable-car ride that takes you soaring high above the falls, with the chance to spot a rainbow if you're lucky.
Surrounding the falls and stretching along the scenic Spokane river, this park is part of the 40-mile Centennial Trail, and is an ideal place to get out hiking or biking. The park is full of activities like pedal karts, skating and a fun mash-up of trampoline and bungee jumping called Spider Jump, which makes it a great thing to do in Spokane with kids. For more sedate entertainment take a ride on Looff Carousel, a beautifully preserved 100-year-old carousel featuring hand-carved horses, tigers and dragons.
Experience life in Spokane in the early 1900s at Campbell House, designed by local architect Kirtland K. Cutter in the Tudor revival style. The house is preserved as it was when the Campbell's lived here, and features stunning interiors including a gilded French reception room and a deep veranda with views of the Spokane river. The connected museum in the Carriage House has a rich collection of artifacts and documents and features displays cover.
There are a wealth of museums in Spokane to explore, but this one just might be our favorite. It's full of fun hands-on activities like building electronic circuits, cleaning up a miniature 'oil spill' and building your own race car. There's also a planetarium with 360° views of our planet and the cosmos, and a bunch of fun problem-solving games to tackle in the Moneyville exhibit. There's also a gift shop with lots of fun and unique gifts. If the kids have a good time, you might also want to check out the Mobius Children's Museum up the road, which has more hands-on science and art exhibits.
River Park Square
When you're choosing where to go shopping in Spokane, you want a place that offers everything you could possibly need under one roof. River Park Square combines big-name brands like Sephora and Nordstrom with independent boutique stores that support local artists and craftspeople. There's an art gallery, an IMAX theater with recliner seating, and a constant line-up of seasonal events, as well as a range of restaurants that serve everything from pizza to sushi to tacos.
If you're looking for scenic places near Spokane, look no further than Manito Park. This 90-acre park was opened in 1904 and features a formal garden in the French Renaissance style, a native plant garden, and broad lawns perfect for picnics. In summer, visit the Rose Hill Garden and see more than 150 species of rose plants, while in fall the Nishinomiya Japanese Garden, designed by Nagao Sakure, is full of colorful maples and cherry trees reflected in its small pond.
If you've got a hankering to see some beautiful art, Gonzaga University has a rapidly growing collection of almost 5000 objects, housed in the Jundt Art Museum. Rembrandt, Goya and Delacroix are all represented, as well as more modern artists like Picasso and Warhol. The gallery also presents temporary exhibitions of renowned international artists, and the grounds have some interesting sculptures. Don't miss the Gonzaga Red Chandelier in the Chancellor's Room, an elaborate Chihuly glass chandelier that looks like a mass of red tentacles descending from the ceiling.
Visit the city's excellent wineries
When you think of Washington wines, Walla Walla probably springs to mine, but Spokane has a number of outstanding vintners, too, and one of our favorite Spokane activities is sampling all the top-quality tipples grown in local vineyards. The city has a number of excellent wineries, among them Barrister Winery, Helix, and Cougar Crest Estate Winery, all a short walk from Stay Alfred at M Apartments – along with some, like Winescape and Townshend, that are well worth a short drive (or rideshare). There are numerous tastings and wine-related events on offer, as well as a chance to tour the facilities where the magic happens. And there's nowhere better to buy a bottle than right from the source.
Take a stroll down Sprague Avenue
If you're looking for the hub of the city's nightlife, you'll find it on W Sprague Avenue. This street is home to Spokane Comedy Club, and numerous bars and taprooms, and it's the place to come for live music, comedy nights, open mics and other Spokane events. It's also home to Gamers Arcade Bar, a unique bar full of pinball machines and retro coin-operated arcade games, accompanied by themed cocktails. Your record Donkey Kong Score needs to be defended!