The city of Spokane is a scenic destination located in the midst of many natural sights. Known for being the gateway to the American West, Spokane has come a long way since the days of being a rail hub, transforming into a vibrant city with a plethora of outdoor opportunities whist retaining that authentic feel of inland Northwest culture. Here are the top 10 things to do and see when in town.
Riverfront Park’s rich history makes it one of the most iconic landmarks inSpokane. The Native Americans gathered to go fishing here and it wasn’t until the pioneers settled in the late 1800s that the city of Spokane began to take shape. Today the park occupies more than 100 acres of land and water and is a popular draw for both tourists and locals. What’s more, there are multiple community events held throughout the year to keep residents and visitors busy when they’re not gazing at the water fountains, walking through the suspension bridges, or riding the gondola.
The Centennial Trail is a paved trail that is 37 miles long and extends from the border state line between Washington and Idaho all the way to the emblematic Nine Mile Falls in the upper part of the state. The name actually refers to the trail’s initial construction period that took place shortly after the Washington State Centennial anniversary. The trail has both rural and urban portions as it borders the Spokane River. The trail is also car-free and there are plenty of opportunities to go running, hiking, biking, canoeing and even horseback riding on its various courses.
Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox
The historic Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox first opened in 1931 but received a complete renovation in 2000. The building’s makeover restored the Woldson back to the brilliance of its former glory days and is one of the best examples of the art deco style in the Pacific Northwest. The theater seats 1,600 and is located within the Davenport Arts District downtown. It also boasts a wine bar where patrons can enjoy a fancy drink before or after a performance. This nationally recognized performance hall will make for an unforgettable night out on the town.
Encounter a historic farm and enjoy a day out in the country at Green Bluff. Located atop a hill in a farming area outside of Spokane, the scenery to be found here is quiet and serene. There’s something for every age too, whether it’s the live music during the summer months or the harvest season during the fall. Many opt to pick fresh fruit and enjoy the beauty of the panoramic views of surrounding Mount Spokane, which are always absolutely wonderful.
The Spokane Falls are located in the heart of the central business district of the city and consist of the Upper and Lower falls. The Upper section of the falls is home to the Upper Falls Dam, a diversion to direct water onto the south channel of the Spokane River. The falls have a path that goes right alongside, where it’s easy to feel the beauty and the immensity of one of nature’s most spectacular occurrences. Stop for a moment and enjoy the scenery the Spokane Falls creates against an urban backdrop.
Riblet Mansion and Arbor Crest Winery
The Riblet Mansion has a long and unique history. It was built by a genius inventor that patented the square wheel tractor amongst other curious items. Sitting 400 feet above the river, the Riblet Mansion offers stunning views of its grounds and the vast Spokane Valley. What’s more, the Arbor Crest Winery that exists on-site offers a varied selection of wines, as well as food sampling and beer for sale. There are also concerts held here throughout the summer and it is the ideal place for a picnic while sipping on some fine Washington wines.
St. John’s Cathedral
St. John’s Cathedral is historically significant to the city of Spokane and an example of Gothic architecture at its best. From the outside, the Cathedral is reminiscent of those to be found all around the European continent. Once indoors, there are detailed stained-glass windows an intricate labyrinth lying adjacent to the majestic altar. St John’s Cathedral also hosts activities throughout the year that are open to the public, such as the lovely Organ Recitals. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to explore this magnificent piece of history.
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture
The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture is one of only five Smithsonian affiliates in the state of Washington and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It was first founded in 1916 as a not-for-profit corporation and it transformed to the museum that it is today back in 2001. The institution has the objective of letting its visitors explore and understand the unique history, culture, community, and art that makes the inland Pacific Northwest such a unique and separate entity from the rest of the region. The museum also boasts oodles of photos and memorabilia related to Spokane, as well as a carriage house and a water colors gallery to boot.
Mica Moon Zip Tours
Mica Moon Zip Tours is the result of two years of hard work and collaborations between local biologists and geologists, who aimed to create the best zip lining tours in all of Spokane. The tours travel through beautiful dense forests where zip liners will be able to become one with nature and immerse themselves in an exhilarating adventure. The professional guides are top-notch and always insure strict safety procedures. Step into the unknown and experience a rare magical moment of pure freedom with this adrenaline pumping activity option.
Mizuna first opened in 1996 and has become recognized as one of the top restaurants by Northwest Best Places. Housed in a charming turn-of-the-century building, Mizuna is a foodie’s paradise, with its preference for using fresh and local ingredients as well as offering a wide range of vegetarian-friendly fare. Some of the stand-outs are the roasted beet salad, the seasonal soups and the lemongrass seafood curry. Its location next to the iconic Riverfront Park makes it easy to access while strolling around downtown, while the cozy vibes from the inside are uber-enticing in the colder months of the year.
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