Spokane, Washington is a well-kept secret of the Pacific Northwest, but the secret is starting to slip. The Lilac City, as Spokane is also called, is fast becoming one of the Western United States’ most enjoyable cities to live or play in. Due to the excellent weather, a quickly reviving downtown, and the outdoor activities to engage in, there are many fun things to do in Spokane. Spokane attractions include excellent public parks and golf courses, in addition to the dining, shopping, and entertainment options that are flooding the area. There are plenty of things to do in Spokane, so if you’re looking for Spokane, WA attractions to be a part of your Washington vacation, here is a guide to the best.
Parks & Camping
Spokane, in 1974, was the smallest city ever to host a World’s Fair, and Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane stands today due to Expo ’74. Complete with a gorgeous river, thundering falls, acres of grass and trails, an old-time carousel, IMAX theater, ice skating rink (in winter), and much more, Riverfront Park offers an experience that is one of the most fun things to do in Spokane. Enjoying the outdoors is the best of Spokane attractions, because the weather here has four distinct and beautiful seasons, avoiding the rains of Seattle and Tacoma and the desert-like conditions of much of Eastern Washington. Other notable Spokane parks are Manito Park in the South Hill neighborhood (designed by the Olmsted Firm of Central Park fame), Audubon Park in North Spokane—a nice little family park with towering pines, and Comstock Park, also on the South Hill. On a nice day, these parks are the quintessential Spokane, WA attractions for you to enjoy.
As for camping, Riverside State Park is a great camping spot in West Spokane, located on the Spokane River. Area lakes offer campgrounds, in addition to excellent camping available at Mt. Spokane State Park.
In addition to enjoying the parks in full bloom, Spokane’s famed private and public golf courses are excellent Spokane attractions. Check out Indian Canyon, just minutes from downtown, or Downriver Golf Course. These are two public courses that Spokane prides itself in maintaining, offering affordable, excellent golf to the general public.
Spokane is home to some very famous (and active) events, so plan your Washington vacation at the right time in order to join in. Bloomsday, the world’s largest timed road race, is a seven mile tour of Spokane on the first Sunday in May. Get your running shoes on, because being a part of this race is one of the most fun things to do in Spokane. The last weekend in June brings Hoopfest, the largest three-on-three basketball tournament in the world, and among the most competitive things to do in Spokane. Sign up your four person team online in April, and join in the fun!
Enjoy the Water
It gets fairly hot in the summer, so a visit to one of the many rivers or lakes is the coolest of things to do in Spokane. Enjoy Lake Coeur d’ Alene, just a half hour from downtown Spokane across the Idaho border. There is a great public beach here, and the Coeur d’ Alene Resort is a top notch lodging in the area.
Reap the Harvest
Visit the Greenbluff area, a farming community near Mt. Spokane, to pick apples, choose your pumpkin, and enjoy harvest festivals. Though not the largest orchard at Greenbluff, Smith’s Hilltop Orchard is a nice family orchard experience for cherries and peaches in the summer, apples in the fall, and much more. But picking fruit is just half the fun: if owner Darrell Smith is around, you’re sure to enjoy a friendly conversation as well.
Cheer on the Teams
In a city known as a “big small town”, high school sports are enjoyable hometown Spokane attractions. Spokane always boasts some of the nation’s top cross country teams, so if you like to watch top-conditioned athletes, cheer on the kids at Manito Park, Audubon Park, or Finch Arboretum.
In the winter months, skiing takes over as the region’s recreation option, both downhill and cross-country. Visit Mt. Spokane or 49 Degrees North, or drive a little further from Spokane into North Idaho to enjoy Silver Mountain or Schweitzer, the premier ski resort in the area. Due to colder temperatures, many prefer the powder in Eastern Washington to the taller, wetter slopes in the Cascade Mountains.
Eastern Washington Performing Arts
The entertainment scene is coming alive with more and more Spokane attractions available all the time. Major headlining acts play the Spokane Arena, plays and music stop at the Spokane Opera House, and smaller bands perform in bars, coffee shops, and other venues downtown. Auntie’s Bookstore always has literature readings and other excellent events that make fun things to do in Spokane.
If you’re looking for “Spokane, WA attractions” there are plenty to enjoy for every budget and at all times of the year.