Top Recommended Layover Activities:
1. IMAX Theater at Riverfront Park
507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201 · 509-625-6601
Located at Riverfront Park, the IMAX Theatre is one of the remnants of Expo '74. The theater boasts a five-story screen.
2, Centennial Trail
Spokane, WA · 509-624-7188
Centennial Trail begins at the Idaho state line and runs alongside the Spokane River to Nine Mile Falls. It's paved the entire way, making it accessible to everyone, and quite popular with rollerbladers. The downtown Spokane portion of the trail stretches from the Opera House through Riverfront Park, to the Gonzaga University neighborhood. Access points are scattered the length of the trail, but for Spokane visitors the most logical is in Riverfront Park. A detailed pocket size map ($3) is available through the Friends of the Centennial Trail - contact them at 509-624-7188.
3. Walking Tour of Downtown
Spokane, WA 99201 · 509-624-1341
A tour is one of the best ways to get acclimated to any new city, and Spokane is a great example - large enough to have plenty of interesting architecture, but small enough (and level enough!) for most folks to find easily walk-able. Your first stop should be the Visitor Information Center at 201 W Main Street, where you can pick up a self-guided walking tour map. Then, a leisurely stroll through town will take you past all the historic buildings, including the Met Theater, City Hall, the carousel at Riverfront Park, and more.
4. Sculpture Walk
Spokane, WA 99201 · 509-747-3230
First, stop by the Visitor Center at 201 W Main to pick up a map. The Sculpture Walk itself stretches along the south side of the river from Division Street to Post.
5. Riverfront Park
507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201 · 509-625-6600
[Gondola Skyride closed until 2005 due to bridge construction.] Spokane's Riverfront Park, situated downtown on the banks of the Spokane River, is a 100-acre park that offers awesome views of waterfalls and several spacious green areas where you can enjoy a quiet lunch or a quick nap. Among the more noteworthy attractions here are the IMAX theatre, the Pavilion rides, the Big Red Wagon, a historic clock tower and the Gondola Skyride, which carries riders over some of the waterfalls. The best way to experience the park's attractions is to purchase a day pass, which includes unlimited rides, an IMAX feature, and mini golf.
Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:
1. Spokane Dixieland Jazz Festival
1108 W Riverside, Masonic Temple, Spokane, WA 99210 · 509-922-7800
Held the first weekend of June, the Spokane Dixieland Jazz Festival offers festival goers the chance to see (and hear) some really good jazz music. All the performances are held at the Masonic Temple.
2. Spokane Lilac Festival Week
Various Venues, Spokane, WA · 509-535-4554
Spokane's Lilac Festival is held every year for 10 days in early May. The highlights of the festival are the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade, Cruzin' The Falls Car Show, and the Fire Works Show at Riverfront Park. Other events include several luncheons and dinners, a theater performance, and a Golf Scramble.
3. Arbor Crest Winery
4705 N Fruithill Rd, Spokane, WA 99217 · 509-927-9894
Arbor Crest, located on the Royal Riblet Mansion Estate, actually dates back to the 1920s. Guests come out here to see this old stucco home, whose fame as the mysterious playground of the rich was quite widespread in the 1950s. In the old days, the only way to reach the home was by a tram that crossed the river, but today's owners, Arbor Crest, have made the mansion and their excellent tasting room more accessible to guests. It's worth taking half a day to come up to this cliff-side estate for a little wine tasting and a tour of the beautiful grounds.
4. Caterina Winery
905 N Washington St, Spokane, WA 99201 · 509-328-5069
The Caterina Winery is located in Spokane's historic Broadview Dairy Building, just off Washington Street and across from Cavanaugh's Inn. Caterina's Chardonnay is their most popular wine. The winery is open for tours daily in the summer, and they welcome those who need to wet their palates.
5. Latah Creek Wine Cellars
13030 E Indiana, Spokane, WA 99216 · 509-926-0164
Latah Creek is widely regarded as one of the leading Merlot producers in the Pacific Northwest. This classy vineyard located east of downtown Spokane just off Interstate 90, resembles a Spanish mission, and it is one of the most popular in the Spokane Valley.
6. Cherry, Peach, and Apple Festivals
9919 E Greenbluff Rd, Green Bluff Growers, Colbert, WA 99005 · 509-238-6970
If you want the chance to sample (and go home with) some of the best tree-ripe fruit in the country, then plan on attending these festivals held at Green Bluff Growers. Each festival is unique, but they all feature live music, crafts, and, of course, lots of fresh fruit goodies!
7. Dishman Hills Natural Area
E Sprague, Spokane, WA · 509-477-4730
The Dishman Hills Natural Area is actually an old granite quarry located only five miles east of downtown Spokane. The area is named in honor of A.T. Dishman, who extracted tons of granite from the site in order to help rebuild the town after the Great Fire of 1889. There is a two and a half-mile hike that circles the East Pond and is open from March to November, and the park is home to a cornucopia of plants and wildlife.
8. Finch Arboretum
3404 W Woodland Blvd, Sunset Blvd & Woodland Blvd, Spokane, WA 99224-2240 · 509-624-4832
Located just off Sunset Boulevard west of downtown, the Finch Arboretum is an amazing garden area that is home to a wide variety of trees, shrubs and other plant life. In the spring, Corey Glen explodes with the extraordinary colors of azaleas and rhododendrons - an awe-inspiring sight.
9. Liberty Lake County Park
3707 Zephyr Rd, Spokane, WA · 509-456-4730
This 2900-acre park, located northwest of downtown Spokane, offers a series of scenic trails that traverse beautiful woodland areas and flowered meadows. The park also offers trails for bikers, as well as designated swimming areas. Fishing and camping are permitted. Minimal admission charged from mid-June through Labor Day.
10. Riverside State Park
9711 W Charles Rd, Riverside State Park Headquarters, Spokane, WA 99026 · 509-465-5064
Situated off Route 291on the banks of the Spokane River, Riverside State Park offers 7,600 acres of beautiful wild areas. The park's hikers are treated to breathtaking views of fossilized forest beds, basalt rocks and several cliffs. The park is open to mountain bikers, equestrians and those wanting to do a little camping. In the winter, the park is a haven for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. The park is a little confusing to get to, so you may want to call ahead for exact directions.