Spokane Like a Local

Take a Summer Vacation to Spokane, Washington

Here’s an idea for an epic summer vacation: Spokane! This urban river city in Washington State shines with summer sun, a fabulous 4th of July, outdoor patios everywhere—and of course—the great outdoors.

Riverfront and Center

It’s easy to see why Spokane’s 100-acre Riverfront Park is considered one of the most beautiful in the country and is beloved by locals. This urban greenspace is home to myriad wildlife, waterfalls, and outdoor artworks, as well as the beautiful Expo’74 U.S. Pavilion, which hosts outdoor concerts and weekend light shows. Kids love the giant Childhood Express Red Wagon slide and (no-fee) skate park, where roller-skating and skateboarding are now in session!

Riverfront Park is also where you board the Numerica Skyride, a gondola adventure taking you above the Spokane River, up close to Spokane Falls—the largest urban waterfall in the country—and under the historic Monroe Street Bridge.

Bonus: Get your fill of florals at Spokane’s 90-acre Manito Park. Five gardens and a greenhouse conservatory are yours to explore on walking and biking paths. There’s a playground too. Manito Park photo by Troy Walsh.

Outstanding in the Outdoors

Outdoor adventures are everywhere right in Spokane, and within an hour’s drive. Enjoy long summer days instead of long drives! See Spokane’s best hiking and biking trails, including at Mount Spokane State Park, where adventure awaits.

Bikers will love the Saltese Uplands Conservation Area near Liberty Lake, where a 4-mile loop brings lake views and summer wildflowers (it’s also dog-friendly!).

Spokane is the land of lakes, with 76 to choose from! No matter which direction you go, you’ll find a nearby freshwater oasis for swimming, paddling, rafting, or just catching a sunset. On land you can bike, hike, and picnic all around watersides. Keep an eye out for bald eagles and even moose. See this list of Spokane’s numerous lakes, including Liberty Lake, surrounded by golf courses and wineries. Above photos by Libby Kramrowski.

Paddlers can go for the tranquility of lakes or certain sections of the Spokane River that are all about relaxing while floating by beautiful scenery. Plan to pull over for a bit and enjoy an original craft beer at No-Li Brewhouse’s riverside patio.

Spokane’s Great Artdoors

Spokane’s Riverfront Park and Centennial Trail have some fabulous sculpture works. Discover them on a do-it-yourself walk from Washington State University’s campus to the beautiful and historic Monroe Street Bridge by the Spokane Falls overlook. Download a brochure for the sculpture walk.

TIP: Take the kids to Mobius Discovery Center across from Riverfront Park in Spokane. The center has an expansive series of fun and educational exhibits like Secrets of Bees, where you can all dress as beekeepers and learn how to gather honey for selling at the local farmers markets. Biking photo by Libby Kamrowski, Mobius Discover Center photo by Aaron Theisen.

Dining in Spokane

The Pacific Northwest’s dining scene is known for its fresh cuisine, and things get even fresher in Spokane—with outdoor patios for taking in the sunsets and the warm summer nights.

Native American comfort food is a storytelling and flavorful experience at Indigenous Eats, where the cuisine represents the culture, traditions, and history of Native American meals. Plates are inspired by both traditional and contemporary culinary creations. From the Chicken Dance Sandwich to the Gatherer (vegetarian) NdN tacos, make sure you save room for frybread and huckleberry dessert.

The nonprofit Feast World Kitchen is all about advancing global cuisine and supporting immigrant chefs who bring their talents to the Spokane community. Embracing inclusivity, the kitchen knows that food is a valuable way to bring people together and overcome barriers. Refugees and immigrants in Spokane share international dishes that illuminate their cultures.

Sometimes you just want a waffle, but you don’t have to settle for just any waffle. Go for gold at People’s Waffle in downtown Spokane. These are no ordinary waffles … they come with all kinds of creative and delicious pairings and toppings, like the Jalapeno Popper Wafflewich or Peaches n’ Cream (with bourbon peach jam). Of course, there’s Avocado Waffle Toast. Gluten free and dairy free options available.

Featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Ruins restaurant is low-key, friendly, and quirky, thanks to its unfussy attitude and sense of humor, as well as its rotating menu with seemingly endless creative plates (the BIG WENDY burger) and drinks. One of their recent Facebook posts named a few no-alcohol cocktails spins like Roots Divino bittersweet aperitif, Seedlip Garden Botanical and Water … uh, we’ll drink to that!

Sip Local

With two bronze medals in the 2024 Golden Bean World Series, you know Indaba Coffee is here to compete, and complete your coffee dreams. People make pilgrimages from all over (including coming in from Canada!) to get their coffee fix from Indaba, founded by Bobby Enslow, who grew up in Spokane.

What happens when you get two pairs of brothers with community-development backgrounds who live in Spokane and have long dreamed of brewing beer? Welcome to Brick West Brewing Co., located in the historic Watts Automotive Building and filled with everything from All-American lagers to German style pilsners, dark ales, and juicy IPAs.

There are two rules at Spokane’s Flatstick Pub: Drink local and have fun. We’ll add one more: Play a little mini golf! This casual pub with craft beer also has a rather challenging miniature golf course, and other golf-themed games. Golf, beer, fun, and food… Pub yeah!

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