Columbia River Gorge
Things to Do
Spokane may just be an airport to visit on your way to or from your Columbia River cruise – but you might change your mind when you find out just what Spokane has to offer! There are wineries to visit, outdoor sports to play, and shopping to do. Here’s five things that could make you add an extra day to your vacation:
If you have an afternoon or an entire day to spend in Spokane, this is the place to visit. Major attractions in the Park include an IMAX theatre, a carrousel and amusement rides. There are also several options for eating. But the free options around the Park are just as special, and open all year round. At the heart of Riverfront Park is Spokane River Falls. Hit the Centennial Trail for a walk, or rent a bike for a ride through ponderosa pines. You can also explore the Sculpture Walk, the giant Radio Flyer Red Wagon (12’ high by 12’ wide – and you can ride down the slide handle), the 1902 Clocktower, and so much more!
Nectar Tasting Room
Washington is growing in popularity as a source for US wines. Spokane is home to many wineries, and at the Nectar Tasting Room, you can choose from over forty wines from five Washington wineries. The Room is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Manito Park & Botanical Gardens – Photo Op!!
Manito Park is a series of gardens with something for everyone. The Duncan Garden is a three acre Renaissance garden, with its manicured lawn and colorful flower beds popular for photographers. The Gaiser Conservatory is open year-round and free to the public. Explore the tropical and sub-tropical plants from around the world. The Lilac Garden is a contribution of the Spokane Lilac Society and is home to the Syringa Spokane lilac. The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden is a symbol of Spokane’s sister-city relationship with Nishinomiya, Japan. Rose Hill has over 150 rose varieties, and is great for photos! There are other gardens as well – so much beauty to see in Spokane!
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
With five acres to explore, the galleries and exhibits of ‘MAC’ could keep you busy for a day or more. The Campbell House provides a glimpse into 1900-living. There are three daily tours of the Campbell House, or open house format on Saturday afternoons. The Eastern Washington State Historical Society has over 68,000 objects divided into three collections at ‘MAC’: Regional History, and American Indian and other cultures, and Fine Art. Open Wednesday thru Sunday.
South Perry District Recommended by a local!
On the east side of South Hill, this historic district is becoming an eclectic destination for shopping. Specialty retail shops continue to pop up, along with new restaurants and bars. This is not a strip mall, and Spokane is very proud of that. This is where small, local businesses are moving to create a neighborhood.
Places to Eat
Spokane has more restaurants per capita than any other US city, so there are too many options to list! Here are few ideas to help you get started:
Steam Plant Grill $$ Recommended by a local!
This renovated historic landmark will provide tasty food in the heart of Spokane. This former plant provided heat to most of the major buildings in downtown Spokane until the mid-1980’s. It has now been renovated to house offices, retail spaces, a brewing company and restaurant! Look for the historic 225’ smokestacks to guide you to your delicious dinner.
Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle $ Recommended by a local!
In 1935, the Benewah Dairy Company built two milk-bottle-shaped buildings. One is now home to Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle Restaurant. This old-fashioned soda shop focuses on fresh: they make their own hamburger buns, cut their own potatoes for fries, and serve milkshakes made with local ice cream.
Azar’s Greek Restaurant $$ Recommended by a local!
For Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine, Azar’s comes highly recommended. The owner uses authentic family recipes taught to her by her mother, but uses the healthiest ingredients available, including sea salt, olive oil and corn oil for all cooking and trans-fat-free oil for deep frying. Belly Dancers every Friday night. Vegetarian dinners available. Open for lunch and dinner Monday thru Saturday.
Milford’s Fish House $$$
Enjoy fresh seafood in this high-end restaurant, surrounded by the unique history of the building. The location was previously a tavern (except during Prohibition, when it was a cigar store). The mahogany cooler was installed in the 1930’s, and the back bar is one of the cigar cases used during Prohibition. The stamped tin ceilings and flooring are original to the building, and the owners have filled the Fish House with historic pieces from other downtown Spokane restaurants and taverns that are no longer standing. Open for dinner Tuesdays thru Sundays.
Rockwood Bakery $
Sometimes, you just need a place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee! Located in an early 20th century market building close to Manito Park, you’ll be dazzled by their display of pastries and sweet treats, as well as more savory options for breakfast or lunch.