Updated: Nov 17, 2020
As the second biggest city in Washington, Spokane has lots of fun things to do and see and can make for a great weekend trip for anyone who wants to get away. Spokane is home to beautiful historic buildings located downtown as well as great nature and outdoors to explore. Below is a list of my favorite things to do and see in Spokane, all for little or no cost!
1. Spokane Falls Gondolas
The Spokane Falls are already an amazing sight to see from any angle, but why not get up close and personal and view the falls from the skyride. Not only are the gondolas just a fun and unique experience, but the cost of tickets for an adult is under $8!
I highly recommend this smooth and peaceful ride, and this is coming from someone with a fear of heights!
"Named “One of the Top 12 Scenic Cable Rides in the World” in 2013 by Conde Nast Traveler, Daily Traveller, and MSN. The SkyRide Over the Falls offers spectacular views of the second longest urban falls in the United States. Enjoy a 15 minute ride in an “all weather” enclosed cabin. Each of the 15 cabins is ADA compliant and can hold 6 passengers."
2. The Steam Plant
Built in 1916, The Steam Plant is hands down one of the coolest restaurants that I have ever visited. After the steam plant stopped functioning as a source of power in 1986, it sat vacant for 10 years until many came together to renovate the historical building. The team came up with the idea to blend both a contemporary look while keeping all the historical charm. When visiting the restaurant, be sure to step inside one of the smoke stacks and take a look up into the towering brick chimney.
"The Central Steam Plant building has always been a prominent and readily identifiable Spokane landmark. Its most outstanding features - the characteristic smokestacks and high arched windows – have graced the Spokane skyline since 1916. These proud beacons will remain on the cityscape, preserved in all their historical grandeur. But it’s what’s inside, beneath the stacks, that really counts."
3. Bowl and Pitcher
Bowl and Pitcher is a great 2 mile, relatively flat, hike just a few minutes from downtown. The hike features great river views and a suspension bridge with a little bit of bounce. The trail is great for all ages and showcases the nature that Eastern Washington has to offer. I personally appreciate the difference in forest from the west side.
"This short hike boasts a lot of bang for your buck. At just 2.1 miles, the loop won't take too long, but you'll enjoy views of an impressive river, rocky outcroppings, and some expansive views."
4. The Historic Davenport Hotel
The first time that I stepped into the Historic Davenport I was absolutely blown away. I was meeting a friend there and had no idea what awaited inside. Stepping into this hotel is truly like stepping back in time. Head upstairs and follow the photos on the walls to see what amazing events the hotel has held over the years. Upstairs you will also find several ballrooms, full of beautifully painted walls and intricate pillars. 100% something you have to stop by and check out if you are in downtown Spokane.
"The Historic Davenport Hotel opened in 1914 as a destination in its own right. It was to be a place where guests could experience a singular combination of world-class service, palatial splendor, and inviting warmth. Constructed in 1914 under the auspices of Louis Davenport, The Historic Davenport Hotel has served as a beacon of culture and refinement throughout the region for the better part of a century."
5. Lake Coeur d'Alene
Technically not in Spokane, but only about a 45 minute drive away is the cute lake town of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I think that this is a great spot to visit if you have a couple extra hours in your day. Grab lunch downtown and head to the lake front park for a fun and relaxing day with friends or family.
"There is something magical about Lake Coeur d’Alene that’s hard to define, but begins with the spectacular North Idaho sunsets and moonrises, the plunge of an osprey after a fish, the glowing lights of downtown Coeur d’Alene reflecting across its waters at night. The perfect place to plan your next vacation and activities."