Pride Journey Outdoors: Spokane, Washington
Spokane always seems to get outshined by its bigger sister to the west, Seattle, but there are plenty of cool things to do both in around the city.
Riverfront Park is where you’ll find the Spokane Falls and the Spokane River. Combined, they are the heart of Spokane, pumping life and beauty into the city. They are a must-see when visiting the Lilac City. View the Falls from Numerica SkyRide. The lilac gondolas, relics of the 1974 World’s Fair, take riders over the lower Falls. Roller skate at the Numerica Skate Ribbon and ride the Looff Carrousel. In the center of it all is the stunning US Pavilion. Every night, watch the cavalcade of rainbow color at the free light show. Bring a blanket, some snacks, and make a night of it. Don’t forget to feed the Garbage-Eating Goat.
It’s impossible not to notice the river running right through the middle of the city. You can raft it, paddleboard it, kayak or swim it. Expert guides from Wiley E. Waters and ROW Adventures can take you for water adventures that begin just below the Spokane Falls in downtown Spokane and take you along the river gorge to Riverside State Park. If you’re looking for calmer waters, grab a stand-up paddleboard from Fun Unlimited at the river access point under the Division Street Bridge and make your way through the waters of the upper Spokane River. It’s an urban water adventure and affordable, too!
A historic park, just a short drive from downtown Spokane, Manito Park, is a must-see attraction when you visit. With 78 acres of a natural and manicured landscape as well as 20 acres of botanical gardens, Manito Park is an outdoor dream. Five diverse garden areas make up the park: Duncan Garden, Rose Hill, Ferris Perennial Garden, Lilac Garden, and the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden. Young visitors can play on one of two playgrounds and a splash pad.
No trip to Spokane is complete without a stop at the state's two largest state parks: Mount Spokane State Park and Riverside State Park. The two cover a combined total of nearly 25,000 acres. Riverside State Park has camping, hiking and biking trails, horse trails complete with an obstacle course, and a 60-foot round pen, plus it is ORV friendly. For the water enthusiasts, the Little Spokane River provides an excellent spot for SUP, boating, fishing and swimming.
Every season is the perfect time to visit Mount Spokane State Park. With hiking, biking and horse trails, you’ll get a different view every time. If you love winter sports, the mountain is home to Mt Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park. Make sure to stop at the historic Vista House for a photo op.
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Photos Courtesy of Visit Spokane