23 MUST-DO’S, MUST-SEES, AND MUST-EATS IN SPOKANE

23 MUST-DO’S, MUST-SEES, AND MUST-EATS IN SPOKANE

Spokane Falls & Spokane River

Watch in awe as the river rushes through downtown

The Spokane Falls are the waterfall and dam on the Spokane River, located in the central business district in downtown Spokane. During spring, the rapids are raging with snow run-off and you’ll be amazed as you see the heavy falls descending along the river. In my opinion, the best view of the falls is right around the Monroe Street Bridge.

Here, you can view the falls up close and personal (on the East side of the bridge, or at a distance with more scenery on the West side of the bridge). This is a prime spot to sit back and relax as you marvel at the falls, the Monroe Street bridge, or use the scenery as a backdrop for a photo.

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Riverfront Park

All aboard the childhood express “Red Wagon”

All of the most iconic Spokane landmarks are located around Riverfront Park starting with the clock tower, then the giant wagon, the life-size building blocks, the world fair tent, and you can’t forget the garbage-eating goat. All of these Spokane staples are conveniently located right along the river for an extra scenic picnic, hours of entertainment for the kids, or a nice lunch-time walk. A new addition to Riverfront Park is the ice ribbon that loops around the park, creating an even more perfect experience around Downtown Spokane.

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Davenport Grand Hotel & Table 13

 Sophisticated hotel and eatery serving small plates & cocktails

Tucked below the west side of the The Davenport Grand Hotel is Spokane’s “small-plate, big-flavor” restaurant and whiskey bar. Table 13 puts the “grand” in the Grand Hotel. While the tapas dishes aren’t grand in size, they are grand in flavor and presentation.

In true Davenport style, Table 13 is classic and sophisticated, perfect for a fun night out. You can cozy up in a tall, leather booth or choose one of the long communal tables and mingle with your neighbors. It has a fresh urban/contemporary design and it is meant to be enjoyed as a nice night out, so treat yourself!

Not only does Table 13 serve great tapas, it is also home to Spokane’s own “Speakeasy” Whiskey Bar. The bar is dimly lit and pairs well with the upscale, high-end design that the Davenport portrays. In addition to their diverse whiskey selection, they also have an impressive wine list.

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The Historic Davenport Hotel

Experience Spokane like presidents, actors, and performers did 100 years ago!

The Davenport first opened their doors back in 1914 and it is amazing how much of the original design they have maintained. Look at a picture of the Davenport in 1914 and you’ll notice many items remain just as they were.

Enjoy the historic ambiance and a nice meal at one of their many restaurants: The Peacock Lounge, Palm Court Grill, and the Safari Room Fresh Grill & Bar. Fun fact? Rumor has it that the Crab Louis salad was created here! Another interesting tidbit is that the fireplace never goes out. When the Davenport was first built they had a full-time employee working round-the-clock to stoke the fire. Still, to this day, the fire burns at all hours of day and night and during all seasons!

Take an afternoon to escape the city and relax at The Davenport Historic Hotel with a nice meal, shop at their boutique with exclusive Davenport gifts and try some of their famous peanut brittle. Look around in awe in their floral shop or book a luxurious spa service and cozy up in one of their robes. If you spend $25, you get complimentary valet parking.

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Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Rotating exhibits for all ages

Nestled in Spokane Browne’s Addition, is the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture. This all-ages museum features rotating exhibits like “Ice Age” and the “Titanic”. The museum is open from Tuesday-Sunday and children 5 and under get in free! Adult tickets are $18, Seniors $14, College Students $13, and Children $10. In addition to the rotating exhibit, you can also visit the Campbell House, the Museum Store, and the Cafe. At the Campbell House, they have five exhibit galleries and you can expect the visit to last around an hour.

If you are more interested in a Children’s Museum, visit Mobius Kids at River Park Square!

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Santé Restaurant & Charcuterie

Specially curated French-inspired dining and charcuterie

Sante is a pleasant escape from Spokane. There is nothing quite like it in the city. Located on main street next to Auntie’s Bookstore, Sante is a Parisian restaurant in a classy space with a menu that will refine your palate and make you savor each bite.

The French have meal time figured out. To them, food is about so much more than consuming calories to give you energy. In Paris, food is an art. You eat for the experience and socialization, not just for the food. Each bite takes you on a journey as you bite and chew and swallow and give your food the respect it deserves. They pay attention to all the details at Sante. Even our waiter had a French accent! If you go for brunch, I’d recommend the shirred eggs, a grilled cheese with bacon and egg, or gnocchi. Otherwise, try one of their charcuterie plates and a glass of wine. It’s the perfect girls night out!

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Inland Pacific Kitchen

Food so breath-taking you’ll want to Instagram it

Chef Jeremy Hansen has been raising the culinary scene in Spokane for years and he really took it to the next level when he created Inland Pacific Kitchen in the Washington Cracker Building.

At Inland Pacific Kitchen, the dishes are served as “small plates” and they are meant to be shared. Each one is about 8-10 bites. One of the lovely benefits to Inland Pacific Kitchen is the comfortable seating. Chef Jeremy is passionate about sharing time with loved ones over food and creating memories around the dinner table so you are invited to stay as long as you want.

Special lamps line the bar so you can see each dish and truly appreciate the craftsmanship that went into its creation. While at the Washington Cracker Building, take a peek inside their new Whiskey Den, Hogwash. It has a very cozy, warm vibe with nice couches, excellent drinks, and burgers.

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Clinkerdagger Restaurant

Four words: Rock Salted Prime Rib

Clinkerdagger is one of the nicest places you can eat in Spokane. It is romantic, fine-dining, with a view. The ultimate trio. Clinkerdagger is dark and intimate on the inside, making it perfect for your special occasion, romantic dinner. You can also enjoy a more casual lunch dining experience outside on the river’s edge.  I would argue they have the best view of any restaurant in Spokane.

The Prime Rib is gigantic and fit for a king served with buttery mashed potatoes, atomic horseradish and veggies. The halibut was fresh and flaky served atop fresh risotto.

Let’s talk dessert. The dessert was the MVP of this meal. They served us Burnt cream and they brag that this is the best crème brulee in Spokane, I agree.  My favorite dessert is their warm pear bread pudding. They soak the bread in the same sauce they use for their burnt cream.

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The Bartlett

All-ages outlet hosting live music acts & open mic nights

Located in downtown Spokane, The Bartlett is an indie music venue that just so happens to also serve awesome drinks. The space is mostly standing room only so put on your dancing shoes and enjoy live music with classic cocktails. The owners are passionate about music, the arts, and hospitality and their passion shows through in all that they do.

The space is lively, the people are friendly, and the vibes are top-notch. Come for a show or host your own private event using their large stage and state of the art lighting and sound system. Performers range from Indie, Rock, Pop, Electronic, Folk, Alt Country, etc. They also host a weekly open mic night to foster young talent and connect musicians in the area. Tickets sell for around $10-20 for most shows.

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Spokane Shopping

Shop ‘till you drop… then grab a cocktail or kick your feet up at the movie theater

(River Park Square, Spokane Valley Mall, NorthTown Mall)

Downtown Spokane has their shopping game figured out. River Park Square is home to stores like Nordstrom, Gap, Athleta, William Sonoma, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn, Sephora and many more! Across the street you’ll find more amazing stores like Lululemon, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and even Free People.

In addition to the wonderful shopping, you can also find some wonderful places to dine or grab drinks. Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar is located on the third floor with a fantastic view of the city and the mall. Stop in for a cocktail by the fire or settle down for some gorgonzola fries, a light salad, or a loaded pizza. If you are more in the mood for Mexican, try some chips and guacamole or classic street tacos at Tortilla Union. They are only $2 on Thursday!

Spokane has two other malls, one on the north side and another in the valley. Each mall has a movie theater to catch a show when your arms get tired from holding all your shopping bags!

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INW Ale Trail

We challenge you to complete the journey

The Inland Northwest is home to more than forty-one breweries! Each brewery is unique and offers its own flair and character. Some of our favorites include Iron Goat Brewing, Bennidito’s Brewpub, No-Li Brewhouse, and Perry Street Brewing.

The vision for Perry Street Brewery was to create a neighborhood gathering place where you can bring the whole family. They are known for their experimental hoppy beers. If you are hesitant to come in and try a new beer, they welcome you with open arms. The staff at Perry Street Brewing has a great way of making their patrons feel comfortable and relaxed. They also have a fantastic outdoor (dog-friendly) patio and three flat screens with a huge projector and screen for special events.

Pick up your map to the INW Ale Trail at your hotel or find it online. If you get a stamp from at least 12 breweries then you have officially finished the trail. You can give yourself a nice pat on the back then collect your reward: a 32-oz mini growler!

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Cork District

Over 20 wineries within walking distance (Barrister Winery)

Fifteen award-winning wineries within walking distance? Now you know why we use the hashtag #LoveSpokane. Barrister Winery is known for their full-bodied reds. It started as a hobby that the owners say “got out of control, and we’re loving every second of it.” The winery is open daily for tastings from noon – 5:00.  You’ll come for the wine and stay for the ambiance.

Some other popular wineries in the “Cork District” include Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, Maryhill Winery, Overbluff Cellars, and Townshend Cellars.

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Entertainment District

For the thespian in all of us (Fox Theater, Bing Crosby, INB)

The Bing Crosby Theater was originally built in 1914 as an 800 silent film movie house, and has been transformed into a performing arts theater hosting many well-known names throughout the year. Snap a picture in front of their infamous marquee then step inside for a show!

The elegant INB Performing Arts Center is adaptable for symphony concerts, ballet, grand opera, road shows, musical stage products, etc. Recently they were home to shows like R.E.N.T, The Sound of Music, Motown the Musical, and more!

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Gonzaga University

Experience life as a “Zag”

Gonzaga University is nestled in the heart of Spokane and serves as an academic, social and cultural center for the area. Founded in 1887, the 105-acre campus is complete with classic brick buildings, state-of-the art facilities and jaw-dropping scenery. The campus is an ideal venue for a walk, picnic, or to just enjoy the landscape.

If you do visit Gonzaga’s campus, make sure to tour the John J. Hemmingson Center. Built in 2015, this student center is the social hub on campus, and is home to various eateries, lounge areas and meeting spaces. Next door at the McCarthey Athletic Center, you can watch the renowned Men’s Basketball team play (if you’re lucky enough to get seats!)

The Jundt Art Museum has a breathtaking collection of almost 5,000 objects from artists such as Rembrandt, Goya, Picasso and Warhol. Keep your eye out for the unique, short-term exhibits that the museum displays. Gonzaga also hosts numerous guest lectures and film exhibitions that all are welcome to attend.

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Perry District 

Eclectically inviting food, beer, and yoga

The Perry District is full of fabulous dining, a juice bar, yoga studio, brewery, and holistic medical care. It’s a slow-paced neighborhood on Spokane’s South Hill perfect for a relaxing, sunny day spent on the patio.

The dining possibilities are endless. You can get soul food like shrimp and grits at Casper Fry, an organic smoothie at The Wellness Tree, a specialty pizza at South Perry Pizza, or biscuits and gravy with a mimosa at The Lantern Taphouse! If you are in the mood for a beer, head to Perry Street Brewing. They won the Greatest Session Beer in America in 2016 at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Awards for their Session IPL. Better yet, you can enjoy it on their dog friendly patio with a freshly baked pretzel. During the Summer, you can visit the Perry Street Farmers Market on every Thursday evening and grab some fresh produce and handmade goods.

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Spokane Coffee Culture

Come for the coffee, stay for the culture

Vessel Roasters, Rockwood Bakery, Atticus, Indaba, Boots Bakery

Vessel Coffee Roasters gives you great coffee inside a beautiful, open space. You can sit by one of their big windows and watch cars pass by on Monroe. It’s some great people watching. They are very bike friendly, the menu is simple, and the space is fairly small.

If you are on the south hill, Rockwood Bakery is your best option for a delicious cup of joe and a quiet afternoon with just you and a good book. I’d be holding out if I didn’t mention their almond croissant, pumpkin pie, or giant chocolate chip cookie. You’ve been warned.

Indaba Coffee Roasters has a couple of locations around downtown and they are the quintessential Spokane coffee roasters who work hard to support the community and build others up.

The last coffee shop to mention is Boots Bakery and Lounge. They are best known for their bright blue exterior, gluten-free menu, and pumpkin waffles. Stay for a while and get some work done on your computer, chat with other locals, or grab and go.

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Thrift Shopping

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure (Boulevard Mercantile)

Spokane is home to some world-class, thrift shopping gems! If you haven’t heard of our Farm Chicks Fair, I’d highly recommend you make the trip in June. While there are plenty of thrift stores around, my favorite is Boulevard Mercantile. The inventory is constantly changing and I always seem to find something I HAVE to have. They have so much to offer from vintage clothing to old collectables, high quality antiques, and one-of-a-kind furniture pieces. Every time you step in the store it’s like a treasure hunt as you search for your next must-have.

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Manito Park

Perfectly manicured gardens fit for a queen

Manito Park is a public park located on the South Hill with five unique gardens, a greenhouse conservatory and a duck pond. The space spans about 90 acres and includes a plethora of flowers, beautiful kept grounds, exercise paths, picnic areas, and more. Manito Park definitely makes for some of the most stunning pictures for friends, floral and fauna. Visit year round to see how the flowers and landscapes change, but it is best enjoyed in the spring and summer when the roses are in full bloom!

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Riverside State Park

Cross the bridge and let nature guide you. See if you can find the “Bowl & Pitcher”.

Bowl and Pitcher at Riverside State Park is my favorite hike in Spokane because you can make it as easy or as difficult as you want. There are a variety of paths and different trails you can follow to lead you around the park. Make sure you have a Discover Pass or pay the day entrance fee before parking. This is a very picturesque area and they even have campgrounds and designated cycling trails. If you are lucky, you will see some white water rafters braving the cold and raging river. Bonus points if you can spot the bowl and the pitcher!

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Get moving on the Centennial Trail

37 Mile Trail leading all the way to Idaho

The Centennial trail stretches from the Sontag Park in Nine Mile Falls all the way to the Washington/Idaho state line! The trail is designed for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. It is very well maintained and runs along the Spokane River. I prefer to hop on around Riverfront Park and head east where it winds around by Gonzaga University. There are park benches to stop and enjoy the view along the path, and if you’re lucky you’ll spot some of the marmots living along the trail. If you’re on the trail in the Summer time or during the lunch hour, you’ll be joined by many students and professionals enjoying a nice walk away from their desks.

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Greenbluff Farms

Discover the best fruit money can buy, picked with your own hands!

Greenbluff is full of free activities year round! Throughout the year you pick your own cherries, berries, apples, peaches, rhubarb, squash, pumpkins, and can even chop down your own Christmas Tree! Each farm is independently owned, so check with each for their individual hours and supply. Festivals take place on designated weekends. October at Greenbluff is my favorite time of year because you can pick your pumpkin, buy the most amazing pumpkin donuts, and join in the other Fall festivities like the corn maze.

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Kendall Yards Neighborhood

Coffee Shops, Ice Cream, Wineries, Patio Dining, and Social Living.

Kendall Yards is home to some of the best restaurants in Spokane, the beautiful Maryhill Winery, scenic views, great shopping, and newly designed urban homes. You will want to walk this whole neighborhood and see all that they have to offer. You can grab a quick slice of pizza and take in the Spokane River Gorge or stop in for the most delicious eggs benedict you’ve ever eaten at Yards Bruncheon. If you’re looking to support local, visit the new neighborhood grocery store “My Fresh Basket” stocked full with high-quality, fresh produce procured locally whenever possible.

Speaking of fresh produce and supporting local, Wednesday nights at Kendall Yards are booming during the Summer Months as they host the ‘Night Market’ featuring varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, cheese, honey, eggs, meat, soap, pottery, and so much more. It’s a full sensory experience that brings the whole community together! The Kendall Yards Night Market runs on Summit Parkway every Wednesday from mid-May to late September from 5-9 pm.

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Cheer on the Local Sports Teams

Football, Baseball, Hockey, oh my!

Home of the Spokane Indians, Avista Stadium is a great place to spend an evening or afternoon during the summer months when the weather warms up then brings us those cool Summer nights. Enjoy a low-key baseball game with hot dogs, fun entertainment, and Cracker Jacks. A baseball game isn’t really a baseball game without Cracker Jacks and their secret surprise.

The Spokane Indians are a minor league baseball team whose season goes from June to very early September.  They play Northwest regional minor league teams and feed into the Texas Rangers.

If baseball isn’t your thing, we have hockey too! Visit the Spokane Arena and cheer on the Chiefs. Their season begins in September and lasts through March so you have plenty of time to catch an action packed game!

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Post created in collaboration with Bravo Your City & Visit Spokane

Photos by: Josselyn Peterson

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