Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Spokane County, WA

  • Published 2023/06/11

In Eastern Washington, Spokane County was a terrific visit for me!

This county got its name from a northeastern Indian ancestor tribe of the same name.

It is famous for its rich diversity in terms of history and culture, deeply embedded in its landmarks and museums.

This is, in part, because the place is the oldest one of its kind; its origins date all the way back to 1858.

One of the county’s key attractions is its parks, including ones with golf courses, waterfalls, and riverfront views.

But what struck me most was its array of botanical gardens, like Manito Park.

Its county seat, Spokane, and all its other municipalities and suburbs all had something new and unique to offer to my table.

And you can enjoy your trip to this historical and cultural county too by reading the list below of the best things to do in Spokane County, Washington:

Sign Up for a Mansion Tour at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

Outside view of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

Nick Bramhall from Tillicoultry, Scotland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spokane‘s Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is a jewel amidst the city’s collection of museums and galleries.

This center started in 1916 and is notable for being the largest cultural facility within this part of the community in Washington.

It has about five underground galleries.

Its large range of historical artifacts comes with interesting pasts, whether from the Inland Northwest culture or the Plateau Indian heritage.

Entrance to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

Antony-22, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I also got to see regional art in its rawest form, which was a memorable experience for me.

My favorite part of this facility is its art spaces and gift shops, where all kinds of unique trinkets and memorabilia greeted me.

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture sits along West 1st Avenue.

Try Camping and Hiking at Mount Spokane State Park

Breathtaking view from the Mount Spokane State Park

Kirk Fisher /

Mount Spokane State Park in Mead comes with over 13,000 acres of forest beauty.

This park is an all-around public area because of its camping properties, multi-use trails, and skiing areas.

It boasts a label of being one of the largest parks in all of the state.

Based on the Selkirk Mountains, I had the chance to camp here, and I highly recommend you try camping here too.

I came during the early summer when the place blooms with a thousand wildflowers.

Mount Spokane State Park during winter

Kendall Rittenour /

But the park is just as breathtaking during winter or fall.

You just might have to see what this is all about for yourself.

Try out its skiing slopes and snowboard park for the ultimate winter experience.

I know I would do too if given the chance.

Situated along North Mount Spokane Park Drive, Mount Spokane State Park is a spot you don’t want to miss out on.

A house on top of the Mount Spokane State Park

Kirk Fisher /

Marvel at the Granite Outcroppings at Dishman Hills Natural Area

Dishman Hills Natural Area‘s charming feature is its serenity within 530 acres of dramatic nature spaces.

It stands out with its variety of ecological habitats and terrains, including rocky hills, pine and fir forests, and aspen groves.

Its designated trails were an enjoyable hike for me.

I also got glimpses of dramatic rock formations I didn’t get to see anywhere else in Washington, or within the whole country as a matter of fact.

I didn’t get to see any wildlife on my visit, but if you’re lucky you might just spot one when it’s your turn to visit.

The area also offers different perspectives of the city depending on where you stand.

Dishman Hills Natural Area is accessible via South Sargent Road in Spokane Valley.

Go for a Short Walk along the Gardens at Manito Park

Stunning view of the Manito Park

digidreamgrafix /

Manito Park is one of those parks that just stayed on my mind until after I got home from my travels.

Established in 1904, this park comes with five major garden spots, one being the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden.

At 90 acres, this park has everything I needed to see for a floral excursion.

The Rose Hill and Lilac Garden within the park are some of the best stops.

Rose garden at the Manito Park

JWCohen /

The classic gardens offer a Gothic elegance to them that I could never look away from.

Most of all, everything smelled lovely and everything was a feast to my eyes.

I’m still in awe at the variety of flowers onsite until now.

Manito Park’s entrance is on South Grand Boulevard in the city of Spokane.

Cherry Blossom at the Manito Park

Rachel Sackett /

Aim for a Strike in Bowling at Cheney Lanes

If you’re looking for a bit of indoor fun, I highly suggest coming by Cheney Lanes.

This Cheney bowling attraction, which opened in 2002, offers over 30 gaming options to visitors.

What I loved most about this bowling facility is its hyper bowling feature, which allowed me to take my game to the next level.

I played against moving targets in vibrant colors, unlike the usual bowling gameplay.

After a good round of trying to knock down the pins, I treated myself to a good slice of pizza at the snack bar.

I’m glad to admit that I would definitely come back with a group or with my loved ones to this facility.

Cheney Lanes is on 2nd Street.

Enjoy the Riverfront View at Riverfront Park

Pathway along the Riverfront Park

Kirk Fisher /

You haven’t fully explored Spokane County without a stop at Riverfront Park.

This downtown centerpiece offers 100 acres of lovely natural scenery.

Every corner of this park is a good backdrop for superior pictures, which I absolutely love.

It offers views of both the Spokane River and the Upper Spokane Falls, which you can see more clearly through a gondola ride at Numerica Skyride.

View of the Riverfront Park

Lauren Monitz /

Some other features within the park include the Clock Tower and the Looff Carousel.

I also loved the chalk art and sculptures all over, making the park as welcoming and interesting as possible.

Riverfront Park is in Spokane, more specifically along North Howard Street.

Cable car at the Riverfront Park

Kirk Fisher /

Watch a Car Show at Qlispé Raceway Park

It’s always a fun time at Qlispé Raceway Park when you’re into car racing.

Once going by the name Spokane County Raceway, this park features an oval track, a road course, and a drag strip course.

I came for its drag strip racing event, and it blew my mind.

Everything was a blast from start to finish.

The program remained organized, and I got to watch amazing drivers compete for the top spot.

The cars up for viewing are also beyond amazing.

The park also offers other special events, including footraces, but its car races are the definite highlight.

Qlispé Raceway Park is an Airway Heights staple welcoming visitors along North Hayford Road.

Bask in the Beauty of Nature at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Moose at the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Gregory Johnston /

The city of Cheney has quite a few attractions worth noting.

But nothing quite left a lasting impression on me than Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.

With over 23,000 acres of nature to boast, this preserve has caught my attention and continued to have it until the end of my visit.

Its vast array of habitats, including marshes and wetlands, have become the product of years and years of glaciation and volcanism.

Marsh land at the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

vagabond54 /

Its trail system was one of the few ones that I had a grand time traversing.

I even got to see a few birds in flight and on water, so if you’re into birdwatching, I suggest bringing your binoculars.

I also enjoyed watching wildflowers in bloom while on my hike.

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge sits along South Smith Road.

Pelican at the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Gregory Johnston /

Interact with Exotic Animals at Cat Tales Wildlife Center

Whether you’re interested in wildlife or not, Cat Tales Wildlife Center is a must-visit.

This zoological park is home to exotic animals, specifically big cats native to Northwest Washington.

It’s also a well-rounded animal sanctuary.

I got the chance to feed black bears and white tigers while I’m there.

Most of all, I visited for the wildlife interactions, and I came home with a few animal tidbits.

Overall, I had a blast at Cat Tales Wildlife Center!

This facility is on North Newport Highway in the community of Mead.

Take a Trip Back in Time at the Campbell House

Exterior view of the Campbell House

Antony-22, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nothing quite helped me understand the history of Spokane more than a visit to the Campbell House.

This house on West 1st Avenue took me on an impromptu trip to the 1900s.

This restored mansion comes to life with historical furnishings and period decor worth admiring.

I had the chance to go on a docent-led tour of the place, and it was an enriching experience.

Library at the Campbell House

Antony-22, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The guide told me interesting facts about the place and always had an answer to my questions.

I loved that the house was easy to navigate, too.

The Campbell House takes inspiration from the Neoclassical Revival style of architecture.

And it’s worth it to see this mansion up close, trust me!

Bedroom at the Campbell House

Antony-22, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy Local Craft Wine at Latah Creek Wine Cellars

A local craft-tasting experience awaited me at Latah Creek Wine Cellars, and I’m sure it awaits you too.

This winery opened in 1982.

Since then, it has only produced award-winning wine in its collection for the general public to enjoy.

I know this because I tasted some of their wine products and I have never looked back since.

The cozy ambiance of the tasting room has definitely added to its allure.

Its gift shop is also well worth the visit for some lovely gifts or souvenirs.

Within Spokane Valley, Latah Creek Wine Cellars is on East Indiana Avenue.

Immerse Yourself in the Scenic Points at Riverside State Park

Spectacular view of the Riverside State Park

Kirk Fisher /

Casual but majestic, I could say Riverside State Park was a nature dream come to life.

This park spans about 14,000 acres and protects more than half of this size, which comprises the Okanagan dry forest.

One of the things I liked about this park is its spectacular views of the Little Spokane River.

It also overlooks Lake Spokane, which welcomes many to its waters through aquatic activities like boating and angling.

Riverside State Park 1

Roman Khomlyak /

The park also offers full hookups within its camping sites and 55 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking.

I loved that the trails are just as wonderful as I had expected.

There are also various scenic points I got to enjoy during my visit.

Riverside State Park is on West Charles Road in the community of Nine Mile Falls.

Two women relaxing after a hike at Riverside State Park

Simone Hogan /

Admire the Blossoms and Perennials at John A. Finch Arboretum

Spokane‘s very own John A. Finch Arboretum is a memorable visit for me because of its beautiful trees lined up.

Set within 65 acres, this arboretum harbors about 2,000 species of native plants and trees that remain a part of Spokane’s ecological forests.

I had so much to see even while sitting on one of the benches at the place.

I’ve got a pro tip for you: veer off the clearly paved walkways of the loop trail to its slightly marked paths.

You might just see a bridge with a rushing creek under it.

Wildflowers are also abundant during my visit, so anticipate them!

Best of all, this arboretum is open to everyone at no cost!

John A. Finch Arboretum is on West Woodland Boulevard.

Swing a Hole-in-One at Liberty Lake Golf Course

Aerial view of the Liberty Lake Golf Course

Kirk Fisher /

Golf is an art, and this is what Liberty Lake Golf Course aims to present to the world.

As the name suggests, this spot is a staple of the city of Liberty Lake.

Complete with an 18-hole championship golf layout, this public golf course has become one of my top golf outings in all my travels.

The facility features well-maintained driving ranges and chipping greens that were an absolute delight in my golf play.

The selection of easy holes and challenging bunkers and obstacles also helped me up my game.

Liberty Lake Golf Course resides along East Sprague Avenue.

Add it to your itinerary as early as now!

Scroll through Aircraft Relics and Treasures at the Historic Flight Foundation

Exterior view of the Historic Flight Foundation

cpaulfell /

Are you a lover of aircraft engines and history?

The Historic Flight Foundation in Spokane might just be the place for you.

This museum houses a large collection of still-functional vintage aircraft models created from around the 20s to 70s.

These years are the Golden Age of Flight.

View of the pilot's seats at Historic Flight Foundation

cpaulfell /

I got to check out the interior of these planes while on my visit, and the experience remains something I will cherish forever.

Though I didn’t get to see an aircraft take off, I still loved my tour of the place and the history lesson that I took home with me that day.

The Historic Flight Foundation is a one-of-a-kind facility on East Rutter Avenue in the city of Spokane.

Interior view of the Historic Flight Foundation

Mcmike0605, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Spokane County was a dream come true for me, and no doubt, it will be the same for you on your visit.

From natural areas and preserves to wineries and entertainment centers, this county has it all for you and everyone you’re traveling with.

Don’t wait around for another sign!

The article above about the best things to do in Spokane County, Washington is your sign to start planning your itinerary.

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