20 Free Things to Do in Spokane, WA

Free Things to Do in Spokane, WA

Spokane, a city on the eastern edge of Washington, offers a blend of natural beauty and rich history waiting to be explored.

Each corner of the city holds something new to discover, often at no expense at all.

Regardless of being a long-term resident or a fleeting visitor, the unique character of Spokane can be appreciated without a financial burden.

This guide aims to explore some of the free things to do in Spokane, Washington.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Dave Bentley, Ryan Stumpf, Sabrina Galvez, Diego Kelly, Eva Harrison, Ronald Avila and Todd McCarthy.

Spend an Afternoon at Spokane Falls

Aerial view of Spokane Falls
Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com

Every city has its heart, the place where its pulse beats strongest. For Spokane, it's undoubtedly Spokane Falls.

Nestled right in the heart of downtown, the falls are a sight to behold.

Here, the river beautifully parts into two sets of falls before uniting again.

The water cascading down these artificial structures is a sight that never fails to captivate me, no matter how often I visit.

There's something for everyone at Spokane Falls.

Spread over a 100-acre park in the city center, the waterfall and its surroundings are a popular hangout spot for locals and visitors alike.

I often strolled along the scenic walking paths, soaking in the tranquility.

The park also features a playground, making it a fantastic spot for family outings.

One of my favorite things to do at the falls is to ride the cable car.

Rushing waters of Spokane Falls
Kasey Schmitt / Shutterstock.com

You get the most spectacular view of the lower falls from the elevated vantage point. It takes your breath away every single time.

And if you're lucky, you might spot a rainbow forming through the fine mist of the waterfall.

However, it's not just about the majestic falls but the contrast it creates with the urban landscape.

There's something surreal about seeing a waterfall in the middle of downtown. It's no wonder Spokane Falls is a beloved local landmark.

I'm eagerly looking forward to the winter season. The falls take on a different kind of beauty, and I can't wait to experience it again.

So, whether you're new to Spokane or have been here awhile, carve out some time for Spokane Falls. You won't regret it.

Cable car gondola ride over Spokane Falls
Kirk Fisher / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the Day at the Forest Ridge Park

Every weekend, I make it a point to visit Forest Ridge Park, my haven.

It's a treasure hidden in our community, a place that one must see to believe.

The magic of this park lies in its natural beauty and the thrilling attractions that are in store for you.

The park is a natural playground for children.

My little ones love it.

There's just a little bit of everything for them - a zipline that gives them a mini adrenaline rush, a tire swing that never fails to bring out their laughter, a treehouse that sparks their imagination, and a slide that never seems to get boring.

While the kids play, I stroll around, soaking in the calming ambiance.

The park is also an excellent place for pet dogs, but remember they must always be leashed.

Indeed, the term "hidden gem" doesn't even begin to describe this outstanding park. This place is just a little magical if you're a kid (in body or spirit).

And I couldn't agree more.

Explore the Majestic Little Spokane River Natural Area

It's just another day in paradise.

That's how it feels whenever I stroll into Little Spokane River Natural Area.

It's a feast for the senses, with the sights and sounds of nature enveloping you from the moment you set foot on the trails.

One of my personal favorites has to be the Knothead Valley Trail loop.

Trust me, the beauty of this place is unparalleled.

Trekking through different terrains, I've marveled at marshy bogs, wandered through dense forests, and observed many birds and wildlife.

All this while being rewarded with breathtaking views that are nothing short of a nature lover's dream.

The loop extends almost seven miles, but don't let the length deter you.

It's an invigorating hike, with the top offering views worth the effort.

And if you're lucky, you might catch sight of some painted rocks along the way – a charming picture that adds to the overall magic of the place.

Once you reach the top, breathing while soaking in the stunning panorama is nothing like breathing.

And if you're like me, you'd probably pack something to munch on while at it – a perfect way to refuel and relish the tranquility of the surroundings.

As for the amenities, they've got you covered.

The parking lot is equipped with a clean vault toilet, a feature I've come to appreciate during my visits.

Every walk here feels like a discovery and experience, and I can't wait for my next one.

The Little Spokane River Natural Area is indeed a gem I'm fortunate enough to have right in my backyard.

Visit Manito Park

Beautiful landscape of Manito Park
JWCohen / Shutterstock.com

Honestly, I don't think there's a better place to spend a day in Spokane than Manito Park.

This green oasis is my go-to spot for relaxation, whether it's a daily jog or a yearly birthday treat to myself.

While the park spans a substantial 78-acre area, the greenhouses hold my heart.

Walking into the cactus greenhouse is like stepping into a completely different world. The variety of cacti housed here is impressive.

Each time I visit, I find myself lingering in its warm embrace, visually feasting on the unique shapes and shades of green.

It's a real inspiration for my quirky indoor garden.

Then there's the Rose Garden. Every year, I eagerly await the rising competition.

It's astounding to see the sheer creativity of the growers - the way they cultivate their roses, name them and vie for the top spot.

The two-toned roses, bursting with vibrant pink, orange, and white hues, are my favorite.

Vibrant flowers at Manito Park
curtis wibe / Shutterstock.com

The competition instills pride in the community that's hard to describe but wonderful to experience.

But Manito Park isn't just about the greenhouses and competitions. The gardens are impeccably maintained, and the air is always fresh.

I often find myself lost in the mesmerizing beauty of the lilac and native plant gardens.

The rose gardens are a delight, too, not just for the eyes but also for the senses; the scent of fresh roses is genuinely intoxicating.

Moreover, the Japanese garden offers a slice of serene tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of city life.

It's a peaceful retreat where one can sit back, unwind, and let the surroundings sink in.

Besides being a feast for the senses, the park also offers immense educational value, making it an ideal place for nature enthusiasts and plant nerds, such as myself.

A visit to Manito Park is a journey of discovery and delight, a magical place as varied and unique as the city it calls home.

Japanese garden at Manito Park
digidreamgrafix / Shutterstock.com

Hang Out at Audubon Park

The sun always shines a little brighter at the charming Audubon Park.

Nestled in a serene corner of the city, it's a picture-perfect retreat.

With 27 acres of lush greenery, it has everything you need for a fun-filled day outdoors.

This park is my go-to spot for weekend family outings and morning jogs—a lovely paved trail circles the park, perfect for a casual stroll or an energetic run.

Over the years, I've come to appreciate the park's unspoiled beauty and well-maintained amenities that make every visit enjoyable.

The park is dotted with softball and baseball diamonds, a basketball court, and a playground always buzzing with kids' laughter.

Picnic benches are scattered throughout the park, making it ideal for a family barbecue or a quiet afternoon with a good book.

As a pet owner, I appreciate the dog-friendly atmosphere of Audubon Park.

There's ample space for my furry friend to run around and interact with other dogs.

The park also boasts clean restrooms, a rarity in public parks that are impeccably maintained.

One of my favorite features is the lost and found basket located by the parking lot.

It's a testament to the friendly and considerate community that frequents the park.

Summer afternoons at Audubon are a treat for kids, thanks to the water feature that transforms into a delightful splash pad, helping beat the heat.

Audubon Park is a community hub that brings together residents, fostering a sense of belonging.

It's a place where you can feel the pulse of Spokane and its lovely residents.

Explore the Riverside State Park Suspension Bridge

Walkway of the Riverside State Park Suspension Bridge
CSolorio / Shutterstock.com

One of the best-kept secrets in Washington State is the spectacular Suspension Bridge at Riverside State Park.

This bridge may be a newer replacement of the original built around 1940 by the CCC, but the park has done an excellent job preserving the vintage look and feel.

When you cross the bridge, you're greeted with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

I often find myself standing in the middle of the bridge, just drinking in the serene beauty around me.

But the bridge is also a gateway to the park's extensive hiking trails.

I often make the most of our weekends by hiking those trails.

They're wide, well-maintained, and perfect for a stroll or an energetic hike.

Family time takes a whole new meaning at Riverside.

With a campground and picnic area, it's a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

The park's amenities add to its charm, making it an excellent spot for camping, picnicking, or simply enjoying the great outdoors.

So, if you're planning a visit, don't miss out on the Suspension Bridge at Riverside State Park. It's not just a bridge. It's a gateway to an unforgettable experience.

Discover Huntington Park

Every morning, as part of my ritual, I lace up my walking shoes and embark on a journey to my favorite spot in Spokane, Huntington Park.

The park is a treasure trove of natural beauty, offering an unobstructed view of the majestic Spokane Falls and the historic arch bridge.

For instance, the beautifully landscaped slopes are adorned with benches, walkways, and vibrant art installations, embodying the native spirit of the region.

The gentle roar of the falls and the refreshing coolness of the river make Huntington Park a paradise for nature lovers like me.

Despite its size, the park is replete with hills and stairs that make for an invigorating morning workout.

As the seasons change, so does the allure of the park.

The trails that lay dormant in the cold months spring to life in the warmth of summer making every visit a unique experience.

Huntington Park unites the community.

Families and friends gather here, their laughter and chatter adding to the park's charm.

The park's open spaces are a playground for the young and the young at heart.

It's also a haven for dog owners, with plenty of spaces for our pets to roam.

From Riverfront Park to Huntington and then on to the Lower Falls, the journey is a walk to remember.

Huntington Park has a special place in the heart of Spokane.

Discover the Charm of Riverfront Park, Spokane

Boardwalk at Riverfront Park
Kirk Fisher / Shutterstock.com

As the sun rises, I often lace up my jogging shoes and head out to Riverfront Park.

The park carries the legacy of being the 1974 World's Fair site and boasts a charm that keeps me coming back.

Each visit to the park feels like a new adventure. It's a haven of tranquillity by day, perfect for strolls on the fun trail or the enchanting sister cities walk.

I've often found myself admiring the sculptures that dot the park, each telling its own story.

The carousel is another favorite, reminding me of simpler times. When operational, the cable ride over Spokane Falls is something I never miss.

It offers a stunning aerial view of the falls, making for a memorable experience.

As the sun dips, the park takes on a different persona.

The carnival lights flicker on, illuminating the park in a warm, inviting glow.

The sounds of enjoyment fill the air, the river glistening under the night sky. It's a sight to behold.

Riverfront Park is no less than a city bustling with activity.

Signage of Riverfront Park
Kirk Fisher / Shutterstock.com

With its vast pathways, the park is perfect for biking or scootering around.

Exploring the park is an experience – a blend of urban charm, history, and nature.

It's a place that has grown on me, and I've come to appreciate its unique character.

Whether seeking a leisurely day out, a fun-filled evening, or a good workout, Riverfront Park is always my first choice.

Trail at Riverfront Park
Kirk Fisher / Shutterstock.com

Check Out Cliff Park

Waking up early on a Saturday morning isn't usually my thing, but I make an exception for Cliff Park.

Just a short walk from my house, this park seems to know my name.

I navigate its paths frequently, with each visit bringing a new adventure.

I've been a regular visitor since I discovered Cliff Park more than ten years ago.

My loyal shih tzu and I are fond of the countless secret pathways zigzag around the hill.

The vegetation forms a canopy above, creating a magical world just for us.

They even revamped the staircase at some point, making it an enticing option for those who prefer a more direct route to the top.

The climb, however brutal, is always rewarding.

At the end of the climb is a peak encircled by a waist-high rock wall, from where you can enjoy an awe-inspiring view of the city.

You'll appreciate the park's lush and verdant landscape if you're searching for an urban retreat.

It's the perfect spot for a picnic, with its soft grass and towering pine trees.

The way they hide the city view adds a sense of mystery and makes you feel that you're in a remote woodland, far from the hustle and bustle of the city.

I love spending my free time in this gem high above the city. It's my secret haven, right in the middle of my hometown.

Relax at Redband Park

There's something about the tranquility of Redband Park that always draws me in.

It's my secret escape in the city's heart and a perfect spot to enjoy the quiet sounds of nature.

It's not as crowded as other parks, making it ideal for peace seekers like me.

I often find myself meandering through the park, taking in the beauty of its surroundings or sitting on one of the benches with a good book.

The park is not just an open space; it has its charm too.

There's a small built-in baseball diamond, where you can often see kids and adults alike playing a friendly game.

Not every day can you find a park with a baseball field in the middle of the city!

And yes, there's a statue of a fish in the park - it's not your usual park decoration, but it certainly adds to the unique character of the place.

One of my favorite features of Redband Park is its riverfront access.

Having a river run through a city park is a rare find, and it's a treat for all those who love water activities.

I've seen numerous people put in canoes and paddle away, enjoying the beautiful weather.

There's plenty of parking available, so you don't have to worry about finding a spot.

All these elements combine to make Redband Park one of my most loved locations in the city.

If you ever get a chance to visit the city, drop by Redband Park and experience its beauty.

Unveil the Riverside State Park

Women admiring the views from a bench at Riverside State Park
Simone Hogan / Shutterstock.com

Do you ever wonder where tranquility meets adventure?

It's right here, in my backyard, at Riverside State Park.

For instance, the expansive greens, well-crafted trails, and the soothing sound of the Spokane River have been my sanctuary for years.

I remember my first visit to the park when I was new to the area and exploring my surroundings.

The park quickly became my favorite escape, my place to unwind, and the starting point of many cherished memories.

Moreover, the park spans from end to end, with numerous hidden spots in between, offering a little surprise at each turn.

I love starting my day with a challenging run along the trails, embraced by the serenity only the early morning can offer.

One of my most treasured experiences at Riverside State Park is sitting quietly by the Spokane River, letting the peace wash over me.

Rocky trail at Riverside State Park
Roman Khomlyak / Shutterstock.com

The whispering waves tell stories of the old times when waves of salmon fins spanned from shore to shore uninterrupted.

It's a gentle reminder of our humanity, our place in the world, and the strength of nature that persists against all odds.

This park is also a hub of community and camaraderie.

There's a certain joy in watching the frisbee golf enthusiasts gather together, sharing tactics and reminiscing about their past matches.

And the beauty isn't just limited to chatting with locals or observing the Spokane River.

The park is home to some of the most scenic Northwest True Beauty spots where you can hike, bike, camp, fish, and canoe.

My personal favorite? Simply sitting and listening to the birds, surrendering to the symphony of their songs.

It's an experience that is profoundly life-enhancing.

Riverside State Park is a treasure, a guardian of Spokane's charm, and a place where the mundane transforms into the extraordinary.

Explore Rimrock View Trail & Park

What an exhilarating experience to take a sunrise stroll along the Rimrock View Trail & Park.

With nature's beauty all around me and the gorgeous city views, it's as if I'm watching a painting come to life.

The cityscape gleaming under the first light of the day is a sight that never fails to charm me.

Walking down the wide gravel path is as straightforward as possible, making it an easy trek for anyone, whether pushing a stroller or guiding a horse.

The tranquil evenings are perfect for a quiet, peaceful walk.

Moreover, the view of the city from the trail is nothing short of magnificent.

The two-mile route extends to four miles and back and offers a leisurely walk with occasional, sudden drop-offs that add to the adventure.

Likewise, the path is suitable for biking, making it a versatile spot for outdoor activities.

I've also spent hours searching for morels in the park; though my searches have been unsuccessful so far, it's an activity that I thoroughly enjoy.

Rimrock View Trail & Park is my go-to sanctuary in the heart of the city.

It's where I can unwind, soak in the natural beauty, and marvel at the splendid city views.

Make a Hilly Escape at Edwidge Woldson Park

Scenic views from Edwidge Woldson Park
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

Now and then, I am drawn to a place in town that takes me away from the city's hustle.

That place is none other than Edwidge Woldson Park.

Tucked amidst city life, this park is like an oasis.

One part of the park that I particularly enjoy is the Moore Turner Heritage Gardens.

It's a bit of a climb, as the paths aren't wholly paved, and the steps can be steep, which makes a good pair of shoes your best friend.

But trust me, the climb is worth it.

Once you reach the top, you are rewarded with a beautiful view of Spokane, as if the city is sitting right in the palm of your hands.

Connected to the park is the "Tiger Trail."

It's a nice grassy slope, perfect for a leisurely walk.

The best part waits for you at the trail's end - a breathtaking view from Cliff Drive overlooking downtown Spokane.

No matter how often you see it, it's a sight that never gets old.

One of the best parts about visiting Edwidge Woldson Park is that there's a free parking lot.

This makes it easier for everyone to come and enjoy this hilly escape in the city's heart.

Enjoy a Night with the Spokane Symphony

The Spokane Symphony is my go-to show for a night of music.

I recall one memorable evening when my partner and I decided to celebrate our anniversary with a touch of classical music.

The symphony had always seemed grand and stuffy, but we decided to step out of our comfort zone that day.

We bought the cheapest tickets and made a day of it.

So, we drove an hour up to Spokane, explored the city, enjoyed local wine, and then went to the beautiful Fox Theater.

As the music started to play, I felt a sense of transcendence wash over me.

The symphony was a melting pot of talent, with musicians from diverse backgrounds creating a harmonious blend of woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings.

Moreover, the music was so powerful and beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes.

The melodies of the flute piercing through the steady rhythm of the cellos told a story of unity and harmony that transcended any divide.

That night, the Spokane Symphony made me fall in love with classical music.

Exterior of Chase Gallery
Cascade Creatives / Shutterstock.com

One of the things I love most about living in this city is the chance to discover its hidden gems, one of which is the Chase Gallery.

It's the perfect destination for those idle afternoons looking for something to do.

Free to enter and conveniently located downtown, it's become my go-to spot for a quick yet fulfilling art fix.

The main exhibit is located downstairs, where a stunning art collection awaits.

Among the myriad pieces on display, the wood carvings on the wall always catch my eye.

Each of them is a masterpiece in its own right, their intricate details speaking volumes of the talent and craftsmanship of the artists.

What's better is that it's not just something I enjoy.

My family loves it too!

For them, the wood carvings are the highlight of every visit.

We've spent many a delightful afternoon soaking in the creativity that the Chase Gallery has to offer.

If you're ever in the mood for a short, free activity that will stimulate your senses and offer an excellent bonding opportunity, check out Chase Gallery.

It's a local treasure that's waiting to be discovered!

Hang Out at Boulder Beach

The sun was beginning to climb up the sky as I headed out for a relaxing day at Boulder Beach, one of Spokane's hidden gems.

I found myself in a cozy spot on a warm boulder, with a view of planes gently ascending and descending in the distance.

While it may not be a typical sandy beach, there's enough sand to get that authentic beach feel.

And when the sun gets a bit too hot, there are plenty of shaded spots to retreat to.

One of the best parts about Boulder Beach is that it's incredibly dog-friendly.

As long as you've got your pet on a leash, they're as welcome as you are.

The beach's calm waters make it a perfect spot for families with kids.

Boulder Beach is a fantastic place to unwind, soak up the sun, and take in the natural beauty of Spokane.

Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat or a place to cool off in the summer, Boulder Beach has you covered.

Spend the Day at Coeur d'Alene Park

There's nothing quite like a sunny afternoon at Coeur d'Alene Park.

It seems like the entire community gathers here, turning the park into a lively hub.

Market days are enjoyable, with multiple vendors offering a variety of goods and delicious food.

The fresh, aromatic coffee from the local vendor never fails to put a spring in my step.

One of the park's highlights is its immaculate cleanliness.

You can tell the city takes great care in maintaining this treasured spot.

Everything is well-maintained and inviting, from the well-watered tennis courts to the carefully pruned, cooling shade trees.

Visit Spokane County Courthouse

Exterior of the Spokane County Courthouse
Shachima / Shutterstock.com

I've spent the better part of my years living in Spokane, and it would be an understatement to say that the Spokane County Courthouse and I share a bit of history.

Nestled in the city's heart, this building is a rich tapestry of our local heritage.

Every time I walk by, I can't help but marvel at the immaculately maintained landscape.

The vibrant flowers, the lush grass, and the towering trees add an air of tranquility to this otherwise bustling place.

Facade of the Spokane County Courthouse
Shachima / Shutterstock.com

The Spokane County Courthouse is a beautiful building with a lot to offer regarding visual appeal.

But when it comes to the justice system, it seems to fall short.

If only they could match the beauty of their exterior with the quality of their service, it could indeed be a beacon of justice in our community.

Front view of Spokane County Courthouse's exterior
Antony-22, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Spokane always surprises me with its beautiful parks, scenic trails, and historic landmarks.

It's a city where free adventures are everywhere, and simple pleasures are in every moment.

I can't wait to discover what else Spokane, Washington, has to offer. My journey in this charming city continues!

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