Answers from Our Experts (1)
As the second-largest city in Washington, Spokane offers plenty to do during a visit. Here’s what our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend as the five best things to see and do in Spokane:
1. Spokane Falls SkyRide. Set in Riverfront Park in the heart of downtown Spokane, the Spokane Falls SkyRide allows riders the opportunity to dangle in a gondola above the Spokane Falls in a 15-minute excursion across the river and back. The ride is a newer version of an open-air gondola put in place for World’s Fair Expo ‘74. The cars are lilac colored, symbolizing Spokane’s century-old nickname as the Lilac City for the flowers that flourish there.
2. The Davenport Hotel and Tower. Originally opened in 1914, The Davenport Hotel was the most advanced hotel of its time. The property boasts five ballrooms with very distinct personalities. Stop by the front desk for a guide to learn more about the fascinating history of the place. On the mezzanine level you’ll find a mysterious wedding proposal painted into the faux woodwork.
3. Manito Park. Originally a zoo, Manito Park is an award-winning horticultural display with five equally impressive outdoor gardens, including a Japanese garden with beautiful fall colors; a European-Renaissance style garden; a national award-winning rose garden, a lilac garden and a perennial garden. In addition, the park’s Gaiser Conservatory features fabulous displays throughout the year and a special lighted display for the holidays.
4. Raft or kayak. Raft the Spokane River or any number of rivers in nearby Idaho and Montana. Reputable rafting companies are easy to find through the visitors center. Or, kayak the smaller rivers or many of the 76 lakes in the region. Spokane Parks & Recreation offers guided tours, transportation and equipment.
5. The Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. Recently restored to the tune of $31 million, the theater is a great example of art deco with its wall murals. One of the famed theaters west of the Mississippi at the time when it opened in 1931, the auditorium now serves as the home of the Spokane Symphony, in addition to hosting concerts, weddings and gala events.