Spokane locals have developed a reputation for not liking to stray too far from their nest. It’s not just us, though—when you’ve lived somewhere for a while, it’s easy to become comfortable. You find your favorite park, your favorite restaurant, your favorite grocery store, and you stick to them. But in the spirit of National Travel and Tourism Week, we invite you to buck this behavior by getting out in the Spokane region and experiencing something new—become a tourist in your own town!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
I’ve experienced quite a bit in Spokane, growing up here and all. But last year was the first time I’d ever hiked the trails along the bluff on the South Hill. Here you have this incredible view of Latah Valley, and driving along High Drive you might not even realize there are loads of trails right there, right in the neighborhood. And they are POPULAR. Lots of people walking dogs, mountain biking or just out with the kids. That latter one was me. My husband and I got the kids out of bed one beautiful morning last summer and headed out. Tons of wildflowers, birds and incredible views. Not too steep and totally do-able for our first grader. Plus, it’s free. FREE! But next time I’m taking my coffee.
- Brooklyn Gibson, Business Development Services Manager
Even though I’ve lived in Spokane my entire life, it wasn’t until I started working at Visit Spokane that I really started to experience all of our community’s cool attractions (chalk it up to a sheltered childhood, I guess). One place that took me an especially long time to visit was Riverside State Park. When I finally ventured there for the first time, I couldn’t believe what I had been missing! The variety of hiking trails is awesome, and the scenic views of the Bowl & Pitcher area really blew me away. The best part? You don’t have to be super outdoorsy to enjoy it. Riverside State Park is well worth a visit when you’re in Spokane.
- Peyton Scheller, Communications Manager
If you want to know what it was like in the Wild West, the Rockin' B Ranch can give you a taste. The Cowboy Supper Show is a fun event for all ages. The evening starts out with a skit that takes you back to the Wild West--think guns and outhouses. Then everyone moves inside to find their seats for the wagon cookout. After dinner, there is a musical show that is entertaining for young and old. The venue is great because it takes you back to a simpler time and lends to the nostalgia. We have gone as a large family group and really enjoyed the experience and the kids love to wear their cowboy boots and hats for the event. The Supper Show will take a little advance planning as it is one weekend each month starting in June, but the planning is well worth the effort. Enjoy!
- Charlotte Finnegan, Director of Leisure Sales
Like eating spinach as a 19-year-old after a decade-long spinach sabbatical, sometimes it takes revisiting a forgotten experience with fresh perspective to understand what you’ve been missing. My dear sweet parents—bless their hearts—took my sister and me cross-country skiing on Mt. Spokane as seven and nine year olds. It was that day that I vowed I would never set foot on that mountain again in my life. Fast-forward to 2016, when an older, arguably wiser version of myself finally hiked to the top of our city’s beloved 5,883-foot peak. The view from the top is…well, let’s just say that you shouldn’t trust the first impression of a cold seven year old—even if that seven year old is you.
- Calvin Elam, Marketing Coordinator
When I moved to Spokane in 2010, my wife took me on a little introductory tour of the region. She'd moved here seven months before me, so she was already a native. As we were rolling through town, one of the first things I noticed was the gondolas. I was really surprised. "They have gondolas!" I cried. "Those must not work!" My wife said, "What are you talking about? Why do you think they don't work?!" I said, "Because that's too cool. I'm not cool enough to live in a city with gondolas." Of course, the gondolas work and I made it my mission to take a gondola ride. A few weeks later, on a Saturday, my wife and I did it. We hopped on the Spokane Falls SkyRide and we both loved it. The view of the falls was Spoke-tacular! I became an instant evangelist for the SkyRide and, ever since then, I've been telling everyone they have to go. I'm always surprised at the number of locals who've never done it. But I'm never surprised when someone tells me how great the SkyRide is. What a cool city!
- Tim Robinson, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications
Be sure to check out some of the great deals and activities in the Spokane region on our National Travel & Tourism Week web page.