Updated: Mar 3, 2016

NCAA Tournament in Spokane

March Madness is about to begin, but let's face it, the entire month of March is crazy-full of sporting events in the Spokane region. With the Hardwood Classic, the Pacific Northwest Qualifier and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, there's going to be a lot of athletes and their mega-fans hanging out here.

Are you one of said mega-fans? Wondering what to do when you're not doing your thing courtside? I've got your guide for things to do in Spokane, specifically tailored to the different events:

NCAA Division I Men's Basketball - First/Second Rounds
March 18 & 20
Spokane Arena

Make watching March Madness even sweeter by taking some time after the games for some exploring in Spokane.

Win or lose, raise a glass to your team. The Inland Northwest Ale Trail features 41 breweries throughout the Spokane region, all serving up delicious, locally sourced brews. Check the map for locations near your hotel. If you prefer grapes over hops, the Cork District features dozens of tasting rooms that are within walking distance.

See the City
With no games on Sunday, why not do some sight-seeing? If you have a car, the Spokane City Drive is a sure-fire way to make sure you don’t miss any of the good stuff. The self-guided, 90-minute tour can all be done from behind the wheel, but we recommend taking a little extra time to get out and experience a few of the stops for yourself.

Or, see the city through the outdoors – after all, our slogan is “Near nature. Near perfect.” Riverfront Park, Huntington Park, the Centennial Trail and the Spokane Falls are all must-see areas that are within walking distance of the Spokane Arena and downtown hotels.

     Sante Restaurant & Charcuterie – Locally sourced ingredients, house-cured meats.
     Jack and Dan’s – Gonzaga’s favorite sports bar.
     Yards Bruncheon – Brunch food, all day long.
     Fire Artisan Pizza – Wood-fired and uniquely crafted pies.
Pacific Northwest Qualifier
March 18-20, 25-27
Spokane Convention Center, EWU Reese Court, HUB Sports Center

The two-weekend volleyball tournament spread across three different venues allows time for a lot of exploring throughout the region! Here are just a few things that are a total ace in my book:

With three malls, eclectic antique districts and numerous local boutiques, you’ll find plenty of unique items to take home with you. A few of my favorites include Boo Radley’s (quirky gift items and Spokane souvenirs), Fringe & Fray (vintage threads) and Nordstrom Rack at the Spokane Valley Mall (inexpensive, fashionable finds). Visit our shopping directory for a full list of store locations.

After a day on the courts, you may want to dress up and see a show. 42nd Street is at the INB Performing Arts Center March 24-27, Little Women is playing at Spokane Civic Theatre through March 20, or you could get your laugh on at the Blue Door Theatre, Friday and Saturday nights.

If you’re at the HUB Sports Center
     Max at Mirabeau – Fine dining, anytime.
     Longhorn Barbecue – Go hungry. Ribs are my go-to dish, but you really can’t go wrong.
     Thrifty Scotsman – Burgers, fries, shakes. Cash only, but well worth the stop at the ATM.

If you’re at Eastern Washington University
     The Mason Jar – Fresh sandwiches, delicious coffee and sweet treats.
     Rokko’s – Teriyaki dishes galore.
     El Rodeo – Homemade salsa is where it’s at.
     Rosa’s Pizza – Go for the pizza, stay for the cheesy bread.

If you’re at the Spokane Convention Center…
     Luigi’s – Classic Italian dishes.
     Boots Bakery – Coffee, vegan and gluten free pastries, salads and more.
     The Onion – Burgers. Lots of burgers.
     Main Market Co-op – Grocery co-op that doubles as a deli. Super fresh lunch items.
WIAA Hardwood Classic - State B Basketball Tournament
March 3-5
Spokane Arena

The State B tournament tends to be a family affair, so you’ll want to take advantage of attractions that appeal to all ages. 

Mobius Science Center/Mobius Children’s Museum
Get out your pent up energy from sitting in the stands by spending the afternoon at Mobius! With a myriad of interactive exhibits, both Mobius locations let visitors work with water, test their brain power, see how electricity works and much more. The science center is suggested for kids eight and up and is currently located in the Downtown Spokane Library, while the children's museum (located in River Park Square) is better for the younger kiddos.

Garland Theater
After a day of cheering on the team, you may just want to kick back and relax with a movie. Visit the historic Garland Theater, which features new-ish films and tickets at just $5. Grab a bite before or after the show at Ferguson's, a classic diner with tasty burgers and even better milkshakes.

First Friday
With dozens of participating venues, First Friday includes different restaurants, tasting rooms and retailers featuring art work, live music and more. There's stuff for families to enjoy, or if you don't have the kids in tow, grab your sweetie for a night out in downtown Spokane.

Places to eat near the Spokane Arena:
     Frank’s Diner – Breakfast in a train car.
     Blackbird – Elevated gastropub fare.
     Anthony’s– Seafood with views overlooking the Spokane River.
     Clover – Made from scratch bread, locally sourced ingredients, craft cocktails and more.


Whether you’re here in March for a sporting event or are just visiting, there is always plenty to do in the Spokane region. Check out our Events Calendar for ideas.