Weird and Wonderful Spokane

Weird and Wonderful Spokane

In the words of filmmaker David Lynch (a former Spokane resident), "This whole world is wild at heart and weird on top." It's in this spirit that we've compiled this list of wonderful shop and weird spots. These are the uniquely Spokane destinations that will pique your curiosity and stir your imagination. Go forth and get weird!

Wonderful Shops

Auntie's BookstoreAuntie's Bookstore

At Auntie's, a seemingly endless labyrinth of shelves is brimming with new and used books. And if books just aren’t enough, there’s an Uncle’s Games store located inside of Auntie’s that can fill all of your gaming needs.

The Comic Book Shop

Located north of downtown, you’ll find The Comic Book Shop's main headquarters tucked in a small shopping square that can be easily spotted from Division Street thanks to a clock tower belonging to the adjacent jewelry store. At this CBS location, you’ll find racks upon racks of new release comics, as well as an enormous collection of well-organized back issues that you can spend hours sifting through. If your primary interest is comic books, this is the store for you.

If your retail interests lean more toward collectibles and apparel, head a little further north to visit The Comic Book Shop’s Northtown Mall store. New release comics, action figures, toys, accessories and clothing can all be found in great quantities at this location, in addition to a slightly more modest collection of comic book back issues. The Northtown location also carries an enormous selection of manga, card games and board games, with about 30% of their floor space devoted to RPG and board games. 


The easiest time to find Merlyn’s is at night, when the glowing neon Green Lantern and Batman logos beckon you from the sidewalk. “It’s almost payday,” they seem to whisper, softly, but audibly enough to draw you in and drop a quarter of your rent on a stack of comics. In addition to sequential narrative art, Merlyn’s carries an extensive selection of games and game-related supplies, art and collectibles.

Another asset working for Merlyn’s is its proximity to some rad local watering holes. Right next door, you’ll find the Saranac Public House and across the street, there's find Boot’s, a vegan café and bar, and Zola, a popular bar with some of the best happy hour appetizers in town.

Boo Radley's Boo Radley's

It’s hard to describe Boo Radley’s to someone who has never been inside. Consistently voted in polls as Spokane’s “Best Gift Shop,” it almost makes more sense that Boo Radley’s should just win an award for being itself. Packed full of books, pop culture collectibles, funny magnets, t-shirts and stationery, this place has a little something for everyone. Frankly, it’s just in your best interest to go check it out. Why are you still reading this? Go!

Weird Spots

Post St. BridgePost Street Bridge

Visit the Post Street Bridge and you’re sure to notice the beautiful river flowing beneath you, the cascading stairs at nearby Huntington Park and the array of downtown shops and restaurants. What you won’t know is that this is where the oldest active murder case in the nation was solved. The sordid tale revolves around a 1930s creamery robbery, a dirty cop, the police code of silence, a curious modern day sheriff and a murder weapon recovered from the water some 50 years later. Check out the website, Spokane Historical, to get the full story and learn about other historical spots.You can even view the weapon, a .32 revolver, at the Joel E. Ferris Research Room at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC).

Durkin’s Liquor Bar

This bar’s namesake, James “Jimmie” Durkin, was a legendary pre-Prohibition liquor tycoon and bar owner in Spokane. The original Durkin’s bar would certainly qualify as an unusual establishment. In a successful effort to get loads of free press, Durkin allowed a Baptist reverend, who denounced his booze-friendly window advertisements, the opportunity to decorate the glass himself. The result was a bar with windows illustrating the sins of drinking. While its advertising is a little less colorful than its older counterpart, the modern day Durkin’s is still a unique place to grab a drink, featuring an array of craft cocktails, a distinguished menu and speakeasy décor.

Steam PlantSteam Plant

One of the most unique views in Spokane can be found at the bottom of a 225 foot smokestack. Once charged with heating downtown, Spokane’s twin stacks now serve as a historic landmark. Visitors can take a self-guided tour among the building’s preserved catwalks, pipes and boilers; then, cap it off with a view of the night sky from the bottom of one of the towers. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Steam Plant’s wonderful restaurant, craft brewery and retail stores.

Two Dog City Ghost Tours

Interested in “weird” with a paranormal slant? Check out Two Dog City Ghost Tours. If you’d like to make a booking, you can call and schedule a bus or walking tour for your group. Some past trips include “Ghosts of Downtown Spokane,” “The Monsters of Spokane” and even “The Serial Killers of Spokane.”

Missile Silos

It’s worth noting that if you’re in Spokane, you’re near nine underground Cold War missile silos. The sites, scattered throughout eastern Washington, were ready to launch during the Cuban Missile Crisis. According to Mellor, a member of the missile squadron, “It’s kind of scary going into one of them now. Because, really, we were 15 minutes away from letting one of those missiles go. That would have changed the world as we know it.” Today, all but one of the silos is privately owned. The other publicly owned silo part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This has led to circulating rumors about the nature of this site’s contents. To get the full story, check out The Spokesman-Review’s article, “Buried treasures.”

Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle

An iconic two-story milk bottle houses one of Spokane’s beloved diners, Mary Lou’s. The restaurant serves classic 1950s-style burgers and fries, as well as their famous milkshakes made with homemade ice cream. This quirky building even achieved stardom on the silver screen in the film, Benny & Joon, starring Johnny Depp.