City Drive - Spokane's Self Guided Driving Tour
Enjoy Spokane’s natural beauty, historic neighborhoods and unique architecture along the scenic Spokane City Drive! With 21 stops and five optional excursions, you can experience all of the “must-see” sights without having to leave your car. Make sure to look for the City Drive signs, they'll help you find your way. You can print the map, or pick up a printed version at the Visitor Kiosk located in River Park Square. Enjoy the drive!
Start your driving tour on West Spokane Falls Boulevard. If you have not explored the park, now is a great time to find a parking spot and see the Spokane Falls.
One-hundred acres of beautifully manicured lawns and trees, interesting art and amazing attractions located in the heart of downtown Spokane. Riverfront Park is home to the historic 1909 Looff Carrousel and Ken Spierings’s sculpture entitled “Childhood Express”, a unique giant replica of a Radio Flyer Wagon that is actually a slide for children. A sculpture walk follows the Centennial Trail through the park. Many bridges and viewpoints offer spectacular views of the beautiful Spokane Falls. Attractions include an the ice skating ribbon (opening 2017), the Spokane Falls SkyRide and a mechanical garbage-eating goat.
Turn right on to Post Street (City Hall will now be on your left) and head across the bridge and up to Mallon Avenue. Turn right on Mallon Avenue and Flour Mill will be on your right.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Flour Mill was originally built over a hundred years ago to harness the energy of the Spokane River to grind wheat into flour. It was renovated during the excitement prior to the Expo ’74 World’s Fair into an eclectic collection of specialty shops, eateries and office space.
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
The arena is the left side of Mallon as you pass the Flour Mill. The road will start to curve north as the arena remains on your left.
The Spokane Arena is a 12,500-seat, state-of-the art, multi-purpose venue. The Arena has hosted a variety of events and concerts, numerous Men's and Women's NCAA Basketball Tournaments and the record-breaking 2007 and 2010 US Figure Skating Championships. Home of the Spokane Chiefs Hockey Club, the Arena is dedicated to creating event experiences that truly "wow" their guests.
Spokane County Courthouse
Continue left around the South East corner of the arena as the road becomes Howard Street. Turn left on Boone Avenue. Turn left on Monroe Street. Turn right on Broadway Avenue. The courthouse is on your right.
Designed by architect W. A. Ritchie in a 16th Century French Renaissance design, this facility has served the citizens of Spokane County since 1895.
Monroe Street Bridge
Turn left on to Jefferson Street, then turn left on to College Avenue. Continue to Monroe Street and turn right to head over the Monroe Street Bridge.
Spanning the Spokane River, the Monroe Street Bridge was built in 1911. The beautiful deck arch bridge was designed by John Chester Ralston and Kirtland Cutter. Continuing on Monroe Street, on the left side you'll see The Review building. Home to The Spokesman-Review, the building is curved to model the turn of the street.
Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox
Continue heading south on Monroe Street, The Fox will be on your right.
Constructed by renowned architect Robert Reamer in an art deco style, the Fox Theater opened to the public in September of 1931. Inside the theater, murals created by Anthony Heinsbergen evolve from underwater floral patterns at the lobby level to landscapes of castles, rivers and clouds on the mezzanine, culminating with a magnificent 60-foot wide sunburst that dominates the auditorium. Sunlight radiates across the ceiling and falls on a canopy of foliage representative of a forest under a starlit sky. Slated for demolition in 2000, a massive community effort spearheaded by the Spokane Symphony saved the theater. Following a $31 million renovation, The Fox reopened in 2007.
Proceed under the train tracks on Monroe Street and turn left on Third Avenue. Make an immediate left on Lincoln Street and look to the enormous steam stacks on your right.
Built in 1916, the Steam Plant was constructed to produce steam heat and electrical power for all of downtown Spokane. The twin 225-foot smokestacks were hand-formed using a total of 333,340 bricks. In operation until 1986, the Steam Plant produced 15,000-370,000 pounds of steam pressure per hour virtually every hour of the day or night. After sitting idle for nearly 10 years upon closing, the Steam Plant was purchased and renovated into one of the most unique buildings in Spokane. The Steam Plant now features a restaurant, its own brewing company and eclectic shopping.
The Davenport Hotel and Tower
Continue north on Lincoln Street. Turn right on to First Avenue. The Historic Davenport Hotel will be on your left.
The Davenport Hotel has been world-famous since its opening in September of 1914. Re-opened in 2002, after a $38-million top to bottom renovation, the Davenport now revels in its original glory and is known as one of “America’s Exceptional Hotels.” Take the hotel’s fascinating walking tour and stay for lunch at one of their restaurants.
Proceed east on First Avenue. Then, turn right on Stevens Street. As you head up the hill, stay to the right as the road splits and becomes Bernard Street. Continue heading south, then turn left on 21st Avenue, the park is on your left.
Covering over 90 acres, Manito Park is one of Spokane’s largest and most beautiful parks. It includes the Lilac Garden, Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden, Rose Hill, Perennial and Duncan Gardens and the Gaiser Conservatory. The gardens are spectacular during the spring and summer and the conservatory is stunning year round as it features a changing collection of exotic plants and flowers from around the world.
The Cathedral of St. John theEvangelist
Continue on 21st Avenue as it curves to the right around Duncan Gardens. Turn left on 25th Avenue and proceed to Grand Boulevard. Turn left on Grand Boulevard. Turn right on 12th Avenue right in front of the cathedral.
An example of classic Gothic architecture, the Cathedral was built in the 1930s. Guided tours are available Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00am-2:00pm.
Cliff Drive & Cliff Aerie
Proceed on 12th Avenue and make your way back to Grand Avenue by turning right on Cowley Street, then right on 13th Avenue. Turn right on to Grand Boulevard and make your next left on to Cliff Drive. Continue up the hill until the view opens on your right.
Well-known for its panoramic view of the entire city, Cliff Drive is the ideal spot to stop and take a picture. Continuing on to the right at the bend in the road is Cliff Aerie, the former residence of Senator Dill who introduced the bill to build Grand Coulee Dam.
Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens
Proceed west on Cliff Drive and continue around the bend as the road heads southwest. Turn right on to Lincoln Street. Turn right on 7th Avenue and proceed to Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens, on your right.
Originally developed between 1889 and 1932 the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens are a combination of Victorian and Arts & Crafts styles. Buried for more than 50 years, the gardens were uncovered, renovated and reopened in August of 2007. Restored using original photographs of the gardens, special features include a reflection pool, white garden steps conservatory, and a rock waterfall. The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens project is the first residential landscape of its kind in Washington.
Proceed east on 7th Avenue. Turn right on Stevens Street and stay in the left lane at the fork which becomes 9th Avenue. At the light, turn left on to south McClellan Street and make the next left on to 8th Avenue. The Glover Mansion will be on your left.
Built in 1888 by famed architect Kirtland Cutter for the “Father of Spokane,” James Glover, the mansion is an exquisite example of late 19th century design. Tour the mansion and marvel at the featured woodwork from 10 different areas around the world, and the wide array of stained glass windows.
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture
8th Avenue turns into Washington Street and heads north. Turn left on 2nd Avenue and continue west. After crossing Maple Avenue, stay right on 2nd Avenue. Turn right on Cannon Street and continue past the round-about. Turn left on 1st Avenue and the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture is on the right.
The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, a Smithsonian affiliate, features exhibits of regional and natural history, including America’s largest collection of Northern Plateau Indian art. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Take note of the historic homes surrounding the museum, as Browne’s Addition is one of Spokane’s oldest neighborhoods.
Continue on West 1st Avenue. The Campbell House is directly next to the museum on your right.
Designed in 1898 by Kirtland Cutter, The Campbell House models what homes of the “well to do” looked liked during Spokane’s ‘Age of Elegance’. The home housed the original museum after the owner deeded it to the Eastern Washington Historical Society. Tour the historic home Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Follow 1st Avenue as it turns left and becomes Poplar Street. Turn left on 2nd Avenue, then turn right on Spruce Street. Turn right on Sunset Boulevard and continue across the bridge and up the hill. Half way up the hill, turn left on South F Street and stay right. The arboretum is on your right.
An extensive botanical and tree garden with more than 2,000 labeled ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers. Walk the many trails that weave through the 65 acres or stop alongside Garden Springs Creek and enjoy the serene setting.
Fort George Wright
Return to Sunset Boulevard and turn right to head east. At the light, turn left on Government Way. Continue past the historic cemetery, up a slight hill and turn right on Fort George Wright Drive. The fort, Mukogowa Fort Wright Institute and the Japanese Cultural Center will be on your left.
Fort George Wright is where the former Army Calvary headquarters figured prominently in the early settlement of Spokane. The Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute is a branch campus of a university in Spokane’s sister city, Nishinomiya, Japan. Their one year program is dedicated to teaching young Japanese women English as a second language. Stop by the Japanese Cultural Center that features exhibits of traditional Japanese art, crafts, costumes and traditional ceremonial dress. The campus neighbors Spokane Falls Community College.
Downriver Golf Course
Continue on Fort George Wright Drive and stay in the right lane. After crossing the Spokane River on TJ Meenach Bridge, take the exit on your right towards North Pettit Drive. At the stop sign, turn right on Pettit Drive/North Riverside State Park Drive which turns into Downriver Drive. Proceed on Downriver Drive and you will see Downriver Golf Course on your right.
Opened for play in 1916, Spokane’s oldest course is also where crooner Bing Crosby perfected his golf game as a youngster.
Bowl & Pitcher
At the end of the Downriver Golf Course, the road bends to the right away from the river. Turn left at the fork which turns into Aubrey L. White Parkway. To access Bowl and Pitcher, look for the State Park entrance on the left side of the road. Park in the first lot on your right for an aerial view or continue down the hill and into the park to access the hanging bridge.
The Bowl & Pitcher is famous for its great views of the Spokane River. This area of Riverside State Park features camping and picnic sites, trails leading to the Spokane River, a swinging footbridge and views of lava rock outcroppings. Two of these outcroppings resemble a bowl and pitcher, giving this beautiful section of the park its name. Note: there is an entry fee unless you have a Discover Pass.
Continue north on Aubrey L. White Parkway. Turn right on Rifle Club Road and then right on Nine Mile Road. Continue up the hill and stay right to exit on Assembly St. Follow Assembly for one mile where it becomes Northwest Boulevard. Stay on Northwest for four miles and then turn right on North Division Street. In five blocks, turn left on Sharp Avenue. Gonzaga University will be on your right.
Bing Crosby’s alma mater welcomes visitors to enjoy the country’s largest public collection of Bing Crosby memorabilia, located in the Crosby Room in the Crosby Student Center. Bing’s boyhood home at 508 East Sharp Avenue is now home of the Gonzaga University Alumni Association and is also open to the public.
Riverpoint Campus – University District
From Sharp Avenue, turn right on Hamilton Street. Continue past the university and turn right on Spokane Falls Boulevard. Spokane Falls Boulevard becomes North Sherman Street. Turn right on Spokane Falls Boulevard. The Riverpoint Campus is on your right.
The campus is located just east of downtown along the southern bank of the Spokane River. The campus houses facilities of three institutions: Washington State University Spokane (WSU Spokane), Eastern Washington University and Innovate Washington. Currently, a medical school is also being built that will house students from WSU, EWU, University of Washington and Whitworth. Riverpoint Campus is a part of Spokane’s University District which also includes Gonzaga University directly across the Spokane River.