Have you visited Riverfront Park in Spokane WA? If you haven’t made it to the Riverfront Park yet, this is a must-see tourist destination in Lilac City. Riverfront Park boasts stunning waterfall views, great family recreational activities, and plenty of other adventures to hit within just a few blocks.
You can spend hours walking the numerous trails through the Spokane Riverfront Park, traversing the street bridge, watching the waterfalls, and scrutinizing many sculptures.
The magnificent scenic view of the waterfalls running through downtown Spokane presents a picture-perfect view worth visiting. The Spokane River takes a mighty tumble through Riverfront Park with both an upper and lower falls section. Multiple bridges throughout the park offer up-close views of the Spokane River, and iconic purple gondolas take riders directly over the roaring lower Spokane Falls. The best part of it? It’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Not many cities can boast that they have a scenic waterfall running through downtown, but Spokane, Washington definitely can. The Spokane River takes a mighty tumble through Riverfront Park with both an upper and lower falls section. Multiple bridges throughout the park offer up-close views of the Spokane river and our iconic purple gondolas take riders directly over the roaring lower Spokane Falls. The best part of it? It’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The World’s Fair
The ’74 Expo, Spokane’s World Fair, was a definitive event in Spokane’s history, and paying homage to that is the ’74 Expo Tent. Recently given a renovation, it will now feature a gorgeous light show at night and an 80-foot viewing platform to take in the greater downtown Spokane area.
Nearby, you’ll find the Great Northern Clocktower, which is all that is left of Havermale Island Depot. It was preserved as a tribute to the railroad industry, which played a huge part in building Riverfront Park Spokane. It is a beautiful place to take and say hello to Canada Geese and Mallard ducks swimming on the Riverfront Park. Some concrete steps allow you to get close to the water, and often, the waterfowl will come right over.
Right across the river lies the Looff Carousel, a piece of Spokane’s history from its Natatorium Park days. The Looff Carousel is like a reflection of a purple carousel in the water. It was built in 1909 and is still in operation today. Looff Carrousel is one of the most visited attractions in Riverfront Park. It welcomes all ages to feel like a kid again and take a ride on the famous and historic Looff Carrousel. This fun and favorite attraction creates and brings back memories.
Park visitors are welcome to ride on its ornate horses, sending them back to years gone by. The Looff Carrousel interior is lit with magical purple lights, and at night, it makes for a stunning reflection on the water.
The Garbage Goat
If you have any garbage to dispose of, seek out the resident garbage-eating goat, he’ll be happy to help. As part of a public art installation for Expo ’74 and an attempt to discourage litter in Riverfront Park, Garbage Goat continues to keep things clean by ‘eating’ any trash you may feed it. Just place the garbage in his mouth, press the red button on the right and watch as he makes short work of it. This is a fun activity for kids of all ages. Speaking of kids of all ages, head due east of Garbage Goat, and you’ll find the world’s largest Radio Flyer wagon. This spot is a great photo opportunity, especially considering the huge handle acts as a slide.
Strolling along the river further to the west, you’ll see an intriguing sculpture that has a water feature in the summer months. If it’s a warm day, chances are you’ll see kids cooling off with its elaborate splash pad. Designed by Harold Balazs and installed in 2005, it now welcomes people to Riverfront Park and adds sculptural beauty.
Just a hop to the west is the Numerica Skate Ribbon, an excellent outdoor skating rink in winter and a fun roller rink. Numerica Skate Ribbon is a multi-purpose venue and attraction in Riverfront Park in Downtown Spokane WA. Numerica Skate Ribbon primarily serves as a year-round outdoor recreational venue for skating, roller skating, scootering, and skateboarding in the warm months.
From Numerica Skate Ribbon, you can jump onto the Numerica Skyride for a tour over Spokane Falls. With Numerica Skyride, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Waterfalls from the above view. It offers the best, convenient, easily accessible, upfront views of the Spokane Falls that run through downtown Spokane WA.
The Numerica Skate Ribbon shares a ticketing facility with the Numerica SkyRide that includes a café with a variety of delicious food, a large windowed indoor dining area, as well as a patio where you can rest and dine.
Washington Water Power
Another option to view the Riverfront Park Spokane falls is to take a walk through Huntington Park. It’s short but with some significant elevation change to get you to the bottom of the Spokane Falls. You’ll see the historic Washington Water Power building instrumental in establishing Spokane as a modern city. The power of the falls was the inspiration for establishing Spokane as a city in the first place.
As you get to the bottom of Huntington Park you’ll have a great angle to view the Monroe Street Bridge to the west and the lower falls to the east. Sunset is a particularly gorgeous time to come down here as the mist rising from Spokane Falls catches the light beautifully.
Searching for Sculptures
If you haven’t had enough activity, try tackling the various bridges throughout the Riverfront Park. Or, go on a butterfly hunt. A Butterfly sculpture from the ’74 Expo has been re-installed, and it’s worth searching in the Spokane Riverfront Park to find it. You’ll find it on the path as you make your way toward Spokane Falls.
After your adventure at Spokane Riverfront Park, you might be feeling peckish. Fortunately, downtown Spokane has plenty of options to choose from. For truly mind-blowing Mexican food, check out Cochinito Taqueria on Riverside Ave. Adorned with sugar skull art, wooden tabletops, and colorful décor, it’s a delightful spin on a typical taqueria. They feature innovative tacos like their Oregon Rockfish with mango-chili sauce or their Fried Maitake Mushroom. Appetizers include Marinated Melon Salad and Charred Spanish Octopus. For a refresher, try one of their agua frescas made with fresh fruit.
The end of any day trip ought to be punctuated with good coffee. Again, lots of choices downtown but for the coffee shop closest to Spokane Riverfront Park with a side of eccentricity, stop by at Atticus Coffee & Gifts. With a broody interior theme featuring black walls, a fireplace, and a rather famous quote from “To Kill A Mockingbird, a great bonus,” it’s a lovely café for a peaceful retreat. After grabbing coffee, you may feel compelled to peruse their gift shop. There you’ll find plenty of unique and quirky items like Spokane coffee mugs, books, cocktail kits, plants, and more. You can also pick up some locally roasted coffee beans by 4 Season Roasters.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about Spokane Riverfront Park. It’s a remarkable city park and a must-see when visiting Spokane. It played a major role in establishing the Lilac City and continues to be a quintessential part of it, paying homage to our history and celebrating modern ingenuity.
Plus, an added bonus, visiting Riverfront Park positions you to be right next to all of the great spots to see in Kendall Yards.