An extended weekend spent exploring downtown + out in nature in Spokane, Washington, + Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

It’s kind of becoming tradition for me to visit my grandparents in Spokane, Washington, for my grandma’s birthday, in the summertime.

Every time I go, I always try to make sure to spend as much time in nature as I can, going on a hike and exploring downtown Spokane, as well as visit one of my favorite places: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho!

I love downtown Spokane – I think that it so picturesque for the area with bridges, Washington Water Company dam and beautiful brick buildings. You can walk around the Riverfront Park, ride the tram over the river (if it’s open, which I’ve found that it rarely is), go roller skating at the rink, or spend a day at the amusement park inside. In the winter, the roller rink turns into an ice skating rink, so that could be fun if you like ice skating (I don’t…). There are also a few festivals in the warmer months that are fun, if you get the opportunity to go.

Manito Park is located about 15 minutes south of downtown and is a must-see in Spokane. I’ve written about it a few times because I always make sure to visit whenever I go. There are always beautiful gardens nearly year-round with blossoms of every kind, and they change some of the flowers every year so it always seems like an entirely new garden. I love going during lilac-blossom season because they have a lilac garden that smells incredible when it’s in season. Sometimes they have a few of the gardens closed due to COVID, like the Japanese Garden or greenhouse, but the other outdoor gardens are still the perfect spot to walk around or picnic.

I always drag my family on a hike every time I visit, pretty much regardless of the weather because I love hiking in the mountains. Nothing beats the fresh air of pines and oaks and balsams way up in the mountains. We usually go to Mount Spokane but this year I wanted to go somewhere new, so instead, we went to Liberty Lake Regional Park. We took the Liberty Lake Loop Trail and I really enjoyed it. Entrance fees are $2 per person, so not too terrible, and there’s also RV parking or camping.

The first half of this hike is very steady and easy going, but you eventually reach switchbacks and a rapid incline, which was horrible. After the switchbacks, it goes back to a steady incline and you reach a small waterfall, where you can either turn back the way you came or climb up a bit more and make a loop. That section of switchbacks is definitely the worst. Not for the faint of heart and definitely a great workout.

Finally, for my grandma’s birthday, we almost always go Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, about an hour drive from where my grandparents live in Spokane. Coeur d’Alene sits on the manmade Coeur d’Alene Lake and there are lots of fun outdoor activities that you can do, many of which I’ve written about! You can relax on the beach, rent a boat or kayak or paddleboard, go ziplining, hiking, or even fly over the lake (goals! I would love to do this one day). There are a few awesome jungle gyms for the kids at Coeur d’Alene, one near the beach and another near the library. The parks are also lovely and perfect for a picnic, or you can stop by in the morning on Wednesdays for the farmer’s market, which I love. Of course, there’s also lots of restaurants and shopping. It’s a great place to walk around and for families of all ages!

I love visiting my family in Washington, and every year I try to find something new and interesting to do. There’s stuff for people of all ages and I can’t wait to go back!


Thank you for reading! Have you ever been to any of these places? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!




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