Spokane lies almost 300 miles east of Seattle making it a 5 hour drive without stops. It seems even farther because the 2 cities are so different from each other: in geography, size, weather, traffic, and even politics. On a recent trip to Montana we decided to spend the night in Spokane and visit Riverfront Park, site of the 1974 World’s Fair, Expo ’74. Better late than never.
The weather had been dreary on the way over but we woke up the next morning to sunshine and blue skies. Spokane is like that, receiving an average 16″ a year of rainfall, compared to Seattle’s 36″. (Though Spokane makes up for it in snow.)
We made the easy drive downtown and found Riverfront Park shrouded in construction as part of a multi-year renovation project. Still much of it was accessible and we started our visit at the 1902 Clock Tower.
And stopped to see the iconic Giant Red Wagon, the world’s largest Radio Flyer.
Look closely and you will see my traveling companion in the wagon. No, he didn’t take the slide down.
We walked along the Spokane River, crossing the pedestrian bridges and admiring the Falls below.
We would have braved the Sky Ride had it been running. Maybe next time.
Spokane, like Seattle suffered a major fire in 1889. The foundations of the old water pumping plant can be seen along the river. A plump marmot called it home.
Though I love my hometown of Seattle, I understand the appeal of Spokane. Better weather for one. Less traffic for two. And it maintains a small town atmosphere. It will be worth a return visit to enjoy the Park after construction is complete.
P.S. The link below describes the renovation project in more detail.
I also love that river right in town – a rustic vibe for a smaller town
It’s really the centerpiece of the town and will be even better once all the renovations are complete! thanks for your comment. 🙂
Shame the cable car wasn’t running.
I like the big marmot too! 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
Thanks Pete. Not sure if it was due to the renovations or just too early in the year. Next time for sure! 🙂
Great post! Thanks for the info and links. I haven’t been to Spokane since the 1960s.
Thank you so much! I can only remember one other visit to the city myself and it was also decades ago! I think we Seattleites tend to drive by Spokane on our way to someplace else. 🙂
My nephews grew up and live in Spokane but I’ve never been there. No way would I have gone on the sky ride! 😱But the marmot was cute☺️
It’s a cute smaller town, at least compared to Seattle! It’s easy to say I would take the sky ride when it wasn’t operating but who really knows? I’ve been spooked on them before! 🙂😁 I liked the park that was available to visit and the marmot too!
I grew up on the Willamette above old water works. They were great for climbing around. Recently I saw that the spot has been redone and houses are there, but it was great as a kid.
I guess they are great places for both kids and marmots to explore! 🙂
Riverfront Park is my all time favorite city park, so it was great to see your pictures and look at the plans for updates since I haven’t been there in many years. I was living in Spokane at the time of Expo ’74, so I got to see that area in all three phases, rundown rail yards, World’s Fair, and beautiful public park.
We used to go to the family swim at the YWCA once a week and one of my favorite things was watching the marmots in the rocks below the parking lot. Though one time one came up and bit my great aunt’s toe!
Thanks so much for your comment! Even though I’ve lived in the Seattle area my entire life, I only recall one other visit to Spokane where I actually explored the city and that was many years ago ( I don’t count driving by on the way to someplace else.) For some reason I didn’t attend Expo ’74 so hadn’t seen that area at all. I was very impressed with Riverfront Park and hope to return after most of the renovations are complete. I didn’t show the construction but it was pretty extensive and limited what we could see and do. Fun story about the marmots! I guess that’s their favorite place to hangout!