It’s officially summer, and here in Spokane, we know what that means – time for road trips around Spokane!
Nothing beats a road trip – you can hit the open road, take in the sights, enjoy a meal or two, and then be home by bedtime – if you want! Some of the attractions listed below can take a little longer, but half the fun of road trips is the trip itself, right?
If you’re new to Spokane, you might be wondering what’s out there – but you don’t want to waste time, money or gas finding the best places to take your family. Well, don’t worry, we’ve done the work for you!
Here’s a look at some of our top favorite road trips around Spokane.
Looking for more things to do around Spokane?
6 Fun and Unique Road Trips Around Spokane
1. Win-Tur Bison Farm
How does a seamstress become a bison farmer? You’ll learn, along with a ton of additional information, how a couple from Boulder, Colorado, moved to Wisconsin to manage a herd of up to 400 bison. Then, through a series of life changes, the couple relocated to Springdale, about an hour from Spokane.
You can take a 45-minute tour of the Win-Tur Bison Farm, meet – and even feed – the nine bison roaming the farm. Guided tours include fun facts about bison, as well as getting to feed them. You’ll be up close and personal with the rugged American symbol (separated by a fence, of course). Tours are affordable, $7 per adult and $6 per child over two.
Given that Springdale, WA is not too far from Spokane (only one hour!), it makes it an easy little day trip or short fun road trip. However, you can stretch out your visit to Win-Tur Bison Farm with some additional stops at:
- Riverside State Park – 55 miles of hiking trails, white-water kayaking – there’s something for everyone!
- Lizzie’s Laughing Loon Cafe – a perfect place to stop (open Wednesday-Sunday) for some burgers, sandwiches, and more!
- A night (or two!) at Shore Acres Resort – you can stay at a cabin on the lake (or bring your RV) at Shore Acres Resort! It’s the perfect quick getaway from Spokane and gets you some much-needed beach and lake time!
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2. Wallace, Idaho
About a 90-minute drive east on Interstate 90, the former mining town in north central Idaho encourages visitors to explore the town’s history. Even Wallace’s picturesque main street is worth a walk about to explore and admire century-old buildings that harken back to the days of mining and the Wild West.
Did you know? The film Dante’s Peak was filmed in Wallace, ID! Looking for movies set in Spokane? Check out our movies filmed in Spokane list here!
Hop aboard the tour company’s trolley to begin your adventure that takes you on a 75-minute excursion to an underground mine. Where there were miners, there were houses of ill repute. The stories of Wallace’s “ladies of the night” are told at the Oasis Bordello Museum. Tastefully done, your tour shares the story of the bordello, which was part of a hotel and saloon.
While exploring the Wild West history of Wallace, ID, you can also Instagram yourself at the Center of the Universe – yes, Wallace is the Center of the Universe!… somewhat. In 2004, the Mayor proclaimed Wallace, ID to be the center of the universe – because it can’t be proven otherwise.
The town of Wallace commemorated that announcement with a manhole cover in the exact spot of ‘The Center of the Universe’ and the citizens of Wallace celebrate this announcement annually. Read more about it here!
Even more things to do around Wallace, ID:
- Hike or trail ride along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, Northern Pacific, Route of the Hiawatha, Milwaukee Scenic, and Centennial Trail
- Take a zipline tour from Silver Streak
- Visit Wallace Brewing for some libations, then walk around the corner to the 1313 Club Historic Saloon & Grill or the Pizza Factory (less historic, but maybe more palatable for the whole family!)
3. Mt. Spokane
You can’t mention road trips around Spokane without mentioning Mt. Spokane! With one of the most beautiful views in the area, Mt. Spokane is a wintertime favorite with skiers and snowboarders. However, during summer, the trails are perfect for hiking.
With a view of the mountains and tall trees traveling for miles, you may think you’re in heaven. Pack a lunch (or pick one up from local favorite, Wanderlust Delicato!) and enjoy a picnic with Mother Nature and her friends.
Located about an hour north of Spokane, you can walk the routes once taken by the Native Americans who lived in the region before European-American settlers found their way to Spokane.
You will need a Discover Pass to park anywhere on this State Park in the summer.
Don’t feel like walking? You can drive to the top of Mt. Spokane taking the Summit Road (open mid-June through mid-October). There you’ll find the highest point in Spokane County, with spectacular views and wildlife on your way up! Once there, visit the historic Vista House. You can also view area lakes with telescopic viewfinders.
Even more things to do at Mt. Spokane:
- You can camp at Mt. Spokane – but you’ll want to book your reservation soon!
- Have a unique stay at Tentrr – have you ever wanted to go glamping? Stay at the Tentrr, just outside Mt. Spokane!
- Don’t want to tent camp? Understandable – why not stay at a Ranch Cottage? The Dirty Boots Ranch Cottage is a 1940s farm with sheep, goats, horses and even a babbling creek! Check it out here.
4. Dry Falls
You may think you’re visiting another planet with a visit to Dry Falls at Dry Falls State Park. Once the site of an ice age waterfall and massive lake, today it resembles a cross between a lake and the landscape of another world.
Stop in at the visitors center and learn about the ice age through a series of exhibits. Afterward, head out to Dry Falls, where you can enjoy 15 miles of trails to explore. The falls can be accessed by car, walking, or boat. You’ll want to plan an entire day to explore, relax, and have fun. Bring a lunch and plan to have a picnic during your visit to the park, about two hours west of Spokane.
Things to do around Dry Falls:
- Stay a modern home at Soap Lake, just 20 minutes from Coulee City (Dry Falls)
- Want something even more relaxing – and enjoyable when it’s hot? Stay at this guesthouse, complete with its own pool!
- Eat at The Banks Lake Brew & Bistro (take out only right now) or the Last Stand Diner and Saloon
5. Newman Lake
There are so many lakes around Spokane, it can be tough to keep track of them all! But Newman Lake is worth a road trip visit for a variety of reasons, mainly because of all the fun things surrounding the lake!
First, book a stay at this incredibly fun and cute tiny house on Newman Lake – how gorgeous is this?! This is hands down a perfect road trip around Spokane place to stay!
Then, if you’re feeling adventurous, book a combo zip-lining tour and aerial treetop adventure with Mica Moon Zip Tours and Aerial Park.
If zip-lining is a little too much for you – we get it! This might be a bit of a drive (roughly 30 minutes) from Newman Lake, but Silverwood Theme Park is a great way to have a ton of fun on your road trip – plus, there’s something for everyone! Silverwood has Boulder Beach (water theme park) during the summer as well as the roller coasters and mini-golf year round.
In the opposite direction, just 30 minutes away, you can visit Cat Tales Zoological Park, a wildlife rescue and sanctuary just outside of Spokane. It’s a fun, family-friendly environment that’s dedicated to taking care of a variety of species, including lots of big cats. Right now, you’ll want to call ahead for a reservation due to COVID.
6. Sandpoint and Pend Oreille
Sandpoint and Pend Oreille County are some of our favorite places to camp, visit – and just relax! If that sounds like a road trip around Spokane you’d enjoy, there’s a lot to do!
Have you ever wanted to stay in a treehouse? If you ever liked building, playing in, or even sleeping over in a treehouse but thought you’d never do it again as an adult, think again! Stay in this Sandpoint Treehouse, your home base while you explore Sandpoint and Pend Oreille:
Once you’ve established your home base, take a cruise around Lake Pend Oreille with Lake Pend Oreille Cruises. You can take a history tour, the incredibly popular eagle watching tour, and plenty of other options – find them all here!
Do you love museums and learning more about history? If so, then head 30 minutes west to the Pend Oreille County Historical Society and Museum, which consistent of several buildings including log cabins and more. You’ll find a lot of interesting equipment at the Museum – it’s the perfect casual visit for the museum lover!
Another 30 minutes north, and those who like to hike and explore caves can get away from it all at the Manresa Grotto. This Grotto is on the Kalispel Reservation and is marked with a sign stating ‘A Beautiful Grotto Exists’. It is a sacred space for the Tribe and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This cave system is open to the public and is mainly a very gentle path with views of the Pend Oreille River.
Finally, while it is currently closed due to COVID, plan ahead in 2021 for a rail tour! About two hours north of Spokane, the North Pend Oreille Valley Lions Club sponsored a train ride for 35 years. Each ride carried 60 passengers along a stretch of rail. But, eventually, the train rides came to an end.
Looking for a new way to help fund the club’s projects, members decided to offer a unique experience – rail riders.
The four-wheeled bicycle carries four passengers, who travel nine miles one way via pedal power. Not only do you have an old-fashioned outing, but you’ll take in beautiful scenery and get in a little exercise.
Where Are Your Favorite Road Trips Around Spokane?
While Spokane and neighboring Coeur d’Alene have plenty of attractions to enjoy, getting out of town for a day helps recharge your batteries. Whether it’s a hike in the mountains, a glamping experience, or even a trip to an underground mine, these road trips around Spokane are sure to entertain the whole family!
Looking for more things to do around Spokane?