Things to Do Around the Inland Northwest Part II
This article is part two of a three-part series about several Inland Northwest vacation/activity ideas. (Part I covered a few downtown Spokane attractions, Part II covers Northern Spokane/Stevens County attractions, Part III will cover surrounding area attractions.)
With a week of summer behind us, there are still over 85 days of summer to enjoy many of the Spokane and Stevens County area attractions that are literally right in our own neighborhoods.
Vacationers can experience a step back in time to the year 1520 as they enjoy the Northwest Renaissance Festival (NWRF). Located at 6493 Hwy 291 Nine Mile Falls, WA, the NWRF is celebrating its 17th season and is opened five weekends (June 25-26, July 2-3 9-10 16- 17, 23-24). Visitors are encouraged to dress in period appropriate attire. Many actors and vendors are on site, all of whom help to create a true Renaissance atmosphere. (In the fall the grounds serve as the site of Creepy Hollow, a spooky Halloween attraction. For more information, including the minor camping permission slip, or a map of the festival, and discounts go to the website: http://www.nwrf.net for details.
A popular destination is the
Spokane House Interpretive Center/Riverside State Park. It is located at 9711 W. Charles Road also in Nine Mile Falls. The Spokane House was an historic fur trade post at the confluence of the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers. Explorer, fur trader, and mapmaker, David Thompson, helped establish the Spokane House in 1810. The interpretive center has free admission; donations are welcomed. The interpretive center is on the site of the original Spokane House, one of the very first settlements in Washington State, and includes details about the Spokane Indians and the first Europeans who met and lived among them. Visit: http://www.friendsofspokanehouse.com to view a live documentary or call the park office (509) 465-5064 or park manager: (509) 465-5065 to plan your visit.
Vacationers should also visit the Nine Mile Falls Dam and the Long Lake Dam both off State highway 291. These two engineering feats offer majestic and scenic overlooks of their spillways and surrounding areas. Nine Mile Falls Dam was built by the Spokane & Inland Empire Railroad on the site of the falls in 1908. Washington Water Power (now Avista) purchased the site in 1925 and remains the proprietor. Long Lake Dam and Overlook is also owned by Avista. It was listed as the tallest dam in the world when it was originally built in 1915. Like many other Spokane attractions, these two dams are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors will enjoy the views of each dam and may encounter a “fly by” from some of the area's osprey.
To liven things up, families and kids of all ages should go to the Wonderland Family Fun Center located at 10515 North Division Street, Spokane. This multi-plex offers fun and exciting activities including Indoor Mini Golf with Black Lights, Outdoor Mini Golf, Laser Tag, and Bumper Boats, Varying Speed Batting Cages, Go Karts, and dozens of indoor Arcade Games. A snack bar is available and birthday party packages are available. Go to the website for more details: www.wonderlandusa.com or call (509) 468-4386.