Samara Behler at Manito Park & Botanical Gardens Spokane, WA

Blooms & Basalt Rock: My Favorite Spokane Gardens & Green Spaces

Tucked into the unique landscape of Eastern Washington, Spokane and Spokane Valley offer an array of green spaces to explore. From Manito Park’s Botanical Gardens to Mirabeau Point Park, these lush areas are an asset to our Spokane community - many honor Spokane’s unique resources and history. Let’s dive in and learn about eight of my favorite parks and green spaces speckled across Spokane County.

Note!  At the end of each featured green space I’ve noted if the park is dog-friendly, has kids play structures, has accessible areas and/or has other notable highlights. I've also included a convenient Google map link for you!

Eight of My Favorite Spokane Gardens & Green Spaces

Riverfront Park

No visit to Spokane is complete without experiencing the iconic Riverfront Park. Located in the heart of downtown Spokane, this beloved park stretches along the banks of the Spokane River, offering an enchanting blend of natural beauty and urban spaces. Visitors can stroll along the many trails and walkways, check out the recently added Huntington Park addition, view the Spokane Falls, or simply relax in 100 acres of green space. 

Beyond the vast green space, there are many activities within Riverfront Park. Jump on the Spokane Falls SkyRide for a bird's-eye view of the city and its surroundings. Enjoy a whirl around the Looff Carousel or, seasonally, on the Numerica Skate Ribbon. Head to a show at the Pavillion amphitheater. Or watch your kids climb up and blissfully slide down a 3-story enclosed slide in just one of mulitple play areas within the park. With its rich history and mix of natural and urban spaces, Riverfront Park has something for everyone.

Location: 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201

Open Hours: Daily, 6:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Great for: Dogs on Leashes, Play Structures, Accessible Areas, Biking, Walking, River & Falls Views, Public Events & Activities

Riverfront Park clocktower in Spokane with colorful fall foliage.

View of Riverfront Park looking north from Keep the Dream Alive Statuary. Photo by Fixed Focus Media

Centennial Trail State Park

Stretching for over 60 miles from the Idaho state line to Nine Mile Falls, Centennial Trail State Park offers a journey along the Spokane River. This multi-use trail is perfect for hiking, biking, and wildlife watching, allowing visitors to fully understand the beauty and power of the Spokane River.  Because of the length of this paved trail, it’s accessible so many of us in the Spokane community as it winds through countless neighborhoods and has many trailhead access points. And, yes, I included it as one of my 10 fun things to do this spring in Spokane.

Location: Various access points along the Spokane River. Visit Friends of the Centennial Trail to view a digital map for more information.

Open Hours: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

Great for: Dogs on Leashes, Accessible Areas, Biking, Walking, River Views


Manito Park & Botanical Gardens

Planning to explore the South Hill neighborhood? Make sure to add a visit to Manito Park to your list. Spanning 90 acres, Manito Park & Botanical Gardens features a variety of themed gardens, including the Japanese Garden, Rose Hill, and Duncan Garden. It’s been captivating visitors with its vibrant gardens since 1904.  

Enjoy colorful blooms from late spring to early fall. Visit in spring for blooms in the lilac garden (a CAN’T miss!) or the Japanese Gardens. Visit in the peak summer months to enjoy full color in the expansive Rose Garden, the orderly English-style Duncan garden and the Joel E. Ferris Perennial Garden.  Late summer and early fall the Dahlia Society Trial Garden (tucked west of the rose garden) is worth a visit. Mid to late fall, the colors of the changing of seasons are found all over the park. 

Regardless of season with it’s charming ponds and winding pathways, Manito Park offers a quiet escape from our mid-sized city life. Families can enjoy picnics on the lawns or enjoy an hour at the playground. In my opinion, Manito Park is a true gem of Spokane.

Location: 1702 S Grand Blvd, Spokane, WA 99203

Open Hours: Daily, 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Great for: Dogs on Leashes (except Japanese Garden), Play Structures, Accessible Areas, Biking, Walking, Families, Blooms, Native Plants & Geology

New Spokane Homeowner Note: I always recommend newcomers to Spokane to visit the perennial garden before making big landscape choices. This garden is a true treasure to our area, featuring plants with bright colors that all do fabulous in the Spokane climate.

Samara Behler at Manito Park & Botanical Gardens Spokane, WA

Enjoying the sun and flowers just outside the Rose Hill in Manito Park.

Mirabeau Point Park

Located in my hometown of Spokane Valley, Mirabeau Point Park is a sprawling green space that encompasses Mirabeau Meadows, Mirabeau Springs Waterfall Area and CenterPlace Community Campus. It also connects to the Centennial Trail. From picnic shelters and playgrounds to basketball courts and disc golf courses, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this expansive park.

Another great feature of this park, is that it is located to the bustling Spokane Valley YMCA. Making it an easy add-on activity for community members to enjoy an afternoon of healthy activities.

Location: 13500 E Mirabeau Pkwy, Spokane Valley, WA 99216

Open Hours: Daily, April 15 - October 15, 6:00 AM - 9:00 PM | October 16 - April 14, 6:00 AM - 7:00 PM 

Great for: Dogs on Leashes, Play Structures, Accessible Areas, Biking, Walking, Families, Native Plants & Geology


Dishman Hills Conservancy

Just head south in on Argonne Road and you’re bound to bump into Dishman Hills Conservancy. Spanning nearly 1,000 acres, this natural area boasts a network of trails that wind through forests, meadows, and creeks. Dishman Hills Conservancy comprises three units of land that are open to the public: the Dishman Hills Natural Area, Glenrose, and Iller Creek (featured in this map). There are also about 500 acres, including the Wilson Conservation Area, that are not yet open to the public. There are easy access points within Spokane Valley city limits, or take a further drive south to access additional trails such as Iller Creek, Stevens Creek, or a local favorite for panoramic views, Rocks of Sharon. 

Location: Multiple access locations.  625 S. Sargent Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99206 - Dishman Hills Natural Area Parking

Open Hours: Daily, Dawn to Dusk 

Great for: Dogs on Leashes, Walking, Accessible Areas, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Climbing, Native Plants & Geology


Mon Reve Private Garden

Ok, this is a unique one, but it needs to be mentioned! For those seeking a more intimate and exclusive green space experience, Mon Reve Private Gardens offers it. Developed as a part of the estate of H.M. Blakely, owner of the Blakely Dry Goods Company, the gardens were planned as a large formal garden within a 70 acre estate.  At the time, this property was located outside of the city. It was developed to be an escape from the activity of the city. Blakely called these gardens “Mon Reve,” or “My Dream.” The gardens are a great example of native rock construction and offer a little escape.  There is a fee associated with renting this space to enjoy, but wouldn’t this be such a fun date night?!

Location: 7612 E Upriver Dr, Spokane, WA 99212 

Notes: By Appointment Only, Fees apply.

Great for: Date night, Native Plants & Geology, Blooms, History


Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens

Step back in time and explore the historic beauty of Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens. Nestled on Spokane's Lower South Hill, these gardens are a great example of an early 1900s garden and a wonderful community project. After identifying some cultivated flowers and plants in the 1990s, Spokane Parks and Recreation staff began an extensive research process that led a community master planning process to restore the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens. Restoration included rescuing the rose arbor and perennial garden staircases and restoring plant life. As a historic site and to preserve historic integrity, the structures, staircases, and trails retain their original design from 1911. The gardens are situated on a steep hillside, but well worth a little climb to view.

Location: Just west of the Corbin Art Center at 507 W. 7th Ave, Spokane, WA 99204

Open Hours: Open seasonally, May 16 – September 15, Tuesday – Sunday, 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM. Closed Monday.

Great for: Walking, Native Plants and Geology, History

Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens historic rock steps by JLC Photo

Historic rock steps at Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens. Photo by JLC Photo

John A. Finch Arboretum

Situated on the western edge of Spokane, the John A Finch Arboretum showcases a diverse collection of trees, shrubs, and native plants. The location is an easy jump for residents in Downtown, Browne’s Addition, Peaceful Valley, Vinegar Flats, Indian Canyon and the South Hill.  John A. Finch Arboretum offers 60 acres of space to just be in nature. While it is a great location for birdwatching, picnicking, or taking a walk any time of year, this park shines brightest in fall.

Location: 3404 W Woodland Blvd, Spokane, WA 99224

Open Hours: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

Notes: Restrooms are open May 1 through October 31, weather permitting. The gate to access parking for Lilac Lane and Corey Glen is open weekdays from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM from April 1 through October 31. 

Great for: Walking, Accessible Areas, Native Plants & Geology

These are just some of my favorite parks and green spaces, but offers a nice overview of the diverse natural areas so close to town. Even though these parks are all spread out across Spokane and Spokane Valley, they are all within 20 minute drive (or far less!) from Downtown Spokane.  And, this only scratches the surfaces of the natural areas that the Spokane region has to offer.  If you’re curious about making Spokane your home and enjoying all this green space, take a look at my listings here or reach out to me.

Work With Samara

Whether relocating locally or across the country, Samara is dedicated to ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience while helping her clients achieve their goals. Contact her today!

Follow Me on Instagram