Other Gardens and Parks
Manito Park and Gardens (4 W. 21st Ave., 509/625-6622, daily 8 a.m.–dusk) contains immaculate old-fashioned floral and botanical displays, plus a duck pond that makes a delightful picnic spot. The park was created by the famous Olmsted Brothers, who also designed New York’s Central Park. Features include the Gaiser Conservatory, which houses tropical plants and floral displays, a formal European-style garden with plantings that change with the seasons (May to early October), and the Japanese Garden, a tranquil place to relax.
The last of these is supported by Spokane’s sister city, Nishinomiya, Japan. In addition to these, you’ll find a rose garden with 150 varieties of roses, and a perennial garden containing native plants.
Stroll through the John A. Finch Arboretum (3404 Woodland Blvd., 509/624-4832, daily dawn to dark, free) to see 65 acres of maples, rhododendrons, and ornamental trees along Garden Springs Creek, or walk the interpretive trail. Unfortunately, the attractive setting is marred by the rush of I-90 traffic just a few feet to the south.
For a great view across Spokane, head to Cliff St. above the south side of Pioneer Park. This is a neighborhood with some of Spokane’s most impressive homes. Not far away is the city’s highest point in Cliff Park (13th Ave. and Grove Street). The rock, a half acre wide at the base, was once a volcanic island. For more on Spokane city parks, visit www.spokaneparks.org.
Cat Tales Endangered Species Conservation Park (17020 N. Newport Hwy., 509/238-4126, www.cattales.org, Tues.–Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. April–Sept., and Wed.–Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. the rest of the year, $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for kids under 12) has 44 rare or endangered big cats, including tigers, leopards, and pumas. Guided tours are offered.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition