Downtown Spokane and Hotel RL Spokane at the Park

After moving to Oregon from Spokane, Washington over 10 years ago, we try to get back to the Inland Empire every few years. This year, we spent two different weekends in Spokane, both of which at the Hotel RL Spokane at the Park, with lots of time to explore downtown with our (now) teen kids.

RL pool


What’s so special about downtown Spokane?

Spokane is one of those lucky cities that figured out early on the importance of a vital downtown. We watched it bloom from a ghost town of a downtown to the fun, trendy, popular place it is today, and every time we return, we like to spend some time here. Downtown Spokane feels urban without the noise, stress, or safety worries of a larger city. Riverfront Park shines as a beautiful green space filled with activities for kids, and the Riverfront Square offers shopping, dining, and movies.


In winter, ice skating reigns at the rink in Riverfront Park, but in summer, this area is transformed into a carnival space, with kiddie games, bouncy houses, a ferris wheel, and rides. There’s an IMAX theater, a carrousel, and bike rentals. Families can take a gondola ride over Spokane Falls, though for our kids who ski regularly, we opted to walk over to the falls instead to take in the view.


At Riverfront Square, we enjoy taking in an AMC movie or eating at Sushi Maru. The Mobius Children’s Museum is located on the bottom level.

Be sure to keep an eye out of for seasonal festivals or events going on at the park and downtown area during the summer months…it seems Spokane has something artsy and outdoorsy going on every weekend! During our latest stay in Spokane, we lucked into the Bazaar, featuring local artisans downtown. With live music and food trucks, it was quite the party.


Why stay at Hotel RL Spokane at the Park:

This Red Lion is located right next to the Spokane River and Riverfront Park. It’s easy to walk directly from the lobby into the park, which means the car can stay parked. There are three restaurants on-site, including causal dining on the patio overlooking the pool area. Breakfast is not complimentary, but offered for about $10/person  buffet-style. It’s a bit overpriced, but quite good. Each room has a mini-fridge, too, making it easy to make breakfast in-room.

The best feature of Hotel RL Spokane at the Park, other than the location, is the large outdoor pool overlooking the river. This pool includes a fast waterslide and kiddie/toddler pool, and a small pool-side concession stand. There’s also an indoor pool for the winter months (open in summer, too).


We stayed in a premium two-queen room in a newly remodeled section of the hotel, which was above-average in size and overlooked the pool. We had a nice balcony and while the bathroom was small, it was perfectly comfortable. Room rates vary of course, but families can expect to pay under $200 in summer.


The Red Lion is located at W. 303 North River Drive, Spokane WA. The hotel’s ‘sister’ hotel, the Red Lion Riverside, is located directly across the street, and is also along the river.

Disclosure: As we always disclose, we stayed at the Hotel RL Spokane at the Park free of charge, for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.



About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.



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