Spokane, Washington, is a unique city surrounded and filled by beautiful nature scenery, with one of the most popular being the impressive and historical Manito Park. This park is a 98-acre green space located in Spokane’s South Hill neighborhood, and it’s a great place to spend a day outdoors.
The park is not only one of my favorite locations in Spokane for family photo sessions, it also offers a variety of attractions including gardens, a conservatory, a pond, and playgrounds. It’s a great place to go for a walk, have a picnic, or just enjoy nature. In this blog post, I’ll share some of the many features of Manito Park and what makes it so special (aside from the fact that my husband proposed to me there) 🥰.
So, how did such a beautiful park with a wide variety of features end up in the city of Spokane? #spokanedoesntsuck
Before Manito Park became the iconic park that it currently is, it operated as a small zoo that featured a variety of exotic animals. Among these included monkeys, lions, tigers, and bears – even polar bears!
The park was designed by a landscape architect from the Olmsted Brothers firm. The Olmsted Brothers were known for designing some of the most iconic parks in the United States, including Central Park in New York City and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Pretty cool, right?!
Today, Manito Park Spokane is considered one of the city’s crown jewels, attracting visitors year-round with its stunning natural beauty and wide range of attractions. Not to mention, buzzing with photographers who understand just how unique this park truly is.
Manito Park offers many attractions to children and adults alike. Here are some of the key features of the park:
One of the most popular attractions in Spokane Manito Park, and possibly my personal favorite, is its five major gardens, each with its own unique style and theme.
The Nishinomiya-Tsutakawa Japanese Garden is a tranquil oasis tucked away within the park. It features a koi pond, a teahouse, and a variety of traditional Japanese plants and trees. In the spring, it is home to gorgeous blossom trees that transport me to another world!
The Lilac Garden is a tribute to Spokane’s official flower – after all, Spokane is the “Lilac City.” It features a wide variety of lilac bushes, as well as other spring-blooming flowers.
…and my personal favorite (not only because my husband proposed here)
The Duncan Garden is one of the most unique scenes in Spokane, featuring a formal European-style garden with a wide variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees. The garden also includes a large fountain and a pergola that provides shade for visitors, often the backdrop to family photo sessions at this park.
Ever wondered what a tropical excursion in Spokane feels like? Well, you can experience just this at the Gaiser Conservatory, another special touch to Spokane Manito Park’s beauty. It’s a glass-enclosed structure that houses a variety of plants, including tropical plants, cacti, and succulents. The conservatory is open year-round, and it’s a great place to visit during the colder months when the outdoor gardens are not in bloom.
Manito Park also has a pond that’s home to ducks, geese, and other wildlife. Mirror Pond is a great place to go for a walk or just sit and enjoy the scenery under a whispering willow tree. In the summer months, visitors can rent paddle boats and explore the pond.
For families with children, Manito Park has several playgrounds scattered throughout the park to keep the kiddos smiling. The playgrounds feature swings, slides, and other equipment that’s sure to keep kids entertained.
Manito Park has several walking trails that wind through the park’s gardens and wooded areas. These trails are a great way to explore the park and take in the park’s stunning attributes, all while getting some exercise.
Originally created to cater to the many visitors of the Manito Park Zoo, this unique outdoor cafe is still a popular attraction to visitors of the park to this day.
Each year, Manito Park puts on a Holiday Lights Display that is an enchanted and magical experience for both kids and adults to visit.
Manito Park is a truly special place, and there are several reasons why it’s so popular among locals and tourists alike. Manito Park is open year-round, with different attractions and activities available depending on the season.
Admission to the park is free, and there is plenty of free parking located all around the park and surrounding neighborhoods.
To view a walking tour, rules, directions, and a map of Manito Park, visit https://static.spokanecity.org/documents/parks/manito/manito-park-walking-tour-brochure-2015.pdf
It’s helpful to keep in mind that the park can get very crowded during peak season (typically May through September), so be prepared for crowds and longer parking times if visiting during this time.
Manito Park is a lush and green oasis in the middle of the city. It’s a great place to escape the noise and stress of urban life and connect with nature. The park’s gardens are meticulously maintained, and the walking trails offer breathtaking views of the park’s many features.
Finally, be sure to bring a camera! Manito Park is a photographer’s dream, with its stunning nature features and variety of beauty.
Favorite Spokane Family & Maternity Sessions at Manito Park:
Spokane, WA is a city renowned for its natural beauty, cultural attractions, and vibrant community. From the stunning waterfalls of Spokane Falls to the peaceful wilderness of Dishman Hills, living in Spokane offers a wealth of beautiful places that are sure to delight visitors of all ages and interests. From outdoor adventure and scenic views to cultural enrichment and hidden gem stores, Spokane has something to offer. Whether you are looking to rent an apartment in Spokane or purchase a home in the area, Redfin reached out to us to share some of the most beautiful places in Spokane to help you discover what makes each of these destinations so special. Be sure to check out 11 beautiful places in Spokane.
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Taylor White Photography is a Spokane Maternity, Newborn, and Family photographer, offering a stress-free and luxury portrait experience for busy families and heartfelt moms. As a full-service photographer in Spokane, she provides wardrobe and styling for your whole family, custom framing, heirloom albums, and more. Taylor photographs simple, timeless, and authentic newborn, maternity, family, and milestone photos in her studio and on location.
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