There comes a time in Summer when you hit what some may call, “a slump”. You may have already done many of the activities you set out to do, or mayhaps you’ve just decided you’re too lazy to do them… since after all, it’s SUMMER! Instead of this…
…Your days may start to look more and more like this:
Nonetheless, Spokane has many hidden treasures (amongst it’s many other, for lack of a better term, “endearing” qualities) that are waiting to be sought if only you’re willing to puncture the Gonzaga bubble, venture outside of the Logan, and cross the great Division street. In an effort to better know the city we live in from a true insider’s point of view, the plan was to start out at a place that Zag’s frequent often, ask an employee/store owner for a suggestion of a cool cafe/eatery/park/neature spot/etc. to go next, travel to that destination, ask that employee for their recommendation, and continue the pattern. Thus, “Spokie Suggestions” commenced… here are the three fool-proof steps to the game, and to anyone needing a break from their couch.
1.) Assembly- First step, assemble a troop of explorers (no need to Beyonce single lady…or man?…it). Arguably, one of the best ways to explore the city is on two wheels, but really any form of transportation will do. Biking allows you to travel the distances necessary for a true adventure; if you don’t have one, you can rent from GU Outdoors!
2.) Adventure- This is the step that requires you to get off your couch. Here’s a few of the places I found:
Our first stop was Ultimate Bagel. No need to explain this one, if you haven’t been here by now, that’s just…odd. After inhaling a bagel or two or three, we were ready to start the craziness. The owner was more than willing to tell us her thoughts on where we should go next, Kendall Yards, where she suggested a street for us to frolic down or grab a bite to eat.
After traveling north-west on the Centennial Trail for around 5 minutes after leaving Riverfront Park, you will find a quaint little neighborhood on the right that, upon closer look, actually hosts a cluster of shops within the neighborhood (if you’re having troubles finding it, the Inlander Building is among the cluster). This area was just recently developed as a pedestrian-friendly community and has an array of cool, hip new buildings, dubbed, “Urban by Nature”. They even have a huge Information Center where you can find out about upcoming events, or stop in to admire the huge wall murals (because, why not?). We stopped in at a newly opened ice cream store with delicious, hand-crafted flavors (that, in my book, is in the running for the Salt And Straw of Spokane).
Since we were already headed westward on the Centennial, the employees at the ice cream shop suggested we continue on until we hit Peaceful Valley. The best part about Peaceful Valley was getting to the valley. You follow a long, winding downhill path that leads you to a bridge across the Spokane River with beautiful views. Along the way, we stopped to talk to a pedestrian walking his dog and asked him where his favorite place in Spokane was. His answer, “this is it”!
If you’re there long enough you start to see odd entities appear before your eyes (and no, it’s not because you have inhaled any sort of “peaceful” substance…). Like this peanut truck that may or may not be Mrs. Frizzle’s second school bus…
…or this magical gnome home…
Our next venture was recommended to us by fellow bicyclists who had just came from Browne’s Addition. They recommended that we find “Roberts Mansion Bed & Breakfast”. When you enter into Browne’s, you begin to feel as though you have left Spokane and the Logan and entered into a world of up-scale funkiness. Browne’s addition was Spokane’s first neighborhood, and “for decades…was an enclave for the city’s elite residents”. Roberts Mansion is one of the stops in the Ghost tour of Browne’s Addition, and besides being spooky, it’s just a really cool brick mansion. (http://spokanehistorical.org)
Of course, these are just a few of the many great landmarks in our fine city. The great part about Spokie Suggestions is you’ll never take the same path twice, and there is always more to explore.
3.) Assessment- This is the time where you get to talk about all of the cool, weird things you did, the bizarre people you met, and the places that you still need to go back for more.