As students return to the strenuous lifestyle of the academic semester, the peace and serenity of winter break that once felt sustainable is wearing off. The bank you broke buying Christmas presents, coffee with old friends and textbooks left you a few dollars to spare on self-care.Before you head to Starbucks for the comfort of a latte, consider giving yourself an experience for self-care over one simple drink.

The strip of neighborhood shops on South Perry Street is the perfect place for all students to get away. Everyone from window-shoppers to coffee-lovers to book worms and anyone in between will find a place on Perry Street that allows them to escape school and dive into everything local on the stretch by the South Hill. 

“What I like about Perry Street is it has it all — it has the pizza place, the place for beer and it attracts a lot of young people,” said Jim Alice, store owner of Liberty Park Florist & Greenhouse. “And it’s pretty close, just pop up the hill and you’re here.”

To the students who find renewal in nature and greenery, Alice’s nursery is growing plants of all kinds and colors, making it the perfect place to get back to nature during the winter months. The green foliage that decorates the store will lift your spirits and the revitalizing earthy scents and quiet sounds of the plants will help you unwind.

“They’re always welcome to come by and walk through,” Alice said. “It’s fun because there are not that many greenhouses in Spokane anymore, so if they want to see where things are grown, then it’s a neat place to just stop by and take a look.”

For the foodies, Perry Street is lined with restaurants of all styles. If you and your friends are in search of the perfect pizza place, the neighborhood’s artisan shop, South Perry Pizza, offers an affordable and enjoyable experience.   

If fresh and organic is what you fancy, then head to the Wellness Tree Juice Bar for juice, a smoothie or an acai bowl. 

The Shop, a restaurant known for its coffee, also serves healthy and largely allergen-free food, including breakfast food, sandwiches, salads and locally made ice cream. 

If your parents are in town or someone special offers to take you out, consider Casper Fry, a quaint and cozy establishment with an elegant, southern-inspired menu. 

For Zags 21 years of age or older, Perry Street Brewing offers local craft beer and Lantern Tap House serves beer, burgers, sandwiches and more — plus, a run club to burn it all off.

Window shoppers may be attracted to Perry Street for its unique assortment of local sellers. 

Scope out Windfall Clothing Thrift Store for timeless treasures, or wander into Title Nine, an upscale outdoor women’s apparel shop, where the bang is worth the buck.

Lorien Herbs and Natural Foods is an entertaining place, simply for the windmill it operates out of.

To the book lovers out there, forget Amazon and find yourself a true bookstore experience at The Wishing Tree Books and Gifts, which opened in November, where you can smell that nostalgic, fresh-paper-and-ink scent fill the store. 

If a novel is too much of an investment, consider browsing for small books, like “Eat. Pray. Love. Life lessons from my dog,” or find small gifts like feminist flashcards, Pendleton notebooks, board games or cards made out of sunflower seeds that can be planted after sending.

Janelle Smith, store owner of The Wishing Tree, was ready to open the store once she found a place on Perry Street. 

“Having  a neighborhood that people do walk around in, and there are so many families out and about in this area, it is just ideal,” Smith said. “This is kind of the place, and I am incredibly lucky to get this spot.” 

Smith said she loves Perry Street for its local sellers and encourages all shoppers to consider supporting neighborhood stores. 

“I don’t think people realize that there is a whole bunch of connections that happen by supporting your local shops,” Smith said. “The tax dollars stay here, you employ people that live here, and you get to know people. It’s a better feeling, and it’s a win-win.” 


Brooklyn Popp is an arts & entertainment editor. Follow her on Twitter:  @Popp_Brooklyn.

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