April showers bring May flowers and Zags know what May brings...Spo-sum!  As the Inland Northwest gets ready for longer days, shorter nights and the heat of the Spokane sun, Zags who are staying for the summer have found their way out of the lecture halls and into the streets of the Lilac City.  

There are countless activities to partake in and places to see this summer, from air-conditioned late afternoon lunches to cool, clear swimming holes to take a dip.  Here are some recommendations for food and drinks, outdoor activities and Spokane nights.

Food and Drink in The Lilac City

As the pandemic loosens its grip on local businesses around town with the arrival of more vaccines, local bars and restaurants prepare for a summer of good eats.

For some great quick and delicious traditional Mexican Food, be sure to visit Tacos Tumbras off of Hamilton Street right next to the Logan Tavern. Get delicious street tacos de carne asada for $2.00 each and pair it with a cool bottled Coke for a delicious laid back takeout meal. 

If tacos aren’t in your cards for the day go enjoy a cool drink and homey pub food at Brickwest Tavern downtown on 1st Avenue. With an array of local brews, crispy fries or cobb salad and a huge patio space, there is plenty of room to lay back and enjoy a sunny afternoon with friends.  

If your friends have four legs and fur then you may want to check out Bark, A Rescue Pub.  With one of the strangest happy hour times of 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Bark, A Rescue Pub offers totchos for $10.00, and Spokane draft beers for $4.00 a pint.  

Summertime also means the need for an iced or sweet drink to quench that heat induced thirst.  If you find yourself off Riverside Ave and need to cool down, head over to Method Juice Café downtown. A vegan friendly location with options of fresh squeezed juices, smoothies and light healthy meals to push you through those warm days!

Outdoor Activities

Spokane’s high desert climate makes it a unique place full of different opportunities to get outside ranging from the beginning hiker to the expert outdoors person. From rivers and lakes to valleys and mountains, here’s where you can go out to smell the Ponderosa Pine.

If adrenaline is your thing a well-known cliff jump and swim spot on the river you may have heard of is probably the cove. But have you heard of Donkey Island swimming hole?  Just around 15 minutes down Upriver Drive and across Trent Avenue is a beautiful swimming spot on the river that offers beaches to lay and relax, over eight different places to dive into the cool river, and plenty of space for fishing.  

If you’d rather keep your two feet planted firmly and on dry land, then maybe go for a hike through old pine with a nice view. A stroll around any one of Spokane’s beautiful parks is exactly what you need. Classics and all-time favorites include the beautiful Bowl and Pitcher trails and riverside views. Or head east for an easy sunny stroll over towards Idaho at Dishman Hills.  

While walking is fun, so is biking but more specifically mountain biking. With over 30 different mountain biking trails for people of all experience levels, Camp Sekani and Becaon Hill offer some of the most diverse and fun trails just outside of the city of Spokane. If you find yourself without a bike and want to hit the trails, head over to North Division Bicycle for rentals to fit your needs.

Spokane Nights

After a long winter of frigid snowy nights, it’s always nice to be able to reconnect with Spokane’s vibrant nighttime scenery when the weather stays warm after sundown. 

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Spokane Riverfront Park will offer free lightshows to the public underneath the fabled Riverfront Park Pavilion.  Enjoy a nice walk by the water and lay underneath an array of flashing colors with friends for a relaxing and Spokane specific night out. 

As bars and restaurants continue to open and revamp capacities, live music has also made a return to Spokane. If local music and upbeat neo-soul is your kind of jam, make your way down to Zola on Main Avenue on Saturday nights. It's here where Spokane local Blake Braley and his band of fellow musicians take the stage every weekend so grab your drinks and hit the dance floor if you can!

Spokane has too much to offer to fit all in under 800 words. So, if some of these activities excite you, or if you want to find more to do, visit www.visitspokane.com for the latest in our city.

Aodhan Brown is a contributor. 

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