Head just a few minutes northwest of Downtown Spokane to find the attractive, nature-loving Audubon District. Charming homes surround the beautiful green space known as Audubon park, where basketball courts, a splash pad, playgrounds and swings entertain families along with the summer "Concerts under the Pines" series, where you are invited to pack a picnic, bring your dogs and enjoy music ranging from jazz to classical while lounging under the trees.
Surrounding the park, you will find quaint shops and eateries. Sink your fork into a homemade slice of quiche and enjoy a coffee or choose a loose leaf tea at the Little Garden Cafe.
For some of the best pizza in Spokane, The Flying Goat offers unique Neapolitan style pizza and crafted brews, including their own house beer. Locals can be found lounging around the outdoor fire pit on cool nights enjoying a fresh made pie. Polka Dot Pottery offers a chance to unleash your inner artist. Pick a piece of pottery and allow your creativity to flow.
Try the seasonal menu specials or a crafted cocktail at The Downriver Grill, family owned since 2003 and voted Spokane's Best New Restaurant by the Inlander Reader's Poll and by the Washington Restaurant Association.
You don’t have to go far to find a barber or a hairdresser, as they are located across from the park, along Northwest Boulevard. A block east of the park offers one of the best plant nurseries in Spokane. The beloved River Ridge Hardware store, on Driscoll Avenue, offers equipment rentals, plants and home improvement items. Ask anyone in the neighborhood and they will tell you that this local gem is the best hardware store in Spokane.
Runners, walkers and photographers can be found along the ridge on NW Blvd, overlooking the Spokane River, enjoying an early morning run or appreciating a breathtaking sun as it sets behind the tree line across the way.
History buffs can be found wandering through Fairmount Memorial Park where a former bodyguard of Abraham Lincoln, along with some of the pioneers who made this area home in the 1800’s can be found. Dogs are welcome on leashes.
The Mann-Grandstaff Veterans Medical Center (VA Hospital), completed in 1950 following the end of WWII, is located on Assembly Street and offers nursing facilities, hospital beds and a mobile clinic.
Also located on Assembly Street is the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex, offering grass soccer fields, softball and baseball diamonds, concessions, restrooms, a BMX track, skate park, a paved trail for walking or jogging, a 1-mile unpaved hiking trail leading to Riverside State park, as well as a neighborhood park with a playground and splash pad.
Joe Albi Stadium was built in 1950 and has been used primarily for high school football games. Seating capacity at the stadium is 28,646. The stadium parking lot has long been a place for parents to teach their teenagers how to drive safely.
Webster's Park, just off of NW Blvd, offers a baseball diamond, playground, restroom facilities and grassy space perfect for a picnic.
Downriver Golf Course, built in 1916, offers golfers a beautiful 18-hole course that runs along the Spokane River. The Downriver disc golf course is also located next to the river offering an intermediate level challenge.
From the Audubon District, there is easy access to Riverside State Park, where hiking trails, a campground and picnic tables can be enjoyed.
Written by:Jennifer McCormick