It's right around this time every year that I get really excited for summer to start. (And let me tell you, buying new patio furniture sure doesn't make waiting any easier!) But if you've never visited, summer in Spokane is really an incredible time. The weather gods totally have a soft spot for our region.

So, if you're planning on taking a trip this way in the summer months, here's a list of my favorite things to do. (I'll try to keep this short and sweet, but I'm not making any promises!)

  • Kayaking. Okay, okay - I know you've already read a blog (or two) where I mentioned how much I love kayaking. But this is just something you cannot miss when you're in Spokane! Soak up the sun on a sit-on-top kayak (you can rent them!) and let the Little Spokane River gently pull you downstream as you watch the fishes swim around below you. (Sheesh - I feel relaxed just writing about it!)
  • Sunday Concerts at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars. After an adventurous (or adventurously relaxing?) Sunday in your kayak, make your way to Spokane Valley for some live music, delicious wine and grown-up time (yep, nobody under 21 is allowed.) Lay out a blanket, grab a bottle and watch the sun go down! (We always pack our own snacks and a cribbage board for a friendly game to play during intermission. Of course it's only a ‘friendly' game if I win... but I digress.) 
  • Downtown Shopping Spree. Alright ladies and gents, I don't know about you but I'm a sucker for shopping and Spokane has lots of cute little hole in the wall boutiques that are just waiting to be discovered! Shopping and summertime might not seem like they go together, but nothing's better than escaping the heat by ducking into a fun (and air conditioned) shop. (A couple of my personal favorites are Atticus, Lolo and Jigsaw. Oh, and if you need a new camera to capture your Spokane vacation, Huppin's has tons!)
  • Playing Frisbee in Riverfront Park (or any park for that matter!) Lace up those tennis shoes and grab a Frisbee from the dollar store. There are tons of wide open spaces in Spokane area parks and throwing a flying disc back and forth can really be a lot of fun (and burn some of those winter calories!) Or, get a little competitive and play some disc golf! There are tons of courses around the area (including one with 27 holes at Farragut State Park!)
  • Paddle Boarding at Lake Coeur d'Alene. If you've never seen this awesome water activity, Google it right now! Rent your gear and get out on Lake Coeur d'Alene (or any of the region's 76 lakes) for a relaxed walking-on-water kind of experience. (Confession time - okay, so I haven't had the chance to try this yet, but I will this summer for sure! And once I do it, I'll write a blog and tell you how incredible it was. Hmm, maybe I should add this to My 2011 Resolution blog...)

Well there you have it. I have about a billion more things I could add to this list, but I'll leave those for another time. Ready to plan your summer getaway? Here's a not-so-secret secret: there are tons of money saving deals at and right now. They'll blow your mind (and not your wallet!)