SPOKANE, Wash. — As a Spokane native for the past six years, I know when the summer returns you’ve got to soak in that sunshine.

I’m from the Midwest and I was used to summer lasting forever but that’s just not the case in the Inland Northwest.

I’m not much of an outdoorsy person. The most adventurous thing I do outside is kayak on Lake Coeur d’Alene (no, I don’t own my own kayak).

There is one thing that I know how to do in the summer: Grab a cold one, some snacks and catch some rays at any Spokane restaurant with a patio.

With that said, I’m no expert on food or drink. However, I do consider myself an expert in relaxation. 

My all-time favorite: No-Li Brewhouse

Beer: Check

Pretzels with cheese: Check

Cheeseburgers: Check

This is a place I’ve brought out of town family and friends. I’ve gone here when I was bored and just wanted to watch the river. I’ve stopped in after a long day of errands.

This patio has everything I want: A little bit of shade, fire pits, lawn games, local beers and bar food.

Ten out of 10 would sit here everyday in the summer if I could.

Brunch favorite: Chaps Restaurant

If you’ve been in Spokane for more than five minutes, you’ve probably heard how great the food at Chaps is. Seriously. If you haven’t gone, stop reading this and go right now.  

Chaps is probably the cutest restaurant you’ll go into. There are adorable knick-knacks on the walls, vintage furniture and so much more. Outside on their patio is an old pickup truck that’s sometimes filled with seasonal flowers, a sand box and toys for the kids, plenty of shade and beautiful flowers.  

They have fabulous drink options as well. I’ll always recommend a mimosa for brunch.

Dinner favorite: Downriver Grill

If you want to have a simply delicious dinner with your significant other Downriver Grill is the best spot.

The patio is enclosed more than most patios around town, which is nice because W. Northwest Blvd. can get pretty busy. It also has an abundance of shade, if the sun gets too hot.

Grab a drink, some of their amazing gorgonzola fries and any one of their dishes. You’ll definitely feel relaxed and well taken care of by the staff.

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