There’s nothing like summer.
The weather is warm. The sun lingers in the western sky late into the evening.
It’s the season in which people can go and spend some time in the elements, night or day.
And one of the bonuses of long summer evenings is relaxing outdoors with friends or a significant other, sipping a drink while watching the light fade to twilight.
For the last four weeks, we set out to find a range of nightspots in the Inland Northwest with outdoor patios or decks.
The following list is not comprehensive, rather it should serve as a starting point for you to explore and find your favorite patio:
After witnessing the breathtaking view of downtown Spokane from the clubhouse patio at Indian Canyon Golf Course, you may not want to go anywhere else. And it’s cheap to eat there. A burger and beer is under $5.
The outdoor patio at Commellini’s overlooks a stream and is nestled beneath mountainous terrain and towering pines. In other words, Commellini’s is a great destination to get away from the city and have some quiet time in nature.
Located, on the north bank of the Spokane River, Ripples at Cavanaugh’s River Inn provides a calm atmosphere for thinking, although noise sometimes does intrude. You can either feed the geese panhandling for food or watch your worries float swiftly away along the water.
On the other side of the Spokane River, adjacent to Riverfront Park, is C.I. Shenanigan’s and its shady patio. Summer in and summer out, Shenanigan’s is always a favorite place to take refuge from the sun.
Perhaps the Valley’s most glitzy of restaurants, Winesteinz, has much to offer patrons, from a gourmet menu to a bouquet of microbrews. This summer, most people will flock here to spend an evening on the second-floor patio terrace.
Coyote Cafe has a moderately accommodating outdoor patio area where customers can sip margaritas and indulge in the Tex/Mex menu. Plants, flowers and trees shield the outdoor wing from noisy Third Avenue traffic.
If people-watching is what you’re after, spend an afternoon on the patio of Cucina! Cucina!. In an hour, hundreds of people drift by, from mohawked punks and clumsy tourists to agitated shoppers and trolley hoppers.
There’s plenty of shade on the garden patio and second level terrace at the Scrapbook on the South Hill. Those patrons sitting on the upper deck can catch the baseball action across the street at Thornton Park.
On Sundays, DJ’s in Cheney roasts a luau-style pig as well as fires up the barbecue. All nights of the week people can come here and choose to eat or drink on the spacious patio area under the lofty pines and stars.
The Catcher in the Rye backs right up to City Park. And, when the evening breeze is blowing through those colossal pines, there’s nothing better than sipping a beer on a stool outside under the stars.
Definitely one of Coeur d’Alene’s most charming watering holes, Capone’s welcomes the summer weather with an outdoor patio. To add to the atmosphere, the sportsy bar books live, mellow acts like Mark Morrison and Planetary Refugees every weekend.
If a view is what you’re after, the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s patio lies right on the edge of the marina. You can gander at the scenery for hours and still have not seen enough.
Known as “a pub of distinction,” Bugatti’s stands as Sandpoint’s liveliest of nightspots. During the summer months, patrons can swig their beers on either the two-level deck or grassy area at the back of Bugatti’s. Plus, there’s also a wonderful view of Pend Oreille Lake.
The patio at Swans Landing in Sandpoint has a view that encompasses Lake Pend Oreille as well as the surrounding mountain ranges. The restaurant and lounge recently erected a dock just outside the patio, so boaters can pull up and have a cocktail or two.
The Garden accommodates patrons who just want cocktails with a special section of tables located at the front of the lower deck. The Garden backs right up to the lake, so we don’t need to remind you of the view you’re missing out on.
Living up to its name, the Edgewater Resort’s Beach House Restaurant and Lounge takes up residence on the beach. It’s without a doubt a choice spot for having a summer drink.
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