One of the most difficult things about COVID is that it has severely limited our ability to travel in the traditional sense, you know, get on a plane, go to a tourist destination, or visit Aunt Bea and Uncle Theo in a zip code on the other side of the country.
But we are fortunate here in the Inland Northwest: there are lots of destinations within a short drive and it’s easy to string a few together for a lovely fall drive.
Start your drive just before noon at Felts Field (6105 E Rutter Avenue). Not only can you watch all kinds of planes come and go, but you can also visit The Historic Flight Foundation museum just west of the airport terminal, and grab lunch under the model planes at the fabulous Skyway Café. The generous servings there will keep you fueled for a full day of adventures.
From Felts, head north to Antoine Peak Conservation Area. Located off East Brevier Road just east of Forker Road, Antoine features more than 1,200 acres of beautiful mountainous terrain with many trails to follow. Hike as far and high as you can handle or take a gentle stroll on the flat parts and enjoy the expansive views. It’s really a beautiful spot.
If you have a smart phone, it’s a good idea to download the free All Trails App as it will give you driving directions literally to all trails in the area, and also give you good maps of the area you chose to visit.
When you are done hiking Antoine Peak, but before you head home, make a quick stop in Millwood. Located right on the Spokane River, Millwood is home to a number of small shops like the original Rocket Bakery (2061 N. Argonne Rd.) and the Argonne Cycle (3215 N. Argonne Rd.) and The Corner Door (3301 N. Argonne Rd.) which features a little bit of everything from treats, to books to cards and décor.
After you refuel at The Rocket, take the long way back toward central Spokane along Upriver Drive. It’s one of the most beautiful and perhaps underrated drives in Spokane, as it winds its way along the river back toward downtown. If the weather is nice, stop at Upriver Dam and watch the river splash over through the gates.
And just like that, in one afternoon drive, you’ve gone from the air to the mountain to the river and now you can go home and put your feet up.