American Original: The Life and Work of John James Audubon: The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, or "the MAC" among locals, is just a few blocks west of downtown in historic Browne's Addition. During IRW, the featured show open Tuesday-Sunday each week is the incredible look at the life and work of the man best known for his seminal work The Birds of America, published between 1827 and 1839 and considered one of the finest naturalist collections ever made. This show includes original prints, manuscripts, paintings and some Audubon personal possessions. Visit northwestmuseum.org for tickets and info.
Spokane Indians: The local minor-league baseball club stepped up a level this season, meaning a longer season and higher-quality competition. A trip to historic Avista Stadium in Spokane Valley is always worthwhile, and the Indians have home games against the Hillsboro Hops Aug. 19-22. Visit spokaneindians.com for tickets and info.
Collective Soul: It will be a night full of hits as the Southern-tinged grunge heroes in Collective Soul ("Shine," "The World I Know") headline a show Aug. 20 at Northern Quest Resort & Casino, where you can game and grub to your heart's delight before and after the show. Also on the bill are Better Than Ezra ("Good") and Tonic ("If You Could Only See"). Visit northernquest.com for tickets and info.
Counting Crows: The Bay Area band has been delivering pop-rock hits for three decades as of 2021, and songs like "Mr. Jones" and "A Long December" have proven timeless. Frontman Adam Duritz and company will be headlining Spokane's newest music venue, the Spokane Pavilion in Riverfront Park, on Aug. 28, and will be joined by openers Matt Sucich and Sean Barna. Visit spokanepavilion.com for tickets and info.
Downtown Spokane shopping: River Park Square, the mall just south of Riverfront Park, is the central shopping attraction, featuring mainstays like Nordstrom, Banana Republic and the Apple Store. Anthropologie, Free People and Lululemon are right across the street, too. But don't miss the independent bookstore, Auntie's, or Boo Radley's, where the quirkiest, strangest and most Spokane items reside, along with the Flour Mill building offerings across the river like the Kitchen Engine and Wonders of the World.
Downtown Coeur d'Alene shopping: As a tourist town, Coeur d'Alene is perfectly prepared for visitors. Kids will love scampering about Figpickels Toy Emporium, culture lovers will want to see the paintings and sculptures at the Art Spirit Gallery or the new Emerge gallery space, while bargain hunters will want to seek out the smattering of thrift shops along Fourth Street. And if music is your thing, be sure to hit the Long Ear record shop on Government Way.
Cork District: Spread out throughout downtown Spokane, the Cork District brings together more than a dozen different wineries within easy walking distance, each offering a unique spin on the flavors of the Northwest. Browse corkdistrict.com, where you'll find a map and winery listings to plan your Cork District tasting route, along with a few other wineries located farther afield.
Ale Trail: What the Cork District is to wine, the Ale Trail is to beer. In the past decade, the number and quality of brewers in Spokane has exploded, with new ones opening every year, whether a large gathering house or a diminutive tasting room. Go to inlandnwaletrail.com to get the map of more than 30 regional brewers, and pick what sounds good. We suggest at least hitting up the nationally renowned No-Li Brewhouse, preferably on their river-adjacent patio.
Riverfront Park: The multimillion-dollar revamp of Spokane's downtown centerpiece, a legacy of Expo '74, has really put a shine on this jewel. Your kids will want to ride the historic Looff Carrousel or check out the new Ice Age Floods playground, and a visit to the colorful new Hoopfest basketball court or skate park could help you all work off a few calories. ♦