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Spokanes Most Walkable Neighborhoods

The first thing you should know is that Spokane is not known for it’s walkability, we are spread out, sidewalks are sparse, major roads and railroad tracks cut through the whole area, not to mention the inclement weather we have here. But if walkability is a primary concern of yours there are a few specific neighborhoods and locations you’ll want to consider if you’re looking to buy a home in the Spokane area.

There will more extensive neighborhood tours and breakdowns on this website and on my YouTube channel so we’re not going to go too deep into the pros and cons of each neighborhood in this post.

What is walkability?

So what is walkability. You may see walkability rankings on property listings sometimes - are the folks that provide these scores.

They define a walkable area as one where most errands can be accomplished on foot. Points are awarded for tasks that can be accomplished in around 5 minutes and points are deducted if tasks take closer to 30 minutes.

The Spokane Area

Here are the walkability scores from Spokanes 3 major metro areas, Spokane, Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake. As you can see we are a car dependent area so know that while you may end up in a walkable neighborhood you likely will need a car for something some of the time as you most likely won't have access to everything.

#1 Downtown Spokane

First off is by far the most walkable location in the whole Spokane area, downtown Spokane. You can live, work, workout, go out to eat, see shows, see doctors, dentists and take care of all your shopping needs in Downtown Spokane. This is one of the few places you can live and genuinely go without a car and not feel like you’re at a disadvantage.

#2 Kendall Yards/West Central

Next up is right across the river from Downtown Spokane, is Kendall Yards and the south part of the West Central neighborhood. Kendall Yard is a relatively new area but it was built with walkability in mind and that really shows. It’s a destination for people coming to walks along the river and soak in the stunning views. For the locals, you’ll have a great mix of wine bars, coffee shops and restaurants to choose from. You also have a great grocery store and a farmers market within the neighborhood itself. Everything you can’t accomplish in Kendall Yards you can take the extremely short walk to Downtown and meet your needs there.

#3 Emerson Garfield

Next on the list is a neighborhood I have personal experience of living in and that’s Emerson Garfield. This neighborhood has all the essentials like a large grocery store, places to eat, pharmacies, coffee shops, schools and so on. But it also has a really cool destination area, Monroe St. Monroe St is awash with antique stores, boutiques, bars and restaurants.

This neighborhood is also walking distance to Downtown. I would frequently walk to downtown when I lived there. It’s just over a mile and on a nice day it’s not a bad walk at all.

#4 Garland District

Next up is the Garland district. This neighborhood is a cool place to be and there’s no shortage of coffee shops, bars, restaurants, vintage stores, ice cream shops, book shops and so on.

There are a few smaller grocery stores in Garland itself but most likely you’ll be driving to the nearby larger grocery stores for your weekly shop.

The Garland district is a neighborhood thats really growing and attracting a lot of investment as new businesses look to set up shop in this trendy area.

#5 The City of Cheney

This one is a little out of left field and it's the city of Cheney. If you’re looking for walkability but don’t want to be in the big city then the Sleepy little town of Cheney is for you. Located about 30 minutes to the South West of the City of Spokane you will find everything you need all in one place. There are also a ton of walking trails and green spaces around Cheney if you like to get out and explore the great outdoors.

The major downside to Cheney is that while it has most things it doesn’t have everything so you will need a car eventually and you’re talking about an hour round trip to come up to Spokane.

#6 Brownes Addition

Next up we have Spokanes oldest neighborhood, Brownes Addition. I actually lived here not too long ago and my wife and I really enjoyed being able to get around easily on foot. There are multiple grocery stores nearby and a seasonal farmers market. You also have some great places to eat and drink as well as the medical essentials like dentists and pharmacies. Additionally, you have the Museum of Arts and Culture in this neighborhood with its rotating exhibits so if you’re particularly artsy this would be a real perk for. And of course you are a stones throw from Downtown where you can accomplish any task you want to on foot.

#7 Lincoln Heights

Next up is Lincoln Heights. I will say that, while being walkable, Lincoln heights does suffer from having the majority of those amenities along 29th which is a very busy 4 lane road. If that doesn’t bother you then you’ll find just about anything you could want there.

This is another neighborhood I’ve personally lived in and I honestly hardly ever had to go across town for anything, if it wasn’t for work I’d have never needed to leave a half mile radius.

#8 South Perry

Next up is the South Perry District. There are an array of breweries, restaurants & cafes here. There is a farmers market held here during the warmer months and Grant park provides ample green space too. You also have Grant Elementary in the heart of the neighborhood making the morning school run a breeze. The only thing that’s lacking here is a major grocery store. There is a convenience store attached to a gas station so you can get the essentials, if you run out of eggs half way through baking, but you’ll most likely be driving to a grocery store for your weekly shop if you live here.

One thing to mention is that the look and feel of the area makes for a pleasant walking experience too. So while neighborhoods like downtown might be more walkable on paper they do involve crossing wide, busy, often dirty streets where as in S Perry the traffic is slowed to 20 MPH, the sidewalks are clean and shaded by trees. And that goes a long way to creating a more pleasant walking experience even if you do have to drive to get your groceries.

Honorable mentions

- Millwood 82

- University district/ Logan 82

- Dishman/Sprague 80

- Manito/Rockwood/comstock around the intersection of Grand/29th 73

- Audubon 73

Future Walkable Neighborhood

Last on the list is a future walkable neighborhood people are dubbing Kendall Yards 2.0.

Now I haven’t mentioned Liberty Lake at all on this list because I don’t think it’s especially walkable. For the most part you have to drive to the to where all the amenities are and when you’re there everything is very close together.

There is however a lot of development going on north of the freeway and south of the river that has the same look and feel as Kendall Yards does. I visited an open house there recently and they were adamant it will be just as walkable as Kendall Yards, so we will have to wait and see but things are looking promising there.


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