Considering a move to Spokane? If so, you probably have a lot of questions about Spokane neighborhoods, from questions about livability, access to amenities, school quality, and so much more.
What's considered 'the best' Spokane neighborhood is entirely subjective. Yes, I've read almost every single 'Best Neighborhoods in Spokane' list out there, and I don't agree with all of them! For that reason, we're not ranking Spokane neighborhoods below - because what's 'best' for a family of four might not be the 'best' for a retired couple. We think it's best to provide you the info and let you decide what's best for you!
Below you'll find an informative guide to the main neighborhoods of Spokane. We'll break out what people who live there say about the neighborhood, which district councilmembers represents which neighborhoods, school ratings and more.
Like any city its size, Spokane is a checkerboard community, consisting of a variety of diverse neighborhoods, adding to its charm and legacy. Spokane’s neighborhoods range from quiet sanctuaries to downtown’s vibrant scenes. Whatever your preference, you’ll find it in Spokane!
If you are planning to become a Washington state resident and move to Spokane, make sure you choose a reliable Spokane realtor! Jon Biron, a REMAX agent at At Home Spokane, is one agent we highly recommend.
While we have an advertising relationship with Jon and At Home Spokane, we only work with and advertise those businesses around Spokane that we trust - and we feel confident recommending Jon for your new home in Spokane!
What are Spokane's Best Neighborhoods?
Before we get into the northside Spokane neighborhoods analysis, we wanted to quickly set some expectations: we're not going to judge what the 'best' neighborhood in Spokane is!
We're Spokane transplants, but that's not a bad thing. I lived here 10+ years ago for several years, then moved back - and wow has Spokane changed! You definitely can't compare Spokane of the 1990s-2000s to the Spokane of today - and we're not going to try to.
We're going to cover what it's like living in Spokane right now.
We'll also cover the history and city council information behind these neighborhoods, but we won't let past history inform how some Spokane neighborhoods are today.
The best neighborhood in Spokane is the one that's best for you and your family. Spokane has a variety of neighborhoods at many different price points, with amenities, schools, parks and more. You'll find something unique and different about every neighborhood.
An Overview of Spokane Neighborhoods
As a reference, here is the City of Spokane's official Spokane map:
The northside Spokane neighborhoods are predominantly:
- North Hill
- Nevada Heights
- North Indian Trail
- Five Mile Prairie
- Shiloh Hills
- Balboa-South Indian Trail
This area is in District 3 of the Spokane City Council. Its councilmembers are Karen Stratton and Candace Mumm.
With the Garland business district in the heart of the neighborhood, North Hill dates back to the 1940s, when most of its 5,000 homes were built. A mix of owned and rented homes, about 11,000 people call the small area home.
According to the North Hill Neighborhood Council (which you can join if you live there!), "the neighborhood’s boundaries are Francis Avenue to the north, Ash Street to the west, Division Street to the east and Cora and Courtland Avenues to the south, along the bluff overlooking the city."
In addition, this Spokane neighborhood features the Garland District, which is a walkable 'main street' with a old timey artsy feel, with unique sights like Mary Lou's Milk Bottle and the Garland Theater.
As part of the Spokane school district, North Hill has three elementary schools – Willard, Madison, and Ridgeview. With median home values of about $130,000, you may find some of the postwar homes for sale at about $200,000. According to Zillow, prices have been increasingly dramatically. You can now expect to find homes in the North Hill neighborhood around $210,000.
There are three parks in North Hill:
- Ruth (a pocket park)
The average household income runs about $45,000. Dating back to the early 1900s, visit the Garland District and you’ll find art-deco designs, classic movie theaters, restaurants, and retail outlets. Residents like to describe the neighborhood as having a suburban feel in the middle of Spokane.
Some can't miss things to do, eat and see in the North Hill neighborhood of Spokane include:
- Mary Lou's Milk Bottle - made famous in the movie Benny & Joon (check out more movies filmed in Spokane here!)
- The Garland Theater - discount movies in a charming theater
- Maple Street Bistro - one of our favorite places to get coffee, baked goods, sandwiches and more on the north side of Spokane
Overall, people who live in North Hill have favorable attitudes toward it, according to Trulia respondents. It may not be the best place to see wildlife and it may not be the quietest neighborhood in Spokane, but parking is easy, it's dog-friendly and it's walkable.
As Nevada/Lidgerwood, its neighborhood was split to create Shiloh Hill in 2016, so Nevada Heights was reestablished at that time, and has focused its attention on continuing to improve the remaining area. The Nevada Heights Neighborhood Council, which Nevada Heights residents can join, states its boundaries are from "the North side of Euclid Ave to Francis Ave between Division & Perry."
With about 20,000 people calling the area home, the Nevada Heights of North Hill Spokane neighborhoods is also home to more than 600 businesses. Large enough to be its own city, Nevada Heights works with Spokane city officials to address concerns regarding streets and parks.
The area has easy access to shopping and Holy Family Hospital is nearby. The Nevada Heights neighborhood is also home to Friendship Park, which includes a splash pad, playground and more.
The median price of homes for sale is about $197,000 for older homes, with some selling for more than $200,000. The neighborhood is part of the Spokane school district.
According to Zillow, home prices are hot in Nevada Heights, as is true of most of Spokane. Prices have climbed to, on average, $200,000 - an increase of 15.6% in one year.
One of our favorite restaurants happens to be in Nevada Heights: Old European! It's a can't miss if you love delicious, Scandinavian (or just hearty!) breakfasts.
Nevada Heights residents overall feel their neighborhood is dog-friendly, easy to park, with well-kept yards where kids play outside safely. On the other hand, Nevada Heights residents say a car is a must, neighbors may keep to themselves, and there is little wildlife around.
A classic Spokane neighborhood set in the middle of beautiful scenery with an interesting history, families, professionals, and retirees all call Audubon/Downriver home.
On land that once was used by Native Americans for fishing, hunting, and as winter camp, the Spokane River offers a picturesque setting for the neighborhood. Today, the area is home to outstanding parks and trails, as people enjoy visiting Audubon Park.
This North Hill Spokane neighborhood is definitely at the top of our 'best neighborhoods in Spokane' list, especially if you love charm!
Spokane residents on Reddit refer to Audubon as a 'mini South Hill with cute, well-taken care of Craftsman homes.' If you're familiar with Denver, I think of it as a more affordable Cherry Creek type area - mini South Hill is definitely a good comparison, as well!
With tall pines stretching skyward, the park is an excellent area for families to spend time together picnicking and visiting the splash pad, while others play basketball and other activities.
Audubon/Downriver is also home to Riverside Park, built during the Great Depression as a public project. With rock walls and a swinging bridge across the Spokane River, the area is perfect for hiking and exploring nature.
With a median price of about $260,000 for a home, the area is ripe for adding new residents. With three elementary schools, students are part of the Spokane school district.
In addition to the park and cute homes, residents say they love the Audubon/Downriver area given its proximity to downtown, walkability, and nearby shops and restaurants. One of our favorite places in this neighborhood is the Little Garden Cafe - their coffee and quiche is a must-try!
Spokane’s second-smallest neighborhood, Whitman was named after pioneer missionary Marcus Whitman. A vintage neighborhood with craftsman homes, the area faces challenges, such as unemployment, low pay, and lower home values.
The median value of a home in Whitman is around $100,000. With an average household income of about $41,000, the neighborhood has an unemployment rate of about 8.8 percent (as of February 2020). Whitman has a population of about 3,700, and until recently, the area lacked sidewalks.
With improvements to area parks, such as Rochester Heights Park, the area has become more accessible and friendly for residents.
With little room for development, since most lots are occupied, Whitman’s community leaders are constantly working on ways to improve the neighborhood, with its tree-lined streets. As part of the Spokane school district, Whitman’s elementary schools receive positive parental reviews.
Overall, residents of the Whitman neighborhood say yards are well-kept, the area is dog-friendly, and there's a holiday spirit. On the cons side, expect more noise than your typical neighborhood, a dearth of restaurants and dark streets.
Once a railroad town, Hillyard was created to support the Great Northern Railway, which is now part of BNSF Railway, owned by billionaire Warren Buffett. Hillyard was actually its own town first, beginning in 1892. It was annexed by Spokane in 1924.
Hillyard developed a reputation as a tough and rumble town during its heyday, a reputation that followed it into the 21st century. The neighborhood has seen rough times over the years.
As one of the city's and North Hill Spokane neighborhoods poorest neighborhoods, Hillyard suffers from high unemployment and low income. The median income in Hillyard is almost $10,000 less than the citywide median ($35,000 vs $44,000 respectively). Hillyard's unemployment numbers (as of February 2020) are better than neighboring Whitman at 7.3%, but still higher than the city's average of 6.5%.
The neighborhood is home to great history, with historical buildings, including a train station, and murals. The area celebrates its local pride with festivals and special events. Some of these festivals include:
- Hillyard Festival (typically held in August)
- Hillyard Hippie Happening
- Chalk Art Walk
In addition, the local Historic Hillyard Business District also hosts events and more throughout the year. If you're looking for great antique stores, Hillyard is your #1 place to visit!
Hillyard residents overall say the area is walkable, dog-friendly, and has friendly neighbors. On the other hand, they also say it's not safe to walk alone at night, there's little wildlife, and the area lacks restaurants.
North Indian Trail
Located in the northwest section of Spokane, North Indian Trail includes a beautiful view of the Spokane River Gorge. What started as an area for houses in the 1970s, the now-50-year-old neighborhood welcomes residents who reside in apartments and condos, as well as newer homes.
The median age of your neighbors in North Indian Trail is 47 years of age, higher than Spokane's average of 35. A little more than a third of the homes have children under the age of 18. More than 95 percent of the neighborhood has at least one dog in their residence.
Looking for places to board your dog around Spokane? Read our article on Dog Boarding in Spokane.
With an average sale price of about $355,000, the housing market is robust. North Indian Trail has a median household income of about $81,000, higher than Spokane's of roughly $45,000.
North Indian Trail is among Spokane’s safest neighborhoods, with a 1 in 66 chance of being a victim of a crime, about 1.5 percent. With petty offenses, such as vandalism, among the primary crime, the neighborhood is considered safer than 83 percent of the country.
The area is part of the Spokane Public School District. While the district’s schools face academic challenges, it has experienced improvement in achievement test schools in recent years. About a third of high school students participate in advanced placement courses, with a 93 percent graduation rate.
We lived in North Indian Trail and have found it to be incredibly safe. Rents are higher on average than other parts of Spokane, but it is one of the few pet-friendly apartments we have found that offers newer amenities (like air conditioning, which is increasingly becoming a 'must have' as Spokane warms up).
It has gotten better in terms of walkability. There are one or two grocery stores within walking distance (Albertsons and Yokes), and a variety of places to eat and drink (our favorites? Pint House and Happy Trails). You're about 20 minutes from downtown, too, and North Indian Trail did recently get a brand new farmers market, so that's promising.
Unfortunately, as building continues in North Indian Trail and roads are not expanded to meet demand, traffic is becoming a problem - and dangerous. In a formerly slow, family-friendly community, more people are driving recklessly on one-lane streets. It's unlikely the city will limit growth in this area, but it is also apparent the city is not widening the roads to make them safer for both pedestrians and car traffic. This is something to keep in mind if you are moving to anywhere directly off of Indian Trail Rd. itself.
Five Mile Prairie
With a rural vibe, Five Mile Prairie is home to the original settler of the area, John Q. Strong. Having planted roots in 1879, Strong’s homestead is the foundation for the neighborhood. With the country appeal, you forget that the city is just around the bend.
A young neighborhood, Five Mile Prairie has a median age of 39. Primarily home to a white collar community, the average household income is about $78,000.
While the average cost of a new home is about $394,000, families enjoy residing in the Mead Public School District. With a 95 percent graduation rate, high schools students average a 1059 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The district just opened Creekside Elementary School as well as Highland Middle School.
Currently, Prairie View Elementary receives high marks according to parents at GreatSchools (8/10), but parents on Five Mile Prairie say there is a lottery system and not all of the children who live on Five Mile will get to attend Prairie View. It's clear the school is at max capacity, and adding new schools on the hill is imperative, but time will tell how quickly they open and begin to receive students.
Located in Five Mile, northwest of Spokane, Five Mile Prairie is a among the safest Spokane neighborhoods, where people enjoy taking nightly strolls.
Living down the hill from Five Mile Prairie, we've been able to visit Five Mile and its long, easy, flat walking paths for a while now. Sidewalks are a hit or miss on Five Mile - some of the newer areas have wide streets and sidewalks, but many areas don't. Be extremely careful if walking, running or biking with young children.
The local park, Sky Prairie Park, however is absolutely gorgeous. It's a huge park, with plenty of playground space, picnic tables, sidewalks and rolling hills for people of all ages to walk, jog, and play.
If you're interested in learning more about Five Mile Prairie, keep an eye out for Prairie Living Magazine. It's a local magazine that only goes out to those on Five Mile, but you can learn more about the magazine here.
A new neighborhood, Shiloh Hills stands where not long ago country fields filled the landscape. The area developed over the past four decades, and eventually was created in 2016 as an offshoot from the Nevada-Lidgerwood area.
With retail shops and apartment complexes growing from those old country fields, the northeast Spokane neighborhood has an average home price of about $200,000.
The neighborhood is among the city’s least-safe areas, which has been addressed during neighborhood council meetings. As night falls, some people congregate in parks, which can increase the likelihood for criminal acts, mostly property and petty crimes.
As part of the Mead school district, Shiloh Hills students attend some of the best schools in the Spokane area. Shiloh Hills Elementary School receives a 6/10 GreatSchools rating.
Shiloh Hills is close to Division (one the main roads in Spokane) and Highway 2, which puts it close to many major amenities, shopping and more. You're a close drive to Target, HomeGoods, Costco and many restaurants (most are chain restaurants but a few are locally owned!). While this does mean there is more traffic in this area, having large, open roads and a highway actually means you move around quite quickly.
Balboa-South Indian Trail
Located along a trail used by Native Americans before settlers eventually overtook the land, the Balboa-South Indian Trail neighborhood calls northwest Spokane home. Ponderosa Pine trees, the Spokane River Gorge and more scenic views create a beautiful landscape.
With a median age of 43, the average home price is about $294,000. According to Nextdoor, 91% of people living in the Balboa-South Indian Trail neighborhood are homeowners.
Balboa-South Indian Trail has an average crime rate, with the typical offense involving petty crimes.
The Balboa-South Indian Trail is located in the Spokane school district.
A post-World War II neighborhood, some may say the Northwest neighborhood is long in the tooth, with little more to offer than a series of ranch style homes with small footprints and small (if finished) basements. As people who live there now, we say bring on the old - you can always renovate!
Being a neighborhood that grew up with the Greatest Generation, Northwest is a reminder that soldiers returning from World War II were coming home to a land of opportunity – new jobs and the chance to own their own home. As you stroll through the neighborhood, consider what the early residents went through in their lives in creating the neighborhood you now call home.
The area is home to Drumheller Springs, a historical park where the first American school was built in the territory. Now a park, the area was along a route traveled by Pacific Northwest Native American tribes.
The classic neighborhood, which is part of the Spokane school district, has a great safety reputation. There's also plenty to love about the area, from the walkable Audubon Park, the Downriver golf course, to the stunning, walkable views of the river.
Sidewalks exist in Northwest, depending on where in the neighborhood you go. The streets tend to be more run down than other, newer or recently revitalized areas, but they're largely driveable.
The average home price in the Northwest neighborhood is $240,000, according to Zillow.
Many residents of Northwest agree: the area is dog-friendly, parking is easy, and yards are mostly well-kept. One Trulia user noted: "Halloween is off the hook!" likely due to Northwest's (mostly) level, easy streets.
Schools in the area are middling, according to GreatSchools user feedback, including Browne Elementary (5/10), Ridgeview Elementary (5/10), Glover and Salk Middle Schools (5/10), Shadle High School (5/10) and North Central High School (6/10).
Chief Garry Park
According to the City of Spokane, "The Chief Garry Park neighborhood is one of Spokane’s oldest neighborhoods and includes the city’s oldest home. In 1879, U.S. District Court Judge Lucias B. Nash and his family arrived in Spokane. In 1886 he built a home... it boasted 24 rooms and was one of the first homes in Spokane to utilize indoor plumbing."
Chief Garry park is located in Spokane's District 1, and its representatives are Kate Burke and Michael Cathcart.
In addition, Chief Garry Park was named after Spokane tribal leader Spokan Garry.
Today, the neighborhood is home to young families, retirees, and others as it is one of the most diverse in the city. With an average household income of about $35,000 and home values of $112,000, the neighborhood is an affordable area to live. Home sales are averaging about $200,000.
Schools in the area, according to GreatSchools users, are rated lower than average, with Cooper Elementary receiving 3/10 and Stevens Elementary receiving a 2/10. The middle and high schools do better, with Chase Middle School receiving a 5/10, and Ferris and Lewis & Clark High Schools receiving 6/10s. West Valley High School receives a high 8/10 from GreatSchools users.
In general, those who live in the Chief Garry Park neighborhood say it's safe for children to play outside, and while cars are needed to get around, parking is easy. As we've found throughout a lot of Spokane, Chief Garry Park residents say streets could be better lit - but again, this is common throughout a lot of Spokane neighborhoods!
East Central was developed in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a working-class neighborhood. According to the City of Spokane, "East Central Spokane was colloquially known as “Union Park,” a name originated from a concentrated industrial settlement that developed along Trent and Sprague Avenues. Union Park was described as the factory section of town. Nearby were lumber mills, flour mills and sawmills. The people who lived in Union Park were thrifty, hard-working people many of whom had immigrated from Italy and the Scandinavian countries."
East Central lies in two Spokane City Council districts, 1 and 2, depending where in East Central you live. District 1 is represented by Michael Cathcart and Kate Burke, while District 2 is represented by Betsy Wilkerson and Lori Kinnear.
An excellent area for young families, East Central was one of the first Spokane suburbs when it was developed a few miles east of town. But, as the city grew, it incorporated East Central.
Enjoying a median household income of about $39,000, roughly 53 percent of the neighborhood are homeowners with an average home value of about $135,000. Homes for sale in the area are receiving an average of about $220,000 (but, as with most Spokane real estate, it's likely going higher by the time you are reading this!).
According to Great Schools users, elementary schools are in the middle of the pack, with Franklin Elementary receiving a 5/10 and Lincoln Heights and Logan receiving 4/10 each. Chase Middle School scores a 5/10, but Sacajawea Middle School receives a high 7/10. Students then funnel into either Ferris or Lewis & Clark High Schools (6/10), the closest public high schools to this neighborhood.
East University District has enjoyed recent development to help create a more positive environment for the neighborhood. With ample parks, East Central combines the charm of an older area with economic development.
According to East Central residents, you will need a car to visit places like The Grain Shed (delicious food!), Fred Meyer for groceries, or Perry Street Brewing for libations.
If you've visited Spokane, chances are you've been to the Riverside neighborhood! The Riverside neighborhood encompasses downtown Spokane and Riverfront Park, and at its heart, it's a central business core, with retail, cultural activities, and plenty of entertainment.
In addition, the name Riverside aptly describes the view you get from almost any area of this neighborhood, as the iconic and scenic Spokane Falls run through this downtown neighborhood.
It's no surprise that locals in this neighborhood say Riverside is walkable, with sidewalks, grocery stores, and well-lit streets. According to Trulia users, 62% do say you need a car, but I'd argue only if you want to make trips to Costco or use your own car to getaway to the mountains. You can almost certainly live, work and play in the Riverside neighborhood with minimal need for a car.
This area is represented by Spokane City Council District 2, and reps are Lori Kinnear and Betsy Wilkerson.
People who choose to forego the sanctity and sprawl of suburban life live downtown; instead, they seek the hustle and bustle that downtown living brings. Residents have a median income of around $25,000. The housing market in the area is considered one of the hottest in the region, with condos and houses averaging a list price of about $330,000.
Hugging the Spokane River and bordered by steep hills and bluffs, Peaceful Valley may be one of the most beautiful neighborhoods to call home. Near downtown, Peaceful Valley offers easy access to the city’s vibrant scene, while also embracing nature.
With a median household income of about $35,000, the average home value is about $235,000. New home sales are averaging about $335,000. The neighborhood is part of the Spokane school district, and for the most part all schools in the area receive high marks: 5/10 for Roosevelt Elementary, 7/10 for Sacajawea Middle School, and 6/10 for Lewis & Clark High School.
When you walk through Peaceful Valley, you certainly get a sense of its bohemian charm. Homes vary wildly in design and size, with big, brand new homes or freshly remodeled ones standing next to shabby but chic, smaller homes. You also never know if you'll see a goat in the backyard, or chickens, maybe just visiting - but maybe also living there!
Peaceful Valley is located in City Council District 2 and is represented by Betsy Wilkerson and Lori Kinnear.
If you're looking for a neighborhood that has excellent fall vibes, Peaceful Valley should be on your list!
South of Peaceful Valley, you'll find Browne's Addition. Its proximity to downtown yet secluded feel make it a popular neighborhood, especially for people who work downtown. According to the City of Spokane, "The American Planning Association selected Browne’s Addition as one of the “Great Neighborhoods” in their “Great Places in America” annual selection in 2009.
They stated: “The most culturally diverse neighborhood in Spokane, Browne’s Addition is a mosaic of past and present. Stately mansions are juxtaposed with low-rise apartment buildings and condominiums. Residents appreciate the neighborhood’s proximity to downtown and its recreational opportunities and physical beauty. An increasingly vibrant pedestrian realm has created a strong sense of community and provides opportunities for neighbors to mix and mingle.”
Some of our favorite places to eat and things to do are in Browne's Addition, including Ladder Coffee, the Northwest Museum of the Arts, and the award-winning Italia Trattoria for incredible Italian food!
Among locals, it scores very high for walkability, given its proximity to downtown. Parking is less than easy, and few residents say they will stay for longer than five years.
Browne's is located in City Council District 2 and is represented by Betsy Wilkerson and Lori Kinnear.
The average household income is about $46,000, along with home values of about $150,000. New homes can sell for an average of about $268,000. While the neighborhood doesn’t have an elementary school, most children attend Roosevelt, about 10 minutes away.
Browne's Addition is home to the city's first park, the 10 acre Coeur d'Alene Park and has successfully emerged from a long period of decline. Browne's Addition is an eclectic neighborhood, diverse in terms of people and houses. Browne's is home to mansions, modern apartments, and condos.
West Central / Kendall Yards
West Central may be the perfect Spokane neighborhood, as it seems to have everything – history, architecture, delicious places to eat, tons of recreation, and economic development. With attractive historical architecture, such as the Spokane County Courthouse, the area is a mix of new and older buildings. Doyles Ice Cream has called the area home since 1939.
The Kendall Yards area in particular has developed into a hub not just for West Central, but for all of Spokane. Local Spokane favorites, including My Fresh Basket, Bruncheonette, and Maryhill Winery all are located in the Kendall Yards area of West Central.
You may have heard West Central also referred to as 'Felony Flats'. This derogatory history is not so distant - Kendall Yards only began construction in 2009, and before the arrival of economic investment in the form of Kendall Yards, the area could be rough around the edges.
However, since then, the neighborhood has gone a radical transformation. You can occasionally still find a run down home or two for $50,000, but those days are coming to an end when one street over, a home is selling for $400,000 - or more.
This area is located in City Council District 3 and is represented by Karen Stratton and Candace Mumm.
According to West Central residents, sidewalks are plentiful, the area is dog-friendly and parking is easy. For the most part, all of this is true - but watch out for parking during Kendall Yards' Farmers Market season. It can be quite a challenge to park in Kendall Yards then!
You almost can't beat West Central when it comes to recreation, too. You're right on top of Centennial Trail, in an area that's fairly flat but has some fun hills (paved) if you want a challenge. You can also walk to Peaceful Valley, downtown Spokane, and Riverfront Park. Your local grocery store is My Fresh Basket, plus you have access to the delicious donut shop - Hello Sugar!
There's a lot to love about living in West Central, but prices continue to increase in this popular area, so make sure to engage a trusted Spokane realtor!
As far as schools go, the elementary schools receive ratings of 2/10 (Holmes) and 3/10 (Audubon), although the middle and high schools do better (Glover Middle School receives a 5/10 and North Central High School receives a 6/10 from Great Schools).
The West Hills neighborhood is unique in that it encompasses Spokane's busiest airport, Spokane International Airport. As such, living in West Hills, you may deal with some airplane noise. Having spent some time out there, however, it's much less noticeable than you would think!
One challenge you may find in the West Hills neighborhood? Availability of homes! As of right now, there are only lots for sale in the West Hills (although that changes rapidly, so make sure to engage with a realtor to find listings not yet available on Zillow).
In general, homes are currently selling for $30,000-100,000 in West Hills, according to Trulia. If you can find a property, it may be one of the cheaper places to live in Spokane!
West Hills is represented by 2 districts, District 2 and 3. District 2 councilmembers are Betsy Wilkerson, and Lori Kinnear, while District 3 councilmembers are - Candace Mumm and Karen Stratton.
School ratings in the West Hills vary, from the excellent rated Hutton Elementary (9/10 on GreatSchools) to the 3/10 ranked Audubon Elementary. There are several middle schools to choose from in the West Hills, including Glover and Westwood (5/10 according to GreatSchools), and Sacajawea (7/10). For high schools, there are Cheney, North Central and Lewis and Clark (6/10 according to GreatSchools).
Overall, West Hills is a great neighborhood to call home. Residents are diverse, with retirees mixed with families, and the median income in West Hills is higher than Spokane's average. Neighbors regularly enjoy block parties, Easter egg hunts and more.
The area also boasts the Finch Arboretum, with 65 acres of rolling hills, trees and so much more - all for free!
Located in north-central Spokane, Emerson/Garfield has been a part of the city for more than a century. As a former race track turned park, Corbin Park is a fun place to enjoy a walk or just relax. During summer months, you may see horse-mounted Spokane police officers patrolling the area.
Emerson/Garfield is located in City Council District 3 and is represented by Karen Stratton and Candace Mumm.
The area is very social, aided by an adequate number of sidewalks, walkability, and community events, such as Corbin Park's plant and flower sale. Residents of this area do say you need a car to get around, and the area might not be as quiet as others.
According to the City of Spokane, "Emerson and Corbin Parks remain popular outdoor attractions for all ages. Residents appreciate their down-to-earth neighbors, tree-lined local streets, easy access to nearby amenities and downtown Spokane, and the historical character of the many older homes and commercial buildings."
With a median household income of about $40,500, the average age of residents is about 50. Home prices average around $200,000. Schools receive mixed ratings, from 3/10 - 5/10 for elementary (Garfield, Spokane Public Montessori, and Audubon Elementary), to 5-6/10 for the middle and high schools (Glover Middle and North Central High).
The Logan neighborhood will always have a special place in my heart, given it's where Gonzaga is located! That's important to keep in mind if you're hoping for a quiet, peaceful place to live - it might not be Logan.
That said, if you want fun, don't mind seeing college students around, desire walkability and good places to eat, and want to be close to grocery stores - Logan might be for you!
A tree-lined neighborhood with stately homes, perfect for couples and young families, Logan’s main neighborhood is well-known, at least in the college basketball world. Gonzaga University – the Zags for college hoops fanatics – shares the neighborhood with residents. Once a quiet Jesuit school, Gonzaga has seen its footprint grow in the area.
Logan is located in City Council District 1 and is represented by Kate Burke and Michael Cathcart.
With attractive buildings on campus, the school adds to the charm and challenges of the Logan neighborhood. Local leaders and school officials work to ensure the area remains safe and friendly.
According to what residents say, a car is needed but parking is easy. For the most part, we agree. If you want to go to Costco or Fred Meyer, you'll need a car. However, if you want to walk to the grocery store, public transit, or places to eat, you can get by without a car in the Logan neighborhood.
In addition to Safeway for groceries, you'll find plenty to eat and drink in the Logan neighborhood, from plenty of new restaurants and shops (Clover!) to old favorites, like Ultimate Bagel and Jack and Dan's. In addition, the Bing Crosby museum and Gonzaga itself is accessible and friendly to local residents.
According to the City of Spokane, "A competitive cost of living and close proximity to universities and downtown attract people to the Logan neighborhood. It is an established neighborhood where many enjoy peace and quiet in daily life. People sometimes bike or walk to meet their shopping or travel needs."
The median income for the area is about $37,000, while household values average about $131,000. Home sales are growing in the area, with recent sales averaging more than $200,000.
Schools in the area receive middling scores, from 3-4/10 for the elementaries (Bemiss and Longfellow - 3/10 and Garfield and Logan - 4/10). The middle schools in the Logan neighborhood vary even more, from 2/10 to 7/10 (Shaw and Garry at 2/10, Glover at 5/10 and Sacajawea at 7/10). Local high schools include Rogers (2/10), Lewis & Clark (6/10) and North Central (6/10), as well as Gonzaga Prepatory.
The Bemiss neighborhood can say it’s been part of two cities during its youth. As an original part of the town of Hillyard, founded in in the early 1890s and later annexed by Spokane in 1924, Bemiss has grown as Spokane has.
A relatively quiet neighborhood, its charm may be that it’s an average middle class neighborhood, a nice area to raise a family, but without some of the perks that places like Logan or West Central have. With a median household income of about $37,000, average home values are about $121,000.
Bemiss is located in City Council District 1 and is represented by Kate Burke and Michael Cathcart.
Bemiss is part of Spokane Public Schools, and its elementary schools range from 2/10-4/10 scores from GreatSchools (Bemiss, Longfellow and Regal all 3/10 with Logan scoring a 4/10). Middle schools in the area don't fare much better - Shaw and Garry both get 2/10. There are several technical high schools in the area, and local high school, Rogers, scores a 2/10.
Residents of Bemiss say the area is well-kept, with easy parking and a community feel. You will need a car to get around this area, according to residents.
According to the City of Spokane, "Bemiss hosts a mixture of residents who have lived their entire life in the neighborhood, and others who are relatively new. A single block is home to baby-boomer retirees and older folks, twentysomethings with babies and toddlers, thirty-somethings with kids in school and those in their forties with high-school kids. Strong ties within the community help to ensure children have a safe place to call home. Neighbors know each other by name and give assistance when needed."
Originally the site of a spa, the Minnehaha neighborhood today offers access to nature trails, such as Beacon Hill Trail and Centennial Trail. Rock climbing is popular at Minnehaha Rocks. The neighborhood has a median income of about $45,000. With an average home value of about $131,000, 72 percent of the neighborhood includes homeowners.
Locals say the area is dog-friendly, with well-kept yards and children who play outside. None of this is surprising given Minnehaha's proximity to tons of great hiking at Beacon Hill, the Climbing Rocks, and Minnehaha Park itself.
Minnehaha schools are also in the Spokane Public School district, and include: Cooper and Logan elementaries (3/10 and 4/10 respectively, according to GreatSchools), Shaw Middle School (2/10), and Rogers High School (2/10).
Minnehaha is located in City Council District 1 and is represented by Kate Burke and Michael Cathcart.
With treelined streets and plenty of greenspace, Manito Cannon Hill owes its fortunes to Spokane’s early days when streetcars were common in the area. A close-knit neighborhood, most residents have called the area home their entire lives. Block parties are common events, and people enjoy visiting with neighbors during daily walks.
Manito has a rich history: Manito Park was dedicated in 1904 and originally hosted a zoo. Since then, Manito has shed its zoo but grew to include a rose garden, Japanese Garden, sunken gardens, greenhouses, playgrounds and more. Manito Park and Manito Boulevard are also on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cannon Hill Park, another park in the Manito neighborhood, was designed by the Olmsted brothers, sons of famous Central Park landscape architect Frederick Olmsted. According to the City of Spokane, "The Olmsted brothers developed their design for Cannon Hill Park when they arrived in Spokane in 1907. The plans included a recommendation to replace the old brickyard with a park dedicated to “quiet recreation.”... The park was originally named Adams Park because the land was owned by John Quincy Adams’ grandson and was changed to Cannon Hill Park for A. M. Cannon, local banker and real estate developer."
Manito is located in City Council District 2 and is represented by Betsy Wilkerson and Lori Kinnear.
Manito also hosts some of our favorite places to eat and drink, including The Scoop (ice cream), Manito Park, Gaiser Conservatory (a must during the holiday season for their lights!) and Rocket Bakery (one of our top coffee shops in Spokane).
It almost goes without saying that residents of Manito find it a walkable, dog-friendly neighborhood, safe, and inviting for the holidays. There are plenty of places to eat, pick up groceries, and you'll likely even see the famous wild turkeys that roam around Manito. You can watch, but don't touch the turkeys - they're beloved residents of Manito!
Manito/Cannon Hill’s median household income is nearly $80,000, with the average home value about $393,000. Home sales are currently averaging about $423,000. Since most residents don’t move away from Manito/Cannon Hill, many of the house sales are families seeking an upgrade.
Manito is also home to some of the best elementary schools, according to GreatSchools - Wilson Elementary, which scores a 9/10 on GreatSchools, and Hutton Elementary, which also scores a 9/10. For middle schools, parents can choose between Sacajawea (7/10) or Cataldo Catholic (preschool through 8th grade). If they remain in public school, the feeder high school is Lewis & Clark (6/10).
Just outside Manito's boundaries lies Rockwood, along with its famous and delicious Rockwood Bakery. With its original resident the founder of Spokane’s first newspaper (Francis Cook), Rockwood would grow from nearly 700 acres of property to its current neighborhood of classic homes, ample parks, and friendly residents.
Today, while close to downtown Spokane, Rockwood offers residents a quiet, mature area to call home. Much like the Manito/Cannon Hill neighborhood, residents find it full of holiday cheer, with mature, well-kept yards, walkability and more. Many professionals who work downtown also call Rockwood home, given its proximity to downtown Spokane.
Rockwood is located in City Council District 2 and is represented by Betsy Wilkerson and Lori Kinnear.
With median household income of nearly $70,000, home values average about $465,000. Bicycling, walking, and even gardening are popular activities in Rockwood. The neighborhood is home to the classically-designed St. John’s Cathedral. Rockwood is also part of Spokane School District, with access to Hutton Elementary (9/10 on GreatSchools), Roosevelt (5/10) and Grant Elementary (2/10).
Middle and high schools include Sacajawea (7/10) and Lewis & Clark (6/10).
With a history dating back to the days of streetcars rolling along Spokane’s streets, Comstock has grown into a friendly neighborhood where locals smile and visit with one another. You’ll find neighbors biking, hiking, or exploring other fun, physical activities.
With a median household income of $68,000, Comstock’s home to retirees, families, and professionals. With easy access to downtown Spokane, you can take public transportation or ride your bike. Average home values are about $318,000, and new house sales are going for about $305,000.
In addition to recreation and walkability, Comstock residents also have access to Scenic High Drive, overlooking the Latah Valley. There you can bike, watch the sunset, bring a picnic, walk your dog or simply take in some fresh airs. Manito Boulevard is known as 'walker's haven' and the neighborhood takes pride that it offers access to all, including joggers, bicyclists, strollers, and wheelchairs.
Comstock is located in City Council District 2 and is represented by Betsy Wilkerson and Lori Kinnear.
Comstock is home to some excellent schools, including the 9/10 ranked Wilson Elementary, 8/10 Mullan Road Elementary, 7/10 Sacajawea Middle School and 6/10 for both Lewis & Clark and Ferris high schools.
Originally a travel route used by Native Americans, Southgate is known as a family-oriented neighborhood. With neighbors who enjoy visiting with each other, walking in the neighborhood, and hosting block parties, Southgate is the type of neighborhood you want to call home.
With a median household income of $69,000, locals enjoy nice home values of about $465,000, and new house sales go for about $492,000. While the neighborhood does have some apartments available to rent, most residents own their homes.
According to the City of Spokane, this Spokane neighborhood is mainly comprised of retirees and professionals. The area is laid back and friendly, while also quiet and respectful. Many residents live there because of the mid-century, wooded residential developments or because they were born and raised in the area.
Southgate is located in City Council District 2 and is represented by Betsy Wilkerson and Lori Kinnear.
With its history tied to street cars, Lincoln Heights has seen its share of wealthy eastern landowners move west, including the grandson of President John Quincy Adams.
According to the City of Spokane, "A major landowner of this period was Charles F. Adams, Jr. of Boston, who represented his family’s real estate trust and who was a trustee and major stockholder in the Washington Water Power Company. Adams was a Civil War veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg and grandson of the sixth U.S. President... Adams Elementary School, built in 1908 adjacent to the Lincoln Heights Addition, bears this famous family’s name."
Today, people enjoy living in this quiet Spokane neighborhood. With a mix of older and newer homes, the average home value is about $270,000. New house sales currently average $280,000. With a low crime rate, residents feel safe and comfortable walking to markets, such as the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center.
Lincoln Heights is located in City Council District 2 and is represented by Betsy Wilkerson and Lori Kinnear.
What are the Best Neighborhoods in Spokane?
In the end, the best neighborhood in Spokane is the one that best fits you, your family, and your lifestyle! Plenty of people will love the hustle and bustle of West Central and Riverside, while others will prefer a calmer, quieter life in Comstock. Still others will want to live close to the parks and trails near Minnehaha and Hillyard, while others will prefer a short walk to Gonzaga in the Logan neighborhood.
We hope this overview of neighborhoods in Spokane has helped you make a decision. As you can see, there is quite a variety to choose from!
FAQ on Spokane Neighborhoods
We asked local Spokane realtor, Jon Biron, a REMAX agent, the following questions about real estate in Spokane.
1) Why should someone use a realtor when looking for a place to live in Spokane?
There are several reasons that someone would want to use a Realtor when looking for a home in Spokane.
First, a good Realtor spends a large part of their day in and around the Spokane market. We know the 'feel' of the areas and neighborhoods, how long it takes to get from one area to another and a whole host of other information that will be super helpful, especially to someone who is not familiar with the area.
Second, a Realtor will have the absolute best access to new homes, as they come on the market, and will also have the most accurate information and details about those homes. Many of the national sites will lag behind or have inaccurate or misleading information. It is a real bummer when you get really excited about a "new" house that just popped up on a site, only to find out that it actually sold over a year ago and the current owners have no interest in selling!
Finally, when you do find "the one", the house you want to settle down in, your Realtor's expertise in crafting an attractive offer and walking you through the ins and outs of the whole purchase process will prove extremely valuable! As a Realtor, I find it extremely valuable to have the "build up" time to get to know new clients, answering questions along the way, and getting a feel for what is important to them, so that when we write our first offer, I already know what things we need to focus on and how to get an offer accepted that they can be excited about!
There are many other benefits as well. Your Realtor will almost certainly know where you need to go to find just about anything you need! Plumbers, electricians, house cleaners... you name it, they either know one or know someone that does!
One of the best reasons to use a Realtor when you are looking to buy a home is that, typically, the Seller will pay your Realtor's fee! You get to choose YOUR OWN Realtor and someone else is going to pay them! What!?
2) What does it mean when a house is 'for sale by owner' - how does that affect purchasing a home in Spokane?
For Sale By Owner (or FSBO) refers to a home that is being sold by an individual that is not represented by a Realtor. The goal of a FSBO is typically to "save" money by not paying a Realtor for their services. The idea is that if they can find a buyer themselves, and between the two of them, they can put together a deal without getting any Realtors involved, they can both save some money. The Seller saves money by not paying any Realtor fees, and, in theory, the Buyer saves money because the Seller gives them a "no Realtor", below market value deal on the house.
This is all good if it goes well, but there are several important things to consider - for both sides. Transferring ownership in most items (even cars) is usually very straightforward. (Think craigslist or FB marketplace.) I have item 'x' and you want it. I want $20 for it. You and I negotiate and maybe we end up with a deal at $15. We agree on a place to meet up, you give me $15, I give you the item and life moves on! In smaller transactions, the stakes are not very high and there aren't very many complicating factors. But when you are talking about transferring, literally, hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for property and a house with all kinds of potential complications, the stakes are really quite high!
The good news is that, in Spokane at least, most FSBOs are willing to pay a buyer's agent's commission! So, if you are a buyer, you can get professional representation of your choosing (your realtor, not theirs) AND they are going to pay for it! (If you are considering selling your house FSBO, and you think that seems unfair, well.... we should talk!
So, in answer to "how does FSBO affect purchasing a home", I would say that if you have a good Realtor representing you, it typically plays out in your favor! If you are going to try to 'go it yourself' and make one of the biggest investments of your life with a complete stranger that either: A, knows less about Real Estate than you or B. knows MORE about Real Estate than you... I would make sure it is someone that you really, really trust!
3) Is Spokane a good place to retire?
I'm not retired yet, so I can't answer that from a personal perspective, but I have helped many retirees - both that have lived in Spokane their whole life and those that are moving here to retire and I have heard nothing but positive feedback from them!
There are dozens of great articles that I have read that confirm that Spokane is a great place to retire and I have spent time with plenty of retirees that think it is absolutely fabulous! Of course, you have to really love what Spokane has to offer! If you don't like snow... Spokane may not be a good fit for you!
4) What is good about Spokane, WA?
I absolutely love Spokane! I have lived in big cities (I lived in the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles), and I grew up in the northern part of NJ (30 minutes from THE City (NYC))) and I've lived in a small town in rural South Carolina (population ~8,000). There were parts of all of those places that I loved, but when I moved to Spokane, I found the perfect balance! We have the "big box" stores like Target and (most importantly) Costco! But we don't have the crazy pace of life and endless concrete jungles and ridiculous traffic of the bigger areas.
There are definitely times that I miss things that the big cities offered and times that I miss the comparative quiet of the small town we lived in, but overall, the balance of life here is just right!
Speaking of balance of life, the access here to adventure, exploration and fun is unreal! We have amazing hiking and biking trails, incredible lakes and rivers, mountains, and northern Idaho is literally minutes away!
A little further and you are into Montana and Wyoming for any adventure you want! And, as if all that isn't enough, if you want to 'escape' even further away, the Spokane Airport is easily in the top 3 easiest, most convenient airports I've ever had the pleasure of traveling through! Easy to get to, cheap parking and almost no wait times at security and check in. Sometimes I still have a hard time believing it when I'm already at the gate 30 minutes after I left my HOUSE!
The following questions are some we occasionally get from new residents to Spokane, or those who have moved away and aren't sure whether they should return:
Is Spokane a safe place to live?
I've lived in Spokane for just over six years now and have never had a break-in, assault, theft... anything at all happen to me. However, that's anecdotal evidence, and for everyone who has stories like mine, you can find another person who has had their car broken into or something stolen from their home.
Personally, we came from a big city (Phoenix, AZ). We learned early in our lives to lock our cars, lock our homes, and not to leave valuables out where people can see them. If you have lived in places where it's safe to leave your home and car unlocked, Spokane may be a shock to you - it's not a huge city, but it is a city!
According to US News, Spokane's violent crime rate is higher than the national rate (in 2018). Since then, violent crime seems to have dropped, while property crime is on the rise, according to local station KREM. According to reporting from KREM, Spokane came in second to last in 2020 on a list of the safest cities in Washington, citing the high property crime rate as a major reason for the ranking.
Seattle clocked in on that list at 61 (out of 73 cities ranked in Washington) and Spokane Valley was ranked 65. Compared to cities like Spokane, like Tulsa, OK and Fresno, CA, Spokane is considered safer than both of those cities.
What about the homeless in Spokane?
You probably have heard about Spokane's homeless population - like many cities and even states, those experiencing homelessness are becoming more of an issue in Spokane. This also means a lot more attention is on this issue, and Spokane has done a lot in recent years, particularly in regards to warming shelters and providing safe, temporary places for people to stay.
Spokane is currently negotiating a new homeless shelter specifically for youth, and new housing has gone up in downtown Spokane by Catholic Charities to help those who are experiencing homelessness.
Does this mean the homeless situation is solved? Far from it. If you are in downtown Spokane, it's very likely you will see some people who are homeless. However, for the most part they are harmless and mind their own business, simply wanting to be left alone and remain safe. Some may ask you for money while others will play music, sing and other busking for a few dollars - it's up to you to donate.
There are those who would say 'don't visit downtown Spokane because of 'the homeless'', but this is not how we feel. Yes, your children may ask about 'the homeless' and it may be an uncomfortable conversation if you're not prepared, but in most major cities, you will see people who are homeless.
It's a learning opportunity and, like we mentioned above, 99% of the homeless people you will encounter in downtown Spokane will not bother you as long as you don't bother them.
Is Spokane walkable?
Overall, Spokane is fairly walkable, depending on where you live. The closer you are to downtown, the easier it is to walk to places to shop, eat, and even hike.
In addition, neighborhoods like Garland, the South Hill, Manito/Cannon Hill, and West Central are all very walkable Spokane neighborhoods. In these neighborhoods, you can walk to coffee shops, brunch places, bookstores and so much more.
Places like 5 Mile, for example, are less walkable if you are trying to get to a grocery store or even a cafe, but they're very walkable if you want to walk your dog, take your children out for a safe bike ride or walk, or walk to a park.
Is Spokane bigger than Tacoma?
According to Census data, Spokane is bigger than Tacoma in terms of population (219,000 people vs 216,000 people according to the 2018 census). Spokane is currently experiencing record growth, so it wouldn't surprise me if Spokane continued to be the second largest city in Washington state.
What are winters like in Spokane?
If you're wondering what winter is like in Spokane, WA, make sure to check out our article Winter in Spokane!
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