Nestled within the tree-covered, lake-dotted wilderness of Idaho’s panhandle, Coeur d’Alene is a bustling but low-key resort town of just over 44,000. With prime real estate on the shores of sparkling Lake Coeur d’Alene, it’s the perfect homebase for outdoor adventures, gorgeous scenery and luxury lakeside fun.
It’s all about the lake, of course. Waterbugs will find rental shops for kayaks, canoes, jetskis, boats and any other water recreation device you desire. Thanks to winding inlets throughout the lake’s 50 sprawling miles, you can access quiet spots for fishing and non-motorized boats or open water for high-speed action. Pull in for an upscale lunch at the lakefront Coeur d’Alene Resort, with a variety of restaurant options, like the Cedars Floating Restaurant, for plentiful seafood and proximity to the water, or Beverly’s, for its stunning seventh-floor view and exhaustive wine list. Get in a post-lunch game of golf at their famous Floating Green -- the 14th hole is quite literally floating on a manmade island. Kiddos and kids at heart can swim and splash in the lake at the nearby City Park and Beach. For more simple fare, head downtown and enjoy a perfect burger at beloved local joint, Hudson’s Hamburgers. Be sure to bring your bike or find a rental because you’ll have access to two of the most legendary rail-to-trail routes in the Northwest. The Route of the Hiawatha traverses 15 pristine miles of backcountry, including 10 old train tunnels and seven trestles. Following over 70 miles of old Union Pacific Railroad, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is a paved trail stretching through a wide array of landscapes all the way to the Montana border.
Drive over the border to Washington to visit Spokane. It’s less than an hour to downtown Spokane, where you’ll find plenty of shopping, dining, nightlife and the beautiful Spokane Falls. Hop in a SkyRide gondola for a unique ride over the falls and the best view. Don’t miss out on the house cocktails and live music at the Observatory.
Northern Idaho is fishing country. Spend a quiet day on the river amongst the beauty of Coeur d’Alene National Forest. An hour’s drive will get you to the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River and some of the best fishing in the U.S. If you’re willing to go further, the famous and remote Saint Joe River is two and a half hours away. Both rivers are highly-lauded for their pristine wilderness landscapes and plentiful cutthroat trout. You can head out on your own or hire a guide, like Coeur d’Alene Adventures.
As you’ve probably guessed, a lakeside vacation rental is ideal in Coeur d’Alene and, if that’s your prerogative, look for a rental on the southern end of town or near the Spokane River, which flows into the lake. Fortunately it only takes a few minutes to get to the water from anywhere in town. Rentals near the city center will offer access to restaurants and shopping, just minutes from the lake. If you have access to a car and are looking for more seclusion, consider looking for lakeside rentals outside the city as well.
Coeur d’Alene offers free transportation thanks to the Citylink bus. From the lake on the southern side of the city, the route loops north to nearby Hayden. The bus is convenient (and did we mention free?) but due to the sprawling nature of the city, you might prefer to have a car at your disposal.
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