When you find yourself in the North Idaho panhandle, whether as a local or a traveler, get out there and do stuff. We've included a few categories to get you started.
Afoot, Afloat, Aflight: Perspectives of the Lake
Aside from a classic day at the beach, choose to enjoy the lake from different perspectives. Drive a few miles to Mineral Ridge for a trail run or hike with striking views. Plant yourself on a paddleboard to find quiet on the surface, or book a lake cruise (informative, boozy, or both). Take a seaplane from Independence Point for an uncommon soar over pine-laden hills and sapphire waters.
Wander Well: Tubbs Hill and the Coeur d’Alene Resort Boardwalk
It’s becoming a common sentiment: “Not all those who wander are lost.” When Tolkien wrote that, he probably wasn’t referring to a day in Coeur d’Alene. But still: this is a good town for wanderers. Walk to Tubbs Hill for a loop trail with nice views, secluded beaches, and the young and brave flinging themselves from cliffs into the water below. Afterward, saunter down the world’s longest floating boardwalk near the Coeur d'Alene Resort for boat-watching, people-watching, and cocktail sipping.
Adventure on Two Wheels
Even for beginners, it’s easy to tour around the Idaho Panhandle on bikes. The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes offers over 70 miles of paved trails. The Route of the Hiawatha, a “Hall of Fame” trail, is an easy downhill gravel ride through dark tunnels (one of them 1.66 miles long!) and across high trestles. Closer to town is the North Idaho Centennial Trail, a paved path that hugs the shores of the lake and the Spokane River.
Past, Present, and Future
In the 19th century, this young city was all about silver mining. While mining has continued to be a source of both wealth and controversy, today’s Coeur d’Alene economy centers around tourism, real estate, healthcare, and education. However, new efforts are afoot to create a high-tech hub for robotics and artificial intelligence—and both home-grown techies and outside industry leaders are beginning to launch startups in CdA.
A City that Gathers
Locals and travelers alike are often drawn together by uncommon community events and the Lake City’s arts & culture scene. Permanent galleries are found along Sherman and elsewhere, and North Idaho’s makers offer unique hand-crafted goods in various marketplace settings. Arts and live music events like “Art on the Green” fill the community calendar, as do athletic events like the Ironman Triathalon. For theatre-lovers: the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre and the Modern Theater do it up right.