Thinking of relocating to North idaho? I am a Certified Specialist in Vacation, Second Homes, Investment and Luxury Properties. Providing Concierge Relocation Services.
Why Live in CDA?
As Idaho continues to grow and gain popularity, many of its once hidden gems of cities are being discovered and adored by newcomers. Out of many of these towns and areas, Coeur d’Alene is very well-known in the North Idaho area. Anyone that has seen its beauty will tell you, it is not only a great place to experience but an exceptional community to call home. Many residents love the city for having gorgeous nature destinations and getaways not too far from the hub of the city, as well as the celebrated Lake Coeur d’Alene and the scenery offered. Mountains surround the area, bringing plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and hobbies in all seasons. Another thing: one of Idaho’s best qualities is it has all four seasons. Whether it is during the warm summer, crisp, colorful fall, cool winter, or green, lush spring, there is always something to do outdoors with friends and loved ones. Here are some of the other things that can be found in Coeur d’Alene.
Being the biggest city in the whole Kootenai County area in Idaho, Coeur d’Alene is a prime spot not only because of all the attractions it offers but also due to where it is positioned in the area. One bigger city known as Spokane, Washington is only a 45 minute drive away. Spokane and the Spokane Valley both have the big city feeling and attractions anyone could want to get their fill. This area of Washington also has an international airport that is less than an hour’s drive from Coeur d’Alene, which will appeal to anyone that needs to travel for work or visit out-of-state family or friends.
Speaking of traveling, the Canadian border is just over a two hour drive away from Coeur d’Alene, and the relaxing drive shows much of Idaho’s beauty outside of the city. Drivers will even pass by the magnificent Pend Oreille Lake, the largest lake in the state and the fifth deepest lake in the nation. Experiencing Idaho and what it has to offer while heading to the border for a well-deserved vacation is arguably one perfect way to have Idaho’s picturesque views capture your heart.
Bigger and more well-known cities can be accessed with ease as well from Coeur d’Alene. For example, Portland, Oregon is less than a six hour drive away; Seattle, Washington is a five hour drive, and Boise, Idaho’s capital city, is about a seven hour drive. Idaho’s neighboring states can be traveled to and visited with ease as well, either by car or by using the Spokane airport.
Idaho has always been known for its spectacular, scenic views, and Coeur d’Alene is not any different from the rest of the state. Although this city has a bit more attention than other areas in Idaho, it has just as much beauty as its neighboring and fellow cities. In just this city alone, there are multiple beaches, lakes, and more. Wildlife of all kinds can be seen in specific areas as well, whether you go looking for animals, or they come to you. For instance, bald eagles will visit the lake during their winter migration, and it is not uncommon to encounter deer and other woodland animals crossing roads that are closer to the forests.
The state is fortunate enough to have so many beautiful forest areas, many of which feature native flora such as the western white pine, the state tree of Idaho. Just outside of Coeur d’Alene, there is the Coeur d’Alene National Forest, which is not too far from the heart of the city. The northern Idaho section of the Forest is located in the Shoshone, Kootenai, and Bonner counties and is overall over 700 thousand acres. The Forest has twelve areas to camp; one of the most well-known campgrounds is known as the Honeysuckle campground. This national forest is the perfect place to experience just a taste of all the beauty Coeur d’Alene has to contribute to its visitors.
The abundance of water in Coeur d’Alene supplies the area with various water activities and hobbies. To name a few, water skiing on Coeur d’Alene Lake, wildlife and bird watching on Hayden Lake, and tubing and canoeing on the Upper Coeur d’Alene River are all wildly popular activities in the warmer seasons. In the winter months, some small lakes, such as Fernan Lake, will often freeze over. Fernan Lake in particular is a prime location for ice fishing and having snowy adventures. Of course, caution must be remembered, but this is one of the most loved outdoor activities in Coeur d’Alene during the colder months.
Also popular in the winter, one of the best ways to appreciate the beauty in and surrounding Coeur d’Alene is by taking a trip up to one of the neighboring ski mountains. In Kellogg, Idaho, just 30 miles east of Coeur d’Alene on Interstate 90, the Silver Mountain Resort offers two mountains with a ski lift and experiences more than 300 inches of snow annually. Skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing are offered in the winter time, as well as snow sport schooling lessons and rentals. For anyone that wants to learn how to ski or snowboard, any age from six and up can attend the resort’s schooling lessons and pick which of the various available options would work best for different skill levels. In the summertime, Silver Mountain also offers attractions such as gondola rides on the world’s longest single-stage gondola lift, bike park day passes, and a 9-hole golf course with gorgeous and mountainous views. Ranking as Idaho’s largest indoor waterpark, the Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark in the resort is also very popular with all ages on the hot summer days.
Coeur d’Alene is known and loved not only for its natural beauty but also for the man-made attractions and shops that can be found on almost every street. In the area known as simply the downtown part of the city, this is where much of the city attracts tourists, newcomers, and locals alike. On either side of this historic area of Coeur d’Alene, many restaurants and a wide variety of local shopping stores, as well as a range of coffee houses, call downtown their home. These stores have something for everyone; art galleries, breweries, multiple boutiques, candy and treats stores, art and photography stores, souvenirs, and even a toy emporium are all available for the public to enjoy. Aside from the stores, the rest of the downtown area has been made with aesthetics and beauty in mind in order to please the eye. Many sculptures and art pieces have been set scattered around the downtown area for pedestrians’ viewing pleasure, and the sculptures are paired well with the city’s love and appreciation for the arts and beauty. This is one of the most favored places in Coeur d’Alene, but it is only a part of what kind of attractions the city has to offer.
Located close to downtown Coeur d’Alene is the McEuen Park, a lovely, huge park that is a perfect place to stop by at any time of the day. The park features a big splash pad or outdoor waterpark that is ideal to let kids burn off energy and have fun. There is also a jungle gym and playground right next to the waterpark, where kids and parents can enjoy an active day together. There is also something for the pets too; right next to some shaded trees, there is a fenced off leash and leashed dog park that allows dog owners to let their furry friends run off energy too. Many people that bring their dogs to the park are also friendly with other dogs and people, so there is also good company to be found. On the far side of the park, Lake Coeur d’Alene is close by, along with a boat launch. Finish off the day at the park with an easy and scenic hike around Tubbs Hill, which is also located close to the park and offers great views of the lake and downtown.
Also close to downtown Coeur d’Alene, there is the very popular City Beach and Independence Point, both of which are on the Lake and the Spokane River. This beach is enjoyed in all four seasons, whether it is enjoying the sun in the summer, soaking in the vibrant colors in the fall, or participating in the Polar Plunge during the winter. This sandy beach has trees that offer shade in areas, as well as several picnic tables scattered around the shore and wide walking trails further away from the beach. The lake and river accommodates swimming, sunbathing, water skiing, boating, kayaking, fishing, floating, and more. There are also seaplanes and parasailing rides available, which go through the companies CDA Parasailing and Brooks Seaplane Service. This area is also home to wildlife such as geese, ducks, swans and ospreys, which are abundant around the lake in the spring and summer. Independence Point also has more waterfront with grassy areas and is closer to the downtown area. These beaches are prime spots in the spring and summer to take in the views and enjoy the nicer weather.
Just a little over thirty minutes away from Coeur d’Alene is Silverwood Theme Park and Boulder Beach Water Park, which is the largest theme and water park in the Northwest. This theme park hosts a wide range of attractions including over 70 rides, shows and attractions, including four roller coasters, Boulder Beach Water Park, water slides, a steam engine train ride and show through the woods, live entertainment such as magic shows, restaurants, and much more. In the summer, this is the perfect place to have some family fun or bring along friends to brave the rollercoasters. In the fall, Silverwood is transformed into was has been dubbed Scarywood, which is a frightening time for anyone looking for Halloween festivities and spooks. The theme park has many haunted attractions, such as multiple haunted houses that vary in scariness, 7 different scare zones and monsters of all kinds that roam around the park. Whether in the summer or fall, this park is sure to give you the thrills, entertainment and fun you have been looking for!
For the adults, the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort is the place to get away. Run by the Native American Coeur d’Alene people in Worley, Idaho, this attraction is only a 30 minute drive from the city. There is also a championship golf course, world-class spa, award-winning cuisine, the best casino games and luxury accommodations available to guests and visitors. There is also often times concerts for well-known and starting out singers, as well as lounges that feature the entertainment. Their premier resort will make every guest feel right at home, with the help of the views of the hillside and luxurious amenities.
Relax in the casino’s Spa Ssakwa’q’n, which features natural and organic products, as well as finely crafted custom treatments that create a memorable spa experience. In any season, Ssakwa’q’n therapies will rejuvenate, extinguish stress, and calm the mind. There is also a spa package just for golfers! The Spa Ssakwa’q’n offers many packages and spa treatments, including packages for brides-to-be and mothers-to-be, manicures/ pedicures, a makeup makeover for a night out, body and facial treatments, even a small but charming boutique. This spa also has its own line of spa products available for purchase, so you can bring the experience home with you.
If you are hoping for a place to get more exercise, the Coeur d’Alene Casino has this covered as well, with their Circling Raven Golf Club and golf course. This stunning, 18 hole course is nestled among 620 acres of wetlands, Palouse grasses and woodlands, and it provides scenic views for all golfers.
One of the lesser mentioned trails is known as the North Idaho Centennial Trail. Starting at Higgens Point in Coeur d’Alene and ending at the Idaho/Washington state line, this trail is 23 miles long and can accommodate non-motorized vehicles, cycling, jogging, and walking. This trail is a Class I & II paved trail, and it connects with the Spokane River Centennial Trail just over the state line, which is another 40 mile stretch of trail through Spokane.
The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is the perfect trail for anyone who wants to get outside and see what the area has to offer. This trail is a 72-mile paved trail that begins in the historic Silver Valley, continues along the Coeur d’Alene River, past scenic Lake Coeur d’Alene and goes through rolling farmlands to Plummer, Idaho. The smooth asphalt is perfect for bikers, walkers, in-line skaters, runners and even wheelchairs; the trail is large in width as well. There are also multiple, fully-developed trailheads that provide entry points all along the trail.
As mentioned above, Tubbs Hill is located close to McEuen Park, and it offers multiple hiking trails that not only have fantastic views, but native flora species can also be found along the trails in the warmer months. There are also beaches that are only accessible by boat or by hiking the hill. Specific spots also allow visitors to experience cliff diving and swimming. This highly popular area is the place to be for most ages on any hot summer day.
Because Coeur d’Alene is an area that is mostly supported by tourists, the city frequently holds events all year round, either in its downtown area with shopping stores and eateries or close to the lake. Everyone involved in the events, whether they are city officials or volunteers, always do their best to make any event in Coeur d’Alene enjoyable for all involved.
Most of the locals in the city have a huge appreciation for the arts. Because of this, numerous art galleries are scattered around, and especially in spring and summer, art walks and new exhibits pop up frequently. North Idaho College also hosts Art on the Green during the summer, an art festival/ marketplace that lets artists, performers, and musicians have a space to show the public their talents and work. This community event is a great place to purchase handcrafted works from the artists themselves, including artwork made of glass, clay, leather, wood, metal and fiber. For children, they can make their own special art in the Children’s Art Garden— materials and instruction are provided. There are also many choices for food, and the proceeds from the food trucks help to pay for the free entertainment available all throughout the weekend-long event.
Many of the residents in Coeur d’Alene value fitness and sports, which goes hand-in-hand with outdoor activities. In the summer, the Ironman Triathlon receives overwhelming community support while trained athletes from all over race through multiple streets and the Coeur d’Alene Lake. If more cooler weather is desired, the Coeur d’Alene Marathon features a full marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k run for a wide variety of ages in the Spring, with wonderful views of the city and the lake. Both the triathlon and the marathon are great options for athletes and people who enjoy being outdoors and keeping in shape. There are also multiple fun run races hosted by the city, and there is even occasionally a race or two held in the early winter season.
Every year, the Coeur d’Alene Resort puts on the Festival of Trees, a magical holiday experience in the beautiful downtown area where over a million Christmas lights are switched to life as a firework display goes off over the lake. After the initial lighting ceremony, the lights are left up for the public to enjoy from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, lighting up all of the shops and restaurants with a wonderful, cheerful glow. The lights are considered one of the very best holiday must-sees in the entire North Idaho area and truly helps holiday shoppers get into the Christmas spirit. Going to this festival has been a tradition among locals, families, and even travelers and vacationers from out of state for years, and it is sure to stay that way for many more to come. Selected as one of the Top 10 Holiday Light Shows in America by USA Today, this is sure to leave a lasting impression for everyone!
Taking a cruise on the lake with Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises is a great way to see the stunning views from the water and enjoy multiple opportunities for events and great memories. The two-deck Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises boats are climate-controlled and have sound systems, picture windows, and a full bar service, which definitely add a sense of comfort and ease to the guests while on the water. There are many cruises that would be a perfect fit for a couple or a family outing, no matter what time of year. Sunset dinners and scenic cruises are available through most of the spring and summer, perfect for viewing any possible wildlife and the beauty Coeur d’Alene has to offer.
If you are looking for something to do in the winter months, eagle watching cruises are popular among all ages. Every year, in late fall and early winter (November to as late as February), bald eagles migrate to Lake Coeur d’Alene in large numbers while kokanee salmon spawn their eggs, and then start to die. This is an opportune feast for the eagles, and it is not uncommon to have hundreds of the magnificent birds counted at once along the banks and treelines. Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises takes full advantage of this amazing wildlife display and offers two cruise opportunities that get close to all of the picture-worthy moments. This 2-hour cruise will take guests right to where the eagles are the most concentrated while an informative guide provides commentary.
One of the most popular holiday attractions in America is going to see Santa on The Coeur d’Alene Resort Holiday Light Show’s “Journey to the North Pole” cruise. This journey to the North Pole attraction takes guests right up to Santa after they cruise across the lake, with over a million twinkling Christmas lights from the shore in view. With the assistance of some magic workings behind the scenes, children are delighted to find that Santa calls them out by their names. This 40 minute cruise departs every night from the day after Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, making it the perfect winter event for all ages during the holidays. Whichever cruise you decide on, these Coeur d’Alene cruise boats will be sure to give you the relaxation and views you have been wanting to see.
There is no doubt about it, Coeur d’Alene is a great place to live. Between all of the events the city hosts, the attractions available, and the surrounding nature that made it so loved in the first place, it is no wonder the area is experiencing so much growth and success. Whether you are wanting to find the perfect place to retire or a safe environment to raise a family, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho will welcome you warmly to your new home.