Coeur d’Alene Vacation Guide for First-time Visitors

Vacation in Coeur d’Alene to experience outdoor adventure and natural beauty in northern Idaho. This destination is surrounded by lakes and a must-see for boaters, golfers, families and adventure-seekers. To start planning a trip, read this Coeur d’Alene vacation guide to the top things to do and other travel tips.

Coeur d’Alene Vacation Guide: Explore This Mountain Town

idaho towns vacation

Getting to Coeur d’Alene

Coeur d’Alene is only 32 miles from Spokane, Washington. Guests may fly into Spokane International Airport or Coeur d’Alene Airport. Most major carriers fly into Spokane, and from there visitors may rent a car. Coeur d’Alene is accessible via I-90 and US Highway 95, two major routes in the region. In addition, Amtrack rail, Greyhound Bus and Citylink offer alternate transportation options.

Those who prefer to drive should plan ahead and prepare for inclement weather. Cities within an 8-hour drive include Boise, Idaho; Calgary, Alberta; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Four Seasons of Adventure

Coeur d’Alene features four seasons of outdoor recreation. More than 55 lakes welcome nature and adventure enthusiasts to play on the water. Plus, the area has trails, attractions and is close to major resorts. To get started, head to Tubbs Hill Nature Trails, North Idaho Centennial Trail, or Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail.

Springtime welcomes golfers who will find floating greens and challenging golf courses. As the weather warms up, Silverwood Theme Park prepares to welcome all ages to ride on coasters and see live shows. Ziplining is another great option for spring.

During summer, the lakes bustle with boaters, paddleboarders, and beach lovers. Plus, Coeur d’Alene hosts fun festivals such as 4th of July Parade with fireworks, weekly concerts, Half Ironman, Art Walk and many more. It’s also an ideal time to book a sightseeing tour via a cruise boat or white-water raft. Families also enjoy visiting the parks and skate park, Red Horse Mountain Ranch, and riding the Coeur d’Alene Carousel.

coeur d alene vacation guide activities

Cool air and fall foliage greet guests who vacation here in autumn. Popular activities include riding bikes, sampling craft beer, and spending time downtown. During Halloween, families are welcome to trick-or-treat and explore local shops for treats.

Winter brings lots of snow. Nearby Silver Mountain Resort and Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area offer skiing and snowboarding. Those who prefer to stay indoors enjoy the indoor waterpark, holiday festivities, and shopping. Winter also provides the chance to enjoy treatments at area spas.

Arts and Culture

Coeur d’Alene also has a rich arts scene. Museum of North Idaho has exhibits and activities for all ages. Scattered throughout the downtown area, guests will find art galleries and boutiques selling local goods.

For theater shows and live performances, guests enjoy The Salvation Army Kroc Center, Coeur d’Alene Summer Theater, and Coeur d’Alene Casino and Resort Hotel. Those who want to test their luck will find more than 1,200 gaming machines and a bingo hall at the casino.

coeur d alene vacation guide food

Where to Eat

Local is the theme of the food scene here. Area restaurants range from affordable to fine dining, and most are locally owned and operated. Some even have waterfront views that create a scenic backdrop with each meal. While there are dozens of options, the most popular restaurants serve American traditional, steak, seafood, Italian and Southern comfort.

In addition, there are a few local breweries and wineries that offer sample of local flavor. Two top-rated ones include Coeur d’Alene Cellars, Rivaura Winery, and Mad Bomber, Daft Badger and Slate Creek Breweries.

Types of Accommodations – Where to Stay

Guests will find a selection of hotels, bed-and-breakfast rooms, RV resorts and campgrounds. However, for space, privacy and price, consider booking a vacation rental in Coeur d’Alene. Rental homes come in many sizes, and some offer easy access to lakes and top attractions.

After reading this Coeur d’Alene vacation guide, find more things to do in Idaho.