Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

En­joy the beauty of the Pa­cific North­west in Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - — Diana Lamb­din Meyer

Drive 100 miles straight down from the Canadian bor­der into the lit­tle pan­han­dle of Idaho, and you’ll come across a charm­ing all-Amer­i­can town with an in­trigu­ing Euro­pean name. In fact, the town was orig­i­nally named af­ter the Coeur d’Alene tribe in­dige­nous to the re­gion — a name that was given to them by French traders mean­ing that they were tough busi­ness peo­ple.

To­day, the town of 44,000 that most peo­ple in the Pa­cific North­west sim­ply call CDA is less tough and more ded­i­cated to rest and re­lax­ation. In fact, the main fo­cal point of the re­gion is beau­ti­ful Coeur d’Alene Lake, a 25-mile-long body of fresh wa­ter that is a source of recre­ation and tran­quil­ity through­out the year, and a de­light­ful des­ti­na­tion for va­ca­tion­ers and home­own­ers. There are also an­other 50 or so lakes within a 50 mile ra­dius of the town. As a re­sult, if it floats or splashes, you can en­joy it in north­ern Idaho.

If you’d rather ex­pe­ri­ence the great out­doors with your feet on the ground, hik­ing and run­ning trails are abun­dant in the area. The beach and ac­tiv­i­ties at In­dian Point Park are ex­tremely popular in the warm sum­mer months when tem­per­a­tures hit the low 90s, but the lake wa­ter rarely gets above 70 de­grees.

Down­town CDA is equally re­mark- able for a com­mu­nity of its size. In just a six block area, you’ll find more than 100 in­de­pen­dently-owned restau­rants and stores pro­vid­ing ex­cit­ing shop­ping and dining op­por­tu­ni­ties that are of­ten limited to much larger com­mu­ni­ties. Wood-fired pizza, craft brew­eries, gallery walks and hand-crafted fur­ni­ture and art are among the se­lec­tion.

Coeur d’Alene is home to three col­leges, cre­at­ing an en­er­getic, youth­ful vibe and pro­vid­ing nu­mer­ous cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties for the com­mu­nity. About 20 min­utes from down­town, Old Mission State Park is a great source of his­tory and learn­ing about the re­gion. The park is home to the old­est build­ing in Idaho, built be­tween 1850 and 1853 by Je­suit mis­sion­ar­ies and mem­bers of the Coeur d’Alene tribe. Check the cal­en­dar of events as the park is fre­quently used for cer­e­monies and pow­wows by the tribe. Plus, the park is ad­ja­cent to the 72-mile Coeur d’Alene bik­ing trail, so bring your bikes along and get some great ex­er­cise along the banks of the Kah­n­derosa River.

Two small, but lovely ski moun­tains near CDA keep the com­mu­nity busy through­out the year, along with snow­mo­bil­ing and hunt­ing, but it’s re­ally sum­mer when north­ern Idaho comes alive.

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