Located in northwest Idaho, on the shores of one of America’s most beautiful natural lakes, is the city of Coeur d’Alene. While Idaho likely doesn’t spring to mind when someone says “getaway,” we’re here to change that.
The city is named after the Coeur d’Alene people, a federally recognized tribe of Native Americans who lived along the lakes in this territory for years. The tribe was predominantly hunter-gatherers, flocking to this region because of its clear lakes and rich vegetation, the same natural features that make it an excellent if overlooked, vacation spot today.
What’s more, Coeur d’Alene is the perfect destination for families who can’t decide if they want to embrace nature or enjoy manmade attractions. With gorgeous lake trails and views, as well as wineries and golf courses, it’s truly a hidden gem for American travelers looking to visit the northwest.
Nature: Hike, Bike, and Swim
If you’re an adventure-seeker looking to backpack or take your mountain bike for a spin, Coeur d’Alene has much to offer. Since the city is on the north end of Lake Coeur d’Alene, there is access to 38 different trails, many of which feature secluded beaches and impressive views. There are trails for both hiking and mountain biking at all levels and even trails suitable for beginners.
Expert level hikers and bikers should check out the Canfield Mountain trail for the remarkable view. While the trail is not super technical, it is very steep and unmarked, perfect for adventurers looking to sweat a little. Technically in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, this trail will give you multiple views of the beautiful and dramatic countryside.
For families and those looking for something easier, Tubb’s Hill is ideal. This two-mile loop has beach access and is perfect for all skill levels. Take in the views of nearby Harrison Slough, go for a mid-hike swim in the lake, and end up right where you started all within a couple of hours. One thing to note, however, is that the trail experiences a little heavier traffic than others, so if you’re looking for seclusion, you might explore some of the other trails in the area.
If you’re looking to relax in the water, Honeysuckle Beach is a great choice. Stretch out on the sands, swim in the shallows, or take a dive off the dock. Best of all, this beach is rarely crowded and large enough for groups to set up their own picnic area.
Bonus Tip for Birdwatchers
While the lake may be more popular for people in the summer, a different kind of visitor migrates through every winter: bald eagles. One of Lake Coeur d’Alene’s most unique features is that’s it’s a spawning ground for kokanee salmon. Every November through February, hundreds of bald eagles come through to feed on the salmon. Photographers and nature lovers won’t want to miss the opportunity to see America’s most iconic bird of prey in action.
Luxury: Eat, Drink, and Play
Travelers looking for a more relaxing getaway with a beautiful lake backdrop will be pleased to know the city is home to luxury spas, golf courses, and wineries. In fact, The Coeur d’Alene Resort is ranked as having one of America’s most beautiful golf courses, known for the floating green on the 14th hole. The resort also features a spa with a unique “waterfall massage” and a private beach. Spend a weekend practicing your swing and then let the natural waters of the lake soothe your muscles.
Visitors should make it a priority to eat at Beverly’s on the 7th floor of the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Whether you’re staying at the resort or not, the restaurant is absolutely worth the visit. Routinely ranked as one of America’s best restaurants, Beverly’s offers 5-star cuisine with distinctive northwest flavors and the largest wine cellar in the Pacific Northwest. What’s more, the restaurant offers daily tours of its two-million-dollar wine collection. Whether you’re a connoisseur or just like a nice glass of chianti, you’ll love the complimentary wine tasting. Tours are limited to 8 guests at a time.
The Perfect Lake Getaway
Northern Idaho may not be the first place you think of when you picture the Pacific Northwest, but incredible lakeside views, perfect weather, and amazing food and wine make for an unforgettable experience. Jet It owners can easily book a trip to Coeur d’Alene, and our concierge service will handle all of the details.
One last thing to note about Coeur’s d’Alene is its proximity to another major Pacific Northwest hub. Only thirty miles away from Spokane, Washington, travelers can easily make the short drive and spend a day in one area’s larger and busier cities. Don’t overlook this hidden gem in one of America’s most beautiful and geographically diverse regions!