Coeur d’Alene Brims With Recreational Activities
Each turn on the 2-mile loop trail on Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, reveals an exciting new scene — from elegant beach homes tucked into a nearby cove to forests filled with ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. Motorboats cross the long, meandering lake that shares its name with the bustling town on its north shore. It doesn’t take long to understand why Coeur d’Alene remains one of the most popular getaways in the Inland Northwest.
Arts and Culture
Downtown is home to an assortment of eclectic art galleries. The Art Spirit Gallery stands out as one of the loveliest, with a long, curved interior wall and exposed brick providing an unpretentious setting for exploring works by contemporary, regional artists. Cisco’s Gallery’s Native American art and cowboy Western artifact showroom shouldn’t be missed: antique Sioux moccasins, tramp art, and moose antler chandeliers merely scratch the surface of a breathtaking collection.
ou can explore many of them on the 2nd Friday Artwalk, which takes place on the second Friday of every month. History lovers should make time for a stop at the The Museum of North Idaho. Located next to City Park, its artifacts and interpretive displays offer a special look back at the region’s history as a settlement.
At 25 miles long, with numerous bays, coves and sloughs, Lake Coeur d’Alene offers ample opportunities for anglers to cast lines for bass, chinook and kokanee salmon, northern pike and more. Add to that the robust trout fisheries of its major tributaries, the Coeur d’Alene and the St. Joe’s rivers, and its Spokane River outflow, and you have a bona fide fishing paradise. If you don’t have your own boat, rentals are available (advance reservations are recommended), while tour companies also offer guided fly fishing excursions to area rivers and streams.
Thanks to an intriguing layout that includes the famous “island green” on its 14th hole (above right), the golf course at the Coeur d’Alene Resort has helped make the entire region synonymous with golf to serious players. Once named “America’s most beautiful resort golf course” by Golf Magazine, its meticulously manicured fairways and greens follow the contours of the lake’s shore, and groups are accompanied by a forecaddie for insider tips on the best approach to each hole.
About a half-hour southwest of Coeur d’Alene, in Worley, Idaho, Circling Raven Golf Club offers another world-class golf setting, this one with fairways wending through 620 secluded acres of wetlands, woodlands and rolling Palouse grasses. Circling Raven Golf Club is another option. The course is part of the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, which entices links enthusiasts with golf-and-lodging packages throughout the year.
In summer, long-time visitors know to come early to avoid long lines for the hand-patted slider-style burgers at iconic Hudson’s Hamburgers, a locally loved landmark that dates back to 1907. After a day of boating, dock alongside another dining landmark, The Cedars Floating Restaurant, buoyed by 600,000 pounds of concrete encased Styrofoam. Cedars, which opened in 1965, puts a Northwest spin on classic steak and seafood, offering dishes such as honey-glazed planked salmon.
Dinner at Beverly’s, on the seventh floor of the Coeur d’Alene Resort, always feels like a special occasion, but its discounted happy hour pours at the restaurant’s Lakeview Lounge encourage sampling of rare wines from the restaurant’s expansive, award-wining cellar.
—Written by Jennifer Burns Bright, last updated in September 2022.