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.
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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. You can explore many of them on the 2nd Friday Artwalk, which takes place on the second Friday of every month, from April to December. History lovers should make time for a stop at the The Museum of North Idaho, after it reopens in April. Located next to City Park, its artifacts and interpretive displays offer a special look back at the region’s history as a settlement.

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Outdoor Adventure

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 sportfishing paradise. If you don’t have your own boat, outfitters such as Hagadone Marine Group offer rentals (advance reservations are recommended), while ROW Adventure Center is among the companies offering guided fly fishing excursions to area rivers and streams.
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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, which reopens in April, has helped make the entire region synonomous 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 planned to open in April. The course is part of the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, which entices links enthusiasts with golf-and-lodging packages throughout the year.
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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. (The Coeur d’Alene Resort and Beverly’s each have a AAA Four Diamond Rating.)

–Written by Jennifer Burns Bright

Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.

  • From Seattle: 311 miles
  • From Spokane: 34 miles
Best For
  • AAA Four Diamond dining and accomodations
  • Exciting watersports
  • Expert golfing experience.
Plan Ahead
  • Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival, March 29–March 31
  • Coeur d’Alene Food and Wine Festival, April 12–April 14
Travel-Planning Resources

Call or visit your nearest AAA store for maps, guides and other travel-planning resources, including assistance from one of our expert Member Travel Counselors.

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