Check out five suggested itineraries for Coeur d’Alene Idaho vacations in a few different directions. You can also click this book now button to review which activities we have to offer in the North Idaho and Western Montana areas. Below you will also find links to our friends, other outfitters, and places we love.
Here at Coeur d’Alene Adventures we are constantly being asked about recommendations and suggested Itineraries for Coeur d’Alene Idaho vacations and staycations! Read through and add the ideas to what you have already found on the web. We broke them down into sections so you can plan your days with efficiency without backtracking from one area to another. First of all, North Idaho (like it’s Western Montana counterpart) asks that you slow down and allow time for operations to be on “Idaho time”; we got no big city rush here except for the tourist traffic mid summer. Not to say we aren’t quick or have good follow through – its just that giving yourself an extra 10 minutes here and there will allow you to breathe in our fresh air and take in the days that don’t unfold perfectly timely or exact… that more perfect. North Idaho has a special vibe that doesn’t sweat the small stuff, but offers a midsize feel that works magic for a family vacation or lovers getaway. Enjoy making your plans and call us at our office if you have questions about the North Idaho region or Western Montana; we’ve been reserving for over 20 years and know pretty much everyone having lived in each area, with a central raft shop snuggled in the middle between Coeur d’Alene and Missoula, and have worked with over 10 operators over that time period. VisitIdaho.org does a great job with even more info for you to consider. Check out our thoughts below!
Coeur d’Alene – A day in the city
Take one day to wake up early and walk the boardwalk along Lake Coeur d’Alene. This gem called the North Idaho Centennial Trail, meanders from Post Falls to North Idaho College through the edge of downtown and around the CDA Resort. From here, you can walk along Tubbs Hill and stop at Bakery by the Lake for your second cup of joe and a great pastry. This is the same pathway where you might spend the afternoon renting an Ebike or Segway to get from Higgens Point and bike to Riverstone shopping area. We have a great map for you located here. Tony’s is a spectacular spot as well on this route for a late afternoon glass of wine or take out pick up from their dock if you rent a boat for the day. Parking downtown during the summer is pretty bad so just eliminate the situation by planning a route and biking and locking up your bike when you want to stop to eat or sit on the beach for an hour or two.
In town, there are a few spectacular jems you won’t want to miss that are unique to our little town. On Wednesdays and Saturday’s there is live music, local artists, and culinary delights at the Kootenai Farmers Markets and Live at Five downtown outdoor music will give you a hint at the young local fun scene without having to go into a dark bar with your time. While you are downtown, the Art Spirit Gallery is sensational and award winning with great staff and long standing history. Give yourself 2 hours to take in the six block main drag and side street with all it’s wonderful local shops, foodie joints, and charm.
The Lake Coeur d’Alene – Two days to Enjoy
Viewing, sitting and watching the waves, swimming, or lounging…give yourself two days to take it in. It is so expensive to rent boat on Lake Coeur d’Alene. If you can do it though, definitely reserve in advance and give yourself that treat because the lake is huge and when in Coeur d’Alene you look out and only see 1/8 of it. It has an estimated 109 miles of shoreline and much of it is private with exceptionally large homes and charming lodges from the 70s intermixed. Most families decide to get on the water by kayak or SUP board and Kayak Coeur d’Alene has gone through two owners and both are by far the best at renting gear in the area. If you have a chance to golf at the Coeur d’Alene Resort course this is another way to actually see the lake from a different perspective while enjoying a beautiful game of golf with an unbeatable view of the lake. Well worth the big spend. Many people choose to spend a day grabbing an excellent sandwich and drinks from one of the downtown shops and parking their car at McEuen Park and heading on the Tubbs Hill nature area to sit on a sandy beach, get some exercise, and get away from other vacationers and their loud music at the public beaches. If you have littles and want some quiet time among the rocks this hiking route is sure to meet your desires to just hang with the family for awhile and take a dip in the lake and beach time it up for a bit. Be sure to reserve in advance your sunset dinner cruise with the CDA Resort; so fun and worth it. It is a popular activity and worth the information they share about the lake while feeding you some good food and drinks. Watching the sun set in Coeur d’Alene is a slow down a bit past time and you’ll find lovers and young couples and families taking walks after dinner since the sun doesn’t go down until 10pm in the summer up here!
North for two days: Sandpoint and Silverwood
North of Coeur d’Alene is spectacular, but hard to access on a main airline; best to drive through or to. It is its very own destination for another web page and you should totally considering doing just that, vacation #2 in Sandpoint and Priest Lake! However, its an easy day trip to visit Sandpoint since it is only an hour drive. First of all, Sandpoint is gorgeous and clean and famous for Lake Pend Oreille. Farragut State Park has great hiking and a wonderful disc golf course. Check out Cloud Nine for a sailboat ride on the lake. So much wonderful food and shopping here and only an hours drive from CDA. The public beach is awesome and worth packing a cooler with drinks and food and checking out the incredible mountain views of the Kaniksu and Idaho Panhandle National Forest. If you can swing it, hit up Silverwood Theme Park on the way for the entire day (Our North Idaho Disney World) and then stay the night at Schweitzer Mountain in Sandpoint so you can mountain bike in the morning. If not, fabulous places to stay for one night here in this beautiful mountain town or simply drive back to your Coeur d’Alene stay. If it were us, we’d do one day at Silverwood for some kicks and then next day in Sandpoint shopping for a half day and beaching it up for the other half before heading back to CDA.
A day on the East Side; One day affair
Locals love the east side. It is home to the steakhouse Wolf Lodge, the legendary Rider Ranch, one of the best hikes: Mineral Ridge, and one of the best zip lines in North America, Timberline Adventures. We’d say catch a early morning zip with Timberline Adventures which actually meets downtown for check in at the CDA Resort. They will take you in their van on their tour that features seven zips a few sky bridges and a repel. Its well worth the money and gives you a view of the east side of the lake from the incredible North Idaho canopy. When you get back downtown, grab yourself some food and reserve in advance your tour, wagon ride, and dinner at Rider Ranch, perhaps the choice is the Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch for the kids or you might go for a hike at Mineral Ridge and then bring a change of clothes to capitalize on your dinner reservations at a local staple: Wolf Lodge Steakhouse. From here, it’s 10 minutes back to town but it gets you out on the ‘other side’ to see some wildlife, scenery, and wild west side of Coeur d’Alene’s charm. Those on the road tend to head out to the St. Joe River to go camping, RVing, or fishing from this direction.
Silver Valley – The Big Burn and East of Coeur d’Alene in two days
Spend one or two days out in the Silver Valley. Perhaps you do it on the way to Western Montana or Glacier National Park in order to not back track with any of your activities going North or West to Spokane. The Silver Valley features the blue ribbon fishery and epic scenic trip on the Coeur d’Alene River. We see moose, blue heron, trout, and when in season the Salmon spawn. Leave town and book the morning scenic float on the Coeur d’Alene River. Then eat next door at the epic Snakepit Bar. If you like history you can then take the short drive to Cataldo Mission or if you have kids and want to check it out the Sierra Silver Mine Trolley Tour is pretty cool. You might give yourself an overnight stay at Silver Mountain. The excellent local ski resort boasts a spectacular waterpark for kids to get out of the sun and mountain biking or simply a beautiful gondola ride to the top of the mountain to take in the sight of the North Idaho mountainsides. Wake up slow and spend half your morning in Wallace with a beer at the brewery or the City Limits Pub and Grill. Before you arrive, make sure you read the book The Big Burn by Timothy Egan. From here, everyone hits the Hiawatha Trail. You have to do this on your way to Western Montana and you can stay overnight in Wallace or do the trail and get your reservation over the pass in St. Regis. If you have a rock star driver simply drive from the Hiawatha to Quinns Hot Springs for a soak after your day biking. From here, you are in Western Montana territory, a gem and destination all it’s own. We have a sister company that features endless activities called Adventure Missoula. If you are headed to Glacier Park you might as well go whitewater rafting at the world class location, the Alberton Gorge. It is the best in the state, legendary, and features higher volumes and punchier rapids than anything outside of the Glacier park area. Raft in the morning without the crowds and head to Glacier Park in the afternoon or on to Missoula, Montana.
Headed to Missoula? Find all you need to do here. It includes more itineraries and suggestions from the two decades of outdoor recreation activities we’ve operated there as well. From Missoula, the Adventure Missoula webpage will give you ideas on things to do in either direction. It is the land of three rivers and such is organized by three directions, North, East, and South.
Please give us a call at 208-918-2082 or email us your travel plans at email@example.com.
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