things to do in coeur d'alene

I had a major laugh when I was looking up keywords for this ‘things to do in Coeur d’Alene Idaho blog post’ because NO ONE (not really even me) knows how to spell Coeur d’Alene. I saw a lot of Cortolane Idaho, or Corder Lane, and had to LOL! This is why most Idahoans abbreviate the town to CDA which is what I’ll be using for the majority of my post below.

A little bit about Coeur d’Alene:

CDA is a special place located on Lake Coeur d’ Alene in Northern Idaho and is one of the larger towns in the state. In my opinion, it’s one of the best places to visit in Idaho because you get a good-sized town, with amenities, and are directly on a lake!

The summertime here is the best time to come, but there are also great winter activities as well.

CDA is also really close to Hayden Lake, Fernan Lake, the Spokane River, and the Coeur d’Alene river, so if you like bodies of freshwater, this might be a good place for you. The closest ski resort is Schweitzer mountain, located near yet another great town, Sandpoint, Idaho!

Best Things to Do in Coeur d’Alene Idaho

GETTING TO COEUR D’ALENE

Flying:

The closest airport to Coeur d’Alene is Spokane International Airport in Washington (about 40 minutes away). Spokane offers nonstop flights or one-stop access from most major cities in the USA and Canada. After landing, you’ll arrive in less than an hour to the amazing town of Coeur d’Alene. I recommend grabbing a taxi or Uber to the town if you don’t want to rent a car. If you’re flying into Seattle, you’ll be about a 4.40-hour drive to CDA.

Driving:

To get to CDA from the airport, you can either take an uber or you can easily access it by highway coming from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana or Canada. 

WHERE TO STAY IN COEUR D’ALENE

Coeur d’ Alene Resort If you want to stay in the most iconic place in Coeur d’Alene then this resort is your place. It’s top-rated and centrally located right on the lake with a great infinity pool, award-winning spa, and hot tubs. It is somewhat considered the ‘place to be’ in CDA. See current prices here.

Airbnb Vacation Rentals– I highly recommend booking a lake house if you can find one close to the lake or close to town. Use my link for $40 off your rental! There are some beautiful homes, downtown apartments, and cabins in great locations. See all of the open cabins here.

Roosevelt Inn -This place is in the old Roosevelt Schoolhouse and is a Bed and Breakfast run by locals. Each room has different decor and it’s only an 8-minute walk to the water. I have multiple friends who have stayed here and love it, so even though I haven’t stayed here I thought it would be good to mention!

 
 

WHAT TO DO IN COEUR D’ALENE

  • Visit the Coeur d’Alene Resort for the views! You can walk around the property and get great views of the lake. I also recommend eating at the Dockside restaurant for brunch and Whispers for a cocktail. Both have great views over the lake. You can also walk over to McEuen Park, a lakeside park with recreation trails and a large playground with a splash pad.
  • Take a walk through the quaint downtown, you can also follow the Mudgy & Millie Moose Trail that wanders through town.
  • Enjoy activities on the lake in the summer like parasailing, boat rentals, jet skiing, paddleboarding, kayaking. Most of these activities can be rented by the water or at places near the resort like Kayak Coeur d’Alene and Coeur d’Alene Water Sports.
  • Visit the Coeur d’Alene City Park and Independence Point for 16 acres of beach and park space.
  • Take a walk through the Farmer’s Market that happens every Wednesday night in the summer.
  • Bike along the Northern Idaho Centennial Trail or the Hiawatha Trail. The Hiawatha Trail is considered one of the most fun things to do in CDA as it spans 15 miles, takes you through 10 train tunnels and several tall trestles! The best part? It’s mostly downhill and great for all ages. The Northern Idaho Centennial Trail on the other hand is a 23-mile pedestrian path with some of the best views of the area. 
  • Zipline through the forest with Timberline Adventures. My friend, Sam, who lives there says this is so much fun.
  • Go on a hike up to Tubbs Hill for a view of the lake and go cliff jumping here in the summer. Tubbs Hill is a great hike any time of the year and has great bald eagle viewing in the wintertime. Mineral Ridge is another popular hiking spot with 3.3 miles of trail and pretty close to town.
  • Visit Midtown for some great restaurants and shopping. You’ll find lots of vintage and thrift shops here along with some fun restaurants.
  • Adventure over to the Silverwood Theme Park that turns into a fun water park in the summer!
  • Go golfing! There are a ton of golf courses in CDA. One of the main public courses is Coeur d’Alene Public Golf Course. Other courses include CDA Resort, Avondale, Highlands, Circling Raven at the CDA Casino.
  • Go on a lake cruise to get great views of the lake and mountains.
  • Take a trip to an alpaca farm! You’re in Northern Idaho after all. Check out Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch to meet these cute animals.
  • Visit a state park near Coeur d’Alene. If you want to get out of the city, you can head up to Farragut State Park about 30 miles away from CDA on the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille. If you go during the winter, be sure to look out for bald eagles perched in the trees along the shoreline. Another popular state park is Coeur d’ Alene Parkway, popular for walkers and bikers. Again, look out for bald eagles here in the winter.
  • History buff? Check out Fort Sherman, the oldest church, library, school, and meeting hall in Coeur d’Alene or visit the Museum of North Idaho to learn about the unique heritage of the area. 
  • If you’re in CDA in the winter, about 40 minutes east of CDA, you’ll find Silver Mountain Resort. This is a great spot for skiing in the winter and hiking and mountain biking in the summer. 

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN COEUR D’ALENE

Brunch and Lunch

Crafted – Great place to go on a nice day for outdoor seating in the summer.

Dockside Restaurant – great brunch and famous for the Gooey dessert

Honey Eatery and Social Club – Great brunch here and fun decor

Hudson Hamburgers – This is an old school hamburger joint, but super good and famous in town

Dinner and Drinks

Vault Coffee – If you need a great cup of Joe and avocado toast, make sure to stop here!

Angelo’s or Tony’s on the Lake  – Both great spots for Italian food

Crickets – This spot is right downtown serving great pub food with big menus and tvs. It’s a great sports bar with high energy and great for large groups.

315 Restaurant and Wine Bar– martinis and tapas to your list. They’re favorites among our age group.

Moontime + Porch are sister restaurants and loved by locals 🙂

The Bluebird – This is great farm to table grub in Midtown

Cedars Floating Restaurant – This is literally a floating restaurant on the lake with great steak and seafood!

The art and wine scene is pretty big in downtown CDA. So if you’re looking for some fun wine bars, visit  Live for Blu, Studio 107, Castaway Cellars.

 
honey eatery and social club

I hope you have a fun time in Coeur d’Alene! It truly is a gem of Idaho and of the United States in general. There’s so much to do and there are new activities and restaurants popping up all the time! Let me know if you’ve discovered any other really fun activities to do there in the comments below!

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12 Best Things to do in Coeur d' Alene idaho
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