Table of Contents
Welcome back to The Abroad Blog, my sweet & loyal readers! Today’s post is going to cover things to do in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for a day trip. This may sound random, but if you find yourself in Montana, driving west towards the PNW — Coeur d’Alene is a very common pit stop, as it’s right in between the Glacier National Park area / Bozeman, Montana and Spokane, Washington. I didn’t spend too much time here but did visit it for a day to check off state #35 / 50 on my journey to all 50 states! Without further ado, here’s a quick guide to visiting Idaho!
Where is Coeur d’Alene, Idaho located?
Coeur d’Alene is a city located in northwest Idaho, about 40 minutes east of Spokane, Washington. It’s also 2.5 hours west of Missoula, Montana, another city I visited during my time in Bozeman, Montana.
What is Coeur d’Alene, Idaho known for?
Coeur d’Alene, which means “Heart of An Awl” in French, had came from French-Canadian fur traders. The tribe is currently located near Worley, Idaho, which is roughly 20-30 minutes out of the downtown area.
Aside from being a common road trip pitstop, this area is known for its water spots on Lake Coeur d’Alene, plus trails in the Canfield Mountain Natural Area and the Coeur d’Alene National Forest. The lakeside area is a common place for locals and tourists to spend time.
As a whole, Idaho has a wide variety of landscapes and wildlife. Its nickname is the “Gem State” for its rich sources of gems found across the state. The state us also known for its potato production, so you must try some form of potatoes during your visit.
What is the weather like here?
Coeur d’Alene sees temperatures in the 30s and 40s during the winter months and can rise up to mid-80s during peak summer. Make sure you dress accordingly depending on the time of year you plan on visiting. I came here in May and thought it was so comfortable!
Things to do in Coeur d’Alene
The main road in downtown Coeur d’Alene is Sherman Avenue. East Front Ave and East Lakeside Ave also run parallel to Sherman. This is where you’ll want to base yourself for most of the day!
Shop the boutiques along Sherman Ave
Downtown Coeur d’Alene was founded in 1888 and has become an entertainment and shopping center with more than 125 retail stores, restaurants, and businesses. When we visited Idaho, we spent a few hours strolling through the quaint shops and cafes along Sherman Ave. This is where all the action is downtown!
Eat on Sherman Ave (and try some potatoes)
I know this seems silly, but really — Idaho is known for its mass production of potatoes! We ate lunch downtown at Rustic on Sherman Ave and had yummy sandwiches and homemade potato chips. There are tons of restaurants in this area. Coeur d’Alene is known as the “lakeside playground of the pacific northwest” for five-star amenities in a stunning natural setting, so outdoor dining is common here.
Relax in McEuen Park
Located in northern Idaho, on the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene, this picturesque downtown is defined by blue skies, streets that lead to sparkling water and pine-forested mountains wrapping the skyline. McEuen Park offers a grassy lawn and a trailhead for adjacent Tubbs Hill. There’s also a splash pad here for children, plus an area for dogs to run off-leash. It’s only a few roads over from Sherman Ave, making this whole area extremely walkable.
Right in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene, explore the wild beauty of the publicly owned Tubbs Hill peninsula with an easy trek on the Tubbs Hill Nature Trail. The two-mile trail loop along Lake Coeur d’Alene offers historical points along the way, plus there are terrific photo opportunities. Tubbs Hill consists of over 120 acres and is bordered by Lake Coeur d’Alene on the west, south and east sides. There are several miles of hiking trails on the hill that provide spectacular scenery for everyone to enjoy.
Pro-tip: Make sure to bring your camera! The lake is definitely the most scenic area in northwest Idaho.
Enjoy the lake
The lakeside City Park & Beach includes picnic areas and a playground. This area is also right downtown and is close to the boardwalk for lake cruises, jet ski rentals, and other fun waterside activities.
Soak up the outdoors with Timberline Adventures
Timberline Adventures is the area’s #1 outdoor adventure activity (and has been for the past 8 years). It has 7 hiplines and 2 sky bridges for guests to enjoy. The tours bring guests over the surrounding mountains, offering views of the lake and various wildlife below. Timberline is located about 12 miles outside of the city, and is perfect for thrill-seekers and families!
Those are all my recommendations for things to do in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Whether you’re passing through on a longer trip or visiting as part of a Pacific Northwest road trip, I hope you have an amazing adventure. Don’t overlook the Gem State!
Like this post? Pin it to save it for later and share with others!