Idaho is a very big place. There are a lot of places to go, a lot of things to see and do, and a lot of parts of the state that are excellent to make a life in. Most of the buzz about the state gets focused on Boise and the Treasure Valley because that is where things are urbanizing, it has a large population in a relatively population sparse state, and there has been a lot of growth in the area for the last few years, but there are definitely other parts of the state that deserve some of that buzz, and they are not necessarily even in the belt of medium to large cities that run across the bottom of the state. A lot of the best places to go to and see in Idaho or to the north and one of the best spots to start is Coeur d’Alene, which is about as for northwest as you can get in Idaho. You do not have to go much further north to get to the border of the United States and Canada. Coeur d’Alene is a great part of the world and is full of so many different and wonderful activities.
Coeur d’Alene is actually a lot like Boise in many ways. It is a large urban center surrounded by a lot of wilderness and land that is not so urban, which is probably an understatement. It is a big city with a large population similar to many of the cities down south that it is so far away from. In fact, it is somewhat of an anomaly that Coeur d’Alene is as big as it is, considering most of the north in Idaho is mountainous without a lot of room for large populations like Coeur d’Alene. The first difference you will notice between Boise and Coeur d’Alene is that where the former is nestled in plains and farmland, the latter trades all of that flat terrain for tall and majestic mountains and comes with a massive lake attached.
What to do in Coeur d’Alene?
So, what are those many things you can do around Coeur d’Alene that I mentioned? The first place to start is probably with that giant lake I just brought up. Coeur d’Alene is one of the best places in the world if you are a fan of sports and activities that involve water. The lake is right next to the city which means it is always close at hand if you want to do something with it. I can never really recommend a boat since they are expensive, and you might never get your investment out of it, but Coeur d’Alene is probably one of the few places in the country where you are actually likely to get your money’s worth out of a boat. Buy yourself an innertube or pair of water skis to go along with that boat and you are set up for a whole lot of experiences where that water is going to be a lot of fun. Of course, if a full-fledged motorboat is out of the question, there are always canoes, kayaks, and other kinds of small boats that are not expensive and you can get almost as much fun out of them as a motorboat. You are not going to go as fast, but the experience becomes more about the wonderful nature around you than the speed you are going, and you can use these tools as a means of natural exercise. You can also break out some fishing poles for the shore or for while you are on a boat. And finally, maybe all you need is a good place to swim for a little while and cool off. The lake is what you make of it, so make it fun as much as you can.
Silverwood Theme Park
If you would prefer an activity that will not get you as wet or if you are just sick of the lake, there is also a very exciting and attractive dry land option where you can have some fun in the sun. Coeur d’Alene is just next door to one of the biggest theme parks in the northwest, Silverwood Theme Park. This is the perfect place to spend a day or two seeking some thrills and having a general blast. There are rollercoasters if you want to learn whether or not you fear death. There are water park features (I know, I just told you this was an escape from the lake and the water therein, but you can avoid the water stuff if you want) that are basically rollercoaster except you get to cool off while you blast around in tubes and through the open air. There is a Ferris wheel if you want to lift yourself up into the sky on a lazy trip in a circle. It is like any other theme park in the world but can look out at all the mountains and natural features that surround the park.
This last one is a little weird, but if you want to dome exotic golfing, Coeur d’Alene is probably one of your best options. On Lake Coeur d’Alene, there are several artificial islands that can be golfed on. It is a pretty unique experience to be out in the middle of the water while you are working on your backswing. Just try not to get distracted by the view. The really interesting thing about this island is that it moves. It is a masterful piece of technology and a very unique golfing experience if you are looking for one.
There are just a few of the things Coeur d’Alene is known for and you can experience if you plan a visit there. If you are really committed and find the area to be as wonderful as I think you will after your visit, Coeur d’Alene is also a fine place to live. There are few better places in the world set down roots and create a home. You might not even need to visit to know just how wonderful the city is.
Bobak Ha’Eri [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons