Watersports to wildlife: 14 things to do in Coeur d’Alene

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Get ready to be captivated by outdoor activities, lake beauty, family entertainment and natural wildlife. Coeur d’Alene has all of that and more.

Large ship and water plane on mountain lake.
Lake Coeur d’Alene. Photo credit: Yayimages.

Best things to do outdoors

Coeur d’Alene is known for its natural beauty and a plethora of outdoor activities. The city is built around the lake and has plenty of things to do in the great outdoors.

Bike or hike the Centennial Trail

The North Idaho portion of the Centennial Trail is 23 miles long and extends from the Idaho/Washington border to Higgins Point, six miles east of Coeur d’Alene. Walk, jog or bike along the Spokane River and enjoy the scenic views. It is paved, wide and has several benches and restrooms along the way. Dogs are welcome on the trail, just be sure to pick up after them.

Go eagle watching

Each November, bald eagles arrive for their annual migration and remain in the area until about the third week of January. Higgens Point and Wolf Lodge Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene are popular places to see them. Special eagle-watching cruises are also available on Lake Coeur d’Alene, as well.

Cruise Lake Coeur d’Alene

Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises offers multiple cruises per day year-round complete with a full bar, picture windows and a sound system. Most cruises last 90 minutes and take guests around different areas of the lake. Select cruises offer meal service, as well.

Walk the boardwalk

The world’s longest floating boardwalk is located around the marina of the Coeur d’Alene Resort. It is 12 feet wide and 3,300 feet long and is free to use. The boardwalk is open year round and has several places to stop and take photographs. 

“When we visit Coeur d’Alene, we love to spend our time outside. Whether that be hiking, visiting Lake Coeur d’Alene, walking around downtown or spending a day at Silverwood Theme Park, there is always something to enjoy outdoors. The region offers absolutely stunning views and plenty of outdoor experiences for everyone.” 

— Sara Nelson, Real Balanced

Rent a boat

Passenger boat on mountain lake next to boardwalk.
Coeur d’Alene boating. Photo credit: Yayimages.

Rent a sport boat or pontoon boat from the Boardwalk Marina to explore Lake Coeur d’Alene on your own. If you want to have some extra fun, rent a tube to pull behind the boat,  too.

Go swimming

Enjoy swimming at Independence Point Park at Coeur d’Alene’s city beach. It is located near downtown Coeur d’Alene and the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Tour boats, seaplanes, parasailing and other aquatic equipment are available.

Catch fish

Idaho is the only inland western state with ocean-run salmon. Get in a boat and catch kokanee and chinook salmon on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Large and smallmouth bass, northern pike, mackinaw and rainbow trout are also abundant. Make sure to have an Idaho fishing license before going.

“One of the best parts about visiting Coeur d’Alene is being on the water! Renting a boat was one of the highlights of my vacation there. Not only is it a good way to beat the heat on a warm day, but you also get an incredible view of the lakeside mansions that surround the water. Who knew you could put a full double garage on your dock?!”

—Isabelle Frederick, Mama’s Buzz

Ride rollercoasters

Head about 20 miles north to visit Silverwood Theme Park. Silverwood has amusement park rides, water slides, live shows, arcade games and restaurants. Plan to spend a day or two exploring the park. An RV park and campground is located across the street and has access to Silverwood via an underground tunnel.

Go parasailing

Float approximately 600 feet above the water as you parasail over Lake Coeur d’Alene. Take off and land from the boat with Parasail Coeur d’Alene. 

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Indoor activities in Coeur d’Alene

While Coeur d’Alene is known for outdoor adventures, there are also many things to do inside. 

Museum of North Idaho

The Museum of North Idaho has seven permanent exhibits about the history of the area as well as rotating featured exhibits throughout the year. Events are offered to engage visitors as well.

Shop downtown

Downtown Coeur d’Alene has more than 100 shops and restaurants to explore. Shop for clothing, jewelry, wine, antiques and more.

Coeur d’Alene Cellars

Man holding glass of red wine.
Wine tasting. Photo credit: Yayimages.

Enjoy a glass of wine and a charcuterie board in the tasting room. On Saturday nights, they offer live music as well. Coeur d’Alene Cellars produces more than 3,000 cases of wine per year. 

Visit Triple Play

Triple Play is a family entertainment center with an indoor water park. It also has bowling, arcade games, miniature golf, go-karts, ziplining and more.

Explore local art

Visit the Art Spirit Gallery downtown to discover original works by regional artists. The gallery opens a new show the first Saturday of every month. It is over 4,000 square feet and has hosted over 300 exhibitions and curated shows since 1997.

Northwest Tattoo Museum and Tattooing

The Northwest Tattoo Museum and Tattooing is home to stencils, tattoo machines and more dating from as far back as 1910. Works and paraphernalia from famous tattoo artists are also on display. 

Coeur d’Alene Resort Spa

Take some time to relax at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Spa, which has been ranked as one of the top resort spas in the United States. The spa offers massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and more. 

Final thoughts

No matter what time of year you plan to visit, Coeur d’Alene has something for you to do. Activities for adults and families are abundant and available year-round. What are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to the inland northwest.

Heidi is a Certified Elementary School Teacher in the Inland Northwest and has been teaching for 17 years. She is also a vintage recipe blogger at RealLifeofLulu.com, where she focuses on recipes that are at least 50 years old, many from her grandparents’ kitchens. When she isn’t teaching or baking, she loves spending time with her husband and three kids.

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