12 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Coeur d'Alene, ID
At the southern end of the Idaho Panhandle near the Washington Border, Coeur d'Alene is a scenic city filled with fun things to do. The city's most defining feature is the massive Lake Coeur d'Alene backdropping the downtown district to the south. Waterfront attractions like Tubbs Hill and Coeur D'Alene City Park are located here, and popular recreational activities surrounding the lake include hiking trails, camping, fishing, and boating.
A favorite spot for cycling and hiking, the 23-mile North Idaho Centennial Trail passes by the Lake Coeur d'Alene shoreline and through the family favorite McEuen Park. Other family favorites in Coeur d'Alene include the North Idaho Museum and Mineral Ridge Scenic Area. For more outdoor recreation, the Panhandle encompassing Coeur d'Alene includes national forests, state parks, and year-round mountain resorts. Plan your trip with our list of the top things to do in Coeur d'Alene.
1. Lake Couer d'Alene
Creating a beautiful backdrop for the city, Lake Coeur d'Alene is one of the largest natural bodies of water in Idaho. Campgrounds, hiking trails, and beaches line the shores of the 25-mile lake, and popular activities atop the water include jet skiing, fishing, kite surfing, and launching a watercraft at one of twelve public boat launches. Abutting the city, the north side of the lake is the most developed for tourists, with spots near the water like McEuen Park and The Coeur d'Alene Resort.
Simply looking out over the water from the beach at Coeur d'Alene City Park adds to the experience of visiting the city, especially when seaplanes land near the shore. A great wildlife spectacle occurs every winter on the lake when hundreds of bald eagles fly in to feed on spawning kokanee salmon, making for a great photo opportunity and reason to visit. For those looking to get on the water themselves, nearly every type of watercraft can be rented from surrounding marinas and concessionaires, as well as a variety of chartered fishing experiences.
2. McEuen Park
A centerpiece public space for the city, McEuen Park is the perfect place for the entire family to spend the day. Home to the city's largest playground, McEuen Park also features basketball courts, impressive pavilions, and a leash-free dog park.
Public art lines the bike trails and pedestrian paths that cross through the abundant green space of the park, and a beautiful grand plaza area with landscaped waterfalls, garden beds, and a Veterans Memorial facilitates peaceful time during the day.
The trailhead for Tubbs Hill can be found at the southwest corner of the park next to the water, and the adjacent Harbor House provides summer-fun concessions and seating with a view.
3. North Idaho Centennial Trail
Stretching from the Idaho/Washington Border to Higgins Point on the eastern shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene, the North Idaho Centennial Trail is a 23-mile pedestrian path that takes in some of the best sights of the region. Bicycling is a popular way to navigate the trail, and pedestrians are also commonly seen sharing the pavement.
Originally a railroad line, scenic stops on the Centennial Trail include Heyburn State Park, McEuen Park, and Mineral Ridge Scenic Area. Across state borders into Washington, the trail connects with the Spokane River Centennial Trail, which extends to some of Spokane's top attractions including Riverside Park.
4. Tubbs Hill
Near downtown and adjacent to McEuen Park, Tubbs Hill is a publicly owned natural space featuring elevation and overlooks of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Miles of hiking trails stretch up and around Tubbs Hill including a 2.2-mile lakeside interpretive loop, which circles the hill.
Great for anytime-of-the-year nature walks and bald eagle viewing in the winter, Tubbs Hill is a popular outing for families, trail runners, and photography enthusiasts. Tubbs Hill can be accessed via different trailheads from surrounding city streets, and the trailhead on the southwest side of McEuen Park and Third Street features public restrooms and concessions.
5. Mineral Ridge Scenic Area and National Recreation Trail Editor's Pick
East of the city center and overlooking Beauty Bay and Lake Coeur d'Alene, Mineral Ridge is a historic, scenic area and home to a 3.3-mile national recreation trail. Starting from the paved parking area and picnic shelters of the trailhead, the trail consistently ascends and switchbacks up Mineral Ridge. Interpretive markers along the trail correspond with a guidebook published by the Bureau of Land Management that details the flora, fauna, and history of this early developed recreation site.
The view overlooking Lake Coeur d'Alene atop Mineral Ridge is well worth the moderate effort, and come winter, the ridgeline is a popular place to spot the hundreds of migrating bald eagles making their way through the area.
Address: 9200 ID-97, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
6. Downtown Coeur d'Alene
With shopping, dining, and live entertainment, something is always happening on the streets of downtown Coeur d'Alene. Backdropped by a beautiful waterfront area, the downtown area has over 100 retail stores, including specialty boutiques, fine art galleries, and antique shops for special treasures.
Dining can be enjoyed throughout the day in downtown, starting with breakfast spots like The Garnet Cafe and ending with Beverly's for fine dining in the evening. Community celebrations that take place in the downtown district include holiday lighting events, festive parades, and a weekly Farmers Market throughout the warmer months of the year.
Official site: http://www.cdadowntown.com/
7. Coeur d'Alene City Park
On the waterfront west of downtown, Coeur d'Alene City Park features 16 acres of beach and landscaped green space complete with an inviting playground. An easy way to connect with the surrounding scenic environment, a cement promenade separating the beach and green space is lined with trees and is great for afternoon strolls. From the beach area, passing boats on the lake add to the attractive backdrop, as do the seaplanes that touch down on the water.
The historically-themed and recently renovated Fort Sherman Playground is a big hit within the city park for young children and parents alike. A center for community attractions and events, Coeur d'Alene City Park holds a variety of engagements throughout the year, including movies in the park and live music in the bandshell. Nearly connected to the park a block away, the historic Fort Sherman Chapel is the oldest church in Coeur d'Alene and is accessed with a short and scenic walk through a charming neighborhood.
8. Silver Mountain Resort
Forty minutes east of Coeur d'Alene, Silver Mountain Resort is a family-friendly getaway featuring skiing, mountain biking, and year-round retreats into nature. Over 70 named ski routes define much of the winter fun at Silver Mountain, and other cold-weather attractions include winter festivals, day camps, and North America's longest gondola.
Lift-accessed mountain biking and hiking trails provide miles of fun things to do during the warmer months of the year. Tee-times are recommended at the adjacent Galena Ridge Golf Course, and the indoor Silver Rapids Waterpark at the resort appeals to young swimmers throughout the year.
Address: 610 Bunker Avenue, Kellogg, Idaho
Official Site: www.silvermt.com
9. Museum of North Idaho
Adjacent to Coeur d'Alene City Park and the downtown district, the Museum of North Idaho presents multimedia exhibits covering the history of the Coeur d'Alene region. From railroads to recreation and including logging history and artifacts of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, every aspect of Coeur d'Alene is on display at the museum. Photos and information about the 1941 Playland Pier and 1958 introduction of Hydroplane Races on Lake Coeur D'Alene are particularly interesting permanent exhibits.
A museum store offers a great selection of local-history publications and handmade jewelry and crafts. Free admission is offered to the museum during the city's Art Walk on the second Friday of each month.
Address: 115 Northwest Boulevard, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Official site: http://www.museumni.org/
10. Coeur d'Alene National Forest
Encompassing the large swath of forest directly east of the city, Coeur d'Alene National Forest is part of the larger Idaho Panhandle National Forest, which covers 2.5-million acres of land between Idaho, Washington, and Montana. Numerous recreational activities stem from the forest land throughout the year, including miles of multi-use trails; rustic campgrounds; freshwater lakes; and opportunities to fish, hunt, and experience nature. One of the most popular recreation spots of the forest accessed from Coeur d'Alene, Hayden Lake is reached via a 20-mile drive from the city.
Remote spots within the forest like the Little Guard Lookout rental cabin enable unique overnight experiences, and popular developed areas to spend the night include the Honeysuckle and Bumblebee Campgrounds. Come winter, the landscape of the national forest lends to snowmobile and cross-country skiing adventures. The entirety of the Panhandle National Forest can take a lifetime to explore, and other areas of high interest include Priest Lake farther north and the St. Joe River area south of the city.
Official site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf
11. Farragut State Park
Forty minutes north of Coeur d'Alene on the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille, the largest lake in Idaho, Farragut State Park is a sprawling natural space nestled within the Coeur d'Alene Mountains of north Idaho. Hikers, cyclists, and horse riders use the miles of trails that span throughout the park, and water enthusiasts often utilize the boat launch and Beaver Bay Beach swimming access.
The park is also a well-known disc golf destination, with four professional 18-hole courses spread throughout the forest and meadows of the park, as well as one beginner-friendly nine-hole course. As one of the best campgrounds in Idaho, Farragut State Park offers over 200 sites, including access to shower houses and modern restrooms.
Address: 13550 ID-54, Athol, Idaho
12. Falls Park
Ten miles west of Coeur d'Alene, Falls Park is a family-friendly and universally accessible play area. This popular city park is based around the Post Falls Dam, which helps regulate water levels in nearby Lake Coeur d'Alene. Alongside viewing platforms of the various hydrodynamics, Falls Park also features a large playground area including an ADA-compliant swing.
The half-acre children's fishing pond is also popular at the park and features accessible fishing bridges, shoreline, and platforms. Other nature trails in the park and interpretive information make Falls Park a fun destination or detour for a day.
Address: 305 West Fourth Avenue, Post Falls, Idaho
Where to Stay in Coeur d'Alene for Sightseeing
- Mid-Range Hotels: Great hotels at moderate prices can be found throughout Coeur d'Alene and surrounding the downtown district. Near McEuen Park and the downtown waterfront, the Blackwell Hotel is located within a historic mansion and is one of the finest boutique hotels in the city. Great for a romantic weekend, Blackwell Hotel is located within walking distance to the many shops and restaurants of downtown Coeur d'Alene. West of the downtown area near the shore of the Spokane River, Hampton Inn & Suites Coeur d'Alene is within walking distance of restaurants, a movie theater, and the Centennial Trail. Near the Hampton, SpringHill Suites Coeur d'Alene provides spacious accommodations complete with spa-like bathrooms, as well as complimentary breakfast and a well-maintained pool and fitness center.
- Budget Hotels: For a great downtown hotel that won't break the budget, the Resort City Inn is located near McEuen Park and features 18 clean and cozy rooms near the lake and the rest of downtown. Farther west near the Spokane River, the Days Inn by Wyndham is a pet-friendly hotel located two miles from downtown. Featuring a fitness center and pool, Days Inn also provides complimentary breakfast and newspapers with each stay. Near the Days Inn, the Super 8 by Wyndham Coeur d'Alene is another affordable option, which features clean rooms, friendly staff, and consistent repeat stays.
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More to Explore in Idaho: This state offers much to explore and experience, from seeing the attractions of Boise to spending time at the best resorts in the Idaho. Other cities worth exploring include Twin Falls and Idaho Falls. For a look at highlights around the state, see our article on Idaho's top tourist attractions.
Exploring nearby Montana: Bordering parts of Idaho on the east is Montana, another state worth taking some time to explore. The top-rated tourist attractions of Montana range from glacier-strewn peaks to underground caverns. The hip and historic cities of Bozeman and Missoula are both fun to visit and provide a collegiate appeal, and the resort town of Whitefish, which features access to world-class skiing and Glacier National Park.