Home Cities This Is the Single Most Fascinating City In the Northwest

This Is the Single Most Fascinating City In the Northwest

This Is the Single Most Fascinating City In the Northwest

The Educational Center of Northern Idaho

One of the reasons why Coeur d’Alene has gained notoriety for being the educational center of Northern Idaho is because it offers a large number of schools to the 10,300 students registered within the school district.

This includes 10 different elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. As a way to boost education and reinsert dropouts into the system, the city also offers an alternative school for the high and middle school levels, as well as a dropout retrieval school and a district-wide Honors and Advanced Placement program.

In matters of higher education, Coeur d’Alene is the home of North Idaho College, a 2 year community college with a population of 6,000 students. Established in 1933, North Idaho College currently resides on the land where Fort Sherman once stood, adding a historical aura to an already popular institution which has been the home to such notable alumni as Sarah Palin (1983), Jason Bay (1997-1998), Rick Jore (1978), and a slew of other important sports figures, such as Steve Parker, Trevor Prangley, and Josh Thomson, among others.

Something to Do All Year Round

Coeur d Alene photo
Photo by TooFarNorth

Coeur d’Alene offers a wonderfully varied selection of events and attractions throughout the year, as well as parks and recreational activities, to both locals and visitors alike.

Among the most popular events are the Ironman Triathlon, held every year at the end of June; the “Car d’Alene”, a renowned car show that features both old and new cars shown by their owners, and the delightful Christmas Lighting Ceremony, an annual ceremony performed on the Friday after Thanksgiving and which features a parade, fireworks and the lighting of special candles supplied to visitors by local businesses.

Outdoor activities such as golfing, mountain biking, hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting are also a favorite of tourists, and can be carried out in any of the scenic areas surrounding Coeur d’Alene during the summer.

A Winter Wonderland for all Tastes

As a consequence of its expansion and booming tourism, Coeur d’Alene has become a well-known resort town, popular with those who enjoy winter activities or simply want a change of scenery during the snowy season.

The main resort in the area is the Coeur d’Alene Resort, which is located downtown and takes up most of that part of the city. This renowned vacation spot offers year-round activities, such as a marina that allows boating access to the lake, exemplary convention facilities, a relaxing spa, as well as an 18-hole golf course, which has attracted players from around the world.

Other ski resorts in the area are Silver Mountain and Schweitzer Mountain, both of which are only a short drive away from the heart of the city and have become a bastion for America’s favorite winter sports.

Fine Dining Every Gourmet Will Love

One of the most attractive areas of Coeur d’Alene, or CDA as the locals call it, is the huge selection of businesses along Sherman Avenue, which is the city’s main artery, a good number of which consist of highly rated cafés, restaurants and bistros that cater to all tastes, ranging from spicy Mexican food to the most traditional American sandwiches. Amongst the best dining facilities in the area we can find are Café Carambola, an establishment serving a good variety of Latin American fare on Hubbard Street.

Satay Bistro, conveniently located on N 4th Street, displays romantic ambiance and dimmed lights with a posh and luxurious option for those who are looking for a menu that offers favorites such as butternut soup, stuffed sea bass and the typical filet mignon, among other savory dishes.

A favorite of the locals, The Garnet Café, located on Walnut Avenue, is well known for its welcoming and friendly service as well as the quirky names they give to their entrees. It is here where you can enjoy some of the most delicious breakfast fare in the area, including the locally famous green eggs and ham.


Dyan Zammataro Travel expert, writer for America Unraveled.


  1. Idaho is considered the Inland northwest. Not the midwest. But a great article other than that! 🙂

  2. So much for being a, “Travel Expert”. How about you actually visit the places that you write about?

    1. Those of us who live here are not usually that “snarky”. It was an honest mistake. I LOVE it here. A treat to all of the senses. Nice article.

  3. Great Article! Coeur d’Alene is also home to Nspire Magazine which features excellent hiking, adventures, food, home ideas, & healthy living all from the Northwest Region.

  4. Tourism is pretty much only thing going for the town. No real jobs, poor housing market, no good extended education choices. Just a nice tourist town for three months

  5. Great place to grow up but it’s totally overdeveloped and full of Californians. 1st thing they do is try to change it to what they left behind.

  6. If you actually pay attention there are TONS of good jobs out here, I talk to people all the time and hear about all kinds of jobs and am told they are hiring. The housing market can require a roommate if you haven’t aquired the skills to get into a management position, but most people are fairly nice. The education is good too, if you show the school a demand for a subject, they will start teaching it.

  7. Please don’t tell anyone about Coeur d’Alene. Let it be our little secret… shhhh…—
    A Coeur d’Alene resident

  8. Coeur d’Alene is not so great. Education is poor, major drug problem in the area, the article states temperature goes from 29 to 70 with a few days in the 90s that’s a false statement. Beautiful place but it’s not how it used to be..

  9. I live in the Hayden area and I must agree with some of the comments. The downtown Coeur d’Alene is dying, shop having to close and I have not been able to find a job in the area for 3 years now. Yes, it is beautiful and if I did not live there I would think differently. But making a living in the area is almost impossible.

  10. You do know it is illegal to waterski and tube on the Coeur d’Alene River, within Kootenai County? (Which is the only portion of the robber navigable by motor boat) I would hardly say it’s “popular.”

  11. There is no salmon fishing in the Coeur d Alene river. There are cutthroat trout, rainbows, brookies and the odd brown trout, along with perch, crappie and sunfish. You can find kokanee and lake trout in Coeur d Alene Lake.

  12. Not really sure where you got your information, but winter dips into the teens regularly and summer is almost all 80+ with quite a few days hitting 90-100 degrees.

    Do I love it, yeah, but the weather isn’t as perfect as you are saying.

  13. CDA is not wildly popular. Thank God. But it is the nicest place I have ever lived and I’m fortunate to own property there. Health care, jobs, Californians? every place has its challenges and trade offs. CDA has the best bang for your buck.

  14. Rough crowd here! Why don’t all you dummies whining about not getting jobs write for a living since you’re such literary geniuses. Jeez…

  15. Can’t wait to move back, missing my hometown and the beauty of the area. Can always work in Spokane, for those looking…

  16. My family relocated here over 13 years ago. Yes, from southern Ca. We moved here because we wanted to get out of the rat-race that California had become. We fell in love with the beauty of this community and its location. We wanted a slower paced life style amidst the nature that is this town’s backdrop no matter which direction you face. We were eager to experience the uniqueness of each season, instead of all of them merely looking the same. We visited this town 7 years before we could make it a reality to move here and raise our children in a “better place”, which means we dreamt of calling this place “home” for a really long time. We were eager to leave California in the rear view mirror and we finally got the chance. We have never looked back. We treat this place like the “gem” that it is. We take pride in its beauty to the point that I never even leave a shopping cart wipe in the cart because (it’s disrespectful, and) it may fly out and litter our beautiful state. Over 13 years later I still marvel at the fact that we really live here. I am still blown away that there is always a beautiful view of the horizon that does not involve roof tops and concrete or smog. I, too, get extremely irritated when I see tourists or now residents with the “California mentality” up here. We left all that behind and don’t want any part of it here any more than you natives. I love to hear from Idaho natives that still love it here. Trust me, we moved here because we WANTED to. We love and take pride in this place that we are now blessed to call “home” and take care of it so that it stays beautiful. I am not ashamed to admit that I am from California. That is my birthplace and no one has a choice in the matter of where they’re born. But, my soul belongs in northern Idaho. And, we got here the soonest we could. ??

    1. I agree! I am a SoCal native also. I’ve been transferred all over the US and came here by choice in 1988. Please stop bashing the Californians as a group and enjoy their open and friendly spirit. That is prejudice, like any other kind. SoCal was beautiful when I grew up there. We didn’t change it. People coming in from other places did. (Round and round we go.) I am so glad to escape what it has now become. I LOVE it here. And I haven’t tried to change a thing about it.

    2. My husband & I have been researching Idaho for the last 6 months. We watch videos of Coeur d Alene and get tears in our eyes. We feel homesick and we haven’t even been there yet. Can’t wait to leave the craziness here in CA. Enough is enough! Will be visiting in October and hopefully moving in spring 2018. Feel great about leaving our .CA past behind and certainly don’t want to turn Idaho into Cali!

  17. Carey, thank you for your very thoughtful post. I do understand how the “original” Idahoans feel about the incoming Californians and your response is how I feel also as a soon to be transplant. I have tried to relocate my family 2 times over the past 20 years to beautiful Idaho. I plan to make this City home too and quickly will remove my license plates and treat this special place similar to you and the locals that have been fortunate (or lucky) enough to have been born here. We are all Americans and I surely would not look down on fellow citizens based on their birthplace but rather on their behavior, and it is true that areas breed certain types of behavior that can be disappointing. I hope that I can quickly merge into this region, keep my mouth shut, slow down and add positive energy and blend in to this beautiful place in the USA:)
    Wish me luck:)

  18. We moved here 11 years ago from Phoenix (prior to that L.A.) Should have moved here even earlier. Absolutely beautiful and clean but best of all we found the kindest, most trusting, and quick-to-help people ever. Folks here are just really, really, really nice Oh, and the best program for people with special needs. Award-winning, in fact.

  19. It was a fantastic place 25 years ago,I’ve been a Horse packer and a guide in the St. Joe river drainage.Too many people now even in the back country.Guess it couldn’t remain the way it was forever.I’ve seen graffiti in town and too many of the wrong types of people.We’re starting to have some big town problems.Such a shame.So many people move here to get away from things they end up demanding here,just don’t understand it.

  20. CDA❤️! My husband and I are planning our retirement in CDA. We bough a house downtown and had to tear it down, but we designed and built the new one to look like it’s always been there. We are from California and want to leave the rat race. We are very respectful of CDA and want it to keep its slower pace and beauty. When we first visited it felt like going back in time, as the people are so kind and helpful. Just a simple trip to the dmv was actually a pleasant experience, ( a nightmare in Cali). We are sad that the growth in CDA is happening so fast and traffic can be crazy at times. Cali people, if you move there, be respectful and DONT try to make it like CALIFORNIA! CDA’s beauty is second to none.

  21. Having read some of the very negative comments above, I am inspired to share my perspective. I am a born & bred North Idaho native, having lived, worked, and owned a home in CDA for 40+ years. The changes here over that period of time have been significant, there is no doubt. The seasonal traffic fluctuations are far less noticeable, with the overall year round population being more consistent. We can no longer breathe a sigh of relief when the “snow birds” head south again and tranquil life returns. The initial influx of Californians post 1974 Expo in Spokane was far more invasive and exasperating, as many complained about the lack of cultural and other amenities they left behind for a better life, as they sought out cleaner air and a slower pace. My source of information is first hand rather than hearsay, as I suspect is the source of some comments. I worked in the heart of downtown CDA, and had first hand information based on personal experience and one to one conversations with many of them as clients. It was very hard not to say, “If there is so much we don’t have, why don’t you just go back?”, even though I wished some of them would! When they could no longer stand this wonderful place, we were left with scores of empty homes and vacant strip malls along with the shell shock of rapid growth and equally rapid abandonment. I’m sure some people have a hard time letting go of that and the economic impact it had. Growth is inevitable, and we will never have our old CDA back, with miles of public lakeshore access, baseball fields, light traffic, etc. We are 40+ years into the future, and these new generations have new needs and interests. I have lots of good memories of those days. However, I have made a life here just fine, having worked in one profession for 20+ years, continued my education for a career change and worked another 20 years in that one. All the while I owned property, paid taxes, raised a son and made lots of friends. This all in spite of those awful Californians coming in and somehow making that impossible for some people to accomplish. I don’t think I’m that uniquely incredible of a person! There are still plenty of us old timers here, and CDA is much the same small town with familiar faces that it always was. You just might have to look a little harder. And the newcomers are bringing into our city as much as they are taking away from all of you who think of them as invaders. I see most as appreciative and thankful to be here. One last thought: I was also one of the many “invaders” into Southern California in the late ’60s, residing and working in San Diego for about 1-1/2 years. I remember how unusual it was at that time to meet a native there. So if you want to get technical, we drove them out of California and into Idaho. I was just smart enough to move back first!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *