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Lake Coeur d'Alene Area Attractions: Top Things To Do In Idaho

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 Lake Coeur d'Alene
Area Attractions
 
Includes Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway, Old Mission State Park,
White Pine Scenic Byway, St. Joe River Scenic Byway

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Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
                                              Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho                                           

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Lake Coeur d'Alene
Area Attractions
 
Includes Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway, Old Mission State Park, White Pine Scenic Byway, St. Joe River Scenic Byway

Lake Coeur d'Alene IdahoThe Coeur d'Alene Area is located in the Idaho Panhandle and is one of the premier vacation destinations in the Pacific Northwest.  This incredible area includes several wonderful attractions that make the Lake Coeur d'Alene area a definite "must see" during your Idaho vacation.  

The Coeur d'Alene Idaho Area includes the amazing town of Coeur d'Alene, the spectacular Lake Coeur d'Alene, the Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway, Old Mission State Park, St. Joe River Scenic Byway and White Pine Scenic Byway.  

The Coeur d'Alene Area provides its visitors a tremendous variety of activities amidst gorgeous scenery in all directions and is definitely a "must see" during your Idaho vacation.  Without question, the Coeur d'Alene Area is one of the most famous summer playgrounds and resort destinations in the Pacific Northwest, and is well worth your time to explore and discover this remarkable place.


Lake Coeur d'Alene
Lake Coeur d'Alene Idaho
Lake Coeur d'Alene is one of the Northwest's premier vacation and resort destination.

Lake Coeur d'Alene is one of the most scenic lakes in the Rocky Mountains, and is home to countless water sports and activities.  Lake Coeur d'Alene is huge, having a surface area os 49.8 square miles.  The
Lake Coeur d'Alene Idahomaximum depth of Lake Coeur d'Alene is 220 feet, and its surface rests at an elevation of 2,125 feet above sea level.  

This amazing lake is 25 miles long and 3 miles wide, and is a natural lake with over 109 miles of shoreline.  

The average temperature of Lake Coeur d'Alene during the summer months is about 68 degrees, which makes the lake conducive for swimming, water skiing, fishing and every other water sport you can think of.  

Lake Coeur d'Alene offers fantastic beaches and amazing scenery.  In fact, some of the best beaches on the shore of the lake are located near Downtown Coeur d'Alene, where the City of Coeur d'Alene did an excellent job providing a fantastic park and dock area where visitors can truly enjoy a day at the lake.


The public beach along the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene is a popular place to enjoy the water.

     
     

Para-sailing on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho.
Para-sailing is a popular water sport on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho.

Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Boat ToursLake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Boat Tours
Lake Coeur d'Alene is a big beautiful lake, and one of the best ways to see it is by taking a Scenic Boat Tour.

These boat tours are provided to tourists on a very large double decker boat that is very stable and extremely sea worthy.  This boat tour will take you to some of the most scenic spots on the lake, and you'll even get to see the only floating golf green in America! 

We highly recommend that anyone vacationing in the Coeur d'Alene area consider taking this very interesting and very enjoyable Lake Coeur d'Alene boat cruise.

Marina on Lake Coeur d'Alene Idaho
One of the many marinas along Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho.

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Lake Coeur d' Alene Google Map Location
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Downtown Coeur d'Alene
Coeur d'Alene is the second largest metropolitan area in the great state of Idaho with a population of about 44,000 people.  Known locally as "Lake City", the city of Coeur d'Alene is a major tourism center.  Barbara
Dowtonw Coeur d Alene IdahoWalters helped with getting the word out when she claimed that Coeur d'Alene was one of the most fascinating places to visit in the United States and called Coeur d'Alene "a little slice of heaven".  

There are a multitude of things to do in Coeur d'Alene, including excellent dining, lodging, shopping, museums, a theme park, high end resorts and top notch golf courses.  

And of course being nestled against the northern shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene, this brings an endless list of water sports and activities to the list of things to do in the fun tourist town of Coeur d'Alene Idaho.  There is a fantastic public beach near downtown Coeur d'Alene that is an absolute "must see and do" while vacationing in the Lake Coeur d'Alene area.

Downtown Coeur d'Alene Idaho
Downtown Coeur d'Alene is a popular tourist destination.

Coeur d'Alene Visitor CenterCoeur d'Alene
Visitor Center

Near Downtown Coeur d'Alene and across the street from the large public beach along the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene is the Coeur d'Alene Visitor Center.  

This visitor center is top-notch and is extremely helpful with helping visitors learn where to go and what to do while in the Coeur d'Alene area.  

With that in mind, we highly recommend spending time at the Coeur d'Alene Visitor Center and working with the helpful staff to maximize your Lake Coeur d'Alene area vacation.



Coeur d Alene Area Scenic Byways Map

Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway
Lake Coeur d Alene Scenic Bywy, IdahoThe Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway takes its visitors through amazing lakes and mountains as it follows the eastern shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene.  

The views of Lake Coeur d'Alene from a number of scenic turnouts are awe-inspiring as the Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway meanders  through one of the most popular summer playgrounds and resort destinations in the West.   There are two popular camping destinations along the Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway, which is Beauty Creek near Beauty Bay, and Bell Bay near the charming town of Harrison.

Lake Coeur d Alene Scenic Byway, Idaho
Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway follows the shore of the lake, providing incredible views!

Bald Eagle along Lake Coeur d Alene, IdahoBald Eagles
There is a wide variety of wildlife found around the Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway, but probably the most popular wildlife viewing opportunity are the Bald Eagles near Beauty Bay during the months of December and January.  

A large number of Bald Eagles congregate here during the winter to feed on Kokanee Salmon, and this spectacular scene brings wildlife watchers and photographers from around the world.


Harrison, Idaho
Harrison Idaho is a wonderful charming tourist town along the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene on the Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway.  Established in the late 1800s, Harrison provides its visitors with fun shopping, wine tasting and dining opportunities, as well as endless water sports such as boating, fishing and swimming.   There are several places to rent water sport equipment at Harrison, and there is a wonderful public dock and marina that serves its water sport enthusiasts.  Harrison is also home to fascinating history, and the local history museum does a great job unfolding this history to its visitors.

Harrison Idaho, Lake Coeur d Alene Scenic Byway, Idaho
Harrison Idaho is a wonderful little tourist town that visitors along the Coeur d' Alene Scenic Byway enjoys exploring.   There is not only fun places to shop and eat, but there is a fantastic marina here as well.

Harrison Boat Dock & Marina
    
Boaters, Harrison Idaho, Lake Coeur d' Alene Scenic Byway
Harrison Idaho is a popular place for visitors who enjoy all types of water sports on Lake Coeur d' Alene.

Trail of the Coeur d Alenes at Harrison IdahoTrail of the Coeur d'Alenes

Located at Harrison Idaho is the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, which is an extremely popular headquarters for cyclists who are riding the 72 mile long Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.  

This paved trail stretches across the Panhandle of Idaho, and is utilized by cyclists, roller bladers and hikers.

Harrison Idaho is one of the main stops along this popular trail, where bicyclists stop and enjoy this historic town before heading back on the trail.


View of Lake Coeur d'Alene from the Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway.

White Pine Scenic Byway

White Pine Scenic Byway runs through the largest stand of White Pines in the nation.

White Pines Scenic Byway, IdahoWhen visitors reach the southern end of Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway 36 miles south of Coeur d'Alene at Idaho State Highway 3, they will then be entering the White Pine Scenic Byway.  This byway begins at the junction  of Interstate 90 and Idaho 3 just east of Old Mission State Park.  The White Pine Scenic Byway takes its travelers along a beautifully forested road for 83 miles to the south, ending at Potlach Idaho.  

The White Pine Scenic Byway crosses both the St. Maries River and St. Joe River before it enters the lush St. Joe National Forest, which is home to the largest stand of White Pines in the country.  Near the Paulouse Divide, visitors will find the Palouse Divide Nordic Ski Area as the road works its way through towering white pines as it heads south toward the town of Potlach, which was at one time home to the world's largest White Pine lumber mill.

Attractions
Aside from driving through the country's largest stand of White Pines, travelers can also enjoy attractions such as Old Mission State Park, Coeur d'Alene River Wildlife Management Area, Palouse Divide Nordic Ski Area, St. Joe National Forest, Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, Mullen Trail Park, Potlach Historic Walking Tours and Steam Donkey.

St. Joe River Scenic Byway
St. Joe River Scenic Byway, Idaho
The St. Joe River is initially wide, deep and calm, but upstream the river turns into a shallow, crystal clear blue ribbon trout stream.  All of this can be found along the St. Joe River Scenic Byway.

Beginning at St. Maries at Idaho 3 and Forest Highway 50, along the White Pine Scenic Byway,  the St. Joe River Scenic Byway is an 89 mile long route that follows the St. Joe River for over 75 miles eastward,
St. Joe River Scenic Byway, Idahoending at the Montana-Idaho Border.  
This two lane paved byway is open year round between St. Maries to the town of Avery (47 miles), and the rest of the St. Joe Scenic Byway is open May thru November. During the winter months this road is a popular snowmobile route.  


Blue Ribbon Trout Stream
The St. Joe River is known as one of Idaho's premier blue ribbon trout fisheries, and brings fishing enthusiasts from all over the country  to try their skill on a variety of trout such as rainbow, cutthroat Dolly Vardins and several other species.  

Between St. Maries and St. Joe City, the St. Joe River is wide and deep, but once past St. Joe City, the St. Joe River becomes quite shallow and crystal clear, and is where the blue ribbon waters begin.


St. Joe River:  National Wild & Scenic River Designation
26.6 miles of the St. Joe River is designated as part of the U.S. Wild & Scenic River System.  This designated stretch of the river runs from the confluence of the North Fork of the St. Joe River to St. Joe Lake.  The remaining 39.7 miles of the St. Joe River is designated as a recreational section for visitors to enjoy.  
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Old Mission State Park
Cataldo Mission, Old Mission State Park, IdahoLocated along Interstate 90 about 28 miles east of Coeur d'Alene, the Old Mission State Park is located near the town of Cataldo Idaho, and is also known as the Cataldo Mission as well as the Mission of the Sacred Heart.  

Originally built in 1848, and later reconstructed in 1850-1853, the Cataldo Mission is the oldest standing building in Idaho, and is a National Historic Landmark.  

Resting on 23 acres, the Old Mission State Park is home to not only the Cataldo Mission, but also to the historic Parish House, two historic cemeteries, nature trail and Visitor Center.


Cataldo Mission, Old Mission State Park, Idaho
Cataldo Mission at Old Mission State Park is the oldest standing building in the state of Idaho.

Parish House, Old Mission State Park, Idaho   Historic cemetery, Old Mission State Park, Idaho
History of Cataldo Mission (Mission of the Sacred Heart)

Early in the 1800s the Coeur d'Alene Indians learned of rumors about powerful medicine men wearing black robes and carried a book.  These Native Americans wanted to have some of these medicine men for
Cataldo Mission Altar, Old Mission State Park, Idahotheir own tribe, so they sent some of their men to St. Louis to find some of these men.  

Then in 1842 a priest by the name of Father Pierre-Jean De Smet learned of the Coeur d'Alene Indians' request, and came to the Cataldo area with Father Nicholas Point and Brother Charles Duet.  They chose a location for the mission site, which originally was next to the shore of the St. Joe River, but was flooded out a few years later. They then moved the mission location to its present location in 1846, which was high on a hill and safe from flooding.


The Cataldo Mission was then taken over by Antonio Ravalli in 1850, who was an Italian Jesuit.  He immediately began designing the new mission building and was constructed solely by Coeur d'Alene Indians.  

Built by what is known as the "wattle and daub method", the new building was completed three years later without using one nail.  The Cataldo Mission was named after a Sicilian priest Giuseppe Cataldo who spent most of his life at the mission and surrounding community.  


Very quickly the Cataldo Mission became a very substantial stop for settlers, traders and miners, where it became a place for hospitality and also became a supply station.  The Cataldo Mission also became a major working port for boats working their way up the Coeur d'Alene River.
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Old Mission State Park Google Map Location
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Cataldo Mission, Old Mission State Park, Idaho
In 1961 the Cataldo Mission was designated a National Historic Landmark, and shortly after that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.




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