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Discovering Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

By Marisa McFadden


Traveling in the United States has always offered a baffling array of choices. From sandy beaches, to national parks, sparsely populated mountain towns and overcrowded city streets; today’s traveler may have a harder time choosing a destination in the United States than they would booking a $200 non-redeye flight on Priceline.  It seems nowadays, though, that groups and solo travelers alike are settling on destinations that offer the complete package; the happy medium, so to speak.

People looking for a destination area in peak season that can accommodate even the most schizophrenic of travelers should look no further than Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  A unique cosmopolitan city resting in the heart of Idaho’s panhandle region, Coeur d’Alene may just be the perfect blend of city sheik and outdoor bliss that the happy medium traveler is seeking.

While far from the ocean, the pristine glacial lake sharing the city’s name lures visitors to swim in its waters, sun bathe on its shores and take part in a plethora of water sports that keep locals of the region planted through the harsh winters in giddy anticipation of the long days of summer.

Nightlife in the city combines trendy dance clubs and a live music scene comparable to that of Austin, Texas, with musicians from Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle making the I-90 trek, to get lost themselves in the city’s laid back charms.  Sushi bars and French Bistros equal in number to Coeur d’Alene’s many burger and beer spots. The discerning wine or beer connoisseur could spend a few days alone sampling the areas many microbrews and wines.

Outdoor sports abound in the surrounding mountain areas.  Fly fishing alone brings countless travelers back again and again to wade in the clear rivers in hopes of catching a Cut Throat Trout. Hiking, mountain biking, camping and wildlife spotting is proudly boasted by locals as some of the best in the world.  Trail maps are sold on almost every city corner and local guides are easy to find.

For a relaxing day in the country, one can grab a basket and get lost in the foothills of the Rockies picking berries.  Residents set up roadside stands where travelers can buy homemade huckleberry jam or a delicious huckleberry pie.  As much a staple of their diet as a microbrewed beer, huckleberries, in the summer time, are a local favorite.

In Coeur d’Alene the prices are as friendly as the people and the opportunity to blend a relaxing beach vacation with the outdoor adventure of a lifetime make it a prime spot for traveling in hazy days of summer.  Still a virtually unknown area to most Americans, Coeur d’Alene has the ability to make visitors feel like they have discovered one of the country’s best kept secrets.

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