If you retire in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho you will soon find that it’s all about the lake! Big majestic fir trees and pines circle the crystal clear water and the town sits right at the edge along the north shore. There is a big wooded park on the west side of downtown with ample room for picnicking, swimming, and boating. Sightseeing boats leave on a regular schedule during the summer and you can rent, or bring your own, water sporting equipment including kayaks, rowboats, inner tubes, as well as beach umbrellas and lunches to go. We saw a Frisbee competition the last time there and the young contestants (and their dogs) were very talented!
The downtown area has great shops with galleries, an amazing coffee shop with lunch and ice cream, wine shops, the Museum of Northern Idaho and many, many more. The crown jewel right downtown is the Coeur d’Alene Resort sitting on the lake. We think the resort’s most remarkable feature is the golf course with the 14th hole on a tiny dot of an island – only accessible by boat! There is a great summer stock theatre, concerts, and you can often see local bands playing on the green or in local restaurants and bars. There is something always going on in Coeur d’Alene.
I was fortunate to be in town for the annual “Car d’Lane” classic car weekend in July. Owners brought their lovingly restored ‘babys’ from all over the region and there were prizes in several categories – including best flames. This show is worth a visit all by itself!
Pronounced “core da lane”, this town of about 45,000 sits just east of the Washington-Idaho border, 40 miles from Spokane, and on the north shore of the lake with the same name. At 2,100 feet, the area sees all four seasons with the winter highs in the 34 degrees and in summer it can hit 86 F. They get 26 inches of rain and 30-80 inches of snow.
As for housing, you can find smaller homes in the $200,00+ range and there are well equipped condominiums – many with views of the lake or mountains for about the same price. North of the core downtown area, there are plenty of rentals available for less than $1,000 a month. A resort town, you can also find furnished rentals for nightly, weekly, and monthly stays.
There are also a dozen or so state and private campgrounds in the area. We like the Coeur d’Alene RV Resort – Good Sam Rated 9.5 with wifi throughout the park. 190 spaces, 84 pull throughs – all with cable TV. The park is actually in Post Falls, Idaho – a short drive from downtown Coeur d’Alene. Another great RV park is up at the Silverwood Resort in Hayden – maybe 15 miles north of town. A great place to take the grandkids when they come to visit.
Coeur d’Alene is a great get-away from big city life. If you live in the very hot southwest, you might want to consider retiring up here for the hot season. Come on up, the water/weather is fine!
Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!