Much of the fun-filled action in North Idaho can be found in the city at the center of the Idaho Panhandle – Coeur d’Alene.
The French name Coeur d’Alene (pronounced core Da lane) was given to the Schee-Chu-Umsh Indians by early French Canadians or by French-speaking Iroquois Indians, who traveled through the area in the 1790s. The literal translation is “heart of awl,” meaning hearts like the point of an awl (a leather-working tool). The exact reason it was applied to the tribe is still a mystery but the most common explanation is that it was an attempt to describe their shrewd and sharp trading practices.
The Lake City, the sparkling jewel of the Gem State, is always a whirl of activity including art shows, festivals, concerts and outdoor fun. Coeur d’Alene is the county seat of Kootenai County and is the sixth largest city in the state. Located at the junction of Interstate 90 and U.S. 95, Coeur d’Alene is bound on the south by Lake Coeur d’Alene, known as one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, which extends 25 miles to the south and has 109 miles of shoreline. The lake serves as the major attraction for downtown. With public beaches, parks, docks and boat launches, it is easily accessible for swimming, boating, picnicking and water-related sports.
The city’s most scenic views are seen from the world’s longest floating boardwalk (at The Coeur d’Alene Resort), Tubb’s Hill (the trail head is where Third Street meets the lake) or Coeur d’Alene City Park. City Park features a 6,000 square foot wooden play structure and public swimming beach with lifeguards on duty during summer months.
City leaders have embraced the vision of developing the downtown corridor with multi-family residential as well as cultural and commercial tenants. The new Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center building is the latest addition to downtown. Downtown Coeur d’Alene also plays host to a multitude of events year round including art and music walks, street fairs, festivals and parades. For over a hundred years, locals and visitors alike have enjoyed shopping downtown because of the friendly service, immense selection, and unique lakeside atmosphere for which downtown Coeur d’Alene has become famous. Stroll down Sherman Avenue’s small town main street and you’ll find specialty shops of every type including jewelers, clothiers, antique shops, and art galleries. You can easily spend a day walking around downtown Coeur d’Alene with the added attraction of Lake Coeur d’Alene in a stone’s throw.
At the west entrance to Coeur d’Alene is Riverstone, a true “live, work and walk” development on the Spokane River that includes a city park, dining, shopping and entertainment venues.
The 123,000 square-foot Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Corps Center sits on 12-acres just north of I-90 on Ramsey Road. The Kroc Center houses four major components: a center of worship and performance venue, an aquatics center, fitness and recreation center, and special event facilities as well as arts, education and fitness programming.
The national spotlight shined on Coeur d’Alene in 2007 when Good Morning America broadcast live from the Coeur d’Alene Resort during the holidays, showcasing the extraordinary lighting displays and festival that takes place every year.