DescriptionThe largest city in northern Idaho takes its name from the local tribe of Native Americans. French trappers dubbed them Coeur d'Alene (CORE-dah-LANE), meaning “heart of the awl,” a vernacular phrase describing them as shrewd traders.
Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman established an Army post in 1878 at the point where the Spokane River drains Lake Coeur d'Alene. Fort Sherman became the nucleus of a settlement that was named for the lake. The 1880s mining boom in the Silver Valley brought prosperity, as Coeur d'Alene became an important shipping point. For a period it was the busiest steamboat port west of the Mississippi River. By 1900 boats were carrying tourists on excursion cruises.
North Idaho College now occupies the old fort site, and Fort Sherman Chapel survives at the corner of Hubbard Street and Woodland Drive. The community college has an enrollment of 4,600; phone (208) 769-3300.
Idaho's “Lake City” remains a popular resort. In summer the city's beaches, parks and docks throng with outdoor enthusiasts. Boating, houseboating, swimming, water skiing, parasailing and fishing are popular activities.
Downtown on the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene is forested Tubbs Hill, a 120-acre preserve featuring trails to secluded coves and beaches, and to the summit for panoramic views. Also along the waterfront, The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course is a par 71 distinguished by its floating, 15,000-square-foot island green; phone (208) 667-4653 or (800) 935-6283.
What is said to be the world's longest floating boardwalk runs 3,300 feet from Independence Point in City Park to the foot of Third Street, around The Coeur d'Alene Resort. The park offers a large public beach as well as a playground designed after Fort Sherman. Here, walkers, bicyclists and skaters also find access to the North Idaho Centennial Trail. The paved pathway extends 24 miles from Higgens Point, east of Coeur d'Alene, west to the Idaho/Washington border, where it connects with Spokane's Centennial Trail.
Visitor InfoCoeur d'Alene Visitor Bureau 105 N. 1st St. COEUR D'ALENE, ID 83814. Phone:(208)664-3194 or (877)782-9232
ShoppingDowntown Coeur d'Alene, along Sherman Avenue, is home to a number of art galleries and retail outlets offering clothing, custom jewelry and housewares. Silver Lake Mall, 3.5 miles north on US 95, offers JCPenney, Macy's and Sears. Antiques can be found at Coeur d'Alene Antique Mall, 408 Haycraft, and at Government Way Antique Mall, 3650 N. Government Way.
Things to SeeHuman Rights Education Institute
White-water RaftingROW Adventures