A what seems like a never-ending winter, too short of a summer, and all the weather oscillation extremes in between, it would come as a surprise to most people that Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is such a booming vacation destination. This “little slice of heaven,” as Barbra Walters described, is a place I like to call home. Although it has become an increasingly tourist-dependent economy, the natural scenery and cultural ambiance only emphasizes the love, coziness, and compassion that is present here in Coeur d’Alene.
Growing up, I was clueless as to how fortunate I was to live in such a remarkable town. According to the Huffington Post, Coeur d’Alene is one of the top 15 most breathtaking northwestern places to visit, and I couldn’t agree more. Attending an out-of-state college, such as Washington State University, I have encountered numerous people that seem surprised when I mention that I am from Coeur d’Alene. I get the famous questions; “Do you live on the lake?” “Are you part of the white supremacy?” “Do you live there year-round?” "Do you grow potatoes?” It’s almost comical. Not everyone lives on the lake (which is the most beautiful lake I have ever seen); I am not part of the white supremacy; I do live there year-round; and I most certainly do not grow potatoes! Honestly, for how much work I have put into become a Washington resident, Idaho is one of the most underrated states in the country.
Coeur d’Alene is still somewhere where I would choose to raise a family and continue to call home till the day I die. I have grown up repeatedly saying how bad I want to move to a city, get a great job, and get out of Idaho, but I didn’t realize how much I loved where I came from until I left.
It’s true when they say, you don’t know what you got, till it’s gone. Granted, Coeur d’Alene is probably more enjoyable during the summer months, booming with tourists and a carefree atmosphere and a lot of my peers seem to have lake cabins on Lake Coeur d’Alene and only have experienced the summer vibes when the town itself is so much more. There’re so many great places to snowboard, fish, and golf, home to the Coeur d’Alene resort, and Riders Ranch. The scenery is one you could never forget. Two of the classic Ironman races are held in Coeur d’Alene each year which just brings an abundant of citizens from all over the world who are always in awe with how friendly and beautiful the aura of Coeur d’Alene is. Downtown Coeur d’Alene is the heart of the town where you can get the best classic burgers ever at Hudson’s, which has been up and running since 1907, or get a delicious cocktail at Bardenay, America’s first restaurant distillery.
Coeur d’Alene natives will tell you how badly they wish that the growing population of Coeur d’Alene would slow down because we all seem so “selfish” and want the beauty for ourselves. Even I can see the changes that have been made to this wonderful town in only the last decade due to the population growth and demand for tourism. It is surprising that it still has such a wonderful, welcoming atmosphere.
During the summer months, I work at a little bistro in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene, Fine Brewed, and nothing warms my heart more than having tourists come in and that are just taken away by the beauty of this town. The nightlife on the weekends will even come as a shock to most people. Coeur d’Alene offers wide range of breweries, taphouses, and bars that have a different essence for all personalities. The food is amazing and the drinks are even better. For being such a small town with a population of 33,000, there is always something do.
I love Coeur d’Alene for all of these reasons of course, but also for so much more. This place is home because of my family and friends that have made it that way. It’s home because I can get in my car and drive around the mountains for hours and be completely content. It’s home because everyone knows everyone and everyone loves everyone. It’s home because it was designed perfectly. It’s home because even when the population grows, the vibes of the town stay the same. People move to Coeur d’Alene for a specific reason, and residents stay for that same reason. Coeur d’Alene is comfortable and the culture here is not one you could forget.