Coeur d’ Alene is the name of a city (population 30,600) and also a lake. Lake Coeur d’ Alene has been called “one of the 5 most beautiful in the world” by National Geographic. Lakeside on a summer day is a relaxing place to be. When the sun is out the water is extremely blue. Pine trees grow around the water’s edge and forests cover the surrounding hills. The lakeside is now home to a recreational resort town. A large park is located near the Coeur d’ Alene resort (the tallest building in Coeur d’ Alene, near the waterfront). The park is usually crowded in the summer. In early August this park reaches capacity during the Art on the Green days. This three day event features a variety of entertainment, food, and northwestern crafts. I saw several art galleries displaying local crafts. One place had many highly shined bronze statues that were being exhibited on pedestals. The line for the snow cones was about 20 people deep and the wait to be served took a good 25 minutes. This part of the festival mentioned above was held at the park. However, 10 or 11 blocks of main street were closed to traffic and addtional vendors had set up their stands and were selling everything from local arts to antiques to food.
Coeur d’ Alene has the largest population of osprey in the Western United States. During the right season you can often see their nests on top of logs at the lake’s edge. This lake is also famous for its Chinook Salmon that weigh up to 30 pounds. In the winter Bald Eagles arrive to feast on the salmon.
More information about Coeur d’ Alene can be found by visiting the Official Visitor’s guide: www.coeurdalene.org