The city of Coeur d'Alene has continued to grow significantly over the past decade, leaving much more to be explored than ever before. With that being said, I must also say there's plenty of traditional seasonal activities upheld by the citizens of Coeur d'Alene that I can't simply ignore here today. Let's get into exploring some of our community's favorites:
1. Coeur d'Alene Farmer's Market in Downtown
Summer & fall fun.
Our beloved farmer's market is run and cared for by The Kootenai County Farmers' Market Association - a non-profit formed with purpose.
Back in 1986, the Kootenai County Farmers' Market began providing fresh produce and an evolving array of locally sourced products. They've grown from a small group of enthusiasts to a vast 100 hundred vendors scattered across their two prime locations.
Their Hayden, ID location is catty-corner to a busy intersection, nestled in a tree of ponderosa pines with it's iconic matching maroon vendor booths. According to the Kootenai Farmer's Market website, this location runs between May through October every Saturday.
Downtown in Coeur d'Alene, the location keeping the community coming back for more takes up a whole stretch of 5th St. from Front St. across Sherman Ave. all the way to Lakeside Ave. every Wednesday from May through September.
2. Tubbs Hill Hiking Trails
Scenic Lake Views, Moments from Downtown Cd'A
This trail provides stunning views of the lake literally. every. day. of the year. I could literally not recommend a better time of year to enjoy a hike around Tubbs Hill than any day you could possibly make it to Tubbs Hill for a hike - It's that perfect.
A Bit of History on Tubbs Hill
Let's start with a bit of history of how this gem came to be: According to The Friends of Tubbs Hill, a man named by - you guessed it right, Tony Tubbs, bought the land in the 1800s... 138 acres of land to be exact. There's quite an extensive history behind Tubbs Hill, how the strength of community outweighed money and greed coming together to save the hill from being all residential housing in the 1800s or a convention center approved by the then-mayor of Coeur d'Alene in 1962. We highly recommend learning more from the Friends of Tubbs Hill, which is a local non-profit organization responsible for saving the hill from turning into condominiums in 1973. Alternatively, consider checking out this post by the Spokane Historical Society.
What Tubbs Hill Offers Us Today:
Flash forward to today. Tubbs Hill is a public park able to be enjoyed by every member of our community, including guests who come to visit from afar. No, you don't need to have a special pass or anything to get in on these trails. Take a walk in the fall for a brisk lap around the whole hill in under about 2 hours, or even faster depending on how you like to take it. Personally, we find ourselves making a few stops along the way to either bask in the views or bounce along the long suspension bridge on the east side of the hill, near the Sander's Beach area. Alternatively, take a trip downtown to the hill in the summer time for a fun way to get some swimming in. There's no shortage of rocks to jump from, and If you be sure to keep your eyes out there are great little spots you can hike down to from the main trail to get a nice and secluded swimming spot away from the downtown stretch and busy city beach.
According to the Tubbs Hill Foundation, Tubbs Hill offers a 2.2-mile interpretive trail that follows the perimeter of the hill. The topography and moderate choices in elevation make this a great trail to incorporate during your stay, whether you're visiting alone or with your whole family. You can find a map of the hill here.
3. Art on the Green
A Community Tradition of Appreciating the Arts
If you've heard of Coeur d'Alene before - Or lived here for even at least one year in the past 50+ years, you've likely heard of or have been (or even traveled hundreds of miles) to come to Art on the Green. Ok, say maybe you haven't heard of it - Let me do my best to try and explain why our community takes this event so seriously every year.
A Little History of How:
We found out from this article from Spokane's Inlander magazine that between 1968 and 1969 two residents of Coeur d'Alene under the name's Pat & Sua Flammia formed the non-profit organization we know of today as the Citizen's Council for The Arts. It was also at this time that this North Idaho duo hosted their first-ever two-day, mid-summer festival. This first festival, unlike for the post-years was initially hosted at McEuen Playfield & Park. In the 1970s, the festival moved over to the North Idaho College campus with a new name, that name being the one used for the following 50+ years. Art on the Green. The NIC campus is partially shaded by tall Ponderosa pines, bordered by Lake Coeur d'Alene to the south and west by the Spokane River. This landscape as you can imagine Is a highly contributing factor to what characterizes this incredible event.
Not Simply Just Art:
The founding members of the CCA and Art on the Green festival believe this festival is a great place to be together. A place to promote creative, harmonious, and peaceful people of all ages to come together to celebrate each other, the arts, and the community.
It's true, this celebration and its many years of community members coming together, linking arms and basking in the good times, many traditions came to fruition.
It isn't simply a place to shop for art. It's a place to support the community, listen to great live music, maybe grab a bite of all your summer favorites, and certainly become inspired along the way.
One Poster Contest, One Lucky Artist:
For years, Coeur d'Alene artists have imagined and designed their way into being the community's lucky poster winner for the next annual Art on the Green. Each year the CCA accepts submissions to this contest, and a lucky winner is decided come time for the deadline. The first-ever poster advertising the festival wasn't yet introduced until the year of 1972, two years after moving to the neighboring campus. It was designed by local printmaker Jeanne Holmberg.
It's a Mid-Summer Family Tradition:
This is a multi-day festival enjoyed in the middle of summer every year. The days are typically always a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Have we piqued your interest in the next upcoming Art on the Green? We'd recommend checking their official website for exact dates and times.
4. Grabbing Coffee at Calypsos Coffee
Our Cozy and Friendly Neighborhood Coffee Shop & Roasters
With so many coffee options in our town, It may be easy for even locals to forget one of the pioneering members of the coffee community. Calypsos Coffee & Roasting. Not only do they have seniority in this community, but their warm and homestyle cafe also offers a comfortable and welcoming environment to everyone who chooses to walk through their doors. It's a place for college kids, our local knitting club to meet up, and even weekly karaoke events and trivia nights. It's even the meeting place for a local non-profit, the Friends of Tubbs Hill Foundation.
When you walk inside, You'll notice this café isn't trying to make any statements. Its wood-paneled walls, funky colors, as well as assorted rugs and furniture choices, make you feel like you're right at home. There's ample room, with nice curtained off areas for you to make a little piece of the café your own to enjoy by yourself or with family, or a friend or two. It is conveniently located only a street up from the Coeur d'Alene Resort and Sherman Ave in Downtown Coeur d'Alene. This has made grabbing my favorite refreshing iced americano a treat come summer when It's only a moment away from Lake Coeur d'Alene.
I can't help but highly recommend checking out Calypsos Coffee on your next trip to Downtown Coeur d'Alene If you haven't already. Maybe you've actually been, but not in a while, seriously. Go back. However, maybe you're truly a Calypsos coffee addict and you go multiple days in your every week - We appreciate you. I'm sure Calypsos does too. Check them out today, order some freshly roasted beans off their website or follow their updates and event announcements on Facebook.
5. Walking on The North Idaho Centennial Trail on Lake Coeur d'Alene
Easy Access, Right Outside Downtown and Oh Such Great Views!
This one's not even out of the question. If you're in Coeur d'Alene, you ought to take you and everyone you love out on Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway. Though the entirety of The Centennial Trail is a combined 60-miles, we can't expect most to trek from one end of Coeur d'Alene, ID all the way into Spokane, WA. However, we'd like to tip our hats to those who have - It's a mighty accomplishment worth endeavoring at least once!
If you ask me, the most favorable part of The North Idaho Centennial Trail is once you get to the end of Sherman Ave and start to travel upwards on the byway. If you're traveling by car, there are countless pull-outs available along the way for you to park, visit one of the many beaches, or simply take a walk or ride along the trail in either direction. If you're traveling by bike, You're bound to pass through McEuen Park and the Downtown stretch to get to this destination.
What Part of The Centennial Trail is Best?
Once you're above the first hill, past the condos and bridge, you'll find a stretch of trail that's perfectly exposed to unobstructed views of the lake. This is where we'd suggest you start on your journey If you're going on a rather moderately temperature day and want to really soak in our beautiful lake. If you're choosing to enjoy this trail on a rather hot day, we'd suggest traveling further up the byway closer to the dead end and boat launch at Higgen's Point. Why I'd suggest this instead is due to the ample parking, short trail, and the perfect outdoor destination to stretch your legs, have a picnic, or watch the eagles (If you come at the right time of year for it.) Best of all, It has tons of shade - But there is a catch. There's a pretty significant increase in elevation to get to it, which involves a trek up a fairly steep hill. It only makes sense, It is a point. However, It's worth noting in case It's a problem for you.