Legendary lake country

Plan an escape to northern Idaho, where the lakes are deep and blue, and each one has a story
Caroline Patterson

Daytime temperatures warm to the mid-80s, but keep a sweater handy, as temperatures can drop to the 60s at nighttime. For more area information, contact the chambers of commerce in Coeur d'Alene (877/782-9232), Sandpoint (800/800-2106), and at Priest Lake (888/774-3785).

Activities

Coeur d'Alene Lake

Brooks Seaplane. 20-minute, 40-mile flight over Coeur d'Alene Lake. $50, $25 ages 11 and under. City dock at Independence Point, City Park, Coeur d'Alene; 208/664-2842.

Coeur d'Alene Lake cruises. 90-minute to 6-hour tours. Depart from Coeur d'Alene Resort (for guests) or Independence Point (see above). From $18. 800/688-5253.

North Idaho Centennial Trail. A 24-mile, multiuse recreational trail along the Spokane River. 208/699-2224.

Pedal Pushers Bike Shop. Bike rentals $12 for two hours. 101 N. Coeur d'Alene Ave., Harrison; 208/689-3436.

Lake Pend Oreille

Coldwater Creek. The flagship store of the women's clothing retailer is right near Sand Creek. First and Cedar Streets, Sandpoint; 208/263-2265.

Full Spectrum Tours. Kayak rentals and tours of Lake Pend Oreille and Priest Lake. From $25 for two hours. 321 N. Second Ave., Sandpoint; 208/263-5975.

Lake Pend Oreille Cruises. The 9-mile daily lake cruise covers area geology and history. From $17 for a 90-minute tour. Departs from Sandpoint City Beach dock; 208/255-5253.

Panida Theater. Film festivals and live performances. Thu-Sun. 300 N. First Ave., Sandpoint; 208/255-7801.

 

Dining

The Cedars Floating Restaurant. Yellowfin sashimi and views of Coeur d'Alene Lake. $$$; dinner daily. 1 Marina Dr., Coeur d'Alene; 208/664-2922.

The Floating Restaurant. Pork tenderloin saltimbocca at a lakeside marina. $$; lunch Mon-Sat, dinner daily, brunch Sun. At Hope Marine Services, State 200, Hope; 208/264-5311.

Hudson's Hamburgers. Five generations of Hudsons have worked at the 18-stool lunch counter. $; breakfast and lunch Mon-Sat. 207 Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene; 208/664-5444.

Hydra, Sandpoint's Original Steakhouse. Feta-crusted artichoke hearts and seafood fettuccine. $$; lunch Tue-Sun, dinner daily. 115 W. Lake St., Sandpoint; 208/263-7123.

 

Lodging

Coeur d'Alene Resort. Typical hotel rooms as well as lakeview suites with fireplaces. 337 rooms and suites from $149. 115 S. Second St., Coeur d'Alene; 800/688-5253.

Hill's Resort. Cabins and condos. Hill's Restaurant ($$$; breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily) features pork back ribs and huckleberry pie. 52 rooms from $150 per night or $1,325 per week. At Priest Lake; 208/443-2551.

Inn at Sand Creek. Three suites, two of them with four-poster beds. Sand Creek Grill ($$$; dinner daily) offers triple-crusted halibut. From $125. 105 S. First Ave., Sandpoint; 208/255-2821.

Sleep's Cabins. Six historic lakeside log cabins with kitchens. From $145. 231 Lakeshore Dr., Sagle (2 miles south of Sandpoint); or 866/302-2122.