Lake Pend Oreille and Sandpoint Vacations

Lake Pend Oreille is the largest lake in Idaho and a great place for a North Idaho vacation. Pend Orielle is also one of the deepest inland lakes in North America (only four lakes in the U.S. are deeper!). This lake is a fishing and recreation mecca, with 144 miles of shoreline and depths measured up to 1,170 ft. From mountain goats to eagles, there is an abundance of wildlife in and around Lake Pend Oreille, more than 200 species of birds have been counted here.

The town near Pend Oreille is Sandpoint, a quaint, vibrant community guided by it’s summer and winter sports activities. In the summer, Sandpoint is a must stop for all N. Idaho vacationers due to it’s size and availability of outdoor activities. From fishing, camping, hiking, and huckleberry picking, Pend Orielle offers something for everyone.

In the winter, Sandpoint is home to the most popular ski resort in Idaho and Eastern Washington; Schweitzer Mountain. With over 90 skiiable runs and 7 chair lifts, Schweitzer dominates the landscape in regards to winter sports. The resort features beautiful little cabins available for rent as well as dining, shopping and they often hold events on the mountain. Schweitzer is a beast, and offers something for beginners as well as advanced skiiers or boarders.

Coming up on September 5th, Schweitzer is holding it’s annual Fall Fest. This year will be the 23rd year in a row that this festival has taken place! 8 bands playing over 3 days and tons of regional beer, wine, food and crafts for sale. The fall fest also marks the final days of summer operation and the chair lifts will be open for sightseeing, hiking and mountain biking at a discounted rate! The live music within the festival is FREE, and beer and wine packages start at $10. With over 60 microbrews the festival will be featuring, the beer package sounds like a pretty good deal. If you’ll be staying with us during labor day weekend, the hour long drive up to Schweitzer for this festival is well worth it.

Fall Fest

How can you help the firefighters?

With over 600,000 acres of our precious land burning right now in North Idaho and Eastern Washington, our hearts go out to the thousands of firefighters and volunteers helping to put our worst fire season on record to rest. It’s up to us as a community to show these brave men and women that we understand the courage it takes to defend our region from more tragedies happening. With our help, we can ease the pain that hundreds of people have felt from the loss of their homes, their livelihood and for some, their loved ones. Today, we are asking for your support through the simple yet powerful act of giving.

The Country Store in Dalton Gardens is asking for donations for firefighters, pets and families who have lost their homes or are currently displaced due to evacuation. The list includes things as simple as gum and chapstick, to gift cards for pets and mattresses and bedding for those currently homeless.

The most urgent item on this list is currently tents for firefighters who are working incredible hours in the elements to help stop these fires. While they work and live outside trying to contain these massive fires, they need a place to rest their heads too. Try looking through your old storage to see if you have any one or two person tents that you simply don’t use anymore. If you’re feeling especially generous, you can purchase a tent from a local store for as little as $25 at Target.

As of today, the Okanagon Complex Fire, the largest in Washington State’s history, is now 17% contained. More than 80 structures have been lost, and this is a preliminary estimate. Emergency management in these areas says that power will be out for WEEKS. And there are over 7,700 current addresses at some level of evacuation.

Those trying to contain the fires from the air are reporting they are having a “heck of a time” due to the smoke coverage, which is limiting visibility significantly. Anyone currently staying with us and thousands of local residents in the N. Idaho and E. Washington areas have been feeling these effects now for almost a week as smoke covers our beautiful mountains and unpleasantly fills our lungs.

As of now, there are 1,345 personnel fighting this fire, and the count rises to over 2,000 when you account for the 100 fires happening all throughout our region. Take a minute out of your day to look over this list, provided by The Country Store, and see if you are able to provide any of these items. It’s our turn to show the country how awesome our community is.

     The Country Store
     6265 Government Way
     Dalton Gardens
 

Please stick to this list when gathering items to donate:
FIREFIGHTERS:
URGENT …. TENTS
ChapStick
Water/Sports drinks
Socks
Underwear
T Shirts
Foot Powder
Gum/Hard Candy (for pockets)
Non perishable snacks (for on the go)
Hygiene needs
HUMANS:
Mattresses (regular or air)
Cots
Bedding (Sheets, pillows, blankets)
Non Perishable READY TO EAT food
Water
Gatorade (or the like)
Diapers (all sizes ADULTS TOO)
Formula
Socks
All hygiene needs
Gift cards or monetary donations
PETS:
Pet food wet/dry
Cat litter
Food dishes
Kennels
Leashes
Blankets for bedding
Gift cards
LIVESTOCK:
Senior horse feed
Grain
Basic first aid for animals
Hay
Feed tubs
Water buckets
Water troughs
Please do not bring household items or clothes.
From everyone here at VRA, and the entire N. Idaho community, thank you for your support, your prayers and your donations.

North Idaho Fair & Rodeo 2015

The North Idaho Fair begins today! Running from August 26th-30th, this annual event is a favorite of both locals and those new to North Idaho. This year’s fair has rides, carnival games, all your favorite fair foods and some killer events.

This year’s rides include –

berries5097432fair-193fair-280

  • Zipper
  • Sky Master
  • Gravitron
  • YoYo
  • Ferris Wheel
  • Paratrooper
  • Octopus
  • Bumper Cars
  • “Hog Wild”
  • Twizzler
  • Demolition Derby
  • Merry Go Round
  • Kiddie Coaster
  • 4 X 4 Motorcycles
  • Train
  • Sky Fighter
  • Super Slide
  • Berry Go Round
  • Antique Cars
  • Glass House
  • Mini Jets
  • Bounce Tiny Tot Area
  • Giant Wheel
  • Sea Ray
  • Sizzler
  • Raiders
  • Ali Baba

And this isn’t even the complete list!

EVENTS –

Live Shark Encounter! These trained professionals will interact with the sharks and perform some fascinating stunts for the crowd!

Sea Lion Splash –

These sea lions know a whole lot of tricks including balancing balls, shooting hoops and flipping! Come join the fun!

Lady Houdini – 

This woman broke Harry Houdini’s record for the most Water Torture Cell escapes ever performed. Lady Houdini Kristine Johnson performs all of her tricks in full view of the crowd.

Matt Sorensen Spray Can Art – 

Using nothing more than spray cans, plates, knives, and even flames; Idaho native Matt Sorenson brings to life magical art pieces.

COMPETITIVE EXHIBITS –

The fair also features a variety of competitions in a variety of departments including fruits and vegetables, the open horse show, culinary arts, arts & crafts, photography and rabbits and other small animals. Be sure to stop by to see who wins the Blue Ribbon this year! To see all categories and the schedule click here 

GRANDSTAND EVENTS – 

Each night at the fair, the grandstand will host a special event, concert or exhibition. Tonight is the Craig Campbell concert at 7pm. Tickets are still available for purchase at the fair.

Other events include, xtreme bulls, the PRCA rodeo and a demolition derby. For the full list and schedule click here

FAIR FOODS! –

Arguably the best part of going to the fair, all your favorites will be returning again. Get a mouth full of pizza, burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, elephant ears and my personal favorite, funnel cakes. A full list of vendors and their location within the fair can be found here

ADMISSION – 

Adults (13-59): $10

Seniors (60+) / Youth (6-12): $5

Kids (5 and under): Free

Parking: $5 per vehicle

HOURS AND DAILY SPECIALS – 

Carnival Hours of Operation

Wednesday: 2 to 10pm

Thursday: 2 to 10pm

Friday: Noon to 10pm

Saturday: Noon to 10pm

Sunday: Noon to 8pm

WEDNESDAY (TODAY!) – Free Hawaiian Lei and $1 admission to the first 1,500 people to enter opening day of the fair!

THURSDAY – $1 off coupons found in the Spokesman Review and on the Fair’s Facebook Page

FRIDAY – Pain the Fair Pink Day – Pink Ribbons for the first 2,500 attendees and $1 off admission to anyone wearing pink (before 3pm)

SATURDAY – All active and retired military get $1 off

SUNDAY – Kids 12 and under FREE before 3pm!

View the fair’s official website here for all these resources and more! See you there!

http://www.northidahofair.com/

Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises

Looking for something to do this weekend during your stay with us? Try a Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruise, hosted by the Coeur d’Alene Resort. If you’ve been exploring the lake by yourself, chances are you’ve seen the large, two-deck cruise boats floating around. These boats are climate controlled, have picture windows, sound systems and full bar service. The resort offers many types of cruises; daily scenic, sunset dinner, charter and specialty cruises and many more. Read on below to see which option is best for you –


Daily Scenic Cruise (Best for families) – This cruise runs daily throughout the summer season. A scenic 90-minute ride around Lake Coeur d’Alene allows you to view beautiful terrain, private lake homes and the world’s only floating golf green. This is a relaxed, guided tour around the lake. The cruises board at Independence Point on a first-come, first-serve basis. You may board up to a 1/2 hour before departure.

Departure Times – 2:30pm (through September 14th) and 4:30pm (through September 7th)

Prices – Adults $22.75, Seniors (55+) $20.75, Children (6-12) $14.75, Children (5 and under) free


Daily Sunset Dinner Cruise (best for couples) – This is my favorite cruise. Two hours, full buffet and plenty of scenic leisure time, what could be better? The food is EXCELLENT, and features tender prime-rib, wild-caught salmon, three cheese potatoes, salad, pasta and dessert. Complete with a gorgeous Coeur d’Alene sunset, these cruises are a great way to unwind from a busy day, or just another awesome way to relax on the water and see the beauty of the lake.

Departure Times – 7:30pm (May 1st-August 31st) and 6:30pm (September 1st-September 13th) 

Prices – Adults $51.75, Seniors (55+) $47.75, Children (6-12) $27.75, Children (5 and under) free


Sunday Brunch Cruise (Best for families or couples) – Another scenic, 90 minutes cruise with a full spread of delicious food. Choose from honey-glazed ham, oven baked turkey breast, club sausage, bacon, eggs, quiche, potatoes, pasta salad, fresh fruit, breads, rolls and miniature desserts. This cruise also features a Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar!

Departure Times – Sundays 10am (June 15th through August 24th excluding Ironman race day) 

Prices – Adults $45.75, Seniors (55+) $41.75, Children (6-12) $25.75, Children (5 and under) free


Aside from these popular cruises, be sure the check out the scenic St. Joe River Cruise, Holiday Cruises, Charter Cruises, Eagle Watching Cruises and DJ Cruises. You can find all these and more at cdacruises.com or call (208) 765-4000 for more information.

Coeur d’Alene Attractions – Parasailing

There’s no better way to experience the wonders of Lake Coeur d’Alene than Coeur d’Alene Parasail. This is one of the coolest experiences I’ve had here on the lake. Safe, exhilarating and incredibly fun, Coeur d’Alene Parasail offers riders a unique and breathtaking experience.

As stated on their website, “The ability to fly has always excited people and parasailing offers a very unique sensation of flying. Once you are all the way up it is very quiet and peaceful.”

Riders “fly” around 600 feet above the water! How cool is that?!

-Look how much higher you are than the resort!

CDA Parasail also offers a “Stratosphere” flight for those a little more daring; 800 feet off the water!

I can highly recommend this experience to any of our guests, it is truly unforgettable and offers you a view of Coeur d’Alene you cannot experience anywhere else. The view of the town, the lakes, the mountains and the birds flying beside you make this experience one-of-a-kind.

This experience is family friendly! Children as young as 4 years old are welcome to parasail. CDA Parasail also offers group discounts and can pick up large groups from your lake cabin if you desire!

Are you ready? Go parasailing today!

Location – Downtown Coeur d’Alene on the Independence Point City Dock. Remember: Large groups can request pick up from their lake cabin!

Hours: Every hour on the hour from 10am to 7pm (weather permitting.). Sunday through Friday.

Length of Ride: Each flyer is in the air for about ten minutes and usually out on the lake for up to an hour, depending on the number of flyers in that given boat. Up to 8 people out on the boat at a time.

Price-per-flyer: $60 per solo ride, $100 per tandem ride for 600′. Our Stratosphere flight is $80 per solo ride and $120 per Tandem ride at 800′ you also get a free digital download picture of yourself with the upgrade. It is well worth the extra $20 to go 200′ higher.

For more information, to make your reservation, and view some cool videos and pics, visit CDAparasail.com!

208-765-2999

cdaparasail@gmail.com

Outdoor Activities in Couer d’Alene – Paddle Boarding

Coeur d’Alene is a great place to try your hand at Stand-up Paddle boarding (or SUP). With beaches and public access that wrap the entire lake, Coeur d’Alene has many areas for paddle boards to be used. Coeur d’Alene’s active water sports community has embraced the SUP craze, and is now the most popular outdoor activity among regional locals. If you’ve never tried SUP before, your Coeur d’Alene vacation is a great time to do so.

Rental Companies: 

With multiple companies in the area that rent paddle boards, getting started is simple and easy. First, NIC now rents paddle boards across from campus on Yap-Keehn-Um Beach at NIC’s beach house. Simply walk up and rent a board and safety gear, and you are free to go out on the lake. Call 208-769-7809 for more info.

ROW adventures is also a great place to rent paddle boards. Located in downtown Coeur d’Alene next to the resort, ROW offers hourly and daily rentals. You must be 18 years old to rent a board, and you are responsible for transporting the board yourself. No reservations can be made in advance, so renting the boards is on a first come first serve basis. Visit their webpage here for more info or call 208-770-2517.

CDA Paddle Board is Coeur d’Alene’s local premier shop for all your paddle board needs. With rentals by the hour, they offer one of the best rates for trying your hand at SUP. They also have some awesome boards that you can’t really find anywhere else, including light-up boards and the SUPSquatch: which can fit up to eight people on one board! www.cdapaddleboard.com/rentals/ 208-292-4156

SUP Yoga:

SUP yoga has become a very popular activity for the Coeur d’Alene community in the past couple of years. Lakes all around the northwest have caught on to this trend, and now you can find SUP yoga classes all around our area. CDA Paddle Board offers 90 minutes classes on both Fridays (12pm) and Saturdays (10:30am). The cost is $45 per class and no experience is necessary to try SUP yoga. CDA Paddle Board delivers and picks up the equipment, including your board and paddle and kayak anchor. The classes usually take place in a nice, shallow spot in the lake, like Sanders Beach next to Tubbs Hill or Yap-Keehn-Um Beach near the NIC campus.

Coeur d’Alene’s Katie Fitzgerald who teaches SUP yoga classes on the lake has been featured in the Yoga Journal and various other articles.

IMG_8095_312

www.cdapaddleboard.com/paddleboard-yoga/

Locations:

Post Falls, just a few miles down from Lake Coeur d’Alene, also has it’s own SUP rental company. Fun Unlimited rents boards at two locations in Post Falls: the marina at Templins Hotel and the beach at Q’emiln Park across from the bridge. Both locations offer no wake paddle boarding which is ideal for first-timers. 

www.cdasports.com/rentals/paddle-board-rentals/ or call 208 620-9050

If you wish to rent a board in Post Falls or Coeur d’Alene and transport it to another location, I recommend Newman Lake, Liberty Lake, or Hauser Lake. These lakes have beautiful scenery and are perfect for the SUP beginner; all within 30 minutes from downtown Coeur d’Alene.

Whether you want to take a board out by yourself, with friends or family, or want to try something a little more adventurous like SUP yoga, Coeur d’Alene is a paddle boarding paradise.

Recipe – Summertime Raspberry Peach Sangria

A great cool down drink for those hot summer days and nights!

Ingredients –

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 24 fluid ounces raspberry flavored soda-water
  • 1/2 cup peach schnapps
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 4 cups ice cubes, or as desired (optional)

Stir red wine, raspberry-flavored soda water, peach schnapps, pomegranate juice, and lemon juice together in a large pitcher or punch bowl; add raspberries, peach slices, lemon slices, and orange slices. Float ice cubes in the beverage to chill.

4th of July Activities in Coeur d’Alene and North Idaho

If you live in the Coeur d’Alene or Spokane area, you already know that spending the fourth in Coeur d’Alene is one of the best events of the year. The lake provides a perfect backdrop for a day of fun and sun, and an awesome fireworks display to top it all off. Coeur d’Alene is a great place to spend your fourth of July; for families, for friends and everyone in between.

The City of Coeur d’Alene puts together a day of great activities for the 4th Of July Festival, beginning with the Independence Parade at 11 and live music in the park that lasts all day. The beach and downtown are very crowded all day, and if you are staying in a vacation rental downtown, I suggest just walking instead of trying to drive anywhere. If you plan on watching the fireworks around 10PM, plan to head downtown at least 2-3 hours early. Usually by 4PM parking in downtown is completely full and many roads are blocked off. Expect to walk at least a couple miles to downtown if you head in last minute.

The beach is my favorite place to spend the fourth. At Independence Point on City Beach the steps are always a fun place to meet people and enjoy the sunshine and swimming. The main beach is very crowded with dogs, families, couples and both young and old attendees. Tubbs Hill is also a fun place to spend the day if you want to hike a little, enjoy the cliff jumping and coves and beaches. During the day Tubbs Hill remains fairly tame, but at night, especially after the fireworks, it is very dark and people are loud and rowdy. Be sure to be safe on the trails when leaving Tubbs Hill after the fireworks if you plan to watch them there.

Whatever your plans may be for the 4th, our area is a perfect place to spend the holiday. If you want to avoid the crowds of CDA, venture into Post Falls, Liberty Lake, Hayden or Spokane for their fourth of July celebrations. No matter where you decide to spend your Independence Day celebration, North Idaho is a wonderful choice.

Get Ready for the 2015 Coeur d’Alene Ironman

As the weekend quickly approaches, we are busily preparing for guests, racers and spectators alike as they prepare for one of the busiest event weekends of the summer for Coeur d’Alene, the Ironman Triathlon. This adrenaline fueled race brings over 3,000 participants for the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike trail and 26.2 mile run course. 

Ironman makes a huge impact in Coeur d’Alene in more than one way. Overall the race brings in over $7 million to the Coeur d’Alene community. One year, Ironman even paid out $5,000 to Little Caesar’s pizza for it’s pie bill. When the race began in CDA, it had about 1,900 participants, and has quickly grown to it’s figure of over 3,000 now. Ironman also donates money to community organizations every year; in 2011, it paid out over $55,000 to local businesses.

The Ironman Race becomes a lifestyle for both Coeur d’Alene locals and visitors. Most competitors train all year for the race, and even compete in multiple, smaller triathlons throughout the year. But Ironman is the big one, offering 50 qualifying spots for the Ironman World Championship taking place in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

62b6f-ironmancoeurd

Ironman is one of our busiest weekends for vacation rentals. Our homes have quickly filled for this year’s event but keep us in mind if you are looking to compete, spectate or just visit the Coeur d’Alene area over the exciting Ironman weekend. Our homes come complete with total furnishings, hot tubs, brand new appliances, incredible views and impeccable hospitality. Check out our full selection of available rentals at vacationrentalauthority.com.

If you are unable to attend the race this year, Ironman will be live streaming the race with updated information on race day, Sunday June 28th. Visit ironman.com to see the live results.

The Wellness Bar Brings The Best in Raw Coffee and Juice to Coeur d’Alene

When Monica Engebretsen opened The Wellness Bar in July of 2014, her mission was simple; bring fresh, healthy alternatives to the grocery store and fast food options that taste great and are just as convenient. Monica began publishing the North Idaho Wellness magazine in 2008 and has developed a loyal following of North Idaho natives since. She says her dream to open The Wellness Bar developed organically; her love for total body wellness could come full circle if she was offering the products she always talked about with her fans.

The Wellness Bar is different from other coffee houses because her products are all organic, raw and healthy. Monica says that The Wellness Bar has developed a niche in CDA as the only place where everything offered is inspired by wellness. The Wellness Bar also stands out because aside from the amazing line of coffee, juices and smoothies, they offer mindfulness classes held in the back of the store as well. They also have healthcare providers that come Wednesdays from 6-7pm to talk fitness, allergies, PTSD, essential oils and more. These “wellness chats” are very popular, and Monica says soon they will be expanding and come July 16th, they will have weekly yoga classes taking place as well.

But what makes The Wellness Bar really shine? Their awesome selection of delicious choices that you can’t find anywhere else in CDA. They have a full line of organic coffee, and they offer drinks with hemp, soy and almond milk as well as dairy. The top seller for The Wellness Bar is their acai bowls (smoothie bowls), a super-food blend of acai, fruit, nuts, honey, coconut oil and more. I just tried my first acai bowl this morning for breakfast, and it left me feeling refreshed and energized. Aside from the bowls, The Wellness Bar has a killer selection of fresh pressed juices. The “Heartbeat” is their top seller, with a blend of grape, carrot, beet and ginger. YUM! And if this isn’t enough to make your mouth water, The Wellness Bar offers vegan and gluten free baked goods, all natural smoothies and kombucha on tap! Their newest product is Thai organic coconuts. That’s right, here in Coeur d’Alene you can drink straight from the source as the Wellness crew pops open the coconut and hands you a straw to enjoy from.

Monica says the future for The Wellness Bar is bright. They are looking to expand to two new locations in Hayden Idaho and Liberty Lake Washington. Monica says she hopes to continue offering the wellness choice for people in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. You can find The Wellness Bar on Facebook and get updates on their newest products, deals for the week and some great wellness tips and tricks. Also be sure to visit their personal website at niwellnessbar.com.

North Idaho Wellness on Facebook

The Wellness Bar – 312 4th Street
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814
208.665.9098

Have you been to The Wellness Bar? What was your favorite acai bowl, juice or smoothie?

Car d’Alene – A Classic Car Weekend in Coeur d’Alene!

Love cars? Come on over to downtown Coeur d’Alene this weekend for the annual Car d’Alene extravaganza! The annual event will take place June 19th & 20th this year and will feature all of the activities that delight locals and tourists alike year after year. The cruise by the lake will be held on the 19th, where all the classic cars entered in the show will line up along Sherman and Lakeside Avenue, and people will be able to talk to their owners and enjoy the beauty of cars made in 1975 and before.

On Saturday, the best of the best will receive awards and trophies celebrating their wonderfully maintained cars and trucks. This year the swap meet will once again be returning so if you are interested fill out the application here. For more information on this annual event, visit the official webpage for Car d’Alene here.

Zip-lining in Coeur d’Alene!

Have you ever imagined what it would feel like to fly? Of course you have! Well now you can turn that dream into a reality by embarking on an exhilarating, scenic and high-flying adventure! Timberline Adventures, located in downtown Coeur d’Alene within the resort shops, is Coeur d’Alene’s first and only place to experience all the beauty of North Idaho from a bird’s eye view. Our team was lucky enough to get to experience this awesome activity before the lines officially open towards the end of June.

The newly designed zip-line course features 7 lines and 3 sky-bridges. You and your group will be shuttled up into the beautiful area of Beauty Bay, about 20 minutes from downtown CDA via I-90. Once you arrive, you’ll be taken up the mountain on a ATV as you reach the beginning platform of your zip-line adventure.

The Timberline crew is friendly and knowledgeable, and even let me know that each zip-line cable is tested up to 37,000 lbs of weight! Supposedly they even tested a car going across the zip-line! Wow!

Even though we only got to experience the first four lines of the course, our team had a great time. You will see views of the lake, the trees and the animals that you have never seen before. As you whisk along the course, you’ll reach heights of up to 350 feet! The entire adventure takes around 3 hours, from the plaza shops, across the course and back downtown.

Even as someone who is afraid of heights, I had no problem with any of the lines. The equipment is top-notch and very secure, I felt incredibly safe throughout the entire experience. And because you are so securely strapped in, the zip-line takes care of much of the work. All you have to do is “sit-down” and before you know it, you’ll be flown across the zip-line and laughing the whole way across. When you reach the next platform, I guarantee you won’t want to wait for the next!

Timberline Adventures brings a new, fresh perspective on zip-lining. Can’t wait to go back!

210 SHERMAN AVE. #131 COEUR D’ALENE, ID 83814
(208) 820-2080

Price – $95 a person ($13.57 per line)

Memorial Day Camping in North Idaho

This year is turning out to be a great one for some Memorial Day weekend camping. Here in North Idaho, we are blessed to have hundreds if not thousands of campgrounds, RV parks, cabins and more where you can get out and enjoy the beauty of Northern Idaho in a variety of settings. It’s hard to choose just a select few to talk about, but I am going to stick to some of the most scenic and memorable sites I’ve visited in our area:

Bumblebee – Located 38 miles from Coeur d’Alene Bumblebee campground lies between Bumblebee Creek and the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. The campground is comprised of two campground loops with 25 sites throughout. The roads are all paved and the parking is made of seal-coated gravel so you don’t have to worry about messing up a nice vehicle parking here. Every site has a fire-pit set up and there is potable water and vault toilets throughout. Bumblebee is great if you like to camp in close proximity to other groups. There are always lots of people floating the river from Bumblebee, so this site can get pretty crowded during the summer. I love Bumblebee because there are a variety of things to do here. You can fish, swim, camp and kayak in style, and the closest town, Kingston, is not too far away if you end up forgetting something important.

RESERVATIONS: http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Bumblebee_Campground/r/campsiteSearch.do?site=all&type=9&minimal=no&search=site&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73828

DIRECTIONS: Take the Kingston Exit of Interstate 90 and go north on Forest Road #9 for 5 miles. Turn east on FR 209 and travel 3 miles to the site.

Devil’s Elbow – This campsite is a farther distance from Coeur d’Alene but the sites are worth it. 68 miles from Coeur d’Alene, Devil’s Elbow is perched on the banks of the North Fork of the CDA river. The area is located among peaks of the Cascade Mountains, so the scenery and wildlife that can be found here are tremendous. If you have a large group you are bringing to the area for camping, Devil’s Elbow is an excellent choice. The group site here can accommodate 50 people, multiple cars and has fire pits within the site. Amenities include hand pump water, restrooms, vault toilets and paved roads leading up to the site. It is not uncommon to see moose, deer, osprey and hummingbirds and more during your visit. Devil’s Elbow allows for fishing, swimming and kayaking among the North Fork river.

RESERVATIONS: http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Devils_Elbow/r/campsiteSearch.do?site=all&type=9&minimal=no&search=site&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70669

DIRECTIONS: From I-90, take Exit 43 (Kingston) and travel 20 miles north on FH9 to Prichard. Continue 11 miles north on Forest Road 208 to the campground.

Trapper Creek – Trapper Creek is located along the northeast shore of upper Priest Lake. Priest Lake is about two hours from Coeur d’Alene and is one of my favorite summer camping sites. Throughout the lake you will find 150 different camp sites, Trapper Creek being one of the smaller, more delicate sites. Trapper Creek has five different camp sites, each with beautiful views of Plowboy Mountain. Each furnished with fire rings, picnic tables, and bear-proof storage bins. This campground also has no fee! To access the campground you have to do a short, easy hike which takes you into the secluded camping area. From the site and all along the lake, you can find numerous hiking trails that provide some of the best views in all of North Idaho. Boating is also very popular on Priest Lake. It’s medium large size allows for all kinds of water activities; water-skiing, wake boarding, tubing, paddle boarding and more are all available to do on Priest Lake.

RESERVATIONS: N/A

DIRECTIONS: Northeast end of Upper Priest Lake, accessible by boat or trail.

Emerald Creek – The St. Joe river is one of the jewels of North Idaho, and for good reason. Incredible landscape, intense white-water rafting possibilities and an abundance of wildlife make this area a nature lovers dream. Emerald Creek features 18 camp sites, potable water and vault toilets. The Emerald Creek Garnet Area is also just a short drive form the camp sites, where for a small fee one can dig for gem quality star garnets. Fishing access is available at Emerald Creek along with picnic sites, OHV riding trails and scenic drives from the St. Maries river and along the St. Joe. This is also a free site, no reservations needed!

RESERVATIONS: N/A

DIRECTIONS: Drive 25 miles south of St. Maries on State Highway 3, then turn right on Road #447, travel approximately 6 miles to the Emerald Creek Campground.

Whiskey Bay Rock Campground – This campground is located on Lake Pend Orielle, the largest lake in the Northern Idaho Panhandle. The lake reaches depths of 1,150 feet in some areas, making it the fifth deepest in the United States. Lake Pend Orielle is a beautiful area, with grey wolves, white-tailed deer, moose, squirrels, black and grizzly bears, coyotes and bobcats it has some of the most diverse and largest amount of wildlife in Northern Idaho. The lake is also home to many species of fish, including Rainbow trout, lake trout, perch, large and small-mouth bass and northern pike. Boating is popular here, and at the Whiskey Bay Rock campground, 3 of the 9 sites are on the lake. The others are just a short walk down to the beach areas. The camp sites feature potable water, fire rings, vault toilets, a dock and swimming beach. Whiskey Bay Rock also is a free campground.

RESERVATIONS: N/A

DIRECTIONS: 

By road: From Clark Fork drive south on Road 278 (Johnson Creek Road) and continue 30 miles to the site.

By boat: The site is located on the west shore of Pend Oreille Lake about 10 miles south of Garfield Bay.

Your Guide to Silverwood Theme Park – Best Coeur d’Alene Attractions

Silverwood Theme Park is the Northwest’s largest theme park, and here in Coeur d’Alene, we are lucky enough to be less than 30 minutes away from everything the 221 acres of fun has to offer. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Silverwood looking through our Vacation Rental Authority website, because all of our guests receive a Silverwood promo code that qualifies you for the cheapest admission tickets in the area. With multiple roller coasters, a full-size outdoor water park featuring a wave pool, slides, and more, Silverwood is one of best family activities in Coeur d’Alene and North Idaho.

DINING & SHOPPING –

Within the theme park, you will find an abundance of dining and fun shops filled with great gift ideas. One of my favorite shops is the homemade fudge shop, which features flavors like huckleberry cheesecake and chocolate peanut butter swirl. View Silverwood’s full dining & shopping here

ENTERTAINMENT – 

Silverwood also features an in-house magician, Nick Norton who performs a Vegas style magic show at multiple set times throughout the week. There are shows at 3:00, 5:00 and 7:00 during the week so no matter when you visit the park, you are sure to catch a show. One of Silverwood’s most popular entertainment attractions is the central railroad that takes guests around the entire park along a back woods track. Other entertainment options include the main street theater, the high-moon saloon, and of course appearances from Silverwood’s own resident mascots, Garfield and Odie.

ATTRACTIONS –

Silverwood’s newest roller coaster has quickly become my favorite ride in the entire park. The Aftershock roller coaster opened in 2008 and has change the face of Silverwood since. Voted top hanging roller coaster by the Travel Channel in 2012, Aftershock brings you to a vertical 90 degrees before hurtling you at over 60 mph through three inversions and then doing it all again, backwards. That’s right, Aftershock takes you through the track twice, and the second time you’ll be looking at the sky as you’re whipped through this massive coaster. Check out this video featured on Silverwood’s website to get a first-hand look at this monster…

If you like wooden coasters, you’re in for a treat. Silvewood has two, and they are both equally hair raising. Tremors, one of the top rated wooden coasters in the nation, features an initial drop of 103 ft. as it reaches its top speed of 63 mph. Tremors is fun because it passes riders through a tunnel where your picture is taken, be sure to smile The other wooden coaster, Timber Terror, was the first roller coaster I rode at Silverwood. This coaster can be quite scary for younger guests. Belonging to a genre of coasters referred to as air coasters, as you go down the initial drop, you are likely to rise from your seat. I recommend making sure your lap belt is especially tight on this ride if that is something that will scare you.

Timber Terror roller coaster at Silverwood

Some of my other favorite rides include the log flume, thunder canyon, bumper boats, tilt-a-whirl, the super round up and the scrambler. If you’re bringing the kiddos along, don’t worry, Silvewood has countless rides that are specifically designed for young children. Garfield’s Summer Camp for kids area has a new ride called the Barnstormer which gives children and adults alike the impression of flying among the clouds. Other kids rides include the frog hopper (a miniature drop tower), the kiddie copters, climbing trees, the carousel and the tiny toot roller coaster featured below.

BOULDER BEACH WATER PARK –

My favorite place to be in the entire park, Boulder Beach. Polliwog Park is the place to be for kids. Basically a giant jungle gym with countless water features, kids love standing underneath the giant bucket that fills up with water before dunking everyone in it’s reach.

The water park also features two wave pools, three high speed thrill slides, a toddler play area and a lazy river. But my favorite ride in the water park is Avalanche Mountain. This ride can seat up to five people on a giant yellow tube as you’re launched up the sides of this awesome slide. You’ll be spinning, sliding and screaming with joy as you reach the bottom of this ride.

Silverwood is now open for the 2015 season! Are you ready?! Comment below your favorite ride or attractions at Silverwood Theme Park. The VRA team will be at the park on May 29th for a day of fun and sun! We hope to see you there!

Mother’s Day Activities in Coeur d’Alene

Still looking for something to do with mom this weekend? Coeur d’Alene has plenty of things planned for the special day! Check out some of the top activities for Mother’s Day 2015 –

Silverwood Theme Park: In honor of Mother’s Day, Silverwood will be offering free admission to all mom’s who come to the park on Sunday with their families! In addition, Silverwood will have discount ticket pricing for everyone else. $36.99 for general admission and only $19.99 for youth and senior admission. To view more information on this awesome deal, view the event page here 

Buffet’s and Brunches: You can never go wrong with some delicious food to share with mom. Multiple restaurants will be hosting special buffets and pricing on Sunday. 315 Martini’s and Tapas, Applebee’s, Bistro on Spruce, Elmer’s and The Fedora Pub & Grille are among the plethora of places hosting some truly delicious cuisine. Among the selection of goodies includes Asian Barbequed pork and hot mustard, Muffins/scones/cinnamon rolls, Southwestern crab sushi rolls, omletes, crab and crepes. For a full list of participating restaurants, pricing and to make reservations visit the Coeur d’Alene Night Out Page here

Spa Treatments: Northern Highlights Salon and Body Spa will be offering BOGO specials on facial treatments for Mother’s Day this year. The special allows customers to buy one facial or one hour massage at regular price, and receive the next at 1/2 price. Perfect for a mom and daughter day! Call 208-762-3197 to book an appointment.

CDA Dinner Cruise: What better way to end Mother’s Day then treating your mom to a dinner cruise across beautiful lake Coeur d’Alene at sunset? From 7:30-9:30pm CDA Cruise’s will host a full dinner buffet aboard one of their beautiful full-size cruise boats. Pricing runs $24.75 to $49.95 for the event. Visit cdalakecruises.com for more information

Join us in our grand opening celebration!

Tomorrow, April 22nd, we will be hosting an open house and official ribbon cutting ceremony put on by the CDA Chamber of Commerce. To officially ring in our new location on East Sherman and show how much we appreciate each and every one of you, we would like to extend an invitation! Come by yourself or bring guests: we will have food, drinks and cake!

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – 9:30am

Open House – 10:00am

Our location, 1001 E Sherman Ave, Coeur d’Alene ID 83814Office landscape

We hope to see you there!

 

The Best of North Idaho Dining Part Four – Best of Downtown

Coeur d’Alene is an absolutely beautiful place to visit, no matter what time of year. Perhaps one of the best aspects of our city is the bustling downtown district. During the summer you’ll always find people out and about. Many of the downtown restaurants have incredible views of the lake or beautiful patio seating. It’s no wonder why part four of our North Idaho dining series features the best of downtown. Check out these three recommendations from Ken Huitt of Idaho Trust.

Moon Time

1602 E Sherman Ave #116, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 667-2331

How could we do a “best of downtown” and not feature Moon Time? The city’s original gastro pub, Moontime is a Coeur d’Alene favorite. Based on the idea of a traditional English public house, Moon Time has grown to expand their empire to the Elk in Spokane, The Porch in Hayden and The Two Seven on Spokane’s South Hill.

Why It’s Great – Moon Time’s concept and claim to fame has never changed: “Give people good food and drink at a reasonable price and comfortable atmosphere and people will come”. Moon Time’s ability to retain their original mission and values while expanding into multiple city’s shows they have great food, awesome service and a loyal clientele.

Price – $10 – $20 a person

When To Go – Moon Time features live music every Thursday night along with a “kill the keg” special that regulars love. Ken also recommends going for your lunch break at work.


Bakery by the Lake

601 E Front Ave #104, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 415-0681

Bakery by the Lake was started in 2007 by a father Frank Pigott and son Andy Pigott with a vision of crafting artisan breads, delicious pastries, and traditional espresso for the people of Coeur d’Alene. Today the bakery team strives to provide the best experience possible, from making a handcrafted espresso drink to decorating a birthday cake.  We have a wide variety of options and are always expanding! Voted Best Bakery in North Idaho by the readers of the Inlander, and one of our own baristas was named Best Barista in 2012.

Why It’s Great – Ken says Bakey by the Lake offers great views of the newly renovated McEuen Park so you can enjoy your coffee there just a quick walk away. Their menu varies from breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and they even have beer and wine! A small town feel with a great menu makes Bakey by the Lake an excellent stop for all of your cafe needs.

Price – $10 a person

When To Go – Try their Park Start Panini with Egg, Cheddar Cheese and Bacon with Cream Cheese on Apple Raisin Walnut Bread for breakfast. Or pop in for lunch and try their Turkey Pesto Panini. With the beautiful views of McEuen Park, Bakery by the Lake is even a great stop for after work drinks.


Fort Ground Grill 

705 W River Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 664-6186

As the only restaurant in the North Idaho College campus area, Fort Ground Grill attracts quite a college crowd as you can imagine. Ken says the crowd varies though, from students, professors, city beach goers and more.

Why It’s Great – Great food and friendly service where you can always find some CDA locals hanging out. Even if you’re not a regular, the excellent service will have you feeling like a North Idaho local in no time. Their portion sizes are some of the best in the area. Burgers big enough to feed two, and generous helpings of side dishes like fries and mac and cheese.

Price – $10 – $20 a person

When To Go – During lunch hours the place tends to be crowded. Ken recommends their breakfast and says early morning is a great time to grab some food.

The Best of North Idaho Dining Part Three – Best Place for Drinks

There’s nothing better than going out on a Friday night for good drinks with good friends. For part three of our series, Ken Huitt suggested the best places to stop and grab drinks in our area. During your vacation, make sure to check out some of the great places we have in North Idaho for beer, wine, cocktails and more. From the best bloody mary you’ve ever had to some killer happy hour, Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding areas have you covered during your vacation when it comes to catching a buzz.

The Boathouse Bar & Grill – Hayden

The Boathouse

3799 E Hayden Lake Rd, Hayden, ID 83835
(208) 772-5057

Located along the Hayden Lake public marina, the Boathouse is more than just a great stop for drinks. With a full menu of all-american dishes, The Boathouse is a great stop during a day cruise on the boat or for some delicious dinner and drinks with the gorgeous backdrop of Hayden Lake.

Why It’s Great for Drinks –  Drinks with names like the “Grand Cadillac Margarita” and the “Magic Mojito” have to be good, right? Well Ken Huitt says they are even better than the name suggests. With it’s location build right on the lake, The Boathouse attracts visitors of all kinds. It’s always a good time at The Boathouse.

Best Buys – Ken recommends The Boathouse Bloody Mary; their signature drink. He also recommends the Huckleberry Martini for those looking for a more fruity, refreshing summer drink.


Coeur d’Alene Wine Cellar

317 E Sherman Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 664-9463

Located in a prime location for downtown vacationers, the CDA Cellar is been a popular stop for locals and tourists alike. Great decor with a fabulous team of staff help make the Cellar’s vision come alive; “Wine isn’t just a beverage, it’s an experience.”

Why It’s Great for Drinks – The CDA Wine Cellar features a state-of-the-art, 3,000 bottle of wine selection that includes local, regional and even international bottles of wine. While in the Cellar, you will often hear the sounds of light blues and soft jazz. After their expansion, the Cellar now has a wine-tasting experience they call “unlike anything in the Northwest.”


Daft Badger Brewing – Coeur d’Alene

1710 North 2nd St. Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 665-9892

Ken says the Daft Badger brewing company attracts a young, outdoorsy crowd. He says it is always a friendly, welcoming feel complete with some really great beer. Located in mid-town Coeur d’Alene, you’ll often beat the downtown crowd coming in here.

Why It’s Great for Drinks – Always trying out new experimental beers on tap, the Daft Badger rarely has a keg that doesn’t run dry. The folks at Daft Badger really know their beer, and they’re proud of it too. They also frequently have live music throughout the week, so it’s always a good time when visiting the Daft Badger.


Did I miss something? Comment below if you have a best place for drinks recommendation!

The Best of North Idaho Dining Part Two – Best for Couples

Coming to Coeur d’Alene for a romantic getaway? Your choice of restaurant can either make or break a memorable evening with your sweetheart. I think we all have memories of walking into a restaurant thinking it would be a great place to bring our significant other, only to be shocked when we were greeted by unpleasant servers, a loud dining room, and just plain old bad food. Luckily, Ken Huitt of Idaho Trust has three restaurants he recommends as best for couples coming to North Idaho. These three restaurants vary in what’s on their menu, but they all have some things in common that are sure to woo even the most die-hard romantics. In no particular order, here are Ken’s top three restaurant recommendations for couples.

Syringa (Coeur d’Alene)

syringa

1401 N 4th St, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 664-2718

Syringa features an eclectic atmosphere, cheery servers, vegetarian/vegan options and an innovative mix of chef-inspired sushi rolls. Coeur d’Alene and Spokane residents can’t get enough of this quiet, locally owned gem.

Why it’s great for couples – A small dining room with classic Japanese artistry give Syringa it’s charming, intimate appeal. If you enjoy sushi, this is the place to go in Coeur d’Alene. They only have about a 30 person occupancy so plan ahead and make reservations. Syringa also has a great wine selection, a must-have for couples.

Price – $20 – $30 a person

Location – Right on 4th street, Syringa is a great option for anybody staying in the downtown Coeur d’Alene area, Beach Town Cottage or the Bennett Bay Beach House are great choices for couples.

When To Go – With it’s small occupancy, weekends are sure to be packed. Make sure and call ahead if you are planning on going in on the weekend. Even on Monday or Tuesday nights Syringa can get quite crowded, so reservations are your best bet here.

Best Buys – Ken recommends the Dragon roll, featuring Tempura shrimp and vegetable with smelt roe; topped with tuna, avocado, Siracha sauce and spicy mayo. ($13)


Beverly’s (Coeur d’Alene)

115 South 2nd Street, 7th Floor, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 765-2300

Beverly’s is a must for couples visiting the Coeur d’Alene area for the first time. Located inside the CDA Resort, walking into the restaurant you will know you are in for a treat. Towering windows that allow for spectacular views of the lake delight guests as they dine on five star cuisine. Oh, and did I mention they have an award-winning wine list?

Why it’s great for couples – Location, location, location. I can’t say enough good things about the atmosphere Beverly’s has. The expansive views of lake Coeur d’Alene are enough to make anyone swoon. Beverly’s has over 10,000 bottles of wine available! Their menu ranges from apricot chicken to wild mushroom risotto and firecracker prawns.

Price – $50 -$75 a person

Location – As if I haven’t already said enough about their great location, you can find Beverly’s on the 7th floor of the Coeur d’Alene resort. Staying in Coeur d’Alene Place or our Coeur d’Alene Condos? Beverly’s is walking distance from your vacation rental.

When To Go – Beverly’s is a popular spot for those visiting town looking for high-end cuisine. On the weekends it tends to be busier, but they have a fairly large dining room and professional staff that keeps guests a priority. Reservations recommended.

Best Buys – Ken recommends you try Beverly’s happy hour, everyday from 5-7pm. Bonus points if you make even a small dent in their 10,000 bottle selection.


Forty-One South (The Lodge at Sandpoint)

The Lodge at Sandpoint, 41 Lakeshore Dr, Sagle, ID 83860
(208) 265-2000

Taking your sweetheart out for a skiing or snowboarding excursion at Schweitzer? Stop by the Lodge at Sandpoint and try some exclusive waterfront dining at Forty-One South!

Why it’s great for couples – Again, the view takes the cake for Forty-One South. As you can see in the image above, Forty-One South has a great waterfront dining porch, with several tables outside for the summer, and plenty inside for those winter months. Not as pricey as Beverly’s but will run you back a tad more than Syringa, Forty-One South is the ideal stop for couples in the Sandpoint area.

Price – $25 – $30 a person

Location – 30 minutes away from the mountain, an excellent choice after a long day of skiiing or if you are staying in our Sandpoint Place vacation rental.

When To Go – Compared to our other two recommendations, Forty-One South is off the beaten path. Sandpoint is a fairly small town compared to Coeur d’Alene, and this restaurant shouldn’t be too busy except on the weekends. Stop by after swimming in Lake Pend Orielle or skiing at Schweitzer!

Best Buys – Ken recommends the fried avocado fritters, a great starter for any meal.


Have you tried any of these restaurants? Let me know what you think below!

Tomorrow! Free Easter Egg Extravaganza

Kids eager to get out and enjoy some early Easter fun? Visit the PACC Easter Egg Extravaganza happening at two locations tomorrow, 4/4/15!

Coeur d’Alene Location:

Fernan Elementary – 520 N. 21st Street

Hayden Location:

Prairie Avenue Community Church – 3639 W Prairie Ave

Time Schedule:

11:00 – Event Begins

12:00 – Egg Hunt

12:15 – Prizes

The event will feature a free lunch, painting, crafts and live music. Lots of prizes will be given away including eight bikes! This is a free event for children grades 0-5. For more information call (208) 699-1142 or email PACC at office@pacc-id.net. You can also visit PACC’s website for more information on this and all their upcoming events at http://www.pacc-id.net

Meet Our New Property Manager, Sheri Pierson!

Today we welcomed our newest member to the VRA team, Sheri Pierson. Sheri will be working as our property manager specialist for our new property management company, Action Property Management. I sat down with Sheri and got to know a little more about our newest team member, including why she loves property management and what her ideal family vacation is.

DSC_1666 (1)

Q. Tell me a little about yourself and your background in the property management field.

A. Well, I am happily married to my husband now of three years. I have four kids of my own, and two step-children. All three of our boys are married and all of our girls are still single. As for my work background, I started doing property management in 2008. I worked for a residential property management company dealing mostly with apartments. I also worked as a licensed Realtor in Spokane for JuliaSellsHomes. As a property manager, I managed over 103 apartments ranging from 1 bedroom-3 bedroom townhouses. I also have a background working in home maintenance and remodeling.

Q. What is your job title here at VRA and what do you hope to accomplish within your position?

A. I am our property manager for long-term rentals. I hope to build a great network of residents and owners and build a strong company base. I hope to expand our capabilities beyond just homes and possibly begin to include apartments, condos, and townhouses.

Q. What is the best experience you’ve had working as a property manager and why do you love it so much?

A. I love working with the people. I like helping people really. It’s challenging and fun at the same time doing this line of work. I’m working a really thin line and it keeps me on my toes. Helping people find somewhere to live while also helping owners make money with their homes puts me in an interesting position. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get from doing this work. Like I said, it’s challenging, its fun, I love it.

Q. Favorite thing about living in this area?

A. My favorite thing about living in this area are the four seasons. Even though I don’t like winter as much, everything is so beautiful. You don’t realize until you leave how beautiful this area really is.

Q. Ideal family vacation?

A. I would love to take my kids on a cruise. I went to the Caribbean for my honeymoon and absolutely loved it.

Q. Any unusual talents or little known facts about yourself you’d like to share?

A. I sing karaoke! My husband manages karaoke at Fizzie Mulligan’s in Spokane. Also, I’m deathly afraid of sharks but during my honeymoon I went scuba diving in the Caribbean and it was incredible.

Get to know more about Sheri on our “Meet the Team” page on our vacation rental authority website!

The Best of North Idaho Dining Part One – Best Family Restaurants

Some of our most popular vacationers are families. Whether you have a large or small group, a family vacation is a special time that all of us look forward to. I know that during my families vacations, some of our best times are those spent in a new restaurant that we have never tried before. Sometimes it can be hard to find the best restaurants to go to when you’re in a place you are not familiar with, so this series is meant to help vacationers pick the best places to eat in the entire North Idaho area. Family dining should be a mix of age-appropriate atmosphere, food selection and great extras like TV or games. After sitting down with Ken Huitt of Idaho Trust, he narrowed his recommendations down into a top two for families – Seasons of Coeur d’Alene and The Porch Public House in Hayden.

season

209 E Lakeside Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 664-8008

Seasons of CDA is located at an old brewery’s location. Seasons has a wide assortment of food, from top burgers and brews, soup and salad, seafood, steak, chicken and more.

Why it’s great for families – Seasons has a large TV, big dining area and Ken says the restaurant is “never too loud.” They also have a great selection of food for all preferences.  Seasons wins big points with their year-round catering service, so if you have a big family event happening during your stay, consider them to cater your event. They also have a large event space within the restaurant that Ken says is great for birthday parties and family celebrations.

Price – $10-$20 a person for dinner.

Location – Seasons is located downtown, close enough to walk from many of our downtown properties like Coyote Cottage or Mill Street Lodge.

When To Go – On Tuesday nights, Seasons offers a seafood night that Ken recommends. On Thursdays, Seasons does a popular “burgers, beer and fries” special.

Best Buy – Ken recommends the Mahi Fish Tacos ($10). Includes mango salsa, cilantro cabbage, and an assortment of tortillas.

grilledchz

(Season’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese)


porch

1658 E Miles Ave, Hayden, ID 83835
(208) 772-7711

The Porch is located in between the Hayden and Avondale golf courses. Ken loves it because you can walk or drive your golf cart right up to the restaurant after a game. Salads, sandwiches and specialty dishes shine among their menu.

Why it’s great for families – They have a giant porch open during the summertime, where you can look out onto the golf courses. Ken says it is an exclusive location, where many families come to relax and unwind after a game.

Price – $15 a person

Location – A short drive from our multiple Hayden Lake properties, The Porch is a great choice for our families staying at the Hayden Lake Lodge or Water’s Edge Cabin.

When To Go – The most popular time is during summer, when the large porch dining is open and there are people coming in from the lake and golf courses. However, The Porch is open year-round.

Best Buys – Ken recommends the Santa Fey Chicken Sandwich ($10.95) and he says the kids will love their dessert called The Moon Unit; a giant brownie covered with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup.

porch

The Best of North Idaho Dining – A 5 Part Series

Earlier this week, I sat down with Ken Huitt of Idaho Trust in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Having tried many of the restaurants in our area, Ken gave me an inside look at what all the best restaurants have to offer. If you’re coming to our area for the first time this summer, knowing where to grab the best drink or dessert will come in handy in making your vacation a success. Over the next few weeks, I will discussing all of Ken’s recommendations, and a few of my own. My first post entitled “Best Family Dining” will be released on Monday March 30th! If you’re bringing the kiddos to Coeur d’Alene this summer, this first post is for you! Be sure to follow our blog to stay updated on all this and more from vacationrentalauthority.com! Stay tuned for this tasty treat!cedars_tout_interior

Spring Break Fun For Kids Of All Ages

Spring is steadily approaching, and students everywhere are becoming more and more anxious to get out of the classroom and enjoy some time with friends and family. If you’re a parent however, you may be worried about how your little ones are going to spend their time away from school while you’re at work. Thankfully, the Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center has a week of fun, games and activities planned!

Spring-Break-Header

From March 30th until April 3rd, The Salvation Army Kroc Center will be hosting a variety of activities for kids of all ages; including basketball, dodgeball, indoor soccer, movies, climbing, volleyball, and wibit, their indoor aquatic playground where they will have splash sports taking place. These are only a few of the many activities they will be organizing throughout the week. The Spring Break event is free for all members, and the Kroc Center will have day passes available for anyone who would like to join in on the fun. Check out more information on Spring Break at the Kroc here. Also check out the full schedule of planned events here.

Spring-Break-Schedule-2015-1

Each day during the Spring Break event calendar, the Kroc Center will be hosting a free community movie. This showing will be free to the public, so no day pass or membership is required. All showings will take place at 2:30 P.M in the theater. Here is the movie schedule for the week:

  • Monday, March 30th – Big Hero 6
  • Tuesday, March 31st – The Book of Life
  • Wednesday, April 1st – Boxtrolls
  • Thursday, April 2nd – The Lorax
  • Friday, April 3rd – Penguins of Madagascar

Aside from the Spring Break events schedule, the Kroc Center also has a School’s Out Day Camp Program they will be running. Available from 9 A.M to 4 P.M for kids ages 6-13, the Day Camp will provide an opportunity for kids to make new friends, discover new talents and learn new skills. The Kroc staff will provide an assortment of fun-filled activities including rock climbing, swimming, crafts, cooking, games and more. Lunch and a snack will be provided. Sign up for the entire week and save big! Check out pricing and more information here and to register online click here

Club 7-10 will also be offered during the week of March 30th-April 3rd. This play care program offers a chance for children ages 7-10 to play and explore with old and new friends. This program is offered everyday 8 A.M to noon and an adult must remain on site with their child. Click here for more information and pricing details.

Play-Care-Header01

The Kroc Center is located at 1765 W Golf Course Road, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815.

http://www.kroccda.org

(208) 667-1857

Monday – Friday: 5 A.M to 10 P.M

Saturday: 7 A.M to 9 P.M

Sunday: 8 A.M to 6 P.M

Spring-Break-Home-Banner

Customer FAQ’s – “What is your cancellation policy?”

As a property management company, we strive to provide the highest level of satisfaction for both our owners and our guests. Our goal is to ensure that every rental experience is a success for all parties involved. Vacation Rentals tend to have a different cancellation policy than hotels, due to the fact that each and every one of our homes are unique. Unlike a hotel that has hundreds if not thousands of similar rooms, each of our vacation rentals provide a completely distinct experience.

When you book a home with us, we make a commitment to you that the home you decided on will be made exclusively available to you for the dates you reserved. Once a reservation is made, not only have we made a commitment to you, but we have made a commitment to our owners as well. Working as a middleman between our property owners and our guests, we work hard to ensure a streamlined reservation process that is satisfactory for both our owners and our guests. When booking a rental with us, be sure to review our cancellation policy.

  • To safeguard your investment, we recommend you purchase travel protection for your vacation rental. If for any reason you decide to cancel, travel protection will allow for a 100% refund. Travel protection is available for every rental, for an additional 6.95% of the total rental price.
  • If you did not purchase travel protection but you must cancel, we can provide a 100% refund ONLY if we can re-book your exact dates in that home. During busy summer months like July, re-booking is usually not a problem.

Within our cancellation policy, we have tried to create a system that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved. We are happy to work with you to make the cancellation and re-booking process as hassle-free as possible, so please do not hesitate to contact us in the case of an emergency.

March Boat Special!

Now until the end of the month, we will be offering a great deal on our Harris Deluxe Pontoon. This boat is brand new for summer 2015 and still hasn’t come out of storage! Until the 31st, when you book 5+ Summer days on our deluxe pontoon, you will receive a $250 discount off the total price! This deal is only running for a couple more weeks, so be sure to book your rental now before the promotion expires. Remember all of our rentals include free delivery to the 3rd street marina dock in CDA and Honeysuckle on Hayden Lake. We also provide water skis, wake-boards or tubes at no additional cost to you. Our team can also arrange delivery to any location in CDA for a small delivery fee.

March_Boat_SpecialThis Deluxe Pontoon allows for a 12-16 person occupancy, 200 HP engine, Bimini top, step ladder, luxurious seating, multiple storage compartments, steering tilt options and comfortable captains seating chair. Check out this pontoon and our full selection of rentals at www.cdaboatrentals.com 

Click here to reserve your 5+ days rental and receive $250 off now!

Hiking Trails – The Liberty Lake Loop

60 degree weather means it’s time for a hike! On March 8th, I set out to explore the Liberty Lake Loop, a popular trail in Spokane County that normally runs from April to October. This hike is one of the best trails I have done in a long time. A 9-mile loop that stretches deep into the forest, the Liberty Lake Loop is full of incredible scenery, plenty of shade and infrequent, but breathtaking views.

Starting out, you walk along a nicely maintained path from the county park for about a mile before really getting into the forest. As you travel into the forestry, a cool breeze greets you as you walk along the creek. We did this hike around 2 PM, and it was still pretty chilly down by the water. Wooden bridges that connect to lots of places to stop and explore are prominent throughout this first stretch. The trail is very well marked and you should not have trouble following the path, especially as the creek guides you along.

As you make your way past the creek, you enter into an open forestry area that contains some of the last old growth cedar trees in Spokane County. This is a great place to stop and have a picnic or simply take some pictures. At this point in the trail, you really feel like you are cut off from the city and are fairly deep inside the forest. Now, prepare for the toughest part of the trail as you cross the last wooden bridge and start trekking on some serious switchbacks straight up the hill. After you reach the top of the switchbacks, a glorious view meets you that shows just how deep into the forest you are. You can see the beach and Liberty Lake from this vantage point.

The final stretch of the initial loop is about 2 1/2 miles to the year-round waterfall. Another incredible view along this trail allows you to look far into a giant clearing of the forest. At this point you’re at about 1,500 feet elevation. The waterfall is located in a wonderful little spot, with plenty of room to enjoy the beauty around you. From here you can either continue through the loop or return the way you came. The trail begins to move fairly steep upwards, as you follow the waterfall along. We turned around after reaching about 3,000 feet, unfortunately there are no views from this part of the trial.

Overall, this was an impeccable hike, and a great way to spend a Sunday. The only disadvantage to this venture was the amount of mud on the trail. The mud became quite thick in areas, and my shoes needed a good cleaning after returning home. Here are some pictures I took from various points in the hike.

IMG951118IMG951123FullSizeRenderIMG951119

To get to the Liberty Lake Loop Trail (from Coeur d’Alene) exit off I-90 at Liberty Lake. Take the roundabout towards Liberty Lake and turn left on Appleway at the intersection. Turn right on Molter and continue past the golf course until Valleyway. Turn left on Valleyway and follow until it becomes Lakeside Road. Turn right at the signs for Liberty Lake County Park. There is a nice parking area and a children’s playground but follow the trail away from the playground and you will be on your way! Post your experiences the Liberty Lake Loop here!

Customer FAQ’s – “I’m ready to book my vacation home, what is the next step?”

Call us! We want to make the rental process as simple, quick and convenient as possible for you. If you have questions about a specific property, do not hesitate to call or e-mail us; our wonderful guest services team are here to answer any questions you may have about the rental process. Generally, when you are ready to book your home, there are three important things to keep in mind.

1.) A 50% down payment is required at the time of booking. This payment must be made with a credit card (Visa or MasterCard). We require the payment by credit card so that one can be kept on file in the event of significant damage or other special circumstances. NOTE: Your total price includes a $39 damage fee that covers you for up to $3000 of damage incurred during your stay.

2.) After we receive your initial payment, we will send you a guest contract to sign. You can sign this electronically and send it back to us via email. Once the guest contract is signed, we can release the address information for your vacation rental. NOTE: We are not allowed to release address information prior to this for owner safety and home security. Before the home address is released, we are happy to give you general area information and answer any questions you may have about the home.

3.) You’re almost done! The final payment for your stay is not due until 60 days prior to arrival. You are welcome to make this payment anytime before the 60 days at your convenience. This final payment can be made in any form; cash, check, credit or check by phone.

These are the three most important steps that go into booking your vacation rental. As always, call us anytime at 800-679-3661 for inquiries or questions. We have an excellent team here at Vacation Rental Authority invested in creating unforgettable vacations for all of our guests.

Thinking about renting a vacation home but don’t know much about them? Check out my blog post entitled “Considering a Vacation Rental?” here. You can also view our website www.vacationrentalauthority.com to view our full selection of North Idaho vacation homes and get information on Coeur d’Alene and surrounding areas.

Family Activities in Coeur d’Alene – Triple Play Family Fun Center

Eager to get out and do something tonight? Why not try Triple Play Family Fun Center? Located just 15 minutes from Coeur d’Alene, Triple Play is a great place for all kinds of fun activities.

tripleplay

Date night? Try bowling or mini-golf! Triple Play has both an indoor and outdoor course (However I am not sure if the outdoor course is open yet). Indoors is a 9-hole black light course with exciting twists and turns at every hole. The 9-hole course is perfect for a quick game and you can easily do two rounds within an hour and a half or two hours. Afterwards make a stop at the Garden Fresh Grill for pizza, hot dogs, burgers, appetizers and more.

Triple Play is an excellent choice to get the kids out if they are feeling restless. With a full sized indoor water park, hours of fun can be had. Raptor Reef is a 25,00 sq. foot facility featuring a wave pool, children’s lagoon with a two-story play structure complete with slides, water guns and a tipping bucket full of water. There is also a Jacuzzi and three huge water slides with over 1000 ft of combined slides. The water park sits at a nice 86 degrees so you won’t have to worry about being cold. The kids are sure to be tired and happy after a few hours at the water park.

raptor-reef

Get a group together and go for a round of laser tag or try your hand at the go-karts! Go karts are exciting and tons of fun. Triple Play’s outdoor track is over 860 feet long! Strap in and get ready for some serious fun! Note – the drive height for go-karts is 58″ minimum and passengers must be at least 40″ tall to ride along.

go-karts

Whatever your in the mood for, Triple Play will have an activity for you. Aside from what I listed here, Triple Play also has an arcade, climbing wall and more. Triple Play has also announced that they are expanding! Soon they will have an expanded laser tag arena and a three-story ropes course! I can’t wait to see what they come up with! A perfect way to spend a Wednesday night, get the whole group together and take a trip down to Triple Play Family Fun Center!

To get to Triple Play, head north on US-95 for 6 miles. Triple Play will be directly off the highway on the right-hand side. If you decide to go to Triple Play tonight, comment your experience below! Happy wanderings!

Cleaning Up Our New Home!

On Saturday, the VRA team got together and made some major changes to the look and feel of our new office. Our new sign was put in, which we share with Property Research Inc., formally known as Dan Davis Realty. The sign is a bright white color with our logo neatly placed on bottom. The new sign gives a nice boost of color to our office atmosphere. The landscape renovation was the biggest project. We took out all of the old shrubbery and now have a nice bed of washed grey landscaping rock in it’s place. We also have our large blue welcome signs attached on each side of the fence in front of the office. The new look is very clean and polished, and we hope it provides a welcoming, professional look for all of our guests.

We all love the new office and are very excited about all the new changes. We hope to call this place our home for many years to come. If you haven’t come by the new location, please do! We would love to see you and give you a tour of the new space. We are located at 1001 E Sherman Ave, just east of downtown.

A big thank you to all of our owners and guests, without you these changes wouldn’t be possible and we are continually grateful that you have entrusted us with your vacation rental needs. We are looking forward to everything 2015 has in store, it’s going to be a great year!

Office landscape

What do you think of the new office?

Sunday Hike to Mineral Ridge

On Sunday, Cheryl, Robert and I greeted an early morning and a beautiful blue sky to hike the Mineral Ridge Loop just outside of Harrison Idaho, about 20 minutes away from Coeur d’Alene. This was my first time doing this hike, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of the wonderful things I had heard about this trail were absolutely true.

Mineral Ridge is located on the east side of lake Coeur d’Alene, near Beauty bay. It is part of the Coeur d’Alene National Forest area. The Scenic Area at the bottom of the trail has wonderful landscape, drinking fountains, covered picnic pavilions, pit toilets and garbage receptacles. The Mineral Ridge Boat Launch also lies below the Scenic Area, where fishing is a popular activity. The hike itself is a self-guided 3.3 mile uphill loop, with plenty of switchbacks and nicely groomed trails along the way. The trail is mostly shaded with a moderate incline to the top. There are many benches put in place along the way for stops and has incredible views at many points during the hike. Diverse, lush vegetation is rampant throughout this forest environment, and the primary tree species you will find here are the Ponderosa Pine and the Douglas-fir.

Each winter, from November to February, the migrating population of up to 150 bald eagles visit the area to feed on spawning kokanee salmon. Unfortunately, we did not catch a glimpse of any of the bald eagles, but being that February is coming to an end, we may have just missed their feeding season. An interpretative viewing program is offered during the peak season between Christmas and New Years annually, for those of you interested in going next year.

As we ventured toward the top, we ran into a bit of history that lies within the Mineral Ridge Trail. Robert explained how miners who came to this area during the Gold Rush began to dig large holes in the ground in hopes of striking it rich. These holes are very apparent and along the trail they have guided markers explaining different pieces of history that Mineral Ridge holds.

The Wolf Lodge Bay is the view that you hike up the trail for. An absolutely stunning view of Coeur d’Alene that stretches for miles greets you as you reach the top of the hike. This site is situated at an elevation of 2,824 feet, about 700 feet above lake level. For a late-February morning, this hike could not have been more enjoyable. A tad bit chilly, but with plenty of sunshine, made this excursion quite refreshing. Check out some pics I took from the top.

mineralridgemineralridge1

meatmineralTo get to Mineral Ridge, head east on I-90 from Coeur d’Alene toward Harrison. Take exit 22 for Harrison/Wolf Lodge Bay. Then head south on State Highway 97 for 3 miles. The trail head is at the Mineral Ridge Scenic Area on the left side of the highway. You will see the parking area and trail head. Have fun! Be sure to comment your experiences at Mineral Ridge on this post! What other hikes do you love in the Coeur d’Alene area?

Considering A Vacation Rental?

With only 23 days until the official start of spring, most of us are looking forward to relaxing days on the lake and time away from work. Many steps go into making a summer vacation memorable and stress-free. Finding lodging that accommodates your whole family and fits with everyone’s interests and needs can sometimes be very challenging. The last thing any of us want when trying to plan our summer vacation is stress concerning where you are going to stay and if it will make everyone happy. Where you stay can impact the overall enjoyment of your vacation in many ways; including location, amenities, cleanliness and services available. Do the kids want a pool? Do you need a microwave, fridge and closet space? Are TV, movies and games available? How many beds do you need? Are you bringing pets on your vacation? All of these traditional questions can play a large part in creating the perfect hassle-free vacation.

family

The traditional route when looking for a place to stay is a hotel; quick, convenient and easily accessible, hotels have been the go-to lodging option for many years. But as popularity in vacation rentals grows, more and more people are looking into this option for their vacations. Vacation rentals offer many benefits, but they may not be for everyone. Here is my breakdown of staying in a hotel vs. a vacation rental. This guide is meant to help you decide on the best option for you and your unique vacation needs.

HOTEL 

9638499309_43eb058de5_z

(Photo by William Warby)

-Average Sq. Footage: 400 sq. ft

-Average Price (in the US): $118 a night

-Food Costs: Average of $30 a person when eating out three meals a day

-Laundry Services: Average of $10 a garment for laundry or dry cleaning services

-Extras: Movies cost an average of $15 a piece. Valet parking services can cost $20-50 per day

Vacation Rental 

Lakeside-Loft-31

 (Vacation Rental Authority, Lakeside Loft)

-Average Sq. Footage: 2000 sq. ft

-Average Price: A 1,500 sq. foot rental can sleep more than 8. Average price of $99 per night

-Food Costs: With a vacation rental, you’ll have access to a fully equipped kitchen, and be able to save money on eating out at restaurants every day.

-Laundry Services: You’ll also have your own washer and dryer, allowing you to do your own laundry when it is convenient for you, and for free.

-Extras: TV’s, movies, games and more are free in vacation homes. Magazines, books and board games are also available in many homes. You will also have your own garage or parking space, so no parking fees are needed at a vacation home.

vralogo

So, is it worth it?

In a vacation rental, you’ll have more space for less money, privacy and access to tons of amenities and extras. You’ll also save money on the added costs that come with eating out at restaurants, laundry and parking services. Vacation rentals also give you a wide range of options as to what type of home you can rent; waterfront, pet friendly, condos, cabins, and luxury resort homes are just a few of the options available to you. Finding a great hotel deal is still a viable option, but here at Vacation Rental Authority, we have built our business around the idea that a vacation home is always superior to a hotel stay. Here are some of the services we offer to all of our guests that you cannot get simply staying at a hotel.

What We Offer –

Housekeeping services

Concierge services (Need groceries? We’ll go get them for you)

Free toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, etc.

Free dish soap, laundry soap, garbage bags, etc.

Almost all of our rentals have barbecues on site, private beach access, and covered parking.

Most of our rentals have satellite TV service, WiFi, DVD Players, movies, games, and more available for free.

Our rentals all come fully furnished and equipped, with name brand appliances, comfortable bedding and space for 1-15 people.

I’ve never rented a vacation home before, is it easy?

Our staff are all friendly and knowledgeable, and renting one of our vacation homes could not be easier. Our rental process is simple and convenient and our rental agreement is easy to understand. We are here to make your vacation unforgettable and we strive for 100% customer satisfaction. Simply give us a call at 1-800-679-3661 to request a quote or just inquire about one of our properties. Our guest services manager, Lindsey, is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and we are confident that we have a home that will fit your needs. Ask any of our guests, and they will tell you that their experience exceeded their expectations. Below are only a few of our many properties, call us today or click the link below to view our full selection of rentals!

www.vacationrentalauthority.com

1-800-679-3661

Coeur d’Alene Attractions and Activities

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Here at Vacation Rental Authority, our passion for the Northwest goes far beyond our property management capabilities. We know Coeur d’Alene better than anyone else because this is where we have lived our entire lives. City Beach is where we learned how to swim as young kids, Sherman Ave is where we would meet our friends and family for a burger at Hudson’s. And on the boardwalk is where many of us took our prom pictures or wedding vows. After years of living and working in Coeur d’Alene, our love and enthusiasm for this area only grows. We want everyone to someday come experience our lakeside heaven. Although there are many features of Coeur d’Alene that draw visitors; including the world’s only floating green located on the 14th hole of the CDA golf course and the Tubbs Hill nature trails where you can always find someone hiking or cliff jumping, we believe that what makes Coeur d’Alene a true stand out are the hidden treasures that can be found around nearly every corner.

cdaskyviewCoeur d’Alene lake is a 50 square mile area of deep blue waters, murky lagoons and small bays. Surrounded by 125 miles of shoreline and towering mountain ranges, it’s not hard to see why many have called Coeur d’Alene the most beautiful lake in the U.S. The Northwest is an area of simple pleasures and remarkable landscapes. Growing up here creates a special kind of appreciation for nature and all its glories. Our team is invested in creating the same kind of experience for our guests that we have fallen in love with time and time again here in North Idaho. If you are looking for an area that holds hours of endless activities with a diverse amount of wildlife and an ever-changing landscape, Coeur d’Alene could be the perfect place for your summer vacation.

cda5

Lake Coeur d’Alene offers many activities that will interest vacationers of young and old. Hours of fishing await as salmon, trout and both large and small mouthed bass swim throughout the lake. Fall into a state of total relaxation as you quietly wait for a catch to rattle your line. One of the largest northern pike ever caught in Coeur d’Alene weighed 39 pounds! This record was recently beat, and you could be next! Take a kayak out and make your way through many of the small bays. Stand up paddle boarding is one of the most popular summer activities and offers quite a workout as well. During the summer the sun does not go down until 10:00, and watching the sun fall beyond the lake horizon is truly dazzling.

cdakayak

Coeur d’Alene hosts one of the most unusual hiking and mountain biking trails in the world. The Route of the Hiawatha is a long-abandoned railroad track which takes riders through a series of tunnels and across hundred-foot high wooden trestles. The longest of the tunnels is over 2 miles long and when you emerge on the other side you will be stunned by the incredible views that stretch deep into Montana. If you enjoy getting active and exploring new and exciting terrain, the route of the Hiawatha is a perfect activity for you.

hiawatha

Coeur d’Alene is special in the fact that no matter what season you visit, or what activities you enjoy, Coeur d’Alene has something for you. During the winter is perhaps one of the most incredible times to visit our area. With five ski resorts all within two hours of Coeur d’Alene, winter sports are one of the biggest industries here. Perhaps the most popular of these resorts is Schweitzer. With a summit elevation of around 6,400 ft and a 2,400 ft vertical drop, Schweitzer features impeccable views from all sides of the mountain. With runs for every skill level, Schweitzer is a snow lovers dream. The resort has nine chair lifts, which will take you to every one of the 92 ski-able runs and open bowls. 2,900 acres of terrain and over 300 inches of snowfall annually, make this resort one of the most popular ski and snowboard locations in the Northwest.

schweitzer

Two hours outside of Coeur d’Alene lies a smaller lake that is well worth the drive. Priest Lake is one of my favorite North Idaho camping destinations. 151 campsites across 755 acres surround the ice-blue water and jetting mountain ranges. Hidden throughout Priest Lake are it’s own incredible treasures. Waterfalls, gentle creeks, and small white-water rapids hold fun for all. Miles of beautiful hiking trails that overlook this breathtaking lake hold many hours of exploration and discovery. One of the most popular camp sites in all of Priest Lake is Lionshead. A natural water slide that has entertained campers for years awaits you here. The only cost to partake in this incredible feature is a mile-and-a half long hike that puts you at a perfect incline for the slide. During the middle of July, Priest Lake hosts its annual Huckleberry Festival, where pickers of young and old come to partake in the simple delicacy of natural grown fresh-picked huckleberries. During the festival, music, arts and boutique booths fill the area. This family friendly festival is a favorite year-after-year for travelers. Check out this short video done by the guys over at Rush Hour Productions, an inside look at the beautiful, serene landscape that Priest Lake offers.

The national forests surrounding Coeur d’Alene are incredibly magical and offer some of my favorite summer activities. Old growth forests, incredible waterfalls and spectacular views are only a few of the reasons to visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Wildlife and forestry of all sorts are abundant here, and you are sure to find something different every time you choose to get lost in the forest. Over 20% of the three forests that make up the Idaho Panhandle stretch into Washington and Montana, so the diversity is truly endless. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails offer a new adventure around every turn. You could easily spend a week backpacking in the Panhandle and not see everything here.

Idaho, Snow Creek Falls, Selkirk Range, Selkirk mountains, waterfalls, water, Kaniksu National Forest, scenic, nature, landscape, vertical, panoramic

sawtoothnationalforest

kootenainationalforest

Coeur d’Alene is an area that must be experienced to be explained. Whether you are looking for a family friendly vacation, a romantic getaway, an exciting ski and snowboard trip, or simply a lakefront paradise to swim, kayak, boat and just relax on the beach, Coeur d’Alene has it all. We are committed to making your vacation an experience that you will never forget. We create personalized vacation packages and are happy to plan events and activities for you that fit your needs. When you visit Coeur d’Alene, it will be easy to see why so many people have built such magnificent homes here, and why we want to share it with you.

gravescreekidaho

Now that you’ve heard my take on what makes Coeur d’Alene an amazing vacation destination, I want to hear from you!

Why do you love Coeur d’Alene? 

Create an Unforgettable Valentine’s Day Experience

Tags

, , , , , ,

“Love is the only gold” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

roses

Many times we think of Valentine’s day as a holiday only celebrated by those in a romantic relationship; but this is simply not the case. When we broaden our horizons, we can see that Valentine’s day is a perfect opportunity to express appreciate and gratitude to anyone we care about in our lives. This may be your romantic partner, but could also be your parents, your siblings, a dear friend, a pet or maybe even a colleague or your boss. 

From popular and practical gifts to those that are daring and different, there are infinite possibilities as to what you can do for your loved one this Valentine’s Day. Whether it be a card, flowers, a romantic dinner or the purchase of jewelry, what we are all really looking for in a Valentine’s gift is to create an experience. On Valentine’s day, we are all reminded how every single one of our loved ones is an important part of our daily happiness. With this year’s Valentine’s Day landing on a weekend, there is no better time to turn your gift into a full weekend excursion. What better way to express your love than by treating your valentine to a getaway in one of our many North Idaho vacation homes! Within our homes you will find impeccable views of the Coeur d’Alene area, proximity to entertainment and fine dining, and all the beauty and elegance of a luxurious retreat. Relax and unwind with ease and enjoy each other’s company with no distractions from the outside world.  Escape into a beautiful Northwest hideaway and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Now until Valentine’s day, book a three-day rental with us over the holiday weekend and receive 10% off. We’ll even include complimentary chocolates, flowers and champagne for you to enjoy. Let us put together an unforgettable Valentine’s day escape for you and your sweetheart.

vday promo1

Visit our website to view our full selection of rentals:

http://www.vacationrentalauthority.com/

1-800-679-3661

Living Room – Upstairs

The upstairs living room will have 1(one) queen sleeper sofa, 1(one) sofa, 2(two) warm brown leather chairs (not the same color listed below but it is the same style), 1(one) ottoman (not the same color listed below but it is the same style)1(one) marble coffee table, 2(two) marble side tables and 1(one) marble server.

 

EGN6OTZ2 Upstairs Sofa Sleepers (custom color) (1) marble occ. tables Marble Server Upstairs Brown Leather (x2) (1)

Sun Room

The sun room will have 1(one) canoe coffee table, 2(two) canoe end tables, 1(one) boat bookshelf and a couple comfy chairs (not shown below).

 

Sun Room Coffee table (1) Sunroom End Tables (2)  Day Room Shelving (1)

Bunk Room – Downstairs

The bunk room will have 2(two) sets of twin bunk beds to include mattresses and mattress pads. In between the two bunk bed sets will be the stairway chest, which has storage. In between the two windows will be a media chest.

 

Bunkroom (x2) Twin (1)

Dining/Bar – Downstairs

There is an option of either one of these game tables.

Game table #1  game table #3  game chair #4

Great Room – Downstairs

The furniture  in this room will blend throughout the area and warm up the room while complimenting the darker sectional couch (existing). There will be 1(one) TV stand with storage, 1(one) coffee table and 1(one) end table.

 

Dstairs TV Stand (1) Dstairs Coffee Table (1) Dstairs End Tables (1)

Dining Room

There is an option for either style of marble dining table. Both will accommodate a large group of guests!

 

marble Dining #1 Marble dining #2

Bedroom 3 – Downstairs

This bedroom is located downstairs and will have a Queen frame/mattress/box spring (existing) and mattress pad, dresser/mirror combination, 2(two) night stands, 1(one) twin day bed with mattress and mattress pad, 1(one) twin pop-up trundle with mattress and mattress pad.

Dresser, Dstairs Brooms (x2) (1) N.Stand for Dstairs B.Rooms (1) Daybed Dstairs Bedroom (1)

Bedroom 2 – Downstairs

This is the bedroom downstairs that has the patio access. This room would have 1(one) Queen 1(one) Full bed frame, 1(one) Queen 1(one) Full mattress with pads, 1(one) Queen 1(one) Full box spring, a dresser (existing) and 2(two) night stands.

Full HB (x2) Dstairs Bedroom (1) N.Stand for Dstairs B.Rooms (1)

Master Bedroom – Main Floor

The Master Bedroom would include a King bed frame, King mattress, King box spring, King mattress pad, 2(two) night stands, a dresser/mirror combo and a large chair (not shown).

Master Bedroom (1)

18 Summers / Fishing In Idaho

The Experience

I have always loved fly fishing the waters of Idaho. Just one time and I was hooked. It’s hard to believe that one fit-full day was actually one of my best. Yes, “fit-full” is right, I spent much of the day fixing my line, replacing flies and just trying to stay on my feet. My supposedly best friend through high school, Chris spend his day catching fish and laughing at me. He definitely had a good day. Chris and his father caught fish all day and I, well I caught nothing. I was completely smoked by these 2 fishermen who let me borrow the gear to make my first attempt at fly-fishing. I cannot thank them enough.

fishing in idaho

Scenic Lake Coeur d’Alene

The efforts that accompany fly-fishing are what make it such a great sport, actually catching fish is fun but there is just so much more to this experience. You get to learn how to handle the high quality equipment so it can be used to its true purpose, travel to remote locations with few people, explore valleys to find the perfect fishing spot and even more important, actually seeing what you are looking at.

Fly-fishing is a study of your surroundings, especially the river and shoreline. You can become absorbed in the mesmerizing beauty of the flowing water, seeing what only an experienced fisherman can see, noting how the waters flow, drop, pool or glide over unseen obstacles below the surface that fish call home. There are moments in days like these that you look up and are astounded with beautiful scenery, shorelines empty of anything man-made, rolling mountains covered with dense stands of trees, mist rising from the waters and wildlife cannot be more abundant. Amazing moments of clarity and beauty appear and they are so powerful they stay with you forever.

The waters of north Idaho produce records so frequently, it is hard to keep up with the stats but you may be able to get your name on the record books, at least for a time. Just imagine standing in the cool, crystal clear flowing water of a pristine mountain stream tipping your fly rod back just one more time before releasing your carefully chosen fly out over the gliding waters. Your fly needs to land right above that submerged boulder. Just a moment ago, you saw the silvery side and flash of red from a Cutthroat Trout rising for a caddisfly. Now your locally hand-tied fly has landed gently above the small eddy and is being swept into the small pool where that monster Cut waits. You have a moment to savor the clear air and fresh breeze blowing slowly along the valley floor. Your feet are planted carefully in the swift waters that harbor these elusive Cutthroat Trout. A small trail of smoke has followed you down the river as your family sits cozy by the fire wondering why you would be waist deep in the cool mountain stream at such an early hour. Then you see the rise again, and this time he is coming for your dry fly

The Family

Taking long days to feel the joy of nature and explore a stretch of seemingly untouched shoreline is a wonderful way to spend time with a loved one or teach a child a new skill. These long days may not seem so important during your vacation but they remain some of the most memorable for a lifetime. Your trip to one of Idaho premier lakes or rivers is just a vacation right? Not really, it’s a chance to spend one of those extremely important first 18 summers with your children, deeply and intensely focused on an activity that touches our hearts forever.

Mothers and fathers know that time spend doing things together is how you really reach your children. Sure a good talking to is important now and then but nothing takes the place of long days spent together doing the things we love to do or even learning something new. Create those memories now, in those first 18 summers.

Now, if you ready to go fishing in Idaho, visit our more informational website were you can find a great lake side cabin, read about our fishing and book your trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Crystal clear waters, majestic mountains and long fun-filled days await.

Fish in idaho

Silverwood History

The 6th Lit Times reports on Silverwood Theme Park

The Silverwood Slap

By: Amber

   Coeur d’Alene, a city in the state of Idaho. With a famous resort, town, and lake. Coeur d’Alene is known on the map mostly for having the Northwest’s largest theme park!

Founder Gary Norton started Silverwood Theme Park after coming here from California, to Spokane. From CDApress.com Gary Norton says “I didn’t do it as a buisness practice, or with a buisness plan; it was just having fun.” You can read more about him and his theme park in “American Theme Park : The Creation of Silverwood”

The park opened June 20, 1988 and wasn’t very successful at first. Currently Silverwood is as long as 216 acres and 34 miles!

Silverwood Theme Park does have a website that tells you about rides and attractions, park information, admission, events and deals, contests, lodging, and groups.

With over 65 rides, slides, shows, and rollercoasters, Silverwood is not as big as Disneyland, but it is the Northwest’s largest Theme Park! So come take a splash in the wavepool, or a ride on the carousel.

Rathdrum Rules According Local 6th Grader

Following is an article from 6th Lit Times, expressing one girl’s candid view of Rathdrum, Idaho.

The City Of Rathdrum

by: Aurora

   Rathdrum is a nice place to live. It is not very big and has a couple of restaurants and stores. You can walk about any were if you live in the right spot.

Rathdrum has a train track passing through, so every time you go over one don’t hit your head on the ceiling. The buildings look a little old but that doesn’t mean they look bad. Most of them are still used and have plenty of business and money. There’s a salsa store there that is told to sell good salsa or awesome sauce.

The buildings are always occupied by a couple customers and they’re always nice and cheery. Rathdrum is a nice place, and may sound boring but it truly isn’t so don’t be fooled.

Slice of Heaven

6th Lit Times is an 11- and 12-year old view of Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding area.  Enjoy another 6th grade article…

A Little Slice of Heaven in North Idaho

By:  Casidee

“Coeur d’Alene is a little slice of Heaven” once said Barbara Walters.  On Coeur d’Alene Lake visitors can choose from an array of water activities, fishing, boating, or walking on the world’s longest boardwalk that floats.

Coeur d’Alene Lake is 49.8 square miles when full with a water depth of 209 feet.  It sits 2128 feet above sea level.  The St. Joe River, St. Maries River, and the Coeur d’Alene River flow into the Coeur d’Alene Lake.   Coeur d’Alene Lake is a natural lake but its depth is controlled by the Post Falls Dam.  Once it flows through the dam, it runs into the Spokane River.

Anglers will find several different species of fish in the Coeur d’Alene Lake.  These include bass, trout, and catfish.

Coeur d’Alene bald eagles can be seen from November through the beginning of February.  By Christmas time it is not unusual to see more than 200 flying around.  The eagles eat Kokanee salmon.

Surrounding the marina at the Coeur d’Alene Resort visitors will find the world’s longest floating boardwalk.  It is 3300 feet long and 12 feet wide.

There are a variety of activities for any visitor.  In the summer there is the ironman race, parasailing, a ferry ride and tour around the lake, swimming in the crystal clear waters, kayaking, and miles of sand to walk on.  In the winter you can feed ducks and geese, walk around the boardwalk to see the holiday lights, and go on eagle watching cruises.

Coeur d’Alene Vacation Rental Management

Originally posted on Heirloom Paddle Sports:

Are you looking for a Vacation Rental Management Company in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho?

Managing a Vacation Rental in Idaho

Vacation rentals are a wonderful way to use an income property to maximize your revenue and keep your investment in 5 star condition. Vacation rentals have come a long way as an industry and they are now being offered as luxury vacation options with vacation rental management in CDAguests seeking high quality homes at rates that still surprises our property owners. Quality, amenities and luxury are the new values in vacation homes and do it yourself, low value options are just not competitive. 

Cash-flow and property care for vacation rentals

Higher revenues means more cash-flow to maintain the home, furnishings and features like hot tubs, fireplaces and pools that make a vacation rental so attractive to guests. Proper weekly cleaning, seasonal maintenance and hands on property management assures your investment property is kept in resort quality…

View original 426 more words

Hayden Lake

Tags

,

An expert from Sixth Lit Times

Love of Idaho and Vacation Rental Authority are proud to present another story from the 6th grade literature class at Charter Academy.

The Amazing Life in Hayden Lake

By:  Sydney

   Where can you find fresh water fish and aquatic plants?  One place is in the waters of Hayden Lake, Idaho.  Many people find these things daily when they’re out fishing in this lake.

If you want to know what fish you’ll find when you’re out fishing on Hayden Lake, here are a few examples of people’s favorites.  You could catch a rainbow trout, pumpkinseed, cutthroat trout, or a bullhead catfish.  Other favorites that you can find in Hayden Lake include smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, northern pike, or yellow perch.  As you can see, you’ll most likely catch a fish that you will be proud of and find delicious.

Not only are there fish in this lake, but plants, too!  Some of the most commonly found plants are the Robbins’ pondweed, elodea, large-leaved pondweed, Eurasian water milfoil, and flat-stemmed pondweed.  Other, less commonly known plants include coontail, musk grass, northern water milfoil, slender naiad, nitella, and yellow pond lily.  More aquatic plants that live in Hayden Lake include leafy pondweed, variable leaf  ponweed, floating leaf pondweed, whitestem ponweed, clasped leaf pondweed, white water buttercup, and wild celery.

Next time you go out on Hayden Lake look for these fish and plants.  Though not everyone likes the taste of fish or these water plants we still need to look for the environment and our community.

Silverwood’s #7 Train |An exerpt from Sixth Lit Times

Silverwood’s #7 Train

By Isaac

   Silverwood theme park has been opened since June 20, 1988. But back when Silverwood had only one attraction, the steam engine number 7.

Before Silverwood started, it was an air ship museum. Gary Norton, the owner, was at a air ship auction were they were selling a locomotive #7. As a kid he had a fascination with Disney Land and the train reminded him of it and he knew he had to have it. Surprisingly he won it from Disney.

He got the train and basically built the tracks around the museum. After two years he had lost two million $. So he decided to build a main street just like Disney Land. He even put a carnival section in that area.

Today we can go on the train. Millions of people go to Silverwood each year. Sometimes they get to go on the very first attraction that started the park.

This is a picture of the #7 train at Silverwood.Silverwood Theme Park train

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 698 other followers