Hayden Lake

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.

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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

North Idaho Wildlife

An excerpt from Sixth Lit Times

Love Of Idaho is proud to present a series of stories written by the 6th grade class of Charter Academy. Watch for all our postings from “Sixth Lit Times”

Wildlife of Northern Idaho: The moose and the Grizzly Bear

By: Ben

   There are many are amazing animals that live in Northern Idaho.  Two of the most famous of all them are the noose and the grizzly bear.  These two North Idaho favorites have unique qualities.

The bull-moose has antlers that can grow up the six feet in

family vacation ideasdiameter.  They can live up to fifteen to twenty year old.  Moose are naturally extremely good swimmers.  They can swim continously for several miles.  Moose can hold their breath under water for thirty seconds or more.   A moose can measure roughly six and a half feet tall, measured at the shoulder.   Moose can run at 35 mph, and trot at 20 mph.  Also they can weigh up to 1800 pounds, being the largest wilder herbivore in Idaho.

Grizzly bears are the largest bears in North Idaho, as well as the largest predator.  The easiest and most obvious way to tell grizzly bears from other bears is not their size but the distinct hump on their back.  That hump is made of pure muscle connected to their frontal paws, giving them enormous strength for digging and clawing.  Also, unlike other bears they have long claws, up to four inches long.  A grizzly bear’s color can be blond, black, or brown.  Adults can grow up to three to four feet tall on all fours, but when standing on their back paws they can be six to seven feet tall.  A grizzly bear’s average weight is 300 to 600 pounds and some can weigh as much as 1000 ponds.  Grizzly bears can live up to 30 years.  They are very agile animals. Can climb trees, are good swimmers, and can run at 35 mph.  Originally the grizzlies were hunted to near extinction.  The United States added grizzly bears to the endangered species list, illegalizing hunting the grizzly bears.  But today in the Northwestern United States they are no longer endangered, but in some places, like Idaho, they are still illegal to hunt.

Like most traits, there are advantages and disadvantages.  For example, a moose uses its large antlers in a wide space to rut (fight) with other moose or to fight off predators.  A disadvantage to these antlers would be in confined spaces a moose’s large antlers could get it stuck.  An advantage a grizzle bear has is that it can fun very fast, up to 35 mph, but only for short bursts.  A disadvantage would be, if a grizzly does use that burst of speed for too long than they become extremely tired and fatigued.

Northern Idaho is fortunate to be home to such massive animals.  The moose live in the forests and the wetlands while the grizzlies live in the forest and in mountainous terrain.  And it’s because of Idaho’s low population that the grizzly bears and the moose have such a large habitat.  Both of these animals are amazing, and both of them are native to Northern Idaho.

Sources:  Natgeo.com, Be Bear Aware. Org pamphlet, and Idaho Fish and Game.com

North idaho wildlife photo
Idaho black bear

Looking for a North Idaho Adventure, Visit Vacation Rental Authority to find great FAMILY VACATION IDEAS.

How to Spend a Tasteful Day in Spokane

Admittedly, I’m an Idahoan at heart and am passionate about all Coeur d’Alene has to offer visitors.  Our neighboring city of Spokane, however, has a remarkable allure and worthy attraction all its own.  The afternoon spent there yesterday, on my first “culinary tour,” was definitely worth repeating!

foodie tour of Spokane, near Coeur d'AleneNot knowing what to expect, I figured a culinary tour would entail huge meals, over indulgence and leaving with the regret of an overly full stomach.  This couldn’t have been further from our experience with Savor Spokane, as the food stops were more like fun breaks, well-timed refreshment along our walking tour of the town.

A small group of us were lead on a sight seeing, story telling, history learning, river viewing, culinary tasting, friend making delight of an afternoon. The time passed quickly, as we walked a lovely path along the river, through town and from local restaurant to local restaurant.

Along the way we learned the significance of various art, buildings, people, events and geological structures.  Far from stuffy, it was a light-hearted, friendly environment, purposely crafted and energized at each step, by our knowledgeable guide Lesley.

Personally, I will join this tour many times more in the future, bringing local friends and sharing the experience with guests who visit from across the country.  Is there anything better?  Don’t know, I hear there’s also a wine tour….

Idaho Fishing Guides

Idaho Fishing Guides

Fishing Guides in Coeur d’Alene

You can find fishing guides and book fishing trips, boat rentals and so much more with Vacation Rental Authority, Find fishing guides for Coeur d’Alene, Hayden Lake and our local rivers.

Contact Robert or Cheryl at 800-679-3661 or email info@vacationrentalauthority.com

Despite Weather CDA Holiday Parade is Packed

Looking out my Post Falls window earlier this afternoon, I was excited to see our first snowfall of the year!

My 12-year old daughter is leading the Coeur d’Alene Holiday Parade tonight, though, along with the rest of the 2013 Figpickels Board of Directors.  I hoped it wouldn’t flop due to the weather.

Luckily, everyone in town turned out.  It was festive, fun, and didn’t even feel cold. We bought hot cocoa and cookies, people watched & just generally enjoyed the holiday kick-off.  It’s Christmas time!Leading the Coeur d'Alene Holiday ParadeCoeur d'Alene Holiday Parade

Ski Resorts

Top 2 Ski Resorts

Do you need more!Image, ski resorts, ski vacations

The top 2 ski resorts in Northern Idaho can be found within a 1 hour drive of Coeur d’Alene. There are more great mountains within that same short drive but how many mountains can you really ski this winter?  If you need more than 2 mountains, visit Vacation Rental Authority and ask about “Get Your Quad On.” You can ski 4 great mountains in just 1 week. They even pay for your lift tickets. That’s right, FREE lift tickets with your vacation rental reservation. Image, ski vacations, ski resorts

Getting back to our top 2 ski resorts near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, let’s introduce Silver Mountain Ski Resort and Schweitzer Ski Resort.  These mountains offer distinctly different skiing options with some great accessibility features that make getting to the slopes very easy. They also offer some great skiing, lifts and onsite amenities that make the day fun for the whole family. Let’s take a look at these ski resorts in a little more detail.

Silver Mountain Ski Resort

This ski resort is accessible by the worlds longest gondola making your trip to the mountain easy. You just take the freeway to Kellogg, grab your gear and relax on the gondola while you are whisked up to the slopes.

There are plenty of lifts to carry skiers to the top so if there are any lines they are short. The terrain is varied and offers challenges for all levels.  The tubing hill is fun for children and food is available at the lodge.

  1. 73 trails
  2. 5 chair lifts / 1 High speed quad
  3. 1600 acres
  4. longest trail 2.5 miles
  5. 2,200 vertical feet
  6. Terrain park, Tubing Hill and magic carpet
  7. On mountain cafeteria style dining
  8. $52 adult lift tickets

Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort

This ski resort offers a huge variety of dining and some shopping at the Alpine Village, enough to keep family and non skiers happy while you get your last run in, again and again.  Find cafeteria style dining or find a table at one of the many restaurants. The Village is entertaining and fun for the whole family even before you get to the actual skiing.

To get to the top of the mountain you can drive up the well maintained winding mountain road to several large parking areas at the top.  Don’t worry if the upper lot is closed, you can ski from the lower lot and ride the lift back to get your lift ticket. At least once. Another great option is to ride the bus up to the ski resort.  Buses run every 30 minutes from the lower lot to the top of the mountain. Cost? it’s only $2.

  1. 94 Trails and incredible open glade skiing
  2. 9 Chair lifts / 6 pack chair / 2 quads
  3. 2900 acres
  4. 92 trails
  5. 2400 vertical feet
  6. Terrain Park
  7. Several on mountain dining choices
  8. $71 adult lift tickets

Vacation Rental Authority offers discount lift ticket packages to 4 great ski resorts in Idaho.  VRA also has resort quality lodging in Coeur d’Alene so you can get to all the great ski locations in Northern Idaho. Ask for your free booking service to get exactly what you want from your winter vacation.

Top 5 Winter Vacation Ideas

Our Best Winter Vacation Ideas

Summer vacations are easy!  Pack a swimsuit and off you go to…well, pretty much anywhere.  It’s always been more challenging to come up with winter vacation ideas, though.

Well, it was challenging until I moved to Coeur d’Alene several years ago. Turns out this is the secret capitol of winter vacation ideas, so I’ve compiled my Top 5.  Hint: They all start here in CDA!

#5. Extreme Snow Vacation

Best for: Adventurers

The Idaho wild is here for you to explore during your winter vacation.  Pick 3 of the following for every 5 days of vacation; then add in some hot cocoa, a little warm fire and some loved-ones for the perfect winter vacation.

  • Snow Shoe (you’ll love this if you’re a hiker!)
  • Cross Country Ski
  • Sledding/Tubing
  • Ice Skating
  • Build a Snowman
  • Snowball Fight
  • Downhill Ski

#4. Eat Your Heart Out – A 2 State Tour

Best for: Girls’ Getaway or Couples 

One of the best winter vacation ideas ever is to secure a great vacation rental in Coeur d’Alene with your girlfriends (or family).  When you book through Vacation Rental Authority, use the concierge service to set up a gourmet cooking class right there in your “home.”  Turn on the fire, pop open some wine, learn to cook a yummy meal and then sit down and devour.

Another evening during your winter vacation, you’ll get picked up and taken on a delicious culinary tour of Spokane.  If you’ve never been on one, this is like a wine tasting tour but with food!  (And you can still have wine J)

Breakfasts can be just as exciting, visiting a local restaurant, or whipping up some customary huckleberry pancakes in your pjs.  Again your concierge at Vacation Rental Authority can supply the fixings on request.  SO good.

#3. Summertime in the Snow

Best for: Families

There’s a little secret I know of, which can turn your winter woes into summertime delight during a winter vacation.  Right nearby Coeur d’Alene is an indoor waterpark!  Bring your swimsuit, bring your trashy beach novel, and enjoy some relaxing time pool side.  Or, wave-pool side I should say.

Back to your vacation rental to enjoy frozen margaritas, summer flicks and a soak in the hot tub.  Aaahhhh.

#2. Get Your Quad On

Best for: Boys Week, or Anyone Up for a Challenge

Now I’ve never conquered this personally, but I’ve heard tale…If you stay in Coeur d’Alene, there are at least 4 ski hills within 90 minutes.  Those up for a real challenge ski a different hill each day, 4 days in a row.  Whoa.  If you think you can do it, I suggest documenting the evidence.  So far, it’s only legend, and you are sure to need proof!

#1. Visit the North Pole

Best for: Families

Okay, this is not really the North Pole, but we will not tell your kids.  Here in Coeur d’Alene, there’s a ferry boat that takes you on a lovely tour of Lake Coeur d’Alene, passing by Santa and the North Pole!  It’s magical, and something kids remember forever.

The Christmas light show, downtown shopping magic, festival of trees, Christmas parade, pageant and much more are going on in our magical town.  I never knew, but it is definitely the best winter vacation idea of them all!

Ho, Ho, Ho!!  If we can help you plan one of these winter vacation ideas, let me know!

winter vacation ideas, family vacation ideas

FREE Vacation Rental Services

 

 

 

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Sometimes it’s easy to make the right decision.  In the last post we talked about how a personal shopper can not only save you time and money but make your vacation funner and so much easier. 

Vacation Rentals earn their income when they book your reservation and provide your lodging. If your booking agent is not being helpful enough, you should shop around. Vacation Rental Authority offers free booking, listing and marketing for our vacation rentals and on top of that we offer an abundance of services for guests who are looking for FREE and paid services to make their vacation perfect. 

Don’t hesitate to click the button above. It’s FREE. 

1 Step to an Easy Vacation

Stress Free Vacations

How exciting is it to have a vacation to plan for. Your next adventure is just around the corner and you are thrilled to be planning all your activities, tours and culinary experiences in a new, fun destination. So what can you do to make all the planning just a little easier?  How can you be sure your plans are going to come off just right?  As head of the 1 person planning committee you have a lot of responsibility and several people trusting you to do a good job of planning the itinerary.  Vacations are always to short and you want to make the most of every second.

Your guide to flawless vacation planning.coeur d'alene vacation rentals

STEP #1   Ask for help.

It really is as simple as that. Ask for help, professional help and it does not have to cost you a single penny.  Many local businesses offer FREE services or packages to help guests find their services.  Seek out a helpful vacation rental manager and ask for those services you plan on shopping for yourself.  You will be surprised at the response you will receive from some small business owners.

Top 6 Questions to ask your vacation rental manager

  1. Ask for a “professional quality activity guide”.  Not a note jotted on the back of an envelope or a collection of flyers left over from other travelers.  Ask for a quality activity guide so you can review the latest tours, attractions, restaurants and rental providers. An excellent guide will be recently composed, contain contact information and description of the event, attraction or service. Great images are a must have and it should be easy to use.  Ask your vacation rental agent to email you their activity guide and if they don’t have one then shop around before you find out what else they do not have.
  2. Ask for a vacation package. You are very likely to purchase event tickets, ski passes, rent a boat, and dine out.  Ask your booking agent for a vacation package that includes at least one of these items. Be sure to ask if your agent marks up the price of your requested item, a good booking agent will not mark up these types of services. Vacation Rental Authority offers services like these for the same price you will pay if you purchase directly.  In some cases you will save money and make your vacation easier.boat rental coeur d'alene, coeur d'alene vacations
  3. Ask your booking agent for help finding things to do in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Send a list of things you plan on doing while on vacation and ask your agent for advise on what to do and who offers the best services.  Be sure you booking agent lives locally and then trust their judgement. Who would know better than a professional tourism provider in their own home town?
  4. Ask for dining suggestions and even take out menus.  your LOCAL vacation rental agent will know where to dine and what you can expect. If you want good local food at reasonable prices, your local agent will know.  If you are looking for fine dining with exquisite service with a stunning view, your agent will know.
  5. Ask your booking agent to do your grocery shopping for you.  Yes, your agent should be doing this at a very low cost if not, shop around for a helpful agent.  Arriving at your vacation rental with all the condiments and groceries you will need for a couple meals is a great way to start out your relaxing or adventurous vacation. Have your coffee and bagels ready!  Again trust your local agent, they will know the best places to find quality local baked goods, fresh produce and meat.
  6. Request a gift certificate for yourself or family member that you can use on a return trip.  Returning guests are likely to receive a discount coupon if they are going to be coming back.  Ask before you book and let your agent know you would like a nice certificate to offer friends and family.  Be sure to ask before you book and you may be surprised at the results.

Our 6 ideas for stress free vacations just begins to touch on the options and services you can get for FREE. Lets consider the value to you in the following example

  1. Free Local Attraction Guide to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho           $ 0.00
  2. 5 day boat rental for 10% off                                     $ – 400.00
  3. Grocery shopping and delivery                                         $ 29.00
  4. Free restaurant advice and menus                                     $ 0.00
  5. Itinerary for tours, trips and events                                    $ 0.00
  6. $200 in Gift Certificates for family and friends                $ -200.00

Total Savings for asking for help                                                                            $ 371.00

You just saved $371.00 on your vacation by asking your super helpful booking agent to do exactly what an agent should do.  Your groceries are in the fridge when you arrive, your boat will be delivered at a discount, your family and friends are getting great gift certificates and you have a wonderful amount of insight about the local fun, dining and adventures available during your stay. Not only did you save money but you saved something more valuable, time.

Ask for an activities Guide  from Vacation Rental Authority.

208-660-3944

info@vacationrentalauthority.com

vacation rentals, vacation rental, family vacations

We are going to extend this great offer through December.

We are going to extend this great offer through December.

Get Your Quad On! Ski 4 mountains in 4 days with Vacation Rental Authority.

Click the photo to see details.

Thanksgiving Lodging Special

Lodging for the entire family and a group of friends

Forget the hotels and motels this Holiday Season.  Instead of your typical boxy hotel room you can find beautiful, large and luxurious vacation rental homes awaiting your arrival.  Not only do these homes have fully stocked kitchens and up to 6 bedrooms (not to mentions lots of baths) they also have amenities that may surprise you.

vacation rentals, holiday lodging

You can easily find a home that suits your needs at prices that match you lodging budget. Look for the best homes with Vacation Rental Authority and you will find;

  • Spa Tubs
  • Hot Tubs
  • Waterfront Views
  • Gourmet Kitchens
  • Formal Dining Rooms
  • Game Rooms
  • Gyms
  • Saunas
  • Fire Places
  • Luxury Linens and Towels
  • Much Much More

Visit vacationrentalauthority.com to book a vacation rental this Holiday Season.  VRA offers quick and easy online booking and payment as well as 24 hr service. Easy credit card payment or E- check and self check-in make booking with VRA simple and easy.  Call or email today to request your perfect home for the Holidays.

vacation rentals, holiday lodging, thanksgiving rentals

Get Your Quad On! Ski Coeur d’Alene

Ski Coeur d’Alene with Vacation Rental Authority

4 Mountains in 4 Days?  Can you rise to the challenge and put all 4 peaks in your trophy case in just 4 days.  Vacation Rental Authority will pay for your lift tickets if you can rise to the challenge.  Read on to find out how to get your free skiing from Vacation Rental Authority and then call Vacation Rental Authority to book your stay and get your tickets. 800-679-3661

idaho ski vacation, idaho ski condo, idaho ski lodge

Vacation Rental Authority has wonderful lodging available for ski trips unlike anything you have seen before. Ski 2,3 or 4 mountains in one long weekend or over the span of a week.   Stay in our luxurious ski lodges with private hot tubs, spas, and fire places and never be more than an hour to the slopes.

Ski Silver Mountain, Schweitzer, Mt Spokane and 49 Degrees North all from your home base in Coeur d’Alene. Each mountain offers excellent skiing and combined you are getting a chance you cannot pass up.  Head to Coeur d’Alene this winter and get your Quad On!

If you are ready to take on a real challenge, then contact Vacation Rental Authority and book your 3 night stay at one of our private lodge homes.  Ski Silver Mountain, Schweitzer, Mt Spokane and 49 Degrees North in just 4 days and VRA will pay for your lift tickets.

Call NOW 800-679-3661

Thanksgiving Vacation Rentals

Vacation Rentals for Thanksgiving

What a great idea.  I am so excited to spread the word about vacation rentals available for Thanksgiving weekend.  Renting a large home with room for the whole family is a wonderful way to enjoy a long weekend with loved ones who you just do not get to see often enough.  Image

Having a kitchen is a great feature and undeniably necessary for your Thanksgiving Feast.  Some of these kitchens rival gourmet restaurants in size and quality.  Although you may not need such a huge kitchen it would not hurt.  Even some of the smaller homes have very nice quality appliances, dishes and pots.  Come prepared with your groceries or call Vacation Rental Authority to do the shopping for you. 

The additional amenities are what takes a vacation rental over the top and makes them the best choice for Thanksgiving.  Hot tubs, soaking tubs, master suites, 5 or more bedrooms and plenty of bathrooms.  Having a fireplace is nice and having multiple rooms in which to watch TV (or not watch TV) are other great features.  Combine all this with living in a beautiful neighborhood home and your will feel “right at home” with the luxurious feel of resort living.

Shop for your vacation rentals early because they do book up quickly for the Holiday season.  Find a great rental and be ready to reserve your vacation home before its gone.  The off season does offer good prices but holidays are not the time to wait.  

Coeur d’Alene Property Management

Real Estate Managers

Finding the right company to handle your real estate investment can be a challenge.  Although there are a lot of choices, the variety of specialty companies can limit your perfect match.  Real estate is a great investment with the right partner so shop and find a company that suits you.  

Low cost companies compete for as much business as they can handle, and more.  Discount markets may not be what you are looking for.  If you want service and follow through for both you as an owner and for your guests and tenants than you may want to find a company that offers a niche market service.  

Vacation Rental Authority offer such a service.  High quality properties that owners wish to maintain and market for the highest rate of return need the high level of service that such a property demands.  It’s not easy to reach the top of the market flooded with homes, offices and vacation rentals but it can be done.  Hard work, experience and focus can bring your home to the pinnacle of success. 

It is not just by chance that Vacation Rental Authority has an inventory of stunning high end homes or that it lacks the mediocre or untended property.  Vacation Rental Authority can elevate any property to a quality an owner can be proud of. More importantly, a tenant can also be proud of their rental. Value for both owners and customers means something to investors and that translates into income.cda vacation rentals, cda property management,

Contact Vacation Rental Authority if you have a property you are considering tuning into an asset.  Don’t let a property languish when you can begin earning income right now.

 

Vacation Rental Authority

208-660-3944

info@vacationrentalauthority.com 

vacationrentalauthority.com

 

Coeur d’Alene Destination Weddings

Are you planning a wedding in Coeur d’Alene?

Coeur d’Alene has become a destination city.  Our resort town is well known and in high demand for those precious summer days.  What a pleasant thing to note, Coeur d’Alene is your destination wedding opportunity.Image  If you are looking for a location to have an incredible, unforgettable event, Coeur d’Alene is the place for you.

All four seasons offer the unparalleled beauty of stunning outdoor scenery unlike anything you can find elsewhere.  Planning your event in Coeur d’Alene has become easier as local small businesses reach out to brides to be.  Red Letter Event Planning and Vacation Rental Authority offer a combined service that can provide everything brides and yes, grooms need to tie the knot.

Many venues are available throughout the year but proper planning is critical to finding the best location at the best price.  Summer is going to require booking early, a year ahead of time is a good idea.  Fall, Spring and Winter weddings can be stunning and unique for those who want wonderful prices and something fun and different.

coeur d'alene weddings

 

Vacation Rental Authority offers extraordinary homes for your wedding.  Relax in luxury while your wedding party prepares for the big day.  Enjoy jetted tubs, spas, master suites and fireplaces.  Your caterer can use the gourmet kitchens and formal dining rooms to prepare for the event and rehearsal dinners.  Family and friends can gather for dinner or relax in the theater room to get away from it all.  Sleep in beds with fine quality linens and be rested and ready for your special day.

The outdoor venues are spotless and manicured to provide room for your guests.  A full range of services and rentals are available and managed so you do not have to worry about those details.  Just set your expectations and let VRA and Red Letter Events see that it gets done.

Vacation Rental Authority private rentals are excellent, professionally cleaned and staged.  Every service you may choose is available with worry free management from Robyn at Red Letter Event Planning.  Rest comfortable in luxury in preparation for your wedding with Vacation Rental Authority and Red Letter Event Planning.

The Hayden Lake Estate-6180

The Hayden Lake Estate-6182

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally! Coeur d’Alene Corporate Housing

Affordable Corporate Rentals, Corporate Housing and Executive Retreat Locations

Professional Housing in Coeur d’Alene & Hayden

North Idaho is a growing area, regularly hosting professionals from nearly every industry.  Whether it’s a strategic planning location you need, executive retreat, board member, commuting medical specialist, or trainer from corporate, quality furnished corporate housing is now available.

Growing popularity as the region’s premier vacation rental management company, Vacation Rental Authority prides itself on high end, executive quality homes throughout Coeur d’Alene, Hayden and the surrounding area.

The best part? Corporate rental rates are now available when you register your company or organization in the corporate housing program.  Beautifully furnished homes with 3-5 bedrooms are available, right on the water or with stunning lake views from $350-$1,200/night.  Weekly rates can be even less, and your hosting skills will get 5 stars every time!

We’re talking full kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, fireplaces, hot tubs, saunas…you don’t get this at any hotel or “resort.”  Concierge included, car service and catering available.

Check out a couple of Vacation Rental Authority’s many first class locations:

Coeur d’Alene Corporate Housing

Hayden Corporate Housing

 

Coeur d’Alene Diamond Cup | Hydroplane Racing

diamond cup, coeur d'alene diamond cup lodging, pic

Coeur d’Alene Diamond Cup

The hydroplane races are coming  to Coeur d’Alene this Labor Day weekend and this is going to be one of the most exciting events to hit North Idaho in Years.   In a fun filled town like Coeur d’Alene that is saying a lot.

The Diamond Cup going to make the Labor Day weekend a real celebration to kick off the Fall vacation season.  The summer may be winding down but that does not mean the fun is over.  Beginning with H1 racing hitting speeds of over 200 miles per hour, we will be racing into Fall fun.

Vacation Rental Authority has vacation rental homes, condos and rental boats available for this huge event.  Book now for best selection and be sure to take advantage of the lower prices that last minute bookings allow for.

Vacation rentals are a great way to share expenses with your friends and family and book an amazing home with features you will be amazed with.  Just think about a 5 bedroom home with a great room, gourmet kitchen, a hot tub or a waterfront home with a dock so you can boat to and from the race.

Visit vacationrentalauthority.com to see what is available and get ready for Coeur d’Alene Diamond Cup.

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Dog d’Alene

Stuck in North Idaho

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Two of my favorite summer kick-off events are this weekend! I’ll post about the second tomorrow, but today is going to the dogs. Literally.

Dog d’Alene is the only downtown event that’s solely for dogs and their owners. This is the fifth annual Dog d’Alene, it’s held on 6th and Sherman behind the Parkside tower.

Even if you’re not a dog owner, there’s a lot to check out! Here’s the full schedule:

10 a.m. –  AJ’s Tail and Trails walk and vendor booths open
10:45 a.m. – Obedience Dog Demo
11:15 a.m. – Best Trick Contest (free entry)11:30 a.m. – Best Tail Wag/Best Smile (free entry)
11:45 a.m. – Rescue Dog Owner’s Recognition
Noon – Idaho Disaster Dogs Demo
12:30 p.m. – Tallest/Shortest Dog Contest (free entry)
12:45 p.m. – Sheep Herding Demo
1:15 p.m. – Ugly Dog, Costume, Cutest Puppy, Owner Look-alike, Prettiest Female, and Handsome Male Contests
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Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center

I recently visited the oldest building in Post Falls, a historical landmark beautifully restored.  Previously 2 church buildings, it now houses an active arts and cultural center.

Beautiful historic building in Post Falls, ID

With art shows upstairs, in lovely light, plus performing arts, musicians, cooking classes and much more, this local gem is a “must visit” for everyone in the area.

Keep an eye on our events calendar, and visit their website for upcoming performances.  This Friday is a Jazz Concert…can’t wait!

Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center

Mineral Ridge – a popular hiking destination for locals

Make Ironman CDA 2013 an Amazing Family Vacation!

Did you know…it’s not too late to come support your favorite Ironman athlete!

What’s the perfect way to turn the race into an amazing family vacation?  A vacation rental, of course!  Try a comfortable 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, convenient to town.  Keep costs reasonable by cooking meals in your own kitchen, kicking the usual hefty deposit to the curb. (No damage deposits!)This is the full N. Idaho experience, with peekaboo view of Lake Coeur d’Alene and a pretty little chicken coop in the back corner of the well maintained yard.  Even enjoy your own house cat, without the hassle.  “Meow-meow” knows when to go outside, so there’s no litter box or feeding schedule to maintain.

Includes:
VIP discount package to area attractions, boat rentals, bicycle tours, & dining
Exclusive maps of hiking trails, biking trails, atv trails & huckleberry picking locations
6 gourmet cupcakes delivered the day after Ironman
Complete guest services courtesy of Vacation Rental Authority

 

6 people maximum, please.  Although certainly roomy enough to house more than 6, the septic tank does not allow for any additional capacity.  Pricing is $2900, including all taxes and fees, for up to 7 days.  Contact Cheryl at 800-679-3661 or  loveofidaho@gmail.com to reserve!

Delightful Morning of “Books & Coffee” in Spirit Lake

Bagels, Coffee, Spirit Lake, Books
Largest Bagel in Idaho
SAM_0422
These bagels are unbelievable – homemade, chewy & flavorful.
Spirit Lake Coffee & Books Award of Excellence
Award of Excellence
coffee & books in Spirit Lake, ID
Coffee & Books Welcomes You
books & coffee in Spirit Lake
Did we mention books?

Cross Country Skiing at Mt. Spokane

A group of dear friends and I decided to give cross country skiing a try.  About 90 minutes from Coeur d’Alene, Mt. Spokane was an ideal location.  Nordic trails were labelled for every level of difficulty, well-organized with a map and lodge, plus it was not crowded.  Wahoo!

As an alpine skier in years past, I was surprised to find how much different this was.  The skis are narrower, bowed upward, and more difficult to balance on.  On the positive side, the shoes were very comfortable…especially compared to alpine ski boots!

Although we all enjoyed our lesson, and the experience, the consensus was a preference for snow shoeing. We’ll have to try it a couple more times to know for sure.  It’s worth doing, though, there’s no doubt about that!

Stay tuned for pics!!

Liberty Lake Hike

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Snow Shoe Adventure Along Pack River

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Frozen Lake Pend Oreille

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Kids & Pups Play in Sandpoint

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Mystical, Magical Morning

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Fall leaves are beautiful, sure. But winter trees? Magical!

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Today I awoke to shimmery, crystal adorned wonder…

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…just had to share.

New Year’s Day in CDA

Polar Bear Swim 2013
Headed toward Lake CDA for the Polar Bear Swim
Eagles in Coeur d'Alene
New Year’s Eagles – They were everywhere! (Lake CDA)
Eagle eating a fish
Breakfast of Fresh Fish
Eagle Pic Overlooking Lake Coeur d'Alene
Enjoying the Lake View
Flying Eagle in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Soaring Eagle

Breathtakingly Crisp

Breathtakingly Crisp

Kelly Smith Photography

Watch Idaho the Movie!

North Idaho Eagle

I’m excited about a new documentary about the wonders of Idaho, by someone who loves Idaho as much as I do! Can’t wait to see the full movie.

A quote I love from the trailer is “If you’re tired of Idaho, you’re tired of life. There’s always something different, something surprising…” SO TRUE! View the Trailer here: http://vimeo.com/44546590

 

Snow Baby – We Got It!!

Calling Writers & Coffee Lovers Everywhere

Writer Retreat in N. Idaho, Coeur d'AleneAs a creative-type who loves to be 72 degrees at all times, there is nothing like a cool breeze and brisk mountain air to get the creative juices flowing!  Admittedly it’s more like 50 degrees today, but with the help of some fuzzy socks, jeans, long sleeves and a hot drink, the temp is just right.

After a summer of iced coffee and cold drinks to get my caffeine fix, today is that first perfect day of fall for a steamy, milky and oh so yummy cup of hot coffee.  Maybe two.  For me it’s a classic cafe au lait (2/3 coffee +  1/3 milk), and my favorite winter boots that have me in a deliciously creative mood. Next I’ll take a stroll along the Centennial Trail, which would be perfect this afternoon!

But even better, I had the idea for a writer’s retreat, right here in the N. Idaho mountains next October. Picture it…fall colors all around, brisk breezes churning up imaginations, a warm fire dancing in the common room, and pensive writers all around, wrapped loosely in cozy blankets.  And there would be coffee…lots and lots of hot coffee!

Let the Pulitzer Prizes begin…

Fall Colors on Lake Coeur d’Alene

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Part 3: What Do You Want From Me?

In our continued quest to understand each other, For the Love of Idaho introduces Part 3: What Do You Want From Me? 

Here’s what we’re asking.  Let us be your friend in North Idaho, for the inside scoop of where to stay, what to do and where to go!  Simply book a vacation home or vacation package on our full service site launching October 18, 2012 www.vacationrentalauthority.com.

As longtime lovers of Idaho, we hope to share her four seasons of beauty and fun with you soon.  Each time you visit can be the experience of a lifetime, and we’re here to help make that happen…for the love of Idaho!

Part 2: Who Knew?

Thank you for joining us as we provide insight into who we are, what we do and who knew what – when. Part 2: Who Knew?  expands upon our purpose, while providing examples of what Guest Services are really about.

Once you have a memory-making place to stay  via Vacation Rental Authority (see Part 1: What’s the Point? ), it’s time to take your vacation to the next level at no cost to you.  Our local experts answer your questions and point you to the best hiking, biking, skiing or swimming spots in the area.

Want a private boat tour of Lake Coeur d’Alene?  No problem.  Need ski passes for Schweitzer, 49 Degrees or Silver Mountain?  We have them. Bike rentals? Paddle boards? Photographer for unforgettable family photos? Done. Our contact list is long and we take care of as much (or as little) as you like.

This blog is just the tip of the iceberg – we have an infinite number of resources available for you, including our Travelers Newsletter “Love of Idaho”.

And that concludes this mini-bite into the passion, purpose and inspiration behind For the Love of Idaho.  Stay tuned for Part 3!

Part 1: What’s the Point?

Allow us to introduce ourselves, our philosophies and our purpose in bite-sized pieces!  Part 1: What’s the Point?  is the first scrumptious nibble…

Have you ever seen something so beautiful, or had an experience so joyful, you wished everyone you love could experience it too?  That’s how we feel everyday about living in North Idaho.

For the Love of Idaho is a heartfelt, 4-Season blog run by Vacation Rental Authority owner Cheryl Kerr. Her passion for the water, snow, trees, wildlife and limitless adventure has led her to market the ideal lodging and experiences available from Coeur d’Alene to Sandpoint, Post Falls to Hayden.

Kerr promises “You simply must find your way to North Idaho; see for yourself what all the fuss is about! You will find awe-inspiring views and unlimited possibilities for fun, relaxation, connection and inspiration.”

We’ve found the best way to see the sites is by tapping into the experience and knowledge of friendly locals, so that is exactly what we are in business to do.  At Vacation Rental Authority, we match you with the ideal vacation home for your stay with friends or family.  (Have business in mind?  We have management and project retreat locations that are out of this world!)

That was quick and easy, right?  Now that you know a bit more about us, stay tuned for the next installment.  Perhaps we may (or may not) get to the meat of the matter.

Hike to Chilco Peak

Chilco Mtn Hike is a Fall Adventure in North IdahoHiking to Chilco peak in the fall is an extraordinary experience. The larch trees begin to change color, their leaves fall to the ground covering the trail with a golden layer of the tiny needles. Larch trees are pine trees that lose their needles after they turn yellow in the fall. The walk on the trail, flat, level and lightly dusted with the golden needles is a beautiful sight in the cold fall air.

Chilco Mountain is located in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest just east of Coeur d’Alene Idaho.  The trailhead is accessible by about 10 miles of backcountry gravel roads, the access is fairly easy to find in good weather but inaccessible after deep snow falls. (insert forest service road number this point). Although this hike is challenging it does not require any special equipment other than quality hiking shoes and some cold weather gear.  Be prepared for the cold wind maybe some rain and for a challenging hike up hill and the quick easy decent afterwards, so dress in layered clothing.

North Idaho Fall Hike of Mt. ChilcoThe hike is a challenging two miles uphill the entire way. Once you reach the top, the trail breaks out into an open rocky windswept slope. A chill breeze usually sweeps across the exposed broken rock making the final traverse of the slope cold but exciting. The views are tremendous, looking across the valley of Coeur d’Alene and the Post Falls area.  Stop for a break in a small island shelter of trees and have a snack maybe some coffee before moving on. It’s an exciting moment to feel like your sitting on top of the world.

Although you may be reluctant to leave the beautiful views and scenery you’ll be happy to get out of the cold wind and head back down into the trees. the hike down as much faster of course as it is all downhill. 45 minutes steady walking will bring you back to the trailhead. But you don’t have to rush there is plenty of Wildlife to see so take it slow keep your eyes open.

Remembering Rough Waters on Lake CDA

Heirloom Kayak on Lake CDA - windy day in spring 2012A strong wind came up one day in early April, the sun was up and spring was here. The water temperature was still very cold but it was just what I was waiting for. I couldn’t wait to try out my new kayak in the rough waves. At least as rough as it gets here in Idaho.

I loaded up the two boats and we headed out to the lake. In no time at all we were in our boats in paddling out in the waves. We stayed close to shore we knew we weren’t experienced enough to be out there in those conditions. We had a great time splashing around trying not to tip over in the waves that crossed over the bows of our boats. Constant use of our paddles was required to keep the kayak upright and heading in the right direction.

We aimed at the high waves, driving through the one to crash down into the next. The kayaks rode the water well; the long boats would slash in the waves rising over each as the water washed over the bow. As we traversed along the beach, sideways to the waves, the boats would rise and fall with the waves supported by their secondary stability. The rounded bottom allowed the boats to remain in an upright position as we creased wave after wave.

We were soon tired from constantly having to keep ourselves stable using our paddles as quickly as we could to recover from each wave. The water was too cold on this early spring day to take any chances so we stayed close to shore and paddled to and from shore enjoying the splashing and exciting waves. Now anybody that has been in a sea kayak knows that they are very stable once you are in but they can be difficult to get in and out of while staying dry.

We paddled over to the beach having decided that we needed pictures of this great albeit tame adventure. In a moment of genius I decided to try and hand Cheryl my truck keys while still in our boats. I felt things were going well as I was able to fish my keys out of my back pocket and hold them out to Cheryl. Now remember,  constant use of our paddles was needed to maintain position and keep the boats heading into the waves.

I took a moment to grab my paddle and position my boat carefully alongside Cheryl who apparently felt she was already on shore enjoying a nice ice tea or lemonade in the summer sun. Forgetting her kayak was not an Adirondack chair she upended the kayak exposing the fine artwork along the keel.

Cheryl came up shocked from the cold water and out of breath. We were only a few feet from shore and in shallow enough water to walk out of. The fun of playing in the water quickly became a lesson in safety. We had been careful to stay close to shore and with the air temperatures well above 70 we were able to continue the fun.

I continued to hit the waves and try to surf my 18 ft sea kayak while Cheryl snapped the pictures we needed to remember that wonderful day.

Battleshots, Septemberfest, and International Talk Like a Pirate Day

The upcoming Septemberfest on Saturday Sept. 22nd at the Best Western Coeur d’Alene Inn from 2-8 will feature a similar Battleship Drinking game to the one below…but theirs will be used with beer and boards will be much bigger!!

Come down on Saturday for all you can drink for $20 and play a round of battleship!

Talking like a pirate is optional.

Originally posted on Brew Connect Idaho

Why Travelers Love Vacation Rentals

Why Vacation Rentals Infographic

Wine Tours in N. Idaho

With the evenings cooling, thoughts turn to Fall…

North Idaho Wine Tour for Fall Girls GetawaySome of my favorite memories are those spent with girlfriends catching up, dreaming and dishing over bottles of wine.  Cool evenings are ideal, and a spectacular view even better.  I recommend October or November in Coeur d’Alene, Hayden, Post Falls or Sandpoint for beautiful, brisk days and cool, wine tasting nights!

Now that the busy Summer of family activities have wound down, kids are in school and you’ve had a moment to breathe (almost), it’s time to do something for yourself, and reconnect with friends.

A girls’ getaway to North Idaho Wine Country is just what you need, but without putting in all the effort it takes to get something planned.  Let us take care of everything, at no cost to you.  Give Love of Idaho a shout for the best vacation rental homes available, a free girls’ getaway itinerary and a luxury “designated driver” for Fall 2012.  You deserve it, and so do your friends.

Interview with a 10 Year Old

Maggie is in the 5th grade, loves art, dogs, running cross country and is interested in learning gymnastics. Since she lives in N. Idaho, we thought we’d get the inside scoop from a 10 year old.

Q.  What would you say are the best 5 things to do while visiting North Idaho?Biking the Centennial Trail in Post Falls, ID

A.  Swimming, boating, hiking….taking beautiful drives….looking at scenery.

Q.  Hmm.  That’s interesting – what are you doing right now?

A.  Driving down the road in the back seat.

Q.  Do you think kids would like to take beautiful drives and look at scenery?

A.  No – probably not.

Q.  So besides swimming, boating and hiking, what should kids do when they visit Idaho in the Summer?

A.  Go to the movies, and miniature golfing at TriplePlay!

Q.  That sounds fun…what else?  How about something kids can’t do when they’re in their home towns.

A.  Definitely Silverwood.  [local amusement park]  And, drink hot chocolate overlooking the lake.  [first floor of the CDA Resort/Marina].

Now maybe we’re getting somewhere!!

Father Son Bonding this Fall

Summer is a great time to spend with the whole family, but Fall is the time to make Father-Son memories to last a lifetime.  It’s still great weather in North Idaho, and the fishing is sublime.  

If fishing doesn’t take the bonding quite far enough, consider a guided hunting trip.  October and November is the ideal time for guided mule deer, elk, whitetail and bear hunts…tell me this isn’t a trip you will remember forever!Black Bear hunting or fishing

Our service is FREE to the adventurer, and we know where the most amazing local experiences can be found.  Just consider us your best friends, hooking you up with the insider’s version of Idaho hunting and Idaho fishing…that’s the whole idea.  

Let us know what you’re up for, and we’ll take care of everything – accommodations, food, guides, maps, etc!

Happy Fall Bonding.

Idaho Outdoors for Kids!

This is more of a link than a blog post, but I found this great site for connecting kids to nature in Idaho & had to share!  Check it out & let me know what you think.

Idaho Outdoors for Kids!

 

Huckleberry Picking

Tasty, plentiful (& free), huckleberry picking is an annual must in North Idaho.  When you spot the unique plants, simply turn over each leaf to reveal all the berries hiding underneath!

Ask for a map – we’re happy to share exact directions to the best picking locations in North Idaho.

North Idaho huckleberry picking

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Coeur d’Alene Wooden Boat Show

Fun & open to the public, the CDA wooden boat show is one of the biggest annual events in North Idaho.  If you enjoy boating, art, restoration or wood working you will absolutely want to put this event on your calendar.

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Silverwood Theme Park

30 minutes from either Coeur d’Alene or Sandpoint, Silverwood is located in Athol, Idaho.  In the northwest you cannot beat this complete amusement experience…just ask the kids! 

There are a number of exciting rollercoasters, water rides (love the classic log ride!), a free fall from hell, and a complete waterpark.  Not to mention the greasy, sugary, fried foods we all look forward to, shows and a ton of rides for the smaller kids. 

Just heed my warning about the free fall – grown men have been known to scream!

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