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….

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Keep it Simple: 3 Best Family Vacations

Planning the best family vacation ever, year after year, can be time consuming and daunting.  After all, family vacations require activities conducive to a variety of ages, interests and attention spans.  On top of that, there’s a budget to contend with.

Luckily, I’ve discovered the solution to the planning angst, producing the best family vacation year after year.  We’re talking family bonding, togetherness, memories to last a life time…the works! So don’t despair. Whether overwhelmed with endless vacation ideas, or drawing a complete blank, the following fool-proof list will help.

Armed with the workplace training concept KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid), I’ve parred the best family vacation choices down to the very reasonable number 3.  These 3 best family vacations can be mixed and matched, rotated or otherwise selected throughout the years, and you can absolutely not go wrong!

Best Family Vacation #1: Lake House with Boat

Best Family Vacation - Lake House with BoatRenting a lovely waterfront vacation rental has to be one of the very best family vacations ever.  From the youngest family member to the oldest, there is instant entertainment.  Play a few games, eat some good food, talk and enjoy the view.  In between, play in the water, swim, layout on rafts, and spend fun times boating!

Before renting a home, I recommend asking whether a rental boat can be delivered to your dock.  The management company or home owner should be able to provide pricing, along with a lake map or suggested site seeing.  No one will forget this incredible family vacation.

Best Family Vacation #2: Theme Park Experience

Best Family Vacations - theme park experienceIf you’ve ever thought Disneyland has “been done,” or is too expensive, you’re right!  Prices are sky high, lines are out of sight…my question to those of you who are considering such a stressful, expensive trip is just WHY?

The largest theme park in the northwest covers hundreds of acres, including incredible roller coasters, family rides, games, attractions, shops, and even a full sized water park.  I’m talking about Silverwood Theme Park, just north of Coeur d’Alene in Athol, Idaho.  It is a must-see, unforgettable experience for the whole family – toddlers to grandma.

As someone who has been to theme parks across the nation, including Busch Gardens, multiple Six Flags, Knotts, Magic Mountain, Disneyland AND Disney World, I can tell you from first hand knowledge that Silverwood will not disappoint! You can spend several days there and nobody will be bored.  In fact, Silverwood my favorite theme park ever due to the quality and size combined with the great price and short lines.  Love.

Best Family Vacation #3:  Nature Adventures

Best Family Vacation - Back to Nature on the Hiawatha TrailSpending the vast majority of the year in an office, in school, in our house, and just generally inside…the best family vacation #3 involves spending active time outdoors.  There is nowhere better to get back to nature with all ages than the northwest.  The air is fresh, crisp and inviting.  The views are breath-taking and memorable.  And the variety is ideal to satisfy every taste.  Discuss your desired activity level with your local vacation rental reservationist for trail suggestions and maps.

My recommendation is to stay in a centrally located vacation rental.  After a day of hiking Chilco Mountain, biking the Hiawatha, or strolling the scenic Centennial Trail, there is nothing in the world better than a home cooked meal and evening in.  Ask for grocery delivery, a catered meal or even a private chef 🙂

Enjoy your best family vacation ever!!

vacation rentals, vacation rental, family vacations

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