Coeur d’Alene Calls

Contributing Editor Marty Wentzel blogs from Idaho

By: By Marty Wentzel

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Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce
The Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce has recently released a new visitor information Web site


Ever since my husband and I went to Coeur d’Alene this past summer, we’ve been talking about a return trip in autumn. These days, the weather in northern Idaho is a good 30 degrees cooler than the sizzling temps of summer, but throughout October there are still plenty of alluring pastimes in this picturesque vacationland.

Coeur d'Alene Boat Ride // (c) 2009

Tour boat on Lake Coeur d'Alene, with Coeur d'Alene Resort in the background. 
// (c) Joel Riner/Quicksilver Studios

Our first order of business was a boat cruise on 50-square-mile Lake Coeur d’Alene, the destination’s dynamic centerpiece. After boarding from a pier just west of Coeur d'Alene Resort, we pulled up some chairs on the boat’s outer deck. For 90 minutes, we toured the lake's northern bays past wildlife, secluded lake homes and the world's only floating golf green, while narration provided interesting tidbits of history and culture. This time of year, passengers have the added benefit of seeing autumn colors rimming the water. Trips run through October 25 (

Tubbs Hill // (c) 2009

Tubbs Hill

Back on terra firma, we decided to take a hike around Tubbs Hill, a 120-acre preserve on the downtown waterfront. We ambled along several miles of trails through lovely woods of Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, catching our breath at clearings with spectacular lake views. For families with youngsters, the area’s hike of choice is the Mudgy and Millie Trail; along the way, they encounter five whimsical life-size sculptures of characters from the children’s book of the same name, written by local author Susan Nipp.

Zi Spa // (c) 2009

Zi Spa

On our next vacation, we’ll definitely head back to Coeur d'Alene’s Zi Spa. During our last visit we indulged in its signature vinopedicure, a sort of wine therapy for the feet. Apparently, grapes are chock-full of powerful antioxidants, so after steeping our feet in a grape seed bath, attendants exfoliated them with a stimulating rosemary and grape seed scrub, and massaged them with grape seed lavender lotion. Then they painted our nails, so we would remember our Coeur d’Alene trip simply by looking down (

Ride at Silverwood // (c) 2009


Topping our list of favorite stops was Silverwood, the Northwest’s largest theme park, about 25 minutes north of Coeur d’Alene. We screamed our way through a ride on its new steel roller coaster, which debuted in the middle of 2008. It lasts only one-and-one-half minutes, but that’s enough time to propel riders over 65 miles per hour and send them looping over 100 feet in the air. On weekends throughout the month of October, the park is introducing Scarywood Haunted Nights, with Halloween-themed activities and attractions (

Triple Play Laser Tag // (c) 2009

Triple Play

In between adventures we hung our hats at the Hayden Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites, the closest accommodation to Silverwood. Its big bonus is the on-property Triple Play family fun park, with bowling, laser tag, miniature golf, go karts and other multigenerational amusements. Throughout October, when clients book a room and spend a day at Silverwood, the hotel is giving them a $20 Triple Play gift card. Just show the Silverwood receipt to the front desk staff (


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