Coeur d'Alene is located at the western edge of the Idaho panhandle. The town is home to about 41,000 residents. It is set on the northern end of Lake Coeur d'Alene and along the western edge of the Coeur d'Alene National Forest, about 30 miles east of Spokane, Washington. It is completely surrounded by wooded areas that are full of many smaller lakes, campgrounds, and other recreational activities, all within an hour's drive from downtown. Coeur d'Alene is often referred to locally as either the "Lake City" or just by its initials-CdA.
Coeur d'Alene has seen tremendous growth in recent years, due to a dramatic increase in the area's tourism. Indeed, the town's gorgeous natural setting, proximity to nearby skiing and golf, and attractive waterfront have made it one of the premiere tourist destinations in the American Northwest.
Tourism-related jobs in Coeur d'Alene account for the steadiest employment. Additionally, more than 250 manufacturing businesses are also located in the area. Large customer service centers for companies such as Verizon Communications, Center Partners, U.S. Bank, and Coldwater Creek have also established themselves in Coeur d'Alene. The Kootenai Medical Center, Coeur d'Alene Public School District, and the State of Idaho government are other major employers in the area.
The downtown area of Coeur d'Alene is set within the natural pine forest and boasts more than 125 retail shops, restaurants, and professional businesses, including art galleries, brew pubs, and jewelers. Although downtown Coeur d'Alene offers big-city amenities, it retains a small-town feel. The relaxed environment and unique storefronts have made downtown a popular destination for residents and visitors alike.
Due to the gorgeous natural surroundings, much of life in Coeur d'Alene is enjoyed outdoors. With the mountains and waterfront at the center of Coeur d'Alene, the town offers more than 80 parks and campgrounds. Lake Coeur d'Alene offers guided kayaking tours, fishing, swimming, rafting, and canoeing. The numerous state parks and the Coeur d'Alene National Forest surround the city with endless wooded areas ideal for horseback riding, hiking, and enjoying the scenery. Popular local skiing resorts such as Silver Mountain Resort and Schweitzer Mountain Resort have also contributed enormously to the growth of the city.
While Coeur d'Alene does have its own airport, it is only open to private aircraft. The city is located just 40 minutes from Washington International Airport in Spokane. Ground transportation is available from the airport to Coeur d'Alene. Also located in Spokane is an Amtrack station. By car, Coeur d'Alene is accessible from many major cities, including Boise, Idaho; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Yellowstone, Wyoming; Reno, Nevada; and Calgary, Alberta.