Five Great Attractions Within An Easy Drive Of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

The Coeur d'Alene Resort

The Coeur d'Alene Resort

Coeur d’Alene is an amazing city to visit and it offers something for everyone. There are fun things to do, like getting out on the water of the lake that shares the city’s name, and great places to eat and go shopping. Another great part of Coeur d’Alene though is how close it is to several other great attractions. Here is a look at just five of the great attractions you can visit within an easy drive of Coeur d’Alene.

Spokane’s Riverfront Park

If you drive just a short way west from Coeur d’Alene you’ll reach the city of Spokane. Right downtown in Spokane is one of the city’s most popular attractions, Riverfront Park. This amazing parks sits on the grounds of the 1974 World’s Fair, known as Expo ’74. There are paved pathways that lead in all directions that take you for a great tour of the Spokane River, the island areas, the local downtown section, Spokane Falls, and more. The park is also home to an IMAX theater, amusement park games, ice skating in the winter, miniature golf, gondola rides, and more. There’s even a huge oversized Radio Flyer wagon your kids can slide down and a vacuum powered goat sculpture that will suck the garbage right out of your hand. Riverfront Park is great for so many reasons, including everything from all the activities to the amazing history, to the wide open green spaces, and more. If you want to experience Spokane, you can’t do it without visiting Riverfront Park.

Triple Play Family Fun Park

Located in Hayden Lake, just a short drive north from Coeur d’Alene, Triple Play Family Fun Park is a top notch destination for those traveling with kids. This popular attraction features an indoor water park, bowling alley, rope course, bowling, bumper cars, bumper boats, arcade, climbing wall, miniature golf, go karts, and laser tag. If time allows, there’s an on site hotel and you can add a day to your Coeur d’Alene stay and be right there at Triple Play Family Fun Park.

Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake is located east of Coeur d’Alene, across the border in Montana. The small towns of Polson and Kalispell are the main settlements along the lake. Both offer fun things to do too, but it can be a nice time just driving all the way around this large lake. The beautiful Montana scenery viewing options are popular with professional and amateur photographes. If you have more room in your schedule, take the time to get out on the water of Flathead Lake.

Cat Tales Zoological Park

Just a short drive east from Coeur d’Alene is another of the many great local attractions for families, Cat Tales Zoological Park in Spokane. This wildlife park and teaching zoo is home to an excellent selection of animals, including black bears, bobcats, lions, cougars, tigers, and a number of exotic birds. The zoo is easy to navigate for everyone and is definitely one of Spokane’s hidden gems!

Silverwood Theme Park

Silverwood Theme Park is located just a half hour north of Coeur d’Alene and has been a popular destination in the northwest for decades. The park includes rollercoasters, an authentic steam train, as well as lots of shops and chances to get something to eat. It’s also right next to Boulder Beach Water Park. Combining these two attractions makes any visit to Coeur d’Alene a hit, especially if you’re traveling with kids.

5/22/2017 Pacific Northwest Social Media Greatest Hits

PNW Social Media Greatest Hits

As the weather gets warmer we have a lot more sharing of some great outdoor scenery and activities. Plus other things going on too! Here is this week’s edition of Pacific Northwest Social Media Greatest Hits!

Two #tugboats and 3 #wheatbardges #locking down at the same time. #shavertransportation

A post shared by Josh Sheldon (@nwwhiteh2o) on

Don't mind our conversation, but this was today with this cute birdie 🐦

A post shared by Katelynn Sniecinski (@callmekatebabe) on

Quite rainy morning walk to wrap up my last day on the peninsula.

A post shared by P r e s t o n (@prestonhoffman_) on

One Photo:  Concrete Silos in Concrete, Washington

This is another one of those road trip photo ops that just jumps right out at you.  On a drive along Highway 20 through the Concrete, Washington area, a huge and dominant structure looms right over the road.

This is another one of those things you stumble across on a road trip that has almost everything.  First, there’s the historic nature of the structure and how it ties back to the early development of the Skagit Valley and the famous hydroelectric dams found throughout the region.  Second, there’s the famous Hollywood movie relationship the concrete silo and welcome sign has.  Third, there’s the way it just dominates the local scenery.  Fourth, there’s the impressiveness of the structure, especially for the time it was built.

There are a lot more things to like about this photo subject too.  Something for everyone, really.  And it’s the kind of thing that’s hard to drive by without stopping and capturing with your camera.

A Part Of Chief Seattle’s Life Explored In Historical Podcast

As I explore through the archives, it looks like the staff over at Stuff You Missed In History Class covered another part of Pacific Northwest history:

THE FAMOUS SPEECH CHIEF SEATTLE NEVER MADE

We have a fascinating history and it helps to understand it as you travel through the area. I can’t possibly recommend this podcast more highly, almost regardless of what subject is being covered. Any history lover who comes across it will have discovered a new obsession.

5/15/2017 Pacific Northwest Social Media Greatest Hits

PNW Social Media Greatest Hits

From government accounts to hotels, restaurants, and ordinary travelers; there are some great things being shared on Facebook, Twitter, and more. Here is our most recent look at the Pacific Northwest Social Media Greatest Hits!

5 Questions With VisitPenticton.com!

5 Questions With VisitPenticton.Com

Penticton, British Columbia is a very quickly becoming more and more popular as a regional vacation getaway. It’s located not too far across the US-Canadian border from the North Central Washington area and, specifically, Okanogan County. Penticton sits on Highway 97 which is a major north-south route not only in British Columbia, but south through Washington, Oregon, and into California too. This helps make it easily reachable from the states. It’s also very easy to get to from the east and west within British Columbia too.

When you visit Penticton you are heading to an area known for outdoor recreation and beautiful scenery. This small community also offers some fun shopping experiences, great restaurants, and a nice list of things to do too. For example, if you’re a fan of wine and wineries, Penticton really has you taken care of there.

We reached out to the go-to Penticton travel resource recently for our “5 Questions With” series and VisitPenticton.com was gracious enough to help us out.

Five Questions With VisitPenticton.com

1st Question
The Pacific Northwest features some beautiful and interesting names that have survived centuries of translation. What is the meaning of the name “Penticton”?

Penticton, as translated by the local Salish Native Americans, means “a place to live forever” (the commonly accepted translation) or “a place to live year-round”.

2nd Question
Most communities have one or two local celebrations during the year. What are the best celebrations or festivals that vacationers can come and participate in while visiting Penticton?

Penticton is home to so many fantastic annual festival and events. Here are just a few.

Penticton Peach Festival – August 9-13, 2017
This year Penticton celebrates 70 years of Peachfest

Okanagan Fest of Ale – April 7-8, 2017

Pacific Northwestern Elvis Festival – June 22-25, 2017

Peach City Beach Cruise – June 23-25, 2017

Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival – September 8-10, 2017

Penticton Dragon Boat Festival – September 9-10, 2017

For a full list of events in Penticton, go to: Penticton Events

3rd Question
Penticton looks like a fun place to visit for people of all ages. In your opinion, what are the top three things that people shouldn’t miss out on experiencing when they go there?

*Floating ‘the channel’ between Okanagan and Skaha Lake. It’s one of the most popular activities in the summer here.

*Wine touring – with over 70 wineries within a 20 minute drive, it’s no wonder we are called Wine Country.

*Cycling/Mountain biking – whether it’s the Kettle Valley Railway or the many downhill mountain biking routes we have available.

4th Question
Possibly my favorite question, is there a little known fact or piece of trivia that most people don’t know about Penticton?

Penticton is one of two places in the world situated between two lakes

5th Question
Many travelers through our region are very interested in the local history of the area. What are a few of the top attractions in and around Penticton that a history buff would love to experience?

The S.S. Sicamous – The SS Sicamous is the largest surviving stern wheeler in Canada. The ship is now a museum, wedding venue and must-see tourist attraction. The lower deck hosts the original steam boiler, steam engines and a model of the Kettle Valley Railway (with working miniature trains!) The upper decks have been fully restored, and you can see the cabins, dining saloon and even the Captain’s wheel. Visits take up to an hour, and guided tours are available.

Once again, I’d like to thank VisitPenticton.com for helping us out by answering our pesky questions. You can check out all that Penticton has to offer and maybe even start the ball rolling on scheduling your own trip there by checking out their website below:

VISITPENTICTON.COM
Twitter: @VisitPenticton
Facebook: VisitPenticton
Instagram: @VisitPenticton

Unique Washington State History Explained In Historical Podcast!

If you’re a history fan, you may already be a subscriber, but if not, you may just want to take a listen over at Stuff You Missed In History Class.

The format of the show usually has either a little known historical person or event as its topic. Sometimes, a more well known person or event is the subject but the hosts try and explore some lesser known facts about them. It really is a great show to listen to as episodes come out or to download and listen to more leisurely, like say while sitting up in the North Cascades or out on the Oregon Coast, for example.

Pig War San Juan Islands

An episode of the podcast from a few years ago, one that’s still available online, tells the story of an event some Pacific Northwest residents are familiar with and some aren’t, the Pig War. This famous disagreement between Great Britain and the United States of America over who owned the San Juan Islands is entertaining and interesting at the very same time.

That’s right… Two great countries almost “went to war” over a dead pig on San Juan Island. 🙂

Check out: The Pig War online at Stuff You Missed In History Class!

5 Great Columbia River Getaway Destinations

Crescent Bar View

Crescent Bar Golf and Condos

The Columbia River flows out of Canada, south through Washington, and then forms the border between Washington and Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, it passes by some incredible areas like Lake Roosevelt, the Grand Coulee Dam, Central Washington’s Columbia Basin, the Hanford Reach, the confluence with the Snake River, the beautiful Columbia River Gorge where the river cuts through the Cascade Mountains, and finally where it widens at its mouth. The Columbia River is a great attraction itself, as well as an accent for any place located along it.

When you visit one of the many attractions or destinations along the river though, you need to find a great place to spend the night. With that in mind, here are five great Columbia River getaway destinations.

Kettle Falls, Washington

Kettle Falls sits south of the border with British Columbia, and once was an important salmon fishing site for local Native American tribes. The waterfalls that the community is named after were flooded by the rising water behind Grand Coulee Dam, but it is still an interesting small destination to get away to. The scenery that surrounds it is gorgeous and if you can get out on the water there, your trip is sure to be a success. The China Bend Winery is a great stop in the area. Other attractions and places to visit or stay at in the area around Kettle Falls includes the Old Kettle Falls Recreation Site, the Gifford Inchelium ferry crossing, Quillisascut Farm, and Northern Ales.

Crescent Bar, Washington

Crescent Bar is a small resort community on the Columbia River, located southeast of Wenatchee. Just upriver is Rock Island Dam, the first hydroelectric dam built on the American stretch of the Columbia River. Downriver from Crescent Bar is Wanapum Dam. This means that water recreation is one of the big draws there as the river is wider and deeper and allows for plenty of room. Crescent Bar is home to two golf courses, rental condos, restaurants, beach areas, boat launches, watercraft rentals, camping options, and more. Crescent Bar is also conveniently located near the famous Gorge Amphitheater where world class music acts can be seen all summer long.

Hood River, Oregon

Hood River sits in the Cascade Mountains, right on the Columbia River in the extremely gorgeous Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Hood River has been famous for years as a great place to either watch windsurfers, or to get out on the water yourself. If you’re a fan of large dams, this is a great getaway because either on your way there or back, depending on your direction of travel, you’ll be able to see McNary Dam, John Day Dam, The Dalles Dam, and Bonneville Dam. Most of these have great visitors centers, picnic areas, and scenic overlooks. The most popular attraction for those visiting Hood River usually ends up being the Columbia River Gorge itself. It simply is one of the most beautiful spots in the Pacific Northwest. Other things to see when visiting there include Horsetail Falls, the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, Marchesi Vineyards, Double Mountain Ranch, Gorge White House, Naked Winery, Smiley’s Red Barn, Mount Hood Railroad, and more.

Kelso – Longview, Washington

The neighboring communities of Kelso and Longview are located on the northern shore of the Columbia River, just west of Portland and Vancouver. This area has long ties to the lumber industry and also offers several side trips that make for great drives. It’s also close enough to use as a headquarters if you’re visiting Portland too. Some of the top attractions there are the Cowlitz County Historical Museum, Lake Sacajawea Park, the Rutherglen Mansion, and Willow Grove Park. A great way to enjoy the area is to book passage on any of the many river tours available there or back in Portland that will allow you to explore this part of the Columbia River. Another great attraction to check out there is the Ape Cave Lava Tubes. Here, you and your family, can venture underground and explore the longest continuous lava tube in the continental United States.

Astoria, Oregon

Astoria is a very welcoming community on the south shore of the Columbia River, located just before it empties into the Pacific Ocean. Astoria also sits on the south end of one of the best attractions in the area, the Astoria-Megler Bridge. This amazing bridge is just over four miles in length and makes for a great drive because you can look out one window and see upriver, the water of the Columbia River coming your way, and then look the other direction to see it leaving out into the ocean. Many visitors to Astoria end up driving back across the bridge to experience it all over again. Astoria also offers a nice selection of restaurants, bars, and pubs too. Other attractions to see in and around Astoria include Fort Stevens State Park, the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, the Astoria Oregon Riverwalk, Flavel House Museum, Shallon Winery, the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks, Bumble Bee Cannery Museum, and the Oregon Film Museum. A must visit attraction there is the Astoria Column which allows you to climb the stairs to the top for the best view of the community and the surrounding scenery. If you’re traveling with children, you’ll also not want to miss out on a ride on the Astoria Riverfront Trolley.