Spending the Day Boating on Coeur d’Alene Lake, Idaho

One thing that my family has always wanted to do ever since my grandparents became snowbirds in the Pacific Northwest was renting a boat and going boating on Coeur d’Alene Lake in Idaho.

Coeur d’Alene is located on the north(ish)-western edge of Idaho, along the border with Washington State. It’s actually my favorite place in the Pacific Northwest and every time I visit my grandparents, I always make sure to take a trip. If you go on Wednesday / Thursday mornings, there are really adorable farmer’s markets. I’ve previously written about visiting Coeur d’Alene, so check out this blog post if you want to know more about this awesome lake town!

After years and years of asking, my family finally decided to rent a boat for a day and spend a day out on the Coeur d’Alene Lake. To say I was ecstatic is an understatement. I love boating and rarely get the chance to do it, so to be able to finally go boating on the lake was probably the highlight of my summer.

We rented our boat from Resort Boat Rentals, which sits right on the pier of the Beverly in downtown Coeur d’Alene. We got a sports boat and I believe that it was about $800 for the full day, including gas. A little pricey, but if you split it with friends or family, it’s not too bad. It seats probably 8-ish people and you can pull a tube or wake board / water ski off it, if you have one or rent one. You can also rent a pontoon boat or jet skis from them as well. (Maybe next year I can convince my family to rent a jet ski!) With different companies, you can rent kayaks and paddle boards as well.

The harbor

To prepare, we knew that we were likely going to spend all day on the lake so we brought food and drinks on the boat. Make sure to bring lots of drinking water and sunscreen as well! AND REAPPLY that sunscreen every few hours or after every time you go swimming. I got so sunburnt that basically my entire body peeled. It wasn’t fun.

Coeur d’Alene Lake is actually really large so the first thing we did was take a drive around the lake and explore all of its nooks and crannies. I, personally love sitting in the front of the boat and feeling it bounce up and down with the waves, so that’s pretty much where I spent the entire day.

Every once in a while we would stop because we got hot and wanted to take a dip in the lake. The water is really cold (it’s snow melt) but very refreshing. The easiest way to get in is literally just to jump. Easing your way in or dipping your toes won’t be too fun since it is so cold, so just jump in! Eventually your body will get used to it / go numb so you won’t notice it as much. I’m also, personally, used to the cold temperatures of the Pacific Ocean, so I’m used to cold water.

Time for a swim!

When we went swimming I didn’t see a single thing in the water. You can see a few hundred-ish feet down if it’s sunny but can’t see the bottom. There’s a ton of seaweed in the shallower areas, so while you’re driving you have to be careful of getting stuck. There’s nothing scary in the water that can hurt you, but there are a ton of fish and it’s a popular spot for fishermen. I have kind of an irrational fear of swimming in open water when you can’t see the bottom, but I felt comfortable swimming here.

There’s a town on Coeur d’Alene Lake called Harrison and it’s a popular spot for boaters. There’s a marina to dock your boat and nearby is an ice cream shop. My family absolutely loves ice cream so when we found out that there was an ice cream shop, of course we stopped. There’s also a general store, restaurant, public bathroom and little beach area for kids. It’s a really cute stop but we didn’t stay long.

Back on the boat, we just kept looping around various parts of the lake. We would stop when we got hot or hungry, swim, and hop back on the boat and explore a new place. There’s lots of houses and hotels along Coeur d’Alene Lake, so we of course went dream lake house shopping.

Eventually my grandparents got tired and wanted to head back to the marina. We convinced them to stay out on the water for another hour, until we had to return the boat. By then my sunburn was in full effect and we were all hungry for some real food, so we dropped the boat off and headed home.

Overall, I absolutely loved this experience and would definitely love to do it again! It was so much fun and I recommend it to anyone in the area!


Thank you for reading! Have you gone boating? What about in Coeur d’Alene Lake? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!




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