Things to do in Coeur d’Alene during the winter

Winter can make us go a little stir-crazy here in North Idaho. If you’re not actively working on getting outside and doing new things, you might find yourself getting down. Instead, we’ve gathered a list of some of our favorite winter activities for families and kids in Coeur d’Alene, including cruises on Lake Coeur d’Alene or hot chocolate in downtown:

See the eagles

One of the highlights during the winter in North Idaho is the migration of bald eagles to Lake Coeur d’Alene. During December and January, these majestic creatures flock to the Pacific Northwest lake — specifically, Higgins Point — to feed on salmon and other fish. Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises heads out to the area daily with our Eagle Watching Cruises, so you can get an up-close-and-personal look at these birds. Don’t forget your camera!

Grab a cup of hot chocolate (or something stronger!)

Downtown Coeur d’Alene has tons of fun coffee shops and cafes that are perfect for grabbing a cup of hot cocoa. Or grab a hot beverage from the cabin inside your cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene! If your group is a little older (and legal drinking age!) head in to Whispers for a beautiful view of Lake Coeur d’Alene while you sip a hot toddy.

Stroll the Floating Boardwalk

In between winter storms, Coeur d’Alene is a beautiful winter wonderland! Check out the Holiday Lights Show on the Floating Boardwalk between Thanksgiving and New Years Day every year. Or, in January, bundle up in hats and mittens and stroll the boardwalk and downtown parks with the kids (a great way to burn a little energy!)

Learn about your home

When you cruise with Lake CDA Cruises, you’ll get more than an afternoon on the water. Our cruises are informational, so you’ll learn about the lakes and rivers, as well as the history of our beautiful town, while you cruise.

Spend time with family

Winter is a great time to get out of the house and see something new with your family. During the spring and summer, when outdoor sports and other obligations keep you busy, you may feel like your family is pulled in many directions. During the winter, the kids are out of school and there’s less going on. It’s the perfect time to head out as a group — maybe check out the holiday lights downtown or hit Lake Coeur d’Alene for a family-friendly cruise!

What to expect to see on your Lake Coeur d’Alene cruise

It may seem like a cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene or local Idaho rivers might be pretty straightforward. However, there’s actually a lot to see from the decks of our cruise ships! With a variety of cruises to choose from, you’ll see a lot of North Idaho in a short amount of time. This is perfect for visiting family or friends who want to get the most out of their North Idaho vacation— so much of the Pacific Northwest can be seen from the comfort and luxury of our ships!

Here’s a sample of some of the great sights you might see:

Water sport athletes

From parasailers to jet skiers and everything in between, Lake Coeur d’Alene is a haven for water sport athletes. The large area, secluded bays and calm waters are perfect for all sorts of sports! During the summer months, you and your family will surely see someone trying a fun new sport on the water.

Tubbs Hill and other geology

Tubbs Hill is an incredibly unique feature in North Idaho! With more than two miles of public trails, this area is a favorite for locals and tourists alike. You can get the full 360-degree view by skimming the area in one of our ships. 

The Famous Floating Green

A trip to Lake CDA isn’t complete without a view of the Famous Floating Green at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course! This is one of the rarest courses for golfers, as one of the holes is actually IN the water!

Wildlife

There’s all sorts of beautiful, majestic wildlife to see while cruising on Lake Coeur d’Alene. In addition to fish, river otters, deer and moose, you might also catch a spectacular bald eagle, especially during the winter months.

Amazing homes and architecture

There’s some incredible homes and architecture, steeped in history, all along the water. From homes of famous celebrities to historical mansions, it’s fun to take in all the homes along the water, especially on our St. Joe River Cruise

Beautiful sunsets

And of course, what night on the lake would be complete without a beautiful sunset!

Are you ready to book your cruise? Contact us today!

What comes with a chartered cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene?

When you charter one of the Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises ships, you’ll get an experience on  the water that your guests won’t soon forget. These ships are perfect for weddings, school trips, family reunions or even corporate events! But what all comes with a chartered ship, beside the captain and crew?

Actually, quite a bit! When you charter a ship on Lake Coeur d’Alene, you get access to an entire party-planning service! This can include:

  • Catering — Our amazing culinary team has a reputation for helping clients cultivate the perfect menu for their event. We can provide suggestions and example menus, or create a meal just for you!
  • Cakes — What wedding, graduation party or family gathering is complete without cake! Let our catering team make a custom-made creation just for you. Schedule a cake tasting and consultation to help you decide.
  • Décor and flowers — Set the ambiance for the evening with your very own arrangements and decorations, including chair cover, specialty linens and lighting.
  • Music — Dance the night away with a custom playlist or set the mood with a harpist and string quartet. Your cruise director can help you choose just the right set up for your event.
  • Photography — Capture every moment with images from award-winning Quicksilver Studios.
  • Transportation — Want to arrive in style? Take any one of our custom transportation services, from classic cars and limos to a horse-drawn carriage!

Ready to book your chartered cruise? Contact us today for more information!

Why you should get out of the office for your employee retreat

During the beginning of the year, many offices may look at ways to re-energize employees and get them excited about new opportunities. If you’re looking for the perfect place for team building in Coeur d’Alene or North Idaho, consider taking your employees on a cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Our cruise ships are the perfect place to increase morale and conduct team building exercises. Here’s why:

Get out of the office

Sometimes, businesses can get bogged down by the day-to-day hustle in the office. If you’re trying to host team building in the same place you always work, employees might get distracted by the work at their desk or the ringing phone. Instead, take team building outside the office to help change that mindset.

Get to know employees away from their desks

When you’re at your place of business, employees are probably pretty focused on work. But when you step away from that atmosphere, you can get to know people outside of the office. This is especially true with unique team building, such as those that take place on Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises!

Give them something to look forward to

If they know they’ll be getting out of the office and doing something different, employees will look forward to the day of team building and morale boosts!

…And something to talk about afterward

People forget a stuffy conference room. They don’t forget an afternoon on Lake Coeur d’Alene, doing fun things with coworkers!

Ready to reserve your private cruise for your office’s team building? Contact the team at Lake CDA Cruises today to reserve your ship.

5 reasons a lake cruise is a perfect location for team building meetings

Each year, companies across the country gather employees together for annual meetings. These meeting tend to be the butt of break room jokes, with employees dreading extended time in a stuff conference room, doing the same thing as the year before.

However, that doesn’t have to be your staff! Shake it up this year and introduce a new, exciting location for your employee retreats — the Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises boats!

Here’s five reasons a cruise boat is the perfect place for your next team building meeting: 

Big enough for the whole staff

Our largest boat, the Mish-an-Nock, can hold 356 guests, or 160 people for a meal. If you have a large staff, this is the perfect option. We can even tie two boats together to host large offices.

All in one place

Unless you count wildlife you’ll see along the way, you have the boat to yourself. There’s no need to worry about sharing a wall with noisy neighbors in a conference center!

Great meals

With more than a century of combined culinary experience, our team can provide a meal that will keep your staff’s energy up through annual forecasts, company updates and team building exercises. And your staff will know you care when we break out the desserts!

Premier sound system

Need to show presentations or have multiple speakers? Our sound system will guarantee all of your employees hear all the updates! And you can add some great music to the lunch hour.

A meeting they’ll look forward to

Instead of cramming everyone in a stuffy conference room, create an environment that fosters excitement. Employees will look forward to this event, and remember it for years to come!

Are you ready to book your cruise? Contact us today!

Why the Spokane River Cruise is the perfect summer day trip

As summer fades to a close, you might start running out of ways to entertain your kids or visiting family. But don’t worry — we’ve got your covered! Our Spokane River Cruise is the perfect summer day trip in North Idaho. Here’s why:

  1. A peaceful tour
    Touring on Lake Coeur d’Alene is lots of fun, but the lake can get a little busy. After all, it is one of the most popular places in North Idaho! If you’re looking for something a little quieter and relaxing, step onto our Spokane River tour boats. These river tours are three hours long, and offer a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the main lake.
  2. Learn something
    The Spokane River Cruises are packed with historical information and commentary about the amazing homes and natural landscape along the water. Even locals who have lived in North Idaho for years are sure to come away with new facts and tidbits to share.
  3. A delicious meal
    In addition to a peaceful cruise and a beautiful view, our three-hour cruises come with the option to have our River Chicken Buffet. These meals are created by our exemplary in-house catering team, and feature signature buttermilk fried chicken, Cole slaw, classic bakes beans, and warm biscuits and honey.
  4. Entertain the family
    This tour is perfect for family and friends of all ages. Whether you’re looking for a way to ease kids back into learning before school or want to show off the beauty of North Idaho, these cruises are a great way to entertain out-of-town guests.

Ready to book your cruise? Contact us today for more information!

Things to see on Lake Coeur d’Alene in the winter

There’s lots to do on Lake Coeur d’Alene in the summer, such as boating, swimming, paddle boarding and more! But don’t worry — this North Idaho lakeside town doesn’t shut down in the winter. In fact, residents and tourists alike are just as active during the colder months. This is our chance to hit the ski hill, hike Tubbs without fear of a sunburn or score some delicious food with amazing views. Even in November, December and January, there’s lots to don Lake Coeur d’Alene.

We’ve gathered a few of our favorite points of interest on Lake Coeur d’Alene that are still just as great in the winter:

The Coeur d’Alene ResortHow could this one not be top of our list! There’s so much to do at The Resort, even in the winter. Head to Beverly’s or Dockside for a meal with a view, or grab drinks at Whispers (same great view!) You can also warm up and stroll in the Resort Shops, or stroll along the famous Floating Boardwalk. 

Watching the eagles at Higgins PointIf you haven’t been, this is a must. Hundreds of bald eagles gather at Higgins Point on Lake Coeur d’Alene to feed and roost for the winter months. Watching the mighty birds swoop down to the water to catch fish is something everyone in the family will enjoy.

The Holiday Light Show: Another draw of The Coeur d’Alene Resort! If you’re visiting Coeur d’Alene between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, check out the Holiday Light Show on the Floating Boardwalk. Thousands of lights line the boardwalk and resort, depicting toys, dragons, dancers, elves and reindeer. Cedars Floating RestaurantAnother place to grab a delicious meal with a view. You can either boat up or drive to this restaurant, as it is literally floating on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The dining room is cozy, with a great view of the lake (since it’s literally on the water!)

What’s your favorite Lake Coeur d’Alene spot during the winter? Share yours!

Paddling tips for beginning stand-up paddle boarders

Paddle boarding is one of the easiest and least expensive summer pastimes.

All you have to do is rent the stand-up paddleboard, or SUP, find a body of water and you’re off! It’s the perfect way to explore Lake Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding rivers, and it’s easy for the whole family. However, if you’re new to SUP, you may not be familiar with the best techniques for paddle boarding. We’ve gathered a few tips on stand-up paddleboard stroke techniques to make your first time out a little easier.

Blade slope facing away from you

It seems common nature to think that you should hold the paddle so that the angle of the blade slopes toward you and the paddle “scoops” the water. However, thanks to physics, this isn’t the most efficient way. Instead, hold the paddle the opposite way, so the blade pushes down on the water as you paddle. This creates lift and allows you to glide across the water.

Opposite hand on top

If you’re paddling on the right side of the board, your left after should be on the top of the paddle, and vice versa. You’ll switch your grip each time you switch sides. All about the core Instead of trying to force your arms to do all the work, utilize your core are you paddle. To do this, stand on the board facing forward with a slight bend in your knees and look at the horizon as you paddle (not down at your feet.)

Pull past your paddle 

Instead of just pulling your paddle through the water, think about pulling yourself past your paddle. To get the most out of your stroke, push the paddle down so it’s fully immersed in the water and then pull it back until it is level with your ankle. Ready to hit the water? Rent a paddle board on Lake Coeur d’Alene through The Boardwalk Marina.

5 reasons to host your next party on a cruise ship

Are you getting ready to plan a big graduation party? Milestone birthday? Wedding? Anniversary? Class reunion?

We could go on and on — the point is, there are a lot of reasons to gather the people you love together in one place. As you begin planning that family reunion or class trip, you might start to be overwhelmed by the details you have to consider.

Big enough to house everyone

Our largest boat, the Mish-an-Nock, can house 356 guests, or 160 people for a meal. On top of that, we have the ability to tie two of our boats together, creating a floating, moving party barge that holds all your family and friends!

Food is no problem

Our culinary team has more than a century of collective experience. You can choose from existing menus to find the right food and drink for your event, or work with our executive chef to create your own custom menu!

Music is taken care of

All of our cruise ships have premier sound systems, and our on-site DJs offer a professional, entertaining experience, no matter what the event is!

Private location with no chance of interruption

Unless you count the wildlife you might see along the way, you’ll have the boat completely to yourself. There’s no need to worry about strangers wandering in, or people coming and going repeatedly throughout the night. Once you’re sailing, you’re guaranteed a private cruise.

No one is going to forget this event

Instead of forcing everyone in a stuffy ballroom or high school gymnasium, you’ll be out on beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene. What could be more memorable?

Ready to book your private chartered cruise? Give us a call today to reserve your ship.

Get ready to boogie on the water — Bands on Boats is here!

Bands, brews, and boats — how could Summer 2018 get any better?! Join us for our 2018 Bands on Boats Summer Concert Series. We’ve invited five of the best local bands to join us on Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises for a jam-packed night of music, dancing, great views and good times.

Here’s this summer’s line up:

Friday, July 6 — Kelly Hughes Band

To start the summer off right, the Kelly Hughes Band will bring their unique country twang to the cruise ships. If you have guests in town for the Fourth of July week, or if you’re just looking to keep the Independence Day party going, this is the perfect event to showcase all that Coeur d’Alene has to offer — great views, catchy music and good times.

Thursday, July 19 — The Rub

Second on the docket is local band The Rub. This is a show you won’t want to miss — The Rub is known for its zany 70s songs, crazy style, and performances.

Friday, Aug. 3 — The Powers

This Coeur d’Alene band will have your toes tapping all night long. The Powers are powerful, both in song and style, with an alternative country twang, complete with dynamic harmonies, acoustic guitar, fiddles and banjos.

Smash Hit Carnival

This incredible local band will have you in stitches throughout the show — that is, when you’re not dancing up a storm! Smash Hit Carnival plays everything from 80s hits to Lady Gaga, complete with costumes to match! You haven’t lived until you’ve seen these guys impersonate Devo.

The Ryan Larsen Band 

Since 2008, the Ryan Larsen Band has been bringing contemporary country music to the Northwest, and its appearance on Coeur d’Alene Cruises will be no different. A staple at many North Idaho honky-tonks, Ryan Larsen Band will have you stompin’ your boots and boogie down right away.

All cruises are three hours long, beginning at 7 p.m. The boat will begin boarding at 6:30 p.m. at Independence Point.

Tickets are $25 per person. Ready to reserve your cruise? Click here for more information.