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7 Reasons to Visit Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, This Winter

by Aoife O'Riordan

Dec 5, 2023

© Visit Coeur d’Alene

Destinations / North America

With more than 109 miles of shoreline, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, might strike most as a summertime-only destination. But the area transforms into a winter wonderland each December and January, taking on a magical appearance sure to wow any traveler.


There’s more than one reason to visit Coeur d’Alene this winter, from skiing experiences to festivals to wellness retreats and more.


© Visit Coeur d’Alene

Annual Mac & Cheese Festival

Held Jan. 13, 2024, this fan favorite celebrates all things mac and cheese, featuring variations of the dish prepared by local chefs who compete for the Golden Noodle award. Enjoy a cheese-filled day with different tastings and craft beer pairings. Attendees also vote for their favorite dish to see who wins the People’s Choice Trophy. Tickets are on sale now.


Skiing Galore

Unrivaled skiing and mountain experiences await in Coeur d’Alene, with three different ski areas located within an hour of the area. For intermediate skiers, head to Silver Mountain or opt for Lookout Pass, which recently debuted a new quad chairlift and expanded terrain. There’s also Schweitzer, a great spot for epic steeps and outlooks of the backcountry.



© Visit Coeur d’Alene

Hot Cocoa Cruises

Take a Hot Cocoa Cruise with Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises. This 90-minute adventure brings guests along the northern bays of the lake to view wildlife and lakeside homes and learn about local history, all while warming up with some hot cocoa.


The Chocolate Affair

Speaking of chocolate, visitors can indulge in locally handcrafted sweet and savory treats at this event on Feb. 10, 2024. Wander downtown and sample countless sweets at pop-up chocolate shops. Tickets include a bite-sized gourmet chocolate treat at each tasting location (15+) with the option to add eight wine tastings. The event also hosts a premier chocolate tasting event and competition.



© Visit Coeur d’Alene

Eagle Watching

Coeur d’Alene’s lakes and forests make for the perfect wildlife-viewing opportunities. Bald eagles call the region home and congregate around Lake Coeur d’Alene each year from November to February.


Cozy Accommodations

One Lakeside, opened in 2021, embraces northwestern charm with views of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The hotel sits just steps from the lake, perfect for adventurers looking for their next thrill. Or opt for a stay at Coeur d’Alene Resort, a family-friendly resort on the lake.


Live Well Spa Retreats

Coeur d’Alene Resort offers Live Well Spa Wellness Retreats, a monthly series allowing guests to fine-tune their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. The next retreat is held Jan. 7–8 and features the Artistic Renewal retreat, complete with a private art class, spa treatment and overnight stay. For a girls’ getaway, try February’s Live Well theme celebrating Galentine’s Day (Feb. 11–12), which includes a Sonic Serenity immersive sound bath followed by a mimosa social and wine tasting at Whispers Lounge.


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