When I moved to Coeur d’Alene 15 years ago, I thought I was one of very few Californians who had relocated here. Yes, I knew about Mark Furhman but he really doesn’t live in our city. He’s quite a few miles north. But, oh man, was I surprised to learn that almost 60% of our population are transplants from California!

People are still moving from California to Coeur d’Alene in droves!

Why? For several reasons – it’s too expensive to live there; businesses aren’t being treated well by the state government; it’s too crowded, too hot, many people think too liberal and the danger of fire and earthquakes are real. When I moved here, more people were moving OUT of California than IN and it’s true this year, as well.

Some things you need to know if you relocate to Coeur d’Alene or its surrounding areas.

    • People are very nice here! In banks and fast-food restaurants, they will ask more than just how you are. They will ask you about your plans for the weekend, or how your morning has been. It’s a little disconcerting at first!
    • It snows. Obviously, if you’ve done any research, you already know that. And you will love it for the first 2 years. Oh how beautiful the flakes are when they fall from the sky. What a Chrismas wonderland as white covers the trees and the earth. But by the 4th year, it becomes a bore (unless you ski or snowboard). The snow falls off the trees quickly and the roads become brown and gross as the snowplows pile all the dirty snow onto the sides of the road and in parking lots! The transportation department does an excellent job with snowplowing but even so, the snowplow might not make it to your neighborhood for a couple of days. Of course, you’ll need to shovel your own walkways and driveways and if you have chosen to move rural, it’s pretty much up to you to get the plowing done.
    • You need to learn how to drive in the snow…. and ice. 
    • The 5th most common cause of motor vehicle accidents in Idaho is animal collisions! Watch out for deer, moose, elk and even cows on the road.
    • We’re not necessarily excited you’re here… actually probably not at all (even if we came from California ourselves). You see, Californians are moving here, buying homes and causing housing prices to increase, as well as rent. This means locals are being priced right out of the ability to own a home and in many cases being able to afford rent. It’s also getting very crowded and people are abusing the natural beauty by leaving their trash behind.
    • The locals call Coeur d’Alene “CDA”. 
    • When adding Coeur d’Alene to any online form, you’ll have trouble with that apostrophe! Try Coeur dAlene or Coeur d Alene instead.
    • Do NOT put your Christmas poinsettias on the porch during the holidays! I learned this the hard way when after only one hour, my poinsettias were toast! They are not winter-season plants. They are tropical plants!
    • Coeur d’Alene is Lake City and Post Falls is River City.
    • Silverwood Theme Park has some of the old rides from Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm. Remember the Cork Screw? You’ll find it there! (But that’s not it below.)
    • There are little privately owned drive-thru coffee stands EVERYWHERE!
    • Coeur d’Alene also has SEVEN Starbucks with another on the way.
    • You’ll be happy when fall comes because you will have been working in the yard ALL summer.
    • Whereas California loves to report about car chases, the Inland Northwest likes to report about building fires.
    • Yellowjackets are a big problem here. Hang traps very early in spring in order to catch the Queens.
    • There are no termites but there are carpenter ants that can do the same damage to structures.
    • People leave their Christmas lights up till spring. Many people leave them ON until mid-February. In California, they frown on that, but it’s dangerous to take the lights down in winter!
    • There are great hiking trails here! Some of my favorites are listed below.
      Mineral Ridge Scenic Trail – a bit of a climb but fairly easy and a gorgeous view from the top!

    • Tubbs Hill – right next to the Coeur d’Alene Resort, it’s an easy and beautiful hike with 2 trail options.
      Blue Creek Bay Trail System – this 2.6 mile trail is a little strenuous so bring water with you. Some parts are a bit narrow and steep.
      Higgins Point – Higgins point at Beauty Bay is a beautiful trail leading to a scenic point perfect for Eagle watching! (Yes, we have eagles in the winter that feed on the Kokanee Salmon as they’re spawning.)
      The Centennial Trail – “The 24 mile long North Idaho Centennial Trail is a non-motorized paved trail that extends from Higgens Point on beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene to the Idaho/Washington border, where it continues another 37 miles into Washington following the Spokane River. Along the trail are numerous rest areas, scenic overlooks and interpretive signs.” They are working on expanding it north along the 95.
    • There are a LOT of lakes here in the area. The biggest one is Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced Pon der AY) which extends from Athol all the way to Sandpoint (43 miles long) and has a maximum depth of 1150 feet. There is a hiking trail there as well.
    • Mudgy and Millie – are all around the town. Mudgy and Millie are a part of the Mudgy Moose Trail which was created along with the Parks and Rec Department. The Mudgy Moose Trail is 2.5 miles long and travels from Tubbs Hill and through downtown Coeur d’Alene. It features five life-size bronze statues positioned at locations where Mudgy pauses in his search for Millie who is finally found in Mudgy’s ear where she had been hiding all along. There is a book and a song that goes along with it.

I’ll be adding to this post as I remember more things that you should know. You can also check out my blog post below to learn more about our city!

10 Best Things to Do When Visiting Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in the Summer

Post By Shelley Webb (456 Posts)

Shelley Webb is a retired Registered Nurse who is dedicated to helping women live a life of joy and meaning, by following their dreams and achieving their biggest goals, no matter their age. When she is not at her computer, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen, playing with Isabella, her miniature schnauzer or dancing with The Blazen Divaz a parade and performance group, out of Coeur d'Alene, ID.

Website: → Intentional Living

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