Beauty at every turn: Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway

Lake Coeur d'Alene scenic byway

View from Lake Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway

A stop at an Idaho tourist information rest area near Post Falls, Idaho, changed the course of our day. We thought we’d go into Coeur d’Alene, walk around the lake, eat at the resort, and take in the beauty of this city of blue waters.  But the lady at the tourist information center brought out a map and showed us Idaho 97, a route called the Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway. She promised it would not only take us south toward Moscow, our destination, but would afford us spectacular views. How right she was!

Lake Coeur d'Alene scenic byway map

Located in Idaho’s panhandle, Lake Coeur d’Alene is a glacier-formed lake spanning 25 miles with 135 miles of shoreline. Clear waters, access to beaches, and wildlife such as bald eagles and birds of prey make it a destination for many.  The curvy drive begged us to slow down and enjoy the springtime scenery — wide expanses of water, stately homes with beckoning docks, tall evergreens, full-blooming lilacs on bushes reaching roofline heights, and an occasional store like Hutton’s General Store offering travelers and locals a good sandwich and bottle of pop. Photo ops presented themselves at every turn, so we’re sharing with you what we stopped for along the way.  It’s a drive to put on your must-see list!

For more information, go to Visit Idaho at

29 thoughts on “Beauty at every turn: Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway

  1. catbirdinamerica

    Wow! Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I lived in Coeur d’Alene from 1980-1984, and went on this scenic route a number of times. My daughter, now 30, was born in Kootenai Memorial Hospital, which probably has a different name now! I haven’t seen Coeur d’Alene in all that time, so thank you for taking me back. 🙂

    1. Rusha Sams

      You are so welcome. What fun it was for us to discover this route and then take a long, scenic drive on what must be one of America’s prettiest curvy roads! I’d go back in a minute — especially in the fall. Would love to see those leaves turning!

  2. LuAnn

    We have only ever traveled through this city and have always said we need to explore Idaho. You have made us move this state up on our list. Thanks Rusha! 🙂

    1. Rusha Sams

      I never thought of Idaho as a bucket list destination, but after working there and getting to know the highways, byways, and stunning beauty of the mountains and streams, I can definitely recommend it. What a pretty state! With lovely people within! Thanks for the reply.

    1. Rusha Sams

      You are so kind to include me with the others bloggers writing about the West. What a great idea for a blog, and I’m glad you liked this Coeur d’Alene Byway post enough to link to it. Oh, to have more times for long scenic drives across America, right? Thanks again!

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    What a glorious drive, Rusha! Coeur d’Alene is such a gorgeous place, and your photos are beautiful. We had the same experience as you – drive the Scenic Byway – it’s a joy. 🙂 ~Terri

    1. Rusha Sams

      I love seeing new parts of the country, and this was one of the best. In fact, we are getting to the point of not liking the interstates unless we need an expedient route. Thanks for commenting. We need more time to travel slowly, right?

    1. Rusha Sams

      I agree. We think of Florida’s panhandle, but Idaho has a big one — and the forests, streams, fields are lovely there. Thanks for taking a look.

  5. susanissima

    Gorgeous. Looks very much like parts of Alaska…the water, the green, the lovely cloud-filled sky. We’ll have to put this one on our travel to list. Thank you, Rusha.

    1. Rusha Sams

      Someday we’re going to take that trip we’ve talked about to Alaska! I’ve heard it is stunningly beautiful. Thanks for reminding me to put it on the list.

    1. Rusha Sams

      It was a quiet morning — a Tuesday, so I guess the weekenders weren’t there yet. Or maybe it’s always peaceful near a lake, and I’m just not used to the quiet. It was a great place!

  6. FreeRangeCow

    Oh boy! I think there is a house, along there, that put a plexiglass floor in their kitchen, that overlooks a stream…You and your hubby’s adventurous spirit makes my soul fly!

    1. Rusha Sams

      I’d love to see that house! And wouldn’t it be fun to watch fish swim under your kitchen floor!!! Thanks for your sweet comments — we change plans frequently, and it’s always worked out pretty well. We love to get off the beaten paths.

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