Magazine article Sunset

A Million Lights in Idaho: Marina Tours, Music, and More Make the Season Bright in Coeur d'Alene. (Travel)

Magazine article Sunset

A Million Lights in Idaho: Marina Tours, Music, and More Make the Season Bright in Coeur d'Alene. (Travel)

Article excerpt

Flush from a boisterous evening Christmas parade, we crunch through snow to the courtyard of the 18-story Coeur d'Alene Resort, a modern chateau rising from the edge of Idaho's second-largest natural lake. Lighting our handheld candles, we join thousands in singing "Silent Night." Rather than stillness, however, the music is followed by a flash of light: the resort's holiday light show.

The show is a great antidote for the short days of winter. Each day at dusk, more than a million lights leap from the shadows. In addition to all the white lights outlining the buildings and twinkling on trees, the marina is crowded with dozens of floating animated displays. For the best views, book seats on a Fantasy Cruise to the North Pole. These boats tour the marina, then motor across the lake to North Pole-inspired exhibits on Casco Bay.

On a smaller scale, the Roosevelt Inn--a converted four-story 1905 schoolhouse--features 250,000 lights and eight Christmas trees. Guests are also treated to the inn's famous wassail cider and pecan sticky buns.

At Rider Ranch, a 20minute drive east of town, you can ride a horse-drawn wagon through snowy woods and meadows, sip hot cocoa, and roast marsh-mallows over a bonfire. Around Coeur d'Alene, hikers and nordic skiers can enjoy 24 miles of the Centennial Trail. …

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