The largest city in Kootenai County, Idaho, Coeur d’Alene is a residential town east of Spokane situated between several mountain ranges. It is known for its plentiful outdoor activities, including hiking, backpacking, and boating. With a vibrant downtown area, Coeur d’Alene is a popular destination for retirees seeking an active community.
Climate & Geography
Coeur d’Alene is located in Northern Idaho east of the Coeur d’Alene National Forest. Summers are very warm and dry, and winters are wet and cold. The region receives more than average snowfall during the winter and less than average rainfall the rest of the year. Residents can expect 174 days of sun.
The city is relatively flat and surrounded by lakes and mountains that are densely forested with fir trees. The latitude and high altitude help keep the area lush and green most of the year, but they can occasionally bring harsh winter weather as well.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
As the city is surrounded by mountains, lakes, and forests, outdoor recreation is abundant. Coeur d’Alene Lake along the southern border is a 30-mile lake with opportunities for boating, kayaking, and other water sports. The North Idaho Centennial Trail is a 22-mile, paved trail, and it’s part of a larger national trail that passes through 11 national forests, extending from Nevada to the Canadian Border. Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail offers more difficult hiking trails and backpacking areas, complete with scenic lake and mountain views.
The downtown area that is along the waterfront hosts seasonal events and features 100 local boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, and restaurants.
Other local amenities include the Coeur d’Alene public golf course, the Kootenai County Farmers Market on Wednesdays during the summer, and Trickster’s Brewing Company. Nearby Spokane is a half-hour away for even more shopping, dining, and recreation.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The overall cost of living in Coeur d’Alene is higher than the national average only because of high housing costs. All other indexes, including health care, groceries, transportation, and utilities are below average.
Idaho is moderately tax friendly to retirees. Social Security is not taxed, while all other forms of retirement income are fully taxed. However, public pensions are eligible for deductions. Property taxes are relatively low, and the city’s 6 percent sales tax is close to the national average.
The Spokane metro area ranks in the top 90 communities on Gallup’s Well-Being Index, and Idaho ranks in the top 22 states.
Kootenai Health-Coeur d’Alene is the only general hospital in the city, and it’s rated by U.S. News as the No. 3 hospital in Idaho. Nearby Spokane has two high performing hospitals: Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital (No. 3 in Washington) and MultiCare Deaconess Hospital.