Yellowstone lodging alternative: Harriman State Park

I almost hate to let readers in on this golden secret, which we learned through on-the-road experience, but if you're looking for a peaceful, non-crowded lodging experience near the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park, you'll want to book a yurt or ranch dorm room at Harriman State Park just over the border in Idaho. Located 30 miles from Yellowstone, this state park is different than … [Read more...]

Cave spelunking at Craters of the Moon National Monument

For families driving through Southern Idaho en route on I-84 or toward Yellowstone National Park, a stop at Craters of the Moon National Monument is well worth the time. This park of lava tubes and geological displays is visually stunning with its rocky volcanic landscape and cinder cone, but the true wonders are below ground. The highlight for our family was certainly the cave exploration within … [Read more...]

The Coeur d’Alene Resort: a lakeside Idaho Preferred Family destination

With its white towers and castle-esque peaks, the Coeur d'Alene Resort is easy to spot along the lake shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. When we lived in neighboring Spokane, Washington, our family would retreat to the Coeur d'Alene Resort for family escapes, summer play, and its annual Holiday Light Show. Now that we live further afield, it's a destination resort worth the … [Read more...]

5 Western mountain lodges for family summer stays

We love mountain lodges! Whether your family enjoys hiking, mountain biking, fishing, or just swimming in a cool mountain lake, a stay at one of the following Western mountain lodges for families will provide much needed summer time R&R. 1. Lodge at Suttle Lake, Central Oregon: Whereas much of Central Oregon is surrounded by high desert, the small town of Sisters is located in the heart … [Read more...]

Skiing Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho with kids

While we lived in Spokane, WA, we spent a good deal of time at neighboring Lake Pend Oreille at Sandpoint, Idaho, and in the winter skiing Schweitzer Mountain. Schweitzer is located above the lake deep in the snowy peaks, and feels like it, too! Families will want to be ready for any weather this far north, but will be rewarded with prime skiing and snowboarding as well. Where to stay: … [Read more...]

Bear Lake State Park Rendezvous Beach

Clear, turquoise-blue water. White sand beaches. Scuba diving, fishing, and wind surfing. Would you guess you're in Utah? I wouldn't! In fact, until I saw Bear Lake's Rendezvous Beach for myself, I assumed the state park was exaggerating with its claim to be the 'Caribbean of the Rockies'. But it's no lie: right on the Utah-Idaho border near the touristy town of Garden City, weekend visitors (and … [Read more...]

Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho

Situated next to the all-seasons tourist town of Sandpoint in the scenic Idaho panhandle, Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced pon-der-ay) is an outdoors-lover's heaven. By winter, it serves as base camp to popular ski resort Schweitzer, and in summer it's the ideal family playground for water sports, swimming, boating, hiking, fishing, and just about any other outdoorsy activity you can think of! We … [Read more...]

Best Ski Towns: Kellogg, ID

Located forty minutes past Coeur d'Alene on I-90 in the Idaho panhandle, the town of Kellogg, Idaho offers year-round outdoor and indoor recreation for a family vacation paradise. Hardly your typical 'resort town', Kellogg is not all slick boutiques and over-priced restaurants: it still thinks of itself as a mountain mining town with some really, really beautiful scenery and world-class skiing. It … [Read more...]

Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Fantasy Cruise to the North Pole

Bet you never knew the North Pole is in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho! Celebrate this holiday season while in the Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho area with a family Fantasy Cruise to the North Pole, hosted by the Coeur d'Alene Resort. These 40 minute cruises offer spectacular views of the many floating holiday light displays decorating lovely Lake Coeur d'Alene. The most memorable point in the … [Read more...]

Raptor Reef Indoor Water Park

175 W. Orchard Hayden, Idaho Located in Hayden, Idaho as part of the Triple Play Family Fun Park, Raptor Reef is a massive indoor water park that's easy to miss if you don't realize it's there. Stopping here makes for at least a half-day pit stop, but it's well worth mentioning because of its availability to the public (unlike many other indoor water parks attached to hotels such as nearby … [Read more...]