For people who don't mind transporting themselves on a bicycle, North Idaho's Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes provides a great option for a very affordable family getaway. The Panhandle's 72-mile paved recreational trail spans some spectacular scenery from Plummer Canyon on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation to aromatic conifer forests that reach into the Bitterroot Mountains near the Montana state line.
Visitors to the non-motorized trail will be treated to the sparkling waters of Lake Coeur d'Alene and the Coeur d'Alene River most of the way.
Arrive at any of 17 trailheads by car or leave the vehicle behind and arrive from as far away as Spokane International Airport by using centennial trails and public transit.
There are also a couple of local tour companies that will handle logistics. In addition to spectacular scenery, there is plenty to see and do with options that appeal to a variety of tastes.
From pursuits like mountain biking, camping, huckleberry picking and hiking, to fishing, floating and kayaking local rivers, exploring historic museums and underground mine tours, or taking in live performances in towns along the way, it's easy to create a memorable vacation along this trail.
We got to see a Mama Moose and her little blond baby moose. Then we stopped alongside of this body of water to look at Geese and watched a wolf stalk those very same geese. We love wildlife and found the experience to be quite exhilarating. Then when we tried to leave the gravel parking spot we found that our station wagon was stuck!
Fortunately this woman and her husband came along in a jeep and she pulled us out. Probably the most fun because it was a woman who did the pulling and I am a woman who got it stuck! I would recommend anyone trying to do Yellowstone during the off season if they have the right vehicle and love wildlife.
Continuing on Rt. 119 brought us to Rt. 90 heading west. This took us through the Rockies and into some of the most country. We continued West to Green River where we switched to Rt. 6 North into Rt.15 North and then on into Salt Lake City. Now the point of all of this is to tell you about the scenery of this trip. We got to see at least six completely different rock structuring. About every 100 miles the panorama presented an entirely new set of shapes and colors. I’ve never seen anything like that in all my years of traveling.
We went to Pearl Harbor. This memorial is a great place to visit. The USS Arizona has a memorial under the ocean and it is an awesome sight. Near Pearl Harbor is the Oahu Stadium Swap Meet and the swap meet is a great place to get souvenirs. We got shirts, gifts and other items from the swap meet. We also went to Germaine’s Luau. It is a nice Luau and we enjoyed having dinner there and seeing the show. It is very interactive and everyone had fun.
We also went to North Shore. It is a nice place to visit. It will take you the whole day but it is worth it. The beaches are great and the views are fantastic. We stopped at the Dole Plantation and let the kids do the maze.
We had lunch at the famous Shrimp Shack. It is mobile and you can find it while driving to North Shore. We also went to the Polynesian Cultural Center where you can learn about the different islands. We ended our trip by eating at the Oceanarium in the Pacific Beach Hotel. We love the food and the kids love the big aquarium in the middle. It is so big that you can see divers go inside it. It is our favorite place to eat in Oahu. So that’s our best Hawaii Island family vacation.
The Indians lost the game, but that was only the start to the trip. The next night, Saturday, we took to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Amazing place, at that time, they had a special exhibit on Pink Floyd, one of my favorite bands. Three floors full of the best rock and roll memories you can only imagine. They also have a concert hall inside of the Hall of Fame as well, I believe the band Staind was set to play there that night. However, after our brief visit at the hall, we were taking to the Quicken Loans Arena that night. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers play at Quicken Loans Arena, that Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. We were sitting courtside, and it was amazing to see a future legend up close and person.
The Cavs had better results than the Indians, winning the game, so the party was on in Cleveland that night. We took to some bars after the game, my personal favorite being Local Heroes. The next day we woke up early, as the Cleveland Browns hosted my local team the Buffalo Bills. We got to tailgating around 9 am for the 1pm game. Nothing like tossing around the football, having some beers, grilling some dogs, talking with the local fans, all of whom were very friendly. The tailgating experience may have been better than the game itself! The Browns stadium, however, makes 3 of 3 stadiums that I was impressed with in Cleveland.
All 3 are fairly new, are in great shape, have great design, and are easily accessible all around. The Browns won the game, sending us Bills fans home unhappy. All in all, Cleveland, OH is a great vacation spot for the sports fan, especially in October with all 3 major teams in season. There is also a lot other to do in Cleveland's downtown area, with their huge Market at the Square mall, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a good bar scene, and much else more. I recommend Cleveland in October for great sports US family vacations.