Now that you’ve seen all (6) shows, I hope you can see how we brought a little bit of Idaho into DIY Network Blog Cabin 2015. Every year, we attempt to make this home as local and authentic as we can. And you can see those touches through out each one. Whether its time reading about the location or scouting the local antique shops with design coordinator Laurie March, I really try to understand not only the physical location of the house and how that impacts the design but also how the surrounding beauty and culture should effect it as well.

Now being an East coaster, I admit to not knowing much about Idaho. Potatoes right? Well I was way under-informed as to how cool this place really is! Luckily we also had the fine and friendly people of Coeur d’Alene to help as well as some top notch builders at Edwards Smith Construction.

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So today I wanted to share my top 5 Favorite things about Idaho….

Idaho Scenery

1. Natural Beauty

This place is unbelievably beautiful. The first time I drove to the old run down house, I thought I might run off the road staring out the windows. Splendid mountains that meander around epic lakes. If you can take in all that, imagine bald eagles, elk, moose, turkey, deer, edible plants! I mean come on…

Whether you are a sportsman, fisherman, or naturalist this place has something for everyone.

Coeur d'Alene Idaho

2. Weather

So being only 99 miles from Canada you’d expect this place to be as cold as it is for our friends over at Bath Crashers in Minnesota? Boy was I wrong! See the average low is only 22 degrees in the winter. And get this 85 in the summer. It turns out to be incredibly temperate for the latitude. Part of it is the buffering of a 27 mile lake and part of it is that the really cold air dropping down from Canada goes on the east side of the Rockies to Montana. That makes for an epic outdoor adventure, which I’m getting to.

3. Outdoor Sports

With that decent weather and some good sun why wouldn’t you want to be ripping around that lake on a wakeboard? Or heading to one of the many resorts in the winter for snow skiing? Everyone here loves the outdoors. I have never seen so many boats, ATVs, and ski lodges. There’s something for everyone.

Not into power sports? How about some of my favorite hikes right outside of town like Tubbs Hill, Mineral Ridge, and Beauty Bay. Perhaps you don’t like to see 300 bald eagles at one time, but I do.

Coeur d'Alene Idaho

4. Small Town Charm

Being only 30 minutes from Spokane and the airport gives you lots of options if you want the city. Drive 30 minutes in any other direction and you have cute little towns through out the valleys. Want to see the Center of the Universe? Head to Wallace. A mining museum? Head up to the Sprague Pole museum in Murray. Be sure to make some friends and talk to the locals. They are as friendly as they come.

5. Great Food

And lastly how could I leave out the food? Given the size of Coeur d’Alene, you wouldn’t expect so many good restaurants. But there are so many options here. The Coeur d’Alene resort alone has three restaurants in it, and the four blocks of downtown has at least 20 hot spots. To top it off the food is economical compared to some destination towns. Healthy and heavy eaters alike can find something at most places. The restaurants are tuned in food allergies as well as locally-sourced ingredients. Like local beer options? Check out Crafted. Fine dining? Beverly’s in the Resort. Some fusion pizza? Fire’s the place to be.

I could go on and make this my top 20 favorite things but I have to stop somewhere. I love this place. My least favorite thing you ask? Its that I can’t win DIY Network Blog Cabin 2015, but you can! I will definitely be back to Idaho in the future.