Coeur d'Alene Resort autumn activities include Golfoberfest and Whiskey Barrel Weekend

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Sep. 26—The vibe at Coeur d'Alene Resort is considerably different than it was a year ago. The pandemic plagued the popular destination since groups from other parts of the country and the world didn't visit during the summer of 2020.

Rooms were available last year, but it's been a much different scene at Coeur d'Alene Resort during the dog days of 2021. The resort has been at capacity for much of the season.

"It's been a fantastic summer here," said Bill Reagan, president of Coeur d'Alene Resort. "People have flocked back here for all of the outdoor activities. I've never seen a summer like this one. People are staying at the resort, enjoying our restaurants and shopping throughout Coeur d'Alene.

"It's been amazing. More people are moving into the area, and they've found about us. People on the way to the national parks, Glacier and Yellowstone, have visited. And then there are all the people who were quarantining throughout the pandemic. They finally feel comfortable coming out, and it's contributed to a massive summer we've had here."

Some folks have been on the outside looking in, but there will be more availability and room to check out the lake at Coeur d'Alene during autumn. "There are so many reasons to visit in the fall," Reagan said. "In September and October, the days are beautiful and the nights are cooler. We have fall cruises, and if you want to get out on the lake on a jet ski or a pontoon boat, it's a little more enjoyable since there aren't so many boats out there."

There are special events slated for October after the popular Coeur d'Alene Fondo, which was Sept. 18-19. "One of my favorite events is the Fondo," Reagan said. "There's something for every cyclist at our Fondo." It's never too early to start planning for next year's Fondo, especially if you're new to the annual attraction.

There are five different distances for excursions around the lake. Cyclists can choose between a 15-mile course and one that nearly encompasses 120 miles. The latter is the Gran Fondo, which is 116 miles and loops all Lake Coeur d'Alene, plus a loop through the chain lakes along the Coeur d'Alene River.

The Medio Fondo starts and finishes at the resort with an 87-mile loop throughout the entirety of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The Centro Fondo starts with a trek on the Coeur d'Alene Resort cruise boat to Harrison at the south end of the lake. After the scenic 90-minute ride, cyclists travel 50 miles around the south and west sides of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The Family Fondo is a 15-mile ride along the scenic Centennial Trail to Higgen's Point and back.

The Piccolo Fondo is a 39-mile ride from around the lake to the east. Riders finish in Harrison and board a resort cruise boat back to downtown Coeur d'Alene. Those who participate in those four runs receive an Oktoberfest ticket, 32 ounces of beer for riders ages 21 and older, an Oktoberfest post-race meal, fully stocked aid stations, tech support on the course and chip timing.

Gears are switched the following month as Golfoberfest is set for Oct. 9. Sample the flavors of the harvest-crafted seasonal microbrews throughout the golf course with complimentary grilled Bavarian-style bratwurst, sausages and hot dogs. The package also includes a souvenir gift to commemorate the experience.

Whiskey Barrel Weekend returns for a third year. The resort's female-led team traveled to Kentucky to create a smooth, custom Maker's Mark blend for the 2021 Whiskey Barrel Weekend from Oct. 15-16 for a chance to try all three Coeur d'Alene Resort batches, including the 2021 Coeur d'Alene Resort "Whiskey Women" batch. There's also an opportunity to experience classes taught by industry insiders, master distillers and lakeside tastings.

After indulging in Whiskey Barrel Weekend, it might be time to go the other direction for the October Live Well Retreat. Click the reset button with a Halloween-inspired spooky yoga class, and check out the changing colors of the season with a guided Tubbs Hill nature walk by the lake.

Cap the month with the annual Monsters Ball Bash, which is set for Oct. 30. The event will be held at the Resorts Plaza Shops and will feature a costume contest, DJ and no-host bars. "It's going to be a very busy fall at our resort," Reagan said. "The fun doesn't stop once summer ends."

Coeur d'Alene Resort, 115 S. Second St., (208) 209-5031 and cdaresort.com.

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