Shot chases regulation birds hurtled from two voice-activated traps at Coeur d’Alene Skeet and Trap Club, where guests take aim at clays on three trap fields, a five-stand course, and four skeet fields, one of which is also voice activated. Each field hosts two annual shoots and tournaments for its 55 league teams, while visitors and more than 700 members test their clay-shattering skills with a variety of wobble games. Elsewhere, novices boost shotgun skills during lessons, ladies brush up on gun know-how at instructional clinics, and kids sample clay-target sports in the youth program. In between rounds and lessons, customers can visit the pro shop to restock on ammo or pick up a shotgun to mount and hang above the mantel.
Just as Captain Ahab chased Moby Dick and Elmer Fudd hunted Bugs Bunny, Kurt Artner has embarked on his own animal-related quest. Since he first visited Idaho's North Panhandle in 1978, the expert fisherman has cast his line toward the area's most prized catch: a 25-pound rainbow trout. The quest led him to a career as a fishing guide with his own business, Pend Oreille Charters. And unlike the futile attempts of the aforementioned characters, Mr. Artner has reached his goal several times over; he's pulled many a 20- to 25-pound trout onto the decks of his 28-foot fishing boat.
At Strike Zone Arena, kids and adults alike fire and dodge Nerf darts during birthday parties and team-building exercises. Amid a wide-open multicolored arena, players duck and cover as they hurl suction-cupped missiles at their friends.
As soon as young Ed Dickson could swim three laps in an Olympic-size pool, he earned his free time on Lake Michigan; his mother gave him a 12-foot aluminum motorboat and told him he could fish anywhere, provided he was home by sunset. Reflecting back on his childhood, Ed suspects his family ate more fish than they wanted to.
Nowadays, Ed is the owner of Diamond Charters and a Coast Guard captain with more than 15,000 hours on the water, which he accumulated on Lake Michigan, the waters of California and Mexico, and in his current lake of choice: Idaho’s Lake Pend Oreille. Since 1992, he has been cruising the landlocked lake for its rainbow trout, famed for growing to record-breaking sizes and skirting predators by blending into nearby rainbows. Ed also showcases the lake to his guests on fishing expeditions through Diamond Charters. On any given excursion, he steers passengers to the best fishing spots aboard his 32-foot Twin Volvo Turbo Carver yacht, outfitted with amenities that include a TV, microwave, and a set of more than 1,000 lures.
Renovations can be perilous—when swapping in new technology and modern comforts, it’s easy to lose sight of a favorite haunt’s original charm. But even after a 2012 overhaul that added two new screens, digital projection, and surround sound, Roxy Theater retains a vintage vibe from the neon sign standing at attention on the façade to the 1934 carbon-arc projector displayed in the lobby.
Today, Roxy Theater boasts more space for its visitors with a bigger concessions area that the Inlander describes as resembling “an old soda shop with chrome and cherry red accents.” The theater serves hot dogs, ice cream, candy, and fresh popcorn. Guests can also earn perks and cut down lobby time by preordering their concessions for the evening through an online rewards program.
Cool breezes gain steam over the waters of Hayden Lake before moving through the pine trees that line the fairways of Avondale Golf Course, adding to the bucolic splendor of the 18-hole, 6,600-yard layout. The course's short-grass corridors switchback through a combination of tree-lined and open terrain, with water hazards complicating passage on five holes, placing precise shots and webbed golf shoes at a premium.
A stint at the natural-turf driving range helps golfers to warm up for the round, a necessary measure for slow-starting swings that may struggle to reach the lengthy par 4 second hole—rated the course's hardest from the men's tees—in regulation. After hunting birdies and inflating the egos of smug putters across the landscape, players can recess to the Water Hazard Bar & Grill to recap memorable shots over dinner and drinks.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,600 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.0 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 130 from the farthest tees * Five tee options