#7 Harrison, Idaho

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Metro Spokane Places to Live

2020 population: 219
Drive time to downtown Coeur d’Alene: 53 minutes
Drive time to downtown Spokane: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Harrison, Idaho is a lake town in Kootenai County

Overall Character: ★★★★☆
Urban: ★☆☆☆☆
Suburban: ☆☆☆☆☆
Walkability: ★★★☆☆
Market Activity: ★★☆☆☆
Farm Town: ☆☆☆☆☆
Timber Town: ★★★★★
Lake / River Town: ★★★★★

The view of downtown Harrison looking northbound.

Harrison Community Description

If Harrison wasn’t so remote, its population would boom. Located on the other side of Lake Coeur d’Alene and on its southern reach, no less, the most direct access to Harrison is by boat or sea plane. Short of that, one must travel a twisty, slow, two lane road that winds along the eastern shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The drive during the winter months is no picnic during a fresh snowfall. Along the way, however, one gets to see a lot of money. Some of the region’s premier lake homes are located along Highway 97. (Rumors abound about what celebrities own homes in the area.) Harrison serves as a secondary market center on the east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene, so don’t be fooled by its population because its scope of market activity serves many the wealthy household, as well as tourists.

The heritage of Harrison is logging. It was once a bustling timber community of roughly 25,000 souls at its peak. A fire ravaged most of town in the early 1900s and destroyed most of the original historic stock of a structures. Nevertheless, many of those that were rebuilt remain today and, even better, Harrison’s main street is one city block up from the lake shore, which is quite an asset.

Additionally, the east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene is very much the beginning of the Rocky Mountains, which means Harrison slopes up significantly from the lake shore, which means most every historic home in town has a view of the lake, which means residents of Harrison have easy access to mountain activities.

During the summer months, boat traffic flocks to Harrison. There are two restaurant/bars in town and, luckily, one of them stays open year-round. It’s called One Shot Charlie’s. There are several places to stay, including an old-school bed and breakfast called The Osprey.

Aside from its isolated location, which some may see as an asset, and its quiet winters, which some may also see as an asset, Harrison contains all the region’s highest qualities. Dripping with character, small town feel, and located on a lake yet at the doorstep of remote mountain access, Harrison is one of metro Spokane’s premier communities.

Everything slopes from the lake shore in Harrison, Idaho.
Most every historic home in Harrison has a view of Lake Coeur d'Alene.
The 72 mile long trail of the Coeur d'Alenes travels through Harrison.
The old schoolhouse in Harrison, Idaho
The old school house sure looks spooky.
Just another lazy, summer day in Harrison.
Most all businesses in Harrison are locally owned.
Structures in downtown Harrison open up to main street and Lake Coeur d'Alene.

(Featured image by Robert Ashworth)

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