Sandpoint is a land of bountiful beauty. Nestled between the three mountain ranges, the Selkirk, Cabinet, and Bitterroot range on spectacular Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint, Idaho, offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation along with arts and cultural events happening every week. This place has a unique small-town charm of its own that attracts over two million tourists every year.
From picture-perfect landscapes to iconic mountain hikes to magnificent late-night cruises, Sandpoint is fun to explore no matter what means of recreation pleases you the most.
Also, it’s not just the beautiful scenic outdoors that makes this place so prevalent but also the way this city has embraced the community and art. Several local shops, restaurants, art galleries, and cultural attractions experience high footfall due to its quaint charm and beauty.
The significant annual events, such as ‘The Festival at Sandpoint,’ is a joyful celebration that attracts many visitors from all over to participate in the community spirit and celebrate the joy of being together.Read on to our list of thoughtfully curated top attractions and things to do in Sandpoint, Idaho, to know more about this land full of beauty and art.
Sandpoint City Beach Park
Everyone loves to spend time in the fantastic waters of Idaho’s most significant and deepest lake, Lake Pend Oreille. It sees the highest footfall during a hot summer day when the sun is shining and the sand is warm and golden. Fill your day with a lot of fun by heading to Sandpoint City Beach Park.
It is spread across a sprawling 22-acre public space with lakeside access and swimming spots. The park offers many recreational outdoor activities to the visitors, such as pickleball courts, tennis courts, a huge playground, hiking trails, a boat launch, and marina, basketball courts, and more.
Spend quality time with your friends and family by spending a day here. Organize one-day picnics, eat good food or pick some up from downtown Sandpoint. Bask in the stunning beauty of Lake Pend Oreille, cast a line for fishing, or enjoy the charm of floating boating docks or pontoon boats by taking their boat rentals service. Experience what it feels like living on the water with Lake Pend Oreille Cruises.
Also, if you like bird watching, indulge in the lovely experience of witnessing different bird species on the Birds of Prey Cruise. You can also learn about the exciting lake’s history on the Lake History Cruise.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
When you venture out to Idaho’s biggest ski resort, Schweitzer, you will enter into a world of astonishment and jaw-dropping beauty. Situated 25 minutes from downtown Sandpoint, Schweitzer is a great ski hill that casts a spell if visited during winter. It is an independently owned downhill destination spread across 2,900 acres and witnesses 300 inches of snowfall yearly.
The recreational activities at this place are pretty diverse and include everything from long trails to stunning views to adventurous mountain hiking, disc golfs, and many hosted events. You will not have even a single dull day when you are here.
Also, if you want to witness the 360° views of Lake Pend Oreille, you can do so by purchasing a scenic lift pass and grabbing lunch at the Summit Café. This café is known for its stunning views and good food.
Enjoy all the activities by strolling in the cascading views of the Selkirk Mountains. After the snow melts and summer starts, the resort provides scenic lift rides that open a vast world of hiking and riding for mountain bikers and visitors. The resort is also well-known for its unique community feel; it offers visitors excellent dining options and shopping opportunities. The place has many gift shops as well.
On a day with clear blue skies, witness the fantastic view of Canada, Montana, and Washington. Keep checking their social media for any fun festivals and events like fall fest and wine fest during your visit to add one more top thing to do when in Sandpoint, Idaho.
Wine Tastings at Pend D’oreille Winery
Pend d’Oreille Winery is one of the oldest in Sandpoint, Idaho, and is very well known for producing the finest and award-winning wine from grapes cultivated in Northwest Idaho. The wine production is done in Sandpoint, and the best part is you can witness the winemaking by visiting their lovely winery.
Indulge in an unforgettable wine-tasting experience by curating a wine-tasting session as per your choice, or you can even go by a pre-selected tasting menu. One of their best sellers and premium wines is famously called “The Huckleberry Blush.” Huckleberries are a wild fruit found in the northwest and tend to be tart with the perfect hint of sweetness. This wine is made by infusing the flavor of locally pressed huckleberries. It tastes divine.
The place has welcoming interiors with high ceilings and large windows. It has the perfect aesthetics to enjoy and have fun while hanging out with loved ones. They also have a lip-smacking menu that includes delicious pizzas, hard cheese, and loaves of bread. Also, remember to keep checking their website for any live music events for an unforgettable experience.
Camping at Farragut State Park
Farragut State Park is just a 30-minute south drive starting from Sandpoint. It is one of Idaho’s best state parks and is well known for its exciting history and associations. This place is spread across 4,000 acres and has over 220 campsites for its visitors to spend the night peacefully.
The Farragut Naval Training Center was formed in 1942 post the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. It is well-known for its exciting history and for being the World War II-era naval training center. Over its four years of operation, approximately 300,000 recruits attended the basic training imparted there. The authorities spend more than 160 million dollars on its construction.
One crucial point that draws many visitors throughout the year is its outdoor appeal and outdoor recreational activities, such as great boating and water access. Apart from this, the park is well-known for its collection of disc golf courses. It hosts the famous Farragut Open PDGA tournament every autumn.
Bonner County Historical Museum
The Bonner County Historical Museum is situated in the beautiful Lakeview Park and offers stunning views of Lake Pend Oreille. It offers various outdoor recreational activities and amenities, such as small picnic spots, a playground, a tennis court, and the famous Native Plant Society arboretum. The museum is in top-notch condition and is well-organized, with excellent presentations and a great display of artifacts. It is truly a gem of a museum where you will not just have a great time but also learn a lot about the area.
It is a superb little museum covering North Idaho history. It covers aspects related to mining, logging, and local history that are depicted very well and in an easy-to-understand manner. Learn about local archaeological digs associated with the story of the area’s development.
Gold Hill Trail
Gold Hill trail is one of the most popular destinations for local hikers and mountain bikers. It is a 3.7-mile track that leads you to the stunning vantage point above Lake Pend Oreille’s western shore; if you are adventurous and love outdoor activities, you want to take advantage of the terrific hike or a bike ride.
Experience mountain biking and hiking at its best available in the Pacific Northwest. Most start at the trailhead on Bottle Bay Road, about 8 miles south of Sandpoint. Those who want a shorter hike with amazing views can opt for an upper trailhead on Contest Mountain Road. Also, beaches at the top make a great picnic spot and a halt for snacks and lunch.
Mountain Horse Adventures
Ride through the beautiful forests and enter into the world of magnificence. Experience nature closely by riding through the stunning and dense forests and witnessing the breathtaking views of Lake Pend Oreille. Most rides begin from the Schweitzer village and head to other notable locations. Indulge in the joy of horse riding on the best trail horses one can ask for under the guidance of licensed forest guides. These rides are suitable for families and riders of all abilities. So, no matter whether you are a novice or experienced at horse riding, there’s no restriction here. All rides originate at Schweitzer Mountain Resort and run from May through the end of October.
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
At Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, take the pleasure of experiencing the spirit of the west on an all-inclusive guest ranch adventure vacation. A guest ranch, also known as a dude ranch, offers visitors comprehensive guest ranch vacation packages. The stay includes lodging, good food, horseback riding, and other ranch activities such as beer and wine. During that time, you can stay and experience the entire ranch life.
Experience the quiet solitude of your private cabin post the hectic day spent at adventurous activities such as riding, skiing, hiking, biking, and just enjoying the stunning scenery of North Idaho.
Silverwood Theme Park
Silverwood is the largest theme park situated in the Pacific Northwest. It has more than 70 rides, different types of slides, shows and attractions, thrilling roller coasters, Boulder Beach Water Park, a steam engine train, live entertainment shows per the scheduled time, many good restaurants, and more.
Their performances are impressive and will provide a unique experience altogether. Experience the night full of screams by entering the world of scary woods.
There are many incredible places to stay, ranging from hotels, motels, and resorts to vacation rentals—book one on your visit to experience the joy and fun of spending time with families.
Hermit’s hollow tubing center is located in Schweitzer and is widely popular for its massive snow accumulation. Children of all ages love it. This tubing hill has a lift and two 300-foot-long tubing lanes, which give you a fantastic sliding experience that stretches over 100 yards. Just slide down, sit back, and enjoy as you get pulled back up to the top automatically. The tubing session lasts about 1.5 hours; also, every tuber must be at least 42″ tall if they wish to participate.
Tickets must be purchased online for all tubing sessions, as the center gets sold out pretty fast. It’s better to book well in advance to avoid last-minute disappointments.
Clark Fork River
The Clark Fork River is in the U.S states of Montana and Idaho and is approximately 310 miles long. The Clark Fork and the tributaries are widely known for fly fishing and other famous water recreational activities such as floating, SUPing, rafting, kayaking, and river surfing.
It provides tremendous joy to paddlers, so if you are experienced, you can meander here all year round. But if you have just started, handling water can be challenging.
Laughing Dog Brewery
Laughing Dog Brewery is a craft beer brewery company that offers a variety of freshly brewed beers. It is known for crafting quality beers of all flavors. Their award-winning beers include Huckleberry Cream Ale, Imperial IPA Alpha Dog, and local favorite 219 Pilsner.
Their seasonal offers have fetched gold medals and include premium beers like Anubis Imperial Coffee Porter, Pecan Porter, The DogFather, and De Achtste Hond. Visit this place if you are a beer person!
Lake Pend Oreille Cruises
Cruise on the spectacular Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho’s largest lake, with unforgettable Lake Pend Oreille Cruises. Learn about the lake’s history, indulge in beautiful experiences such as eagle watching, and capture in your eyes the bountiful beauty of the surrounding mountains. Choose from various boat tours and pick the one that gets you the most excited. The options include an island and eagle-watching tour, Clark Fork Delta Cruise, Lake History Cruise, Private Charter, 4th of July Fireworks Cruise, and the Full Moon Dessert Cruise.
The Festival at Sandpoint
The Festival at Sandpoint is the celebration of music; the celebration lasts for eight nights under the stars on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille, sounds unreal, right?
It appeals to all age groups and people with varied musical tastes. The striking point is the way it is organized. Here the audience is limited to 4000 people, unlike any other music festival, which happens amongst a crowd of thousands.
Here the celebration doubles as it is organized in an intimate setting amidst the top performers. Some of the big names include Jackson Browne, Kool & the Gang, Sublime with Rome, Spokane Symphony, and ends with a bang with fireworks.
Sandpoint, Idaho, is loaded with adventures, fun, and beautiful festivals for such a small city. Therefore, if you are curating your list of the top attractions and things to do in Sandpoint, Idaho, we hope this guide helps.
The city is embraced by nature with bountiful beauty all around. Bask in the glory of nature and create memorable memories by spending some quality time here with friends and family. places like shopping spots, restaurants, parks, etc.