Things To Do

Attractions in and around Sandpoint, Idaho

Here’s a short list of Sandpoint-area attractions:

Lake Pend Oreille

With 111 miles of shoreline and at 1,200 feet deep, Lake Pend Oreille is Idaho’s largest and deepest lake. Enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities: take a cruise, rent a houseboat, fish, ride a personal watercraft, windsurf, swim or meander along a shoreline trail. Right in Sandpoint, City Beach at the end of Bridge Street has beautiful sandy beaches with lifeguards, volleyball, tennis, basketball and barbecue pits. There are a variety of fishing charters for fishing or cruising the lake. For a complete lake guide, visit the Sandpoint Online Recreation Guide.

Sunset-Lake Pend Oreille

Lake Pend Oreille Cruises

Discover the majesty and magic of Lake Pend Oreille aboard the 40-foot Shawnodese, which features the style and grace of shipbuilding utilized at the turn of the century. In summer, public cruises are scheduled daily, as well as Monday and Friday sunset dessert cruises, Tuesday and Thursday dinner cruises, wine tasting cruises and a Fourth of July fireworks cruise. Look up Lake Pend Oreille Cruises for details and pricing. 888-SANDPOINT (726-3764) or 208-255-LAKE (5253).

Farmers’ Market

May to October, this open-air market presents fresh produce, garden starts, handcrafts, flowers, food and music. Saturdays and Wednesdays in Farmin Park. SandpointFarmersMarket.com. 208-265-0780

Walking and Bicycling

The Pedestrian Long Bridge, alongside Highway 95 over Lake Pend Oreille, spans from Sandpoint to Sagle Road; also find paved paths at Travers Park on Pine Street, City Beach downtown, along Highway 2 west to Dover, Lakeview Park through and around the Native Plant Society Arboretum, and overlooking Sand Creek at the Healing Garden next to Bonner General Hospital. Plus the lakeside Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail north of The Seasons. View a trail guide on the Sandpoint Online Recreation Guide.

Shopping

Downtown shoppers will discover a fine array of eclectic shops and galleries with clothing, art, antiques and gifts galore. Also, check out other shopping venues around town and at the Bonner Mall in Ponderay, phone 208-263-4272, which has a six-plex movie theater.

Antiques

Foster’s Crossing at Fifth between Cedar and Oak streets is a mini mall with antiques, books, jewelry and more. There’s also a small restaurant. 208-263-5911. Cocolalla Corner Antiques has a fine collection as well. Located in Cocollala 12 miles south of Sandpoint. 208-263-9033.

Winery Tour

Sandpoint is home to Pend d’Oreille Winery, 2003 Idaho Winery of the Year and 2005 SBA Small Business of the Year. The winery vints award-winning wines from the world-class vineyards of the Northwest. The wine bar features live music on Fridays and Saturdays, while wine tasting, wine sales and tours are open daily. Drop by 220 Cedar St. or call 208-265-8545.

Brewery Tours

Laughing Dog Brewing Co. brews several styles of beer in Ponderay. Tours and tastings, plus a gift shop are open daily, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Located off Highway 95 at 1109 Fontaine Dr. in Ponderay, near the Bonner Mall. Phone 208-263-9222. Also see brewing in action, and enjoy a frosty one, at a brewpub downtown,MickDuff’s, at 312 N. First Avenue. 208-255-4351

Driving Tours

- Highway 2/41 Pend Oreille River Scenic Route, west on Highway 2 from Sandpoint through historic Priest River and Newport/Oldtown; then south on Highway 41 through the Blanchard Valley all the way to the Spokane River.
- Wild Horse Trail Scenic Byway, 48 miles on Highway 95 from Sandpoint north following Kootenai Tribe’s historic path on the east side of Selkirk Mountains all the way to Canada. Available at the Sandpoint Chamber Visitor Center.
Selkirk Loop, 280-mile drive through the majestic Selkirks of Idaho, Washington and British Columbia. More than 55 lakes, including Lake Pend Oreille, on the tour. 888-823-2626.
Pend Oreille National Scenic Byway, 33.4 miles of spectacular water views on Highway 200, meandering east to the Montana state line along the rocky shores of Lake Pend Oreille.

Bike Tours

Sandpoint has long enjoyed the Long Bridge as a bike path; it’s a 2-mile long, flat bike ride that starts downtown behind the Old Power House. In recent years, the path has been extended south four miles to Sagle to create an easy, rolling scenic ride through the countryside along Highway 95. There’s a second bicycle path, beginning at Larch and Fifth in Sandpoint and heading about two miles west to Dover, built upon an abandoned railroad track. A route has also been extended from that path’s terminus at Larch to Boyer then west about .5 mile to E. Mountain View Drive and then down to Sand Creek, where riders can cross the Popsicle Bridge over Sand Creek. This burgeoning network of bike paths is the vision of North Idaho Bikeways, a group that formed in 1994.

Art Galleries

Sandpoint has about two dozen galleries located in town and the surrounding area, including Hallans Gallery with historic Ross Hall photos. In summer, up to 20 downtown venues become galleries in ArtWalk, a self-guided walking tour to browse revolving art exhibits, sponsored by POAC, 208-263-6139. And about 15 area artists open their galleries for the Artists’ Studios Tour, a self-guided driving tour in the countryside, 800-800-2106.

Schweitzer

Ranked nationally in the top 32 resorts by both Ski and Snow Country magazines, Schweitzer is an award-winning winter retreat with the best skiing, snowboarding and views in the Inland Northwest. Ride 2,900 acres of terrain, from the wild trails to those more approachable by beginners. And enjoy a mountain of summer activities, including hiking, mountain biking, a climbing wall and more. Horseback rides and snowmobile and backcountry ski tours are also offered through Mountain Horse Adventures and Selkirk Powder Company. 208-263-9555 or 800-831-8810

Silverwood Theme Park

The Northwest’s largest theme park, 25 miles south of Sandpoint on Highway 95, Silverwood Theme Park includes admission to Boulder Beach Water Park during its operating season. The park features Tremors, a 60 mile-per-hour underground roller coaster, plus Timber Terror, Panic Plunge and the Corkscrew. Ride a vintage steam train, challenge a wave pool and monster waterslides, or enjoy live entertainment. Silverwood has more than 60 rides, shows and attractions. 208-683-3400

Bonner County Historical Society and Museum

The Bonner County Historical Society and Museum has many fine displays depicting old-time Bonner County, including “Seneacquoteen” (Deep Water Crossings), a display featuring Native American artifacts and history from the geologic formation to present day. An extensive collection of Ross Hall photos are on exhibit, as well as a pioneer kitchen with memorabilia, and reproductions of gowns worn by First Ladies at their husbands’ inaugurations. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; small admission fee. 611 S. Ella at Lakeview Park; 208-263-2344.

Horseback Riding/Sleigh Rides

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, 16 miles northeast of Sandpoint, offers sleigh rides in a rural setting for groups and couples, as well as horseback rides and overnight camping horse trips; 208-263-9066. Stillwater Ranch in Sagle, on Dufort Road, features hay rides; 208-263-0077.

Golf

- The Elks Golf Club is two miles from Sandpoint on Highway 200; 208-263-4321. Well-maintained, 9-hole course is perfect for the beginner or intermediate golfer.
StoneRidge Golf is a 19-hole course in Blanchard on Highway 41; 208-437-4653.
- Play a challenging 9 holes, or 18 from the second set of tees, at Mirror Lake Golf Course in Bonners Ferry on Highway 95; 208-267-5314.
- Go to Priest Lake Golf Course with its 18-hole layout just west of Priest Lake; 208-443-2525.
The Idaho Club is an 18-hole course and private resort about 8 miles east of Sandpoint on Highway 200. As a private development, public tee times may be restricted. 208-265-8600 or 800-323-7020.

Fish Hatcheries

Cabinet Gorge Hatchery, about 30 miles east of Sandpoint just outside of Clark Fork, hatches several million kokanee salmon eggs each year for release into Lake Pend Oreille. Open daily; call 208-266-1431 to arrange a tour for a group, or stop in any day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a self-guided tour.

Dam Tours

Albeni Falls Dam tours are free and held seven days a week at six different times throughout the day. Tour guides will lead you inside the powerhouse, around the generators, onto each of the five floors and out on the spillway. Phone 208-437-3133.

Wildlife Refuge

With more than 2,000 acres, the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles north of Sandpoint near Bonners Ferry, has plenty of habitat for an abundance of wildlife. The refuge has developed hiking trails and blinds where waterfowl can be viewed, or take the auto tour through the ponds (open daily except in the hunting season, Oct.-Nov). Stay in your car and the waterfowl won’t take alarm, so the viewing is excellent. In autumn, the refuge plays host to thousands of ducks, geese and swans migrating down the Pacific Flyway. Some hearty waterfowl winter over. Summer residents include bald eagles, rough-legged hawks, herons, geese and ducks. With luck, you may spot elk, deer, moose or bear. A trail near the office and an area on the auto route are handicapped-accessible. There’s also a nice short hike to a scenic falls on Myrtle Creek. 208-267-3888.

Railroading

Sandpoint is one of the West’s greatest railroading towns, where the Burlington Northern, Montana Rail Link and Spokane International rail systems all converge to create “The Funnel,” an amazingly active rail crossroads with more than 40 trains a day traveling through. Rail buffs come from around the world to see the many trains. Drop by the Bonner County Historical Museum to learn more about Sandpoint’s rich railroading history. 609 S. Ella Ave., 208-263-2344. For the brochure, “A Railfan’s Guide to Sandpoint Idaho,” contact the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Sandpoint is a fitting point of departure for the Montana Rockies Rail Tours, which offers excursion train packages between Sandpoint and Livingston, Montana. For more information, call 800-519-7245.

National Forests

Three national forests are easily accessible from Sandpoint: Idaho Panhandle, Colville and Kootenai National Forests, for hiking, camping and other outdoor recreation possibilities. View general information or camping reservations.