Top-Rated Things to Do in Sandpoint, ID

Welcome to Sandpoint, Idaho! Nestled on the shores of stunning Lake Pend Oreille, this charming mountain town offers a plethora of exciting activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or a food enthusiast, Sandpoint has something to offer you. From breathtaking hikes to delectable local cuisine, here are some top-rated things to do in Sandpoint that are sure to make your visit unforgettable.

One of the must-visit attractions in Sandpoint is the Schweitzer Mountain Resort, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 2,900 acres of skiable terrain, this mountain offers endless opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing during the winter months. In the summer, you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and even zip-lining through the treetops. The breathtaking views from the summit are not to be missed!

If you prefer to explore the natural beauty of Sandpoint at a more leisurely pace, head to the Lake Pend Oreille. This pristine 43-mile long lake is perfect for boating, kayaking, and fishing. Take a relaxing cruise to admire the surrounding mountains and watch for bald eagles soaring above. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy a peaceful afternoon on one of the many sandy beaches along the shoreline.

No visit to Sandpoint is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. The town boasts a vibrant food scene with a wide array of restaurants, cafes, and breweries. Sample the fresh catches of the day at one of the waterfront seafood restaurants or savor the flavors of the region at a farm-to-table eatery. Don’t miss the opportunity to pair your meal with a locally crafted beer or a glass of award-winning wine from the nearby vineyards.

With its stunning natural landscapes and a thriving cultural scene, Sandpoint, ID offers a unique and unforgettable experience for every visitor. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, a serene getaway, or a culinary adventure, this charming town has it all. So pack your bags and get ready to explore all the top-rated things to do in Sandpoint!

Explore the Beautiful Lake Pend Oreille

When visiting Sandpoint, Idaho, exploring the beautiful Lake Pend Oreille is a must. As one of the largest lakes in North America, Lake Pend Oreille offers a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, or simply taking in the stunning views, there is something for everyone.

One of the most popular ways to explore the lake is by renting a boat. You can choose from motorboats, sailboats, or even kayaks and canoes. Spend the day cruising around the lake, stopping to swim in the clear, cool water or to fish for trout, bass, and kokanee salmon.

If you prefer to keep your feet on solid ground, there are several beautiful beaches around Lake Pend Oreille where you can relax and enjoy the scenery. Sandpoint City Beach is a popular spot, offering sandy shores, picnic areas, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Farragut State Park is another great option, with over 4,000 acres of natural beauty to explore.

If you’re looking for a more active way to experience the lake, consider hiking one of the many trails that surround Lake Pend Oreille. The Scotchman Peaks Trail is a favorite among hikers, offering stunning panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The Mickinnick Trail is another great option, with its diverse terrain and beautiful wildflowers.

For those who enjoy wildlife spotting, Lake Pend Oreille is home to a variety of animals. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, osprey, deer, and even moose as you explore the area. Birdwatchers in particular will enjoy the diverse range of species that call the lake and its surrounding wetlands home.

No matter how you choose to explore Lake Pend Oreille, be sure to take your time and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the lake offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and relaxation.

Visit the Schweitzer Mountain Resort

The Schweitzer Mountain Resort is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Sandpoint, ID. Nestled in the picturesque Selkirk Mountains, this resort offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages and skill levels.

One of the main attractions at Schweitzer Mountain Resort is its extensive ski and snowboarding terrain. With over 2,900 acres of skiable terrain and an average annual snowfall of 300 inches, it’s no wonder why this resort is a favorite among winter sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner looking to take lessons or an advanced skier or snowboarder seeking challenging runs, Schweitzer has something for everyone.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Schweitzer Mountain Resort also offers a variety of other winter activities. You can go snowshoeing along the resort’s scenic trails, try your hand at fat biking, or take a thrilling ride on the resort’s tubing hill. No matter what activity you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable and exhilarating experience.

During the summer months, Schweitzer Mountain Resort transforms into a hub for outdoor adventures. You can hike or mountain bike along the resort’s extensive trail network, explore the lush alpine meadows, or enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Pend Oreille and the surrounding mountain ranges. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the resort also offers a zipline course and a chairlift ride that provides panoramic vistas of the area.

After a day of outdoor activities, you can refuel at one of the resort’s many dining options. Whether you prefer a casual meal at a slopeside cafe or a gourmet dinner at a mountain-view restaurant, you’ll find plenty of choices to satisfy your cravings.

When visiting Sandpoint, ID, don’t miss the opportunity to explore Schweitzer Mountain Resort. With its stunning natural beauty and wide range of activities, it’s the perfect destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

Take a Walk along Sand Creek

If you’re looking for a peaceful and scenic way to spend some time in Sandpoint, taking a walk along Sand Creek is a must. This beautiful waterway winds its way through the heart of the town, offering stunning views and a tranquil atmosphere.

Start your walk at City Beach, where you can park your car and follow the paved path that runs alongside the creek. As you walk, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and the sound of water flowing gently over rocks. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, such as ducks, geese, and even the occasional otter.

The path will lead you through downtown Sandpoint, where you can take a break and explore the charming shops and restaurants that line the streets. Grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat before continuing your walk.

As you continue along the path, you’ll come across several bridges that cross over the creek. Take a moment to pause and enjoy the picturesque views from each bridge. You’ll be able to see the crystal-clear water below, as well as the mountains in the distance.

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider renting a kayak or paddleboard and exploring Sand Creek from the water. This is a great way to get an up-close look at the wildlife and experience the beauty of the creek from a different perspective.

Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a peaceful way to relax, taking a walk along Sand Creek is the perfect activity. Enjoy the beauty of the waterway and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Sandpoint, Idaho.

Enjoy Water Sports at City Beach

Sandpoint, ID is known for its beautiful scenery and abundant opportunities for outdoor activities. One of the top-rated things to do in Sandpoint is to enjoy water sports at City Beach. Located on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, City Beach offers visitors the chance to partake in a variety of water-based activities.

At City Beach, you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes to explore the lake at your own pace. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, the calm waters of Lake Pend Oreille provide the perfect setting for a peaceful day on the water.

If you’re looking for some adrenaline-pumping action, City Beach offers jet ski rentals as well. Jump on a jet ski and feel the wind in your hair as you zip across the lake’s surface. It’s an exhilarating experience that is sure to get your heart racing.

In addition to paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, and jet skiing, City Beach is also a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. The sandy shores and clear waters make it an ideal place to cool off on a hot summer day. And with plenty of space to lay out a towel and soak up the sun, it’s the perfect spot for a relaxing beach day.

For those who prefer a more structured water activity, City Beach is home to a sailing school. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced sailor looking to hone your skills, the sailing school offers lessons and rentals for all levels.

After a day of water sports, you can refuel and grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby restaurants or cafes. City Beach is conveniently located near downtown Sandpoint, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

If you’re planning a trip to Sandpoint, make sure to add enjoying water sports at City Beach to your itinerary. It’s a top-rated activity that offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a peaceful day on the water or an adrenaline-filled adventure.

Discover the Local Art Scene

Immerse yourself in the vibrant and diverse art scene of Sandpoint, ID. This charming town is home to a wide array of talented artists who contribute to the local art scene in various ways.

Start your exploration at the Pend Oreille Arts Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts in the area. They host regular exhibits, workshops, and events that showcase the work of local artists.

Next, visit the many art galleries scattered throughout the town. These galleries feature a variety of art styles, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and more. Take your time to browse the collections and appreciate the creativity of the local artists.

If you’re interested in the process of creating art, consider taking a class or workshop at one of the local art studios. These studios offer a range of lessons for all skill levels, giving you the opportunity to learn new techniques or improve your existing skills.

Don’t miss the annual Sandpoint Arts & Crafts Fair, held every summer. This event brings together artists and crafters from all over the region, showcasing their unique creations. It’s a great opportunity to support local artists and find one-of-a-kind pieces to take home.

For a truly immersive experience, check out the street art scene in Sandpoint. Take a stroll through downtown and you’ll come across colorful murals and graffiti art that add a unique character to the town. Snap some photos and appreciate the talent behind these outdoor artworks.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply appreciate creativity, Sandpoint’s local art scene has something for everyone. Discover the works of talented artists, participate in workshops, and support the arts in this charming Idaho town.

Go Hiking in the Selkirk Mountains

The Selkirk Mountains offer some of the best hiking trails in the Sandpoint, ID area. With its stunning natural beauty and diverse ecosystem, the Selkirk Mountains are a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

There are several hiking trails to choose from, each offering a unique experience and breathtaking views. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there’s a trail for everyone.

Trail Name Difficulty Level Distance Estimated Time
Bottle Bay Trail Easy 2 miles 1 hour
Lost Lake Trail Moderate 4 miles 2-3 hours
Scotchman Peak Trail Difficult 7 miles 4-6 hours

Whichever trail you choose, make sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and appropriate hiking gear. It’s also a good idea to check the weather conditions and let someone know your hiking plans.

As you hike through the Selkirk Mountains, you’ll encounter stunning alpine meadows, vibrant wildflowers, and panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer, elk, and even the occasional bear or moose.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, hiking in the Selkirk Mountains is a must-do activity in Sandpoint, ID. So lace up your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and get ready to explore the natural wonders of this beautiful mountain range.

Experience Thrills at Silverwood Theme Park

If you’re looking for fun and excitement during your visit to Sandpoint, be sure to check out Silverwood Theme Park. Located just a short drive away, this family-friendly amusement park offers a wide range of thrilling rides and attractions that are sure to please visitors of all ages.

One of the main highlights of Silverwood Theme Park is its collection of roller coasters. Whether you’re a fan of intense drops and loops or prefer a more mild ride, there’s a coaster for everyone here. The park’s iconic wooden roller coaster, Tremors, offers a wild and thrilling experience as it twists and turns through the beautiful Idaho landscape. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, Aftershock is a must-try. This inverted coaster will have you swinging and looping through the air at high speeds.

In addition to its roller coasters, Silverwood Theme Park also features a variety of other rides and attractions. For a unique experience, hop on the Ferris wheel and take in panoramic views of the surrounding area. If you’re looking to cool off on a hot summer day, head to Boulder Beach Water Park, located adjacent to the theme park. Here, you can enjoy water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools.

When you need a break from the rides, be sure to explore the park’s various shops and dining options. From souvenir shops to sweet treats, you’ll find something to satisfy every taste. Don’t forget to try some of the park’s famous funnel cakes!

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking for a fun day out with the family, Silverwood Theme Park is a must-visit destination in Sandpoint. With its wide range of rides and attractions, there’s no shortage of excitement to be found here. So grab your friends and family and get ready for a day of thrills and laughter at Silverwood Theme Park!

Taste Local Flavors at the Farmers Market

One of the best ways to experience the local culture and flavors of Sandpoint is by visiting the Farmers Market. Held every Wednesday and Saturday from May to October, the market is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike.

The Farmers Market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, locally made crafts, and delicious food options. Stroll through the vibrant stalls and discover a plethora of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers grown by local farmers. You’ll also find artisanal cheeses, homemade jams, and baked goods that are sure to please your taste buds.

In addition to the fresh produce, the market features local artisans and craftsmen showcasing their unique creations. Explore handmade jewelry, pottery, woodwork, and other one-of-a-kind items that make perfect souvenirs or gifts for loved ones.

While browsing the market, don’t forget to grab a bite to eat from one of the many food vendors. Indulge in a freshly made crepe, grab a slice of wood-fired pizza, or satisfy your sweet tooth with a scoop of homemade ice cream. The Farmers Market truly has something for everyone.

Not only does the market provide an opportunity to support local businesses and farmers, but it also fosters a sense of community. Engage in friendly conversations with vendors and fellow market-goers, and learn more about the local area and its unique offerings.

So, if you’re looking to experience the true flavors of Sandpoint, be sure to visit the Farmers Market. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, sample delicious food, and take home a piece of the local culture.

Take a Scenic Drive on the Pend Oreille Scenic Byway

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Sandpoint, ID, taking a scenic drive on the Pend Oreille Scenic Byway is a must-do. This 33-mile route winds its way through the stunning landscapes of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, offering breathtaking views at every turn.

The Pend Oreille Scenic Byway begins just outside of Sandpoint and follows the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, one of the largest and deepest inland lakes in the United States. As you drive along the byway, you’ll have the opportunity to spot wildlife, including bald eagles, osprey, and deer, in their natural habitats.

Make sure to stop at some of the scenic overlooks along the byway, such as Viewpoint Overlook and Snow Creek Falls Overlook, to take in the panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and lake. These overlooks provide the perfect opportunity to snap some truly Instagram-worthy photos.

As you continue along the byway, you’ll pass through charming small towns like Hope and Clark Fork, where you can explore local shops, grab a bite to eat, or simply stretch your legs and take in the small-town atmosphere. The byway also traverses the famous Long Bridge, a 1.5-mile-long bridge that spans Lake Pend Oreille and offers stunning views of the water below.

Whether you’re visiting Sandpoint, ID for a weekend getaway or an extended stay, taking a scenic drive on the Pend Oreille Scenic Byway should be at the top of your to-do list. It’s a truly immersive experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Learn about History at the Bonner County Historical Society

When visiting Sandpoint, Idaho, history enthusiasts won’t want to miss a trip to the Bonner County Historical Society. This non-profit organization is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history of the area.

The Bonner County Historical Society operates the Bonner County History Museum, which provides visitors with a fascinating look into the past. The museum features a collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the story of the county and its people.

Bonner County History Museum The exhibits at the Bonner County History Museum cover a wide range of topics, including the early days of European settlement, the growth of the timber industry, and the impact of the railroad on the region. Visitors can explore interactive displays, view historical photographs, and even listen to oral histories from local residents.

In addition to the museum, the Bonner County Historical Society also offers educational programs and special events throughout the year. These events provide further opportunities for visitors to learn about the history of the area and engage with the community.

Located in downtown Sandpoint, the Bonner County History Museum is easily accessible and makes for a great addition to any trip to the area. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the past, a visit to the museum is sure to be an enlightening and enriching experience.

Shop at the Downtown Sandpoint Shopping District

Located in the heart of Sandpoint, the Downtown Sandpoint Shopping District offers an array of unique shops and boutiques that cater to a variety of interests. Whether you’re looking for local art, handmade crafts, or the latest fashion trends, you’ll find it all in downtown Sandpoint.

One of the must-visit shops in the district is Sprout, a stylish boutique offering a curated selection of clothing, accessories, and home decor items. Their collection features trendy pieces from local and national designers, making it the perfect place to update your wardrobe or find a unique gift.

If you’re a lover of books, then you’ll want to make a stop at Vanderford’s Books & Office Products. This charming bookstore has been a staple in the community for decades and offers an extensive selection of new and used books. You’ll find everything from bestsellers to rare finds, ensuring there’s something for every bookworm.

For those interested in outdoor gear and equipment, check out Eichardt’s Pub and Grill. Not only can you enjoy a delicious meal and craft beer at this popular restaurant, but they also have a well-stocked outdoor gear shop. From camping gear to fishing equipment, Eichardt’s has everything you need for your next adventure in Sandpoint.

Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Pend Oreille Arts Council Gallery. This gallery showcases the work of local artists in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, and photography. It’s a great place to discover and support the vibrant arts community in Sandpoint.

After a long day of shopping, be sure to stop by Evan’s Bros. Coffee Roasters for a caffeine fix. This local coffee shop roasts their own beans and offers a cozy atmosphere to relax and recharge. Grab a cup of their signature blend and enjoy the charming surroundings of downtown Sandpoint.

Overall, the Downtown Sandpoint Shopping District provides a unique shopping experience with its diverse range of shops and boutiques. Whether you’re a fashionista, bookworm, outdoor enthusiast, or art lover, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant shopping district.

Attend a Concert at the Panida Theater

If you’re a music lover, attending a concert at the Panida Theater is a must-do when visiting Sandpoint. This historic theater, located in the heart of downtown, has been a cultural hub for the community since it first opened its doors in 1927.

The Panida Theater boasts a unique and intimate atmosphere, with its ornate decor and cozy seating arrangement. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, jazz, rock, or country, the theater offers an eclectic lineup of performances to suit all musical tastes.

What makes attending a concert at the Panida Theater even more special is the fact that it is a local, community-run theater. This means that your ticket purchase goes towards supporting the arts in Sandpoint and helps to maintain the theater’s historic charm.

Before the show, grab a drink at the theater’s stylish bar and mingle with fellow concert-goers. The Panida Theater also frequently hosts pre-show events and receptions, giving you the opportunity to meet the musicians and learn more about their craft.

Whether you’re a local looking for a night out or a visitor seeking a unique cultural experience, attending a concert at the Panida Theater is sure to be a highlight of your time in Sandpoint. Keep an eye on their website for upcoming performances and get ready to enjoy an unforgettable evening of live music in this charming venue.

Don’t miss out on the chance to experience the magic of live music at the Panida Theater!

Go Bird Watching at the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge

If you’re a bird enthusiast, a visit to the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is a must while in Sandpoint, Idaho. This 2,774-acre refuge is a haven for over 300 bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers!

Explore the Trails: The refuge offers several miles of well-maintained trails that wind through diverse habitats, including wetlands, grasslands, and forests. As you walk along the trails, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of bird species, from majestic raptors like bald eagles and ospreys to colorful songbirds like warblers and finches.

Visit the Observation Platforms: The refuge features several observation platforms strategically located throughout the area. These elevated platforms provide excellent vantage points for birdwatching, offering unobstructed views of the surrounding wetlands where waterfowl such as ducks and geese can be spotted. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars or a camera with a telephoto lens to capture close-up shots of your feathered friends!

Participate in a Guided Tour: For a more in-depth birdwatching experience, consider joining one of the refuge’s guided tours. Led by knowledgeable staff or volunteers, these tours offer valuable insights about the refuge’s wildlife, habitats, and conservation efforts. Check the refuge’s website or visitor center for the tour schedule and registration details.

Bring the Essentials: To make the most of your birdwatching expedition, make sure to pack the essentials. Bring a field guide or a birding app to help you identify different species. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes for walking on the trails. Don’t forget sunscreen, insect repellent, water, and snacks to keep yourself hydrated and energized throughout your adventure.

Important Note: While birdwatching, practice responsible wildlife viewing. Keep a safe distance from the birds and their nesting areas to avoid disturbing them. Do not feed or approach the birds, as it can disrupt their natural behaviors and potentially harm them. Remember, the welfare of the birds is paramount, so observe them from a respectful distance.

So, grab your binoculars and head over to the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge for an unforgettable birdwatching experience! You’ll be amazed by the diversity and beauty of the avian species that call this refuge their home.


What are some top-rated things to do in Sandpoint?

Some top-rated things to do in Sandpoint, Idaho include visiting the Schweitzer Mountain Resort, exploring the beautiful Lake Pend Oreille, hiking the Mickinnick Trail, and exploring the charming downtown area with its shops and restaurants.

Can you recommend any outdoor activities in Sandpoint?

There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Sandpoint, Idaho. You can go skiing or snowboarding at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in the winter, enjoy water sports like kayaking or paddleboarding on Lake Pend Oreille, go hiking or mountain biking on the numerous trails in the area, or simply relax on the sandy beaches of the lake.

Are there any cultural attractions in Sandpoint?

Yes, there are several cultural attractions in Sandpoint, Idaho. You can visit the Pend Oreille Arts Council Gallery to see local artwork, catch a live performance at the historic Panida Theater, or visit the Bonner County Historical Society Museum to learn about the area’s history.

What are some popular events and festivals in Sandpoint?

Some popular events and festivals in Sandpoint, Idaho include the Sandpoint Winter Carnival, which features a parade, live music, and other winter activities, the Sandpoint Wooden Boat Festival, where you can admire beautifully crafted wooden boats, and the Festival at Sandpoint, a summer music festival held at the outdoor venue overlooking Lake Pend Oreille.

Is Sandpoint a good destination for outdoor enthusiasts?

Yes, Sandpoint is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With its proximity to Lake Pend Oreille and the surrounding mountains, there are endless opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, and more. The area is also known for its beautiful scenery, making it a perfect place for nature lovers.


Best foods and trail in Sandpoint, ID!

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Mackenzie Roche

Mackenzie Roche, part of the content operations team at TravelAsker, boasts three years of experience as a travel editor with expertise in hotel content at U.S. News & World Report. A journalism and creative writing graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park, she brings a wealth of literary prowess to her work. Beyond the desk, Mackenzie embraces a balanced life, indulging in yoga, reading, beach outings, and culinary adventures across Los Angeles.

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