What are some of the best things to do in Sandpoint, Idaho?
After all, when you think about cities in Idaho, you’ll normally think about Boise, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Coeur d’Alene, Meridian and more.
Not many people would ever think about or even know about a small city like Sandpoint, Idaho.
Which I think is a shame because Sandpoint, although small in size, is filled with plenty of things for you to see and do.
For instance, did you know that it is the home of the headquarters for utility aircraft maker Quest Aircraft? It is also home to Salad Dressing manufacturer Litehouse Foods.
Plus the city of Sandpoint lies right on the shores of Idaho’s largest lake which is Lake Pend Oreille. The lake stretches for about 43 miles long which means there are plenty of amazing water activities for you to do. Not only that, but the city is also surrounded by three major mountain ranges like the Selkirk, Cabinet and Bitterroot ranges.
Plus if you like skiing, then you’ll be happy to know that it is also the home to Schweitzer Mountain Resort, which is the largest ski resort in Idaho.
So if you can’t tell already, the city of Sandpoint, Idaho is actually pretty amazing.
Which is why if you are still wondering what things you are able to see and do in Sandpoint, Idaho, then you are in luck.
In this post, we’ll be detailing all the best things to do in Sandpoint, Idaho.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
- Things To Do In Sandpoint, Idaho
- Have Fun On Lake Pend Oreillle
- Go On A Cruise
- Go Mountain Biking Around The Mountain
- Have Fun At Schweitzer Mountain Resort
- Go Huckleberry Picking Across The Area
- Visit Silverwood Theme Park
- Tour Around Town In An Old VW Bus
- Enjoy Some Music At “The Festival”
- Shop Around The Sandpoint Shopping District
- Go Horseback Riding
- Hike Along Scotchman Peaks Trail
- Bonner County Historical Society & Museum
- Visit The Historic Panida Theater
- Enjoy Some Art Around Downtown
- Visit Farragut State Park
Things To Do In Sandpoint, Idaho
In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Sandpoint, Idaho.
Have Fun On Lake Pend Oreillle
One of the best things you can do for some fun in the sun is to simply go visit a lake.
And here in Idaho, you can find one of the best lakes around for you to visit.
Lake Pend Oreille is the largest lake in the entire state of Idaho as well as being the 38th largest lake by area in the entire United States. This lake stretches for about 148 square miles and is about 1,150 feet deep which makes it the fifth deepest lake in the nation.
Being as how it is a lake, you are bound to find so many cool and amazing things to see and do.
All around the lake, you can find a variety of different parks for you to hang out at. With many trails leading all around the area and being surrounded by nature, it is one of the best places to have a relaxing time. You’ll also find many sites which allows you to have a picnic that is in close proximity to many fun attractions and facilities.
And while you are here, you might also be interested to do some boating. Because of how large this lake is, boating became a very popular thing to do here in Sandpoint. You can find many boat lances all around the lake, with many companies offering rentals to watercraft equipment ranging from jet skis and ski boats to even pontoon boats and sailboats.
Fishing is also very popular here as you can catch a variety of different fishes here in this lake. This lake is especially known for its kamloops, which is a species of giant rainbow trout. Aside from that, you can also find bass, pike, walleye, mackinaw and kokanee salmon swimming around too. In fact, the fishes here are pretty large too as you can most often find fishes that exceed 20 pounds or more.
Overall, this lake provides a plethora of fun for the entire family and friends. Whether you are roaming around the trails exercising or maybe having some fun in the water, this is one place you will definitely enjoy every minute of it.
Go On A Cruise
Another interesting thing you might do while you are at Lake Pend Oreille is to simply go on a cruise.
After all, who doesn’t like enjoying beautiful scenery while having a relaxing time?
And while you are on this cruise, you can simply be at peace while the cruise ship takes you all around the lake to see various parts of the area you would have otherwise missed.
Fun Fact, this cruise ship use to be a ferry ship from San Diego bringing people to Coronado Island, but has since moved its place of residence to come here in Sandpoint.
The length of the cruise is about one and a half to two hours long and will allow guests to learn fascinating history and lore about the lake around them. And depending on which cruise you take, some may even discuss about the local communities too.
They also offer different kinds of cruise tours if you are wanting to see something specific. For instance, some of the cruises they offer includes sunset, full moon, autumn colors, and even birds of prey tours.
All of which will make for a fun and interesting time sightseeing around the lake.
Go Mountain Biking Around The Mountain
I’m going to be honest here.
There is mountain biking, and then there is EXTREME mountain biking.
And here in Sandpoint, you can find some of the best places around the country to ride your bike here and around the area. But I do have to warn you that it isn’t for the faint of heart. In fact, mountain biking in Sandpoint is mainly for those that are extremely experienced.
Mainly because, here in Sandpoint, you can find a bicycle trail loop called the Selkirk Loop. It is a fantastic multi-day bike ride that offers one of the most scenic adventures you’ll ever have. This loop will take riders through the beautiful Selkirk Mountains, across the border into Canada and back south through the eastern Washington area.
There are many starting points for this bike path, but overall they are all the same.
The loop’s main 280-mile route follows glacially carved river valleys without any major passes to climb as it snakes its way along lake shorelines and historic waterways with beautiful mountainside towns in between for you to stop and explore. During your route, you’ll even get to take a free ferry ride across Kootenay Lake, which is the longest free ferry ride in the country.
It’s one of the best things you can do in Sandpoint as there is simply so many things you can see and explore. Plus you won’t run into a lot of traffic as not many cars and things pass through this area. And depending on what season you decide to cycle this path on, you can run into many lush green fields, blooming flowers, and mountains with luscious snow capped peaks. All of which makes for an enjoyable experience.
Just know that you will have to set aside 5 to 7 days if you want to do this circuit loop as you’ll have to be prepared for many different things. However the experience is totally worth it and you will definitely enjoy every minute of it.
Have Fun At Schweitzer Mountain Resort
One of the best things you can do for some extreme fun is to simply go down a mountain at fast speeds!
And here in Sandpoint, you can find one of the very best places to do that at.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort is a mountain resort that is open all year long and provides all kinds of fun and excitement for the entire family to have.
For instance during the Winter time, you can come here and enjoy things like skiing, snowshoeing, snowbiking, nordic skiing, NASTAR Racing and more are all just waiting for you to enjoy. Plus you can also find terrain parks which allows you to take your excitement to the extreme as you do all kinds of silly tricks jumping from ramps and overall just having a lot of fun.
In the summer time, you can enjoy things like zip lining done the mountain, scenic chairlift rides, trampoline jumping, mountain biking down at fast speeds, huckleberry picking and lots more.
This mountain resort basically has everything you’ll need to have tons of fun.
And if you get hungry, you can even find many kinds of restaurants being opened here selling a variety of dishes for you to eat. From burgers and fries to salads and pizza, there are an assortment of different foods for you to eat.
But that’s not all!
This mountain resort has so much more to it than just having fun. You can also find plenty of different areas for you to shop at as well as special events happening all year round.
This is one place you definitely do not want to miss out on as the fun and experience will be something unlike any other.
Go Huckleberry Picking Across The Area
If you never had a huckleberry before, then you are totally missing out!
These iconic Northwest berries are extremely tangy, sweet and just bursting with tons of flavor. They may resemble blueberries, but are actually quite different.
And here in Sandpoint, you can find huckleberries all around the area for you to pick and eat.
Although huckleberry season isn’t all year round, you will have to make your way here around the time of Late July and August when the berries are in full bloom.
The most popular place where people tend to go visit to pick huckleberries is all around Schweitzer Mountain. you can find these berries growing low to the ground all around the mountainside area. It’s totally free to do and an absolute blast to do with the entire family.
Or if you are not wanting to go do them by yourself, Schweitzer Mountain Services also offers an e-bike tour up the mountain where you can pick up some really delicious huckleberries. It’s basically a 2 hour bike tour that departs from the village daily and allows for you to explore the mountain side in all its glory.
Picking huckleberries is quite the past time thing to do in Sandpoint. So if you’re wanting to bring some home with you, just make sure to bring some to-go containers or even a cooler so you can pack your berries with you wherever you go.
Visit Silverwood Theme Park
What’s more fun than visiting a theme park?
And here in Idaho, you can find one of the best theme parks in the country to visit.
Silverwood Theme Park is the largest theme park in the Northwest side of the country and features over 200 acres of fun for the entire family to have.
Here you can find 70 different rides, slides, shows and attractions all of which will entertain you for hours on end. For instance, you can conquer the skies at Silverwood is Aftershock, which is a 191 foot tall steel roller coaster that takes you forwards through cobra rolls and inverted loops at speeds hovering of around 65 miles per hour and 4.5 G’s.
And once you’re done riding the wicked rides, you can visit one of the many shows they put on daily. For instance, the show “Garfield” allows you to meet with the character them selves and have a whole lot of fun together.
Plus you can also find various kinds of restaurants all around serving delicious foods and even retail stores for you to buy some gifts and souvenirs.
It’s a very fun place where you will have fun for hours on end.
The only thing is that Silverwood Theme Park isn’t actually in Sandpoint, Idaho. It’s in a neighboring city, but it only takes about a 20 minute drive to get here, so why not make a stop a long the way to have some fun?
Tour Around Town In An Old VW Bus
One of the most interesting and quirky things you can do at Sandpoint, Idaho is to simply go on a tour inside an old VW Bus.
It is a very vintage VW Bus that has been fully restored and will take you on some of the most scenic trips around town.
You can find that the tour company “Feelin’ Groovy Tours” is the one that provides this service, and offers a variety of different tours for you to choose from.
Depending on which tours you choose, you might go see different areas of the town, or even have different length of tours as well. For instance, the “Here Comes The Sun” tour features the most perfect way to celebrate the special occasions with the family and friends with a nice relaxing day out in the sun. You’ll enjoy a refreshing beverage sampler at a local restaurant and also a beautiful brunch by the serene lake. You’ll also be taken through amazing views of the area all while enjoying the mood inside an old VW Bus.
Plus the tours are all really affordable with most of them costing under $100 dollars, which is just a steal for what you are getting.
It’s the perfect way to see the town in a whole new light and manner.
So invite a friend or bring the entire family along, you will definitely love every minute of this tour as you see some of the most beautiful sights Sandstone, Idaho has to offer.
Enjoy Some Music At “The Festival”
If you love all things music, then you would absolutely love this.
Here in Sandpoint, Idaho, they have an annual festival called “The Festival“, and is a time where you can enjoy music all day long from some of the best performing artists around.
Music lovers from all over the world descend to this area in order to catch some of their favorite artists perform.
It takes place right on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille and features a laid-back and intimate atmosphere where a crowd of over 4,000 people can feel as if the artists are playing in their own backyard. It literally feels like a private concert being played just for you.
Every year they’ll invite new artists from all around the world to come play. For instance, some of their past artists include people like “The Avett Brothers”, “Darlingside”, “Jackson Browne”, “Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats With special gust Lucius”, and more are all readily available to entertain you.
Plus you can also bring food from home to enjoy here or you can also buy from one of their many food vendors located nearby.
It’s a week long event that will bring out so many amazing experiences.
You will literally party hard, dance wildly, and cheer till you drop.
Shop Around The Sandpoint Shopping District
What is more fun than browsing around shops and buying new things?
And here at the Sandpoint Shopping district, you can do just that.
You can find many kinds of shops all around that are selling various kinds of things that might be of interest to you. For instance, you could find things like art shops, small boutique shops, gift/souvenir shops, antique shops and more are all ready for you to hop on in to visit. One of which is called “The Little Christmas Store”, is especially interesting. This store although small, sells some of the most adorable ornaments, snow globes, nutcrackers, stockings, music boxes, and other handcrafted gifts suitable for the Christmas season.
Even if you don’t buy anything, just roaming around the area and window shopping is a great experience too. Mainly because you’ll get a sense of what kind of culture and lifestyle this town is like.
Plus you can also find many kinds of art galleries for you to visit which includes some of the latest trends in art. For instance, “Artworks Gallery” is a place that makes available fine art, high quality crafts and tasteful gift items created by local and regional artists for you to see and buy.
And if you’re hungry, you can always stop in at one of the many restaurants here in the area to get a bite to eat.
It’s a fun little thing to do, so if you ever get the chance to roam around and explore, I highly suggest you visit the shopping district of Sandpoint to see if there’s anything of interest to you.
Go Horseback Riding
If you’re tired of all the city life and just want to surround yourself with nature and beauty, then one of the best things you can do in Sandpoint, Idaho is to simply go horseback riding.
After all, there are a bunch of different trails here where you can roam around and explore. Couple that with a bunch of different ranches and companies that’ll offer a horseback riding service, and you will have one of the best times of your life.
One of the most popular places where you can do some horseback riding is at “Western Pleasure Guest Ranch“. This place is an all intensive riding resort where you can stay in log cabins, enjoy some delicious meals, ride some horses, and overall just have a bunch of fun.
Plus the horses here are all carefully trained and taken cared of, so no matter what level rider you are, they will be able to provide you with a horse for you to ride.
So if you love horses and want to ride one around while looking at some of the most beautiful scenic views the town has to offer, then this is definitely the place for you to visit.
Hike Along Scotchman Peaks Trail
If you didn’t know, the area of Sandpoint, Idaho is filled with a whole bunch of amazing trails for you to hike and explore.
Many of these trails will take you through windy paths, lush green plants, and some of the most scenic views you have ever seen.
In fact, one of the most iconic trails you can ever roam around and explore on is a trail called “Scotchman’s Peak“. It is considered the grand-daddy of all hikes and trails here in Sandpoint because of just how amazing and hard it is.
The trail itself is about 4 miles one way, but that isn’t the hardest part. The hardest part is the elevation, which you’ll gain to about 3,700 feet. It’s a short climb that is also extremely strenuous because of how steep it is.
But once you make it to the top, you will be rewarded with something unlike any other you have seen. You’ll be able to see some of the most stunning panorama views of Lake Pend Oreille, and the view will only get better the higher up you go. The peak looks over, and digs deep into rugged valleys and ridges of the Scotchman Peaks area where you are surrounded by all kinds of nature and wildlife.
And if you are lucky, you might even run into some mountain goats that are frequently roaming the surrounding ridges and areas.
Just make sure that before you go do this hike to bring plenty of water and really good hiking boots.
Bonner County Historical Society & Museum
Museums are some of the best places to visit if you are wanting to learn about some history or any other interesting information.
And here in Sandpoint, Idaho, you can find one of the most unique and amazing museums ever for you to see.
The Bonner County Historical Society & Museum is a place that showcases the vibrant history and culture of Bonner County. You’ll be able to see things like exhibits that detail snapshots that date back to the ice age floods, the early days of the Kalispel and Kootenai people, the fur trade, the steamboat era, and more. Visitors will be able to learn how the town of Sandpoint came to be as it grew from a few shacks along the railroad to the resort town you know and love today.
The museum consists of an extensive collection of over one million artifacts. Which is why it is then split into two different sections, with one being a permanent exhibition place and the other being temporary. Because of them having so many artifacts they want to put on display, the rotating exhibits rotate every few months to give other artifacts a chance to be shown as well.
This place might not be the biggest museum you have ever seen, but it certainly is one of the most unique and interesting museums you’ll see in your life.
With tons of awesome information to be shown, you will be able to spend hours on end here learning all the cool and interesting facts and things about this region and how it came to be.
Visit The Historic Panida Theater
If you’re in the mood for some of the finer things in life, you might be interested in watching some amazing shows or performances here at the Panida Theater.
This theater is one of the most beloved treasure gems of Sandpoint as it has a long standing history with this town.
Panida Theater which opened up back in 1927, was the premier place for delivering some of the best live and cinematic performances for the town of Sandpoint. Sadly however, the theater declined and was facing demolition in the mid 1980’s. But good luck struck when a group of people launched a fundraiser to help save it from being destroyed.
This theater is now operated by a nonprofit organization that helps keep the performing arts alive here in the city of Sandpoint. On any given week, you could catch performances ranging from dance recitals by a local studio to even a film in the fine arts genre. Heck, depending on when you come, you could even catch a performance by internationally renowned artists who are playing here from time to time.
Visitors are able to come in and see the theater when it’s open, but if you truly want to get the best experience out of it, you’ll want to catch one of the many live performances that occur here each and every month.
So if you enjoy the performing arts or just want to catch a live performance by some performing artists, then this place is definitely the place to visit for all things fun and entertainment.
Enjoy Some Art Around Downtown
If you didn’t know, the city of Sandpoint, Idaho is actually pretty artsy.
Here in this city, you can find a variety of different places that showcases some sort of art.
That is true for the downtown area as this place is one of the best places you can visit in order to see some of the most artistic art pieces this city has to offer. In fact, you can find about two dozen galleries and artist studios scattered all around, plus there is a growing collection of public art pieces being put on display on the streets of downtown.
And best of all is that if you come during the Summer time, anywhere from up to twenty downtown venues will become galleries in Artwalk, which is a self-guided walking tour to browse all the different revolving art exhibits in the area. Or if you are around in the month of August, you can find another summertime art tour that is called “Artists Studio Tour”, which is a self-guided driving tour where art aficionados can go behind the scenes at working studios to see the art in action.
But besides that, on any regular business day, you can roam around the streets of downtown Sandpoint and be able to see all the interesting art pieces that were created from either regional or international artists here in this city.
It’s totally free to do and offers you an experience to enjoy art at its finest.
So if you have the time to spare and want to see some truly amazing art, then this is definitely something you should do.
Visit Farragut State Park
Located just south of the Lake Pend Oreille, you can find one of the best state parks the state of Idaho has to offer.
Farragut State Park is a place filled with rich history as it was a place where the United States had a naval training center here during World War II. But it has since been transformed into a massive 4,000 acre park filled with plenty of things for you to see and do.
For instance, many of the activities you can do here includes picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, boating, swimming, water sports, disc golf, archery, horseback riding and more all readily available for you to enjoy. Plus during the winter time, this area becomes the premier cross-country skiing destination where people can have all types of fun in the snow.
The park also has over 223 individual camping sites, seven group camps and 10 camping cabins which makes it a perfect place to spend some time with nature.
But that’s not all!
Like we said earlier, the city of Sandpoint is filled with many different trails for people to explore and use. Which is why it should come to no surprise that here at this state park, you can find plenty of trails for you to roam around on. For hikers, there are 3 popular trails mostly used and they range from easy to advanced, but all of which offers plenty of scenic views all around the area.
Overall it is a fantastic place and if you want to get away from all the city life and just be at ease with nature, then this is definitely the place for you to visit.
Overall, the city of Sandpoint, Idaho might not be the biggest city out there. But it does have quite a bit of things for you to see and do.
So hopefully this post about the “15 Best Things To Do In Sandpoint, Idaho” was able to help you out in some sort of way. This way if you ever find yourself visiting the city of Sandpoint, Idaho, you will know exactly what things you are able to do for some fun.
Also if you are interested in reading some of my other posts about traveling, you can do so by clicking these links:
- Essential steps for planning a trip
- How to find cheap flights
- There is no such thing as a perfect time to travel
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Hope you have a safe and fun trip~