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The Festival at Sandpoint … eight nights of music under the stars!

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The 32nd annual Festival at Sandpoint, held in a casual atmosphere at Memorial Field on Lake Pend Oreille, creates a concert experience without equal. The eight performance dates fall over two weeks from Aug. 7-17. See this season’s performers and buy tickets at www.festivalatsandpoint.com.

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Visit Sandpoint, Idaho

Attractions & Activities by Category

Amusement Park/Water Park

Silverwood Theme Park, Boulder Beach Water Park and Scarywood

Silverwood is the Northwest’s largest theme park with four rowdy roller coasters, 60-plus other rides and amusements including the 104-foot-tall thrill ride Spin Cycle, a vintage narrow-track railroad and turn-of-the-century village. Plus on hot summer days, don’t miss the Boulder Beach Water Park with multiple slides, wave pool and more. A single admission gets you into both parks and includes shows and entertainment. Located 30 minutes south of Sandpoint on Highway 95 at Athol.

Come fall, Silverwood begins weekend operations – with a special boost come Halloween time, when it morphs into Scarywood, a haunting grounds not for the faint of heart. Enjoy its four roller coasters, 60-plus other rides and amusements, vintage narrow-track railroad and turn-of-the-century village. Check the website to confirm days of operation in fall.

Art & Film Events

Artists’ Studio Tour

Celebrate the artistic community in the greater Sandpoint area, and see artists in action during the self-guided Artists’ Studio Tour of North Idaho every August. Visit the website for a map and more information.

Arts and Crafts Fair

Shop for unique, regional gifts during the Pend Oreille Arts Council’s Arts and Crafts Fair – held every year in August on the City Beach lawn.

ArtWalk

Browse downtown venues and view outstanding local art during the annual summertime ArtWalk – a Sandpoint tradition where local businesses and galleries join with Pend Oreille Arts Council to provide exciting art exhibits in the downtown core. Each participating location will host the juried exhibits from late June through early September. Click to see list of 2014 locations for the 37th annual ArtWalk.

Mountain Music Festival

This annual festival at Schweitzer Mountain Resort features outdoor concerts on the mountain, plus an array of fun family activities. Slated for July 19, 2014.

Panida Theater

Sandpoint’s historic performing arts center, The Panida Theater has a rich winter season filled with concerts, plays, fine art films and events.

The Festival at Sandpoint

The Festival at Sandpoint offers star-studded musical performances under the stars during the first two weeks in August at Memorial Field. It’s a magical time of year, and a true feast for the senses!

Biking

Gold Hill Trail

Sandpoint view from Gold HillThe Gold Hill Trail is one of the most popular for local hikers and mountain bikers, a 3.7-mile track that can be moderate or strenuous – depending whether you hike or ride it up or down, or as most do, both ways. The trail leads through a forested setting to panoramic northwest-facing views of the Sandpoint across Lake Pend Oreille with Selkirk Mountains behind. Most hikers start at the trailhead on Bottle Bay Road, about 8 miles south of Sandpoint; navigate to the trailhead parking by the Google map. Many bikers start at the trailhead for the uphill singletrack, but by adding in some miles on paved and gravel backroads you can make it a day and include the trail as an approximately 28-mile loop right from Sandpoint itself via the Long Bridge bike and pedestrian route. Get trail map and details for Forest Service Gold Hill Trail No. 3.

    Mineral Point Interpretive Trail

    Mineral Point Interpretive Trail contours along Lake Pend Oreille about 14 miles south of Sandpoint near Garfield Bay, with magnificent views across the lake to the Green Monarchs. This lower-elevation, 2.1-mile hike or single-track bike ride is accessible starting from mid- to late spring. Get map and details for Forest Service Mineral Point Trail No. 82.

      Schweitzer biking and hiking

      Looking for a fun and adventurous way to take in the fresh mountain air and beautiful views? Whether you’re a hiker or biker, Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers more than 20 miles of trails with amazing alpine scenery and see-forever views. Start in the village and warm your legs up as you head out to Picnic Point – with only minor climbing – to take in the sweeping views of the mountains and Lake Pend Oreille. From there, your options are wide open. For those looking for a pure downhill biking thrills, Schweitzer has many intermediate to expert options with a chairlift assist to the top; all downhill trails begin at the top of the Great Escape Quad and descend 1700 feet to the Schweitzer Village. Pick up detailed trail maps in the village.

      Camping

      Campgrounds

      What’s your taste in camping? There are an array of private campgrounds and RV parks; go to our RV & Campground directory to see those. On our abundant public lands, there are more than two dozen vehicle-accessible state and federal campgrounds in Bonner and Boundary counties, offering a wide array of locales from backcountry to waterfront on big ol’ Priest and Pend Oreille lakes, among others. Go to the Sandpoint Online Campground Guide to see all public campgrounds:

      Trail guidebooks

      Summer and fall are high seasons for hikers and campers in the high country of the Selkirk and Cabinet mountains surrounding Sandpoint, while lower-elevation destinations can be accessible almost year-round. There are more than 100 maintained trails and scores of backcountry campsites within a couple hours’ drive of Sandpoint, ranging from easy strolls to waterfalls and panoramas up to multiday backpacking trips through spectacular backcountry landscapes. And just about all of the trails offer the opportunity to spot rare wildlife. KeokeeBooks.com features several popular trail and recreational guidebooks available for purchase.

        Craft Breweries

        Laughing Dog Brewing

        Laughing Dog Brewing is a great place to hang your hat and try a refreshing line-up of great hometown flavors. At 1109 Fontaine Road in Ponderay, just off Highway 95.

        MickDuff’s Brewing Company

        MickDuff’s Brewing Company is a small craft brewery and bustling, family-friendly restaurant located in downtown Sandpoint at 312 N. First Ave.

        Cross Country Skiing

        Farragut State park

        With more than 9 miles of groomed trails, Farragut offers easy terrain and great views of the lake. Located on the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille, about 40 minutes driving time from Sandpoint via U.S. Highway 95, Farragut is a crown jewel of Idaho’s state parks.

        Priest Lake Nordic Center

        Groomed Nordic trail system. 208-443-3191. PriestLakeGolfCourse.com.

          Round Lake State Park

          This intimate park, 10 miles south of Sandpoint on Highway 95 and two miles west on Dufort Road, offers seven miles of marked and groomed cross-country trails. Depending on conditions, there may also be opportunities for ice skating, sledding, fishing or a picnic, often served up with a roaring bonfire. $2 per vehicle fee; annual Idaho State Park passes are available for $15. For a map or more information, call 208-263-3489; or click ParksandRecreation.Idaho.gov.

            Schweitzer XC Trails

            Schweitzer Mountain Resort attracts cross-country enthusiasts looking for scenic beauty and well-maintained trails. The mountain features over 25 kilometers of groomed trails. Single-day fee is $12.

            Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Trails

            Cross-country skiing and showshoeing on groomed trails at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. 208-263-9066. WesternPleasureRanch.com.

              Driving Tours

              Artists’ Studio Tour

              Celebrate the artistic community in the greater Sandpoint area, and see artists in action during the self-guided Artists’ Studio Tour of North Idaho every August. Visit the website for a map and more information.

              International Selkirk Loop

              International Selkirk LoopDiscover wonderful surprises around every corner during the 280-mile International Selkirk Loop driving tour through Idaho, Washington and Canada. The loop is the only American Byway that actually travels into another country and has won international acclaim, including by Rand McNally as one of its top 5 “Best of the Roads.” At the loop’s northern end is Nelson, B.C., Sandpoint’s official sister city. The drive affords glorious scenery of mountains, lakes and rivers with a multitude of activities; it can be undertaken in one long day, but by far is best broken into a 2-day or multi-day excursion. Get full details and maps online.

              The Pend Oreille Scenic Byway

              Find an abundance of recreational opportunities, plus postcard-quality scenery and historical elements, on this 33-mile route.

              Golf

              Priest Lake Golf Course

              Priest Lake Golf Course is a beautiful 18-hole course offering more than 6,500 yards of challenging golf on a course nestled among lush forests and wetlands. Golfers will also find a driving range, putting greens and restaurant. 208-443-2525.

              Sandpoint Elks Golf Course

              Sandpoint Elks Golf Course is little more than a mile northeast of downtown Sandpoint off Highway 200, with a well-maintained 9-hole course, equipment and cart rental, friendly clubhouse and reasonable rates.

              Hiking

              Evans Landing Trail

              Evans Landing Trail leads 2 miles down to a beach at the landing on the west side of Lake Pend Oreille. A multitude of switchbacks make for a gentle grade, beginning at the top of Kreiger Creek on Trail No. 64. The slope becomes extremely steep closer to the lake, however. The remains of an old cabin are tucked away behind some ponderosa pine trees, and nearby is a picnic table on the edge of the stony beach, plus a vault toilet. Access is 17 miles south of Sandpoint on U.S. Highway 95 via the southern end of Blacktail Road. Follow it east 2.6 miles to Little Blacktail Road, turn east again and go another 2.6 miles past one trail sign to East Ridge Road where a second trail sign indicates the way to the trailhead. Take a right on East Ridge Road, go a half mile and turn left onto a short spur road and the parking area.

                Gold Hill Trail

                Sandpoint view from Gold HillThe Gold Hill Trail is one of the most popular for local hikers and mountain bikers, a 3.7-mile track that can be moderate or strenuous – depending whether you hike or ride it up or down, or as most do, both ways. The trail leads through a forested setting to panoramic northwest-facing views of the Sandpoint across Lake Pend Oreille with Selkirk Mountains behind. Most hikers start at the trailhead on Bottle Bay Road, about 8 miles south of Sandpoint; navigate to the trailhead parking by the Google map. Many bikers start at the trailhead for the uphill singletrack, but by adding in some miles on paved and gravel backroads you can make it a day and include the trail as an approximately 28-mile loop right from Sandpoint itself via the Long Bridge bike and pedestrian route. Get trail map and details for Forest Service Gold Hill Trail No. 3.

                  Maiden Rock Trail

                  Maiden Creek Trail is a steep 2-mile trail that leads down Maiden Rock, a prominent geologic feature, and a Forest Service recreation site on Lake Pend Oreille. The trail to this magical spot on the lake’s western shore is fairly short, though quite steep as you get closer to the lake. It cuts through a dense forest in a deep notch between two mountains to where the waters of Maiden Creek first gurgle to the surface. It follows the creek steeply downhill to the lake. Access is 11 miles south of Sandpoint on U.S. Highway 95 via the north end of Blacktail Road. Go 1.5 miles to Butler Creek Road No. 230. Turn left and travel three miles to the trailhead.

                    Mickinnick Trail

                    Mickinnick Trail flowering lupineOne of the closest and nicest hikes adjacent to Sandpoint, the Mickinnick is a challenging trail that rises more than 2,000 feet in its 3.5-mile length (meaning, a round-trip hike is 7 miles). But the workout is certainly worth it, affording  splendid views as you climb up through big granite features amid open forests and spring-summer wildflowers. On warm summer days, the east-facing aspect of the trail makes it more user-friendly in the afternoon. The trail ends on a rocky knob commanding a view of Sandpoint, the Long Bridge, the Cabinet Mountains and Lake Pend Oreille. Use the Google map to navigate to the trailhead parking, at roughly 400 Woodland Drive, or click to the Forest Service map and elevation profile.

                      Mineral Point Interpretive Trail

                      Mineral Point Interpretive Trail contours along Lake Pend Oreille about 14 miles south of Sandpoint near Garfield Bay, with magnificent views across the lake to the Green Monarchs. This lower-elevation, 2.1-mile hike or single-track bike ride is accessible starting from mid- to late spring. Get map and details for Forest Service Mineral Point Trail No. 82.

                        Schweitzer biking and hiking

                        Looking for a fun and adventurous way to take in the fresh mountain air and beautiful views? Whether you’re a hiker or biker, Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers more than 20 miles of trails with amazing alpine scenery and see-forever views. Start in the village and warm your legs up as you head out to Picnic Point – with only minor climbing – to take in the sweeping views of the mountains and Lake Pend Oreille. From there, your options are wide open. For those looking for a pure downhill biking thrills, Schweitzer has many intermediate to expert options with a chairlift assist to the top; all downhill trails begin at the top of the Great Escape Quad and descend 1700 feet to the Schweitzer Village. Pick up detailed trail maps in the village.

                        Trail guidebooks

                        Summer and fall are high seasons for hikers and campers in the high country of the Selkirk and Cabinet mountains surrounding Sandpoint, while lower-elevation destinations can be accessible almost year-round. There are more than 100 maintained trails and scores of backcountry campsites within a couple hours’ drive of Sandpoint, ranging from easy strolls to waterfalls and panoramas up to multiday backpacking trips through spectacular backcountry landscapes. And just about all of the trails offer the opportunity to spot rare wildlife. KeokeeBooks.com features several popular trail and recreational guidebooks available for purchase.

                          Horse Rides

                          Schweitzer trail rides

                          For horse lovers, Schweitzer offers guided rides on the resort’s 20 miles of trails, through forested glens and along grassy slopes to with views over Lake Pend Oreille and surrounding mountains. Rides of various length and difficulty are offered.

                          Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

                          Enjoy horse riding in the warmer months, and horse-drawn sleigh rides in the winter at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.

                          Kayaking & Rafting

                          Action Water Sports

                          Action Water Sports offers lessons, lake tours and rentals in two convenient locations in Sandpoint and Hope, Idaho. Rentals include Ski and Pontoon Boats, Jet Skis, Stand Up Paddleboards and Kayaks. 

                          Clark Fork River

                          For the experienced paddler, the Clark Fork is one of many year-round waterways for those who want to meander through Idaho and Montana. There is whitewater, so faster water can present a challenge for novice paddler.

                            Moyie River

                            For paddle-sport enthusiasts, both lake and river beckon. Whitewater season on local rivers begins in April as snowmelt swells streams, and generally lasts well into June. The best whitewater thrills are on the Moyie River, 40 miles north of Sandpoint, with a nine-mile run that includes numerous Class III and a pair of Class IV at higher water.

                              Priest River

                              A bit easier for beginners is the Priest River, 30 miles west of Sandpoint, where there is a good eight-mile Class II-III stretch.

                                Sand Creek

                                Peaceful, meandering Sand Creek couldn’t be more convenient or perfect for kayaking, canoeing or SUB’s. Conveniently located in downtown Sandpoint, City Beach is a perfect place to launch and paddle thru the marina and along the banks of town.

                                  Lake Activities

                                  A Day on the Lake Rentals

                                  A Day on the Lake Rentals offers full-service rentals of ski boats, pontoons, SeaDoos, and vacation homes on Lake Pend Oreille. Make your vacation memorable by touring the lake by boat. Delivery available. 877-890-2444 or 208-755-4958; ADayontheLake.com.

                                    Action Water Sports

                                    Action Water Sports offers lessons, lake tours and rentals in two convenient locations in Sandpoint and Hope, Idaho. Rentals include Ski and Pontoon Boats, Jet Skis, Stand Up Paddleboards and Kayaks. 

                                    Bottle Bay Resort

                                    Bottle Bay Resort and Marina includes Bottle Bay Bar & Grill, cabin rentals with private beach area, marina with public gas, boat launch and boat rentals, all located on beautiful and peaceful Bottle Bay.

                                    City Beach

                                    Sandpoint City BeachMay we say, modestly, that Sandpoint’s City Beach is simply one of the finest city parks anywhere? With magnificent views down Lake Pend Oreille, enjoy swimming and beach lounging. Play volleyball on one of the three sand courts, tennis on the pair of recently upgraded courts; pickup basketball, kids’ playground, or launch your boat at the public ramp. An easy stroll away from downtown, off Bridge Street.

                                    Lake Pend Oreille Cruises

                                    Lake Pend Oreille Cruises offers a variety of public tours including history, eagle watching, and dinner cruises as well as private charters. Please call 208-255-5253 for information and reservations.

                                    Sandpoint Marine & Motorsports

                                    Sandpoint Marine & Motorsports offers a variety of watercraft rentals, from speedboats to pontoon boats to jet ski and kayak rentals. Half day, full day or hourly rentals, all from downtown Sandpoint. 208-263-1535; SandpointMarineAndMotorsports.com.

                                      Museums

                                      Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center

                                      The Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center strives to educate visitors about the historic contributions of aviators and innovators who have helped create modern technology, and celebrate these individuals who have forever changed the way we live. It only takes one person to change the world. The Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center was founded by Dr. Forrest Bird, inventor of the medical respirator, and wife Pam in 2007. See their impressive collection paying homage to their love of aviation and innovation. Located in Sagle about 17 miles southeast of Sandpoint off Sagle Road on Bird Ranch Road. Open year-round Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from mid-May to mid-October. Admission is free.

                                      Bonner County Historical Museum

                                      The Bonner County Historical Museum, 611 Ella at Lakeview Park, has numerous displays including Native American artifacts, an extensive collection of Ross Hall photos, a pioneer kitchen and more. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Saturday of the month (first Saturday free admission day).

                                      Music Events

                                      Mountain Music Festival

                                      This annual festival at Schweitzer Mountain Resort features outdoor concerts on the mountain, plus an array of fun family activities. Slated for July 19, 2014.

                                      Panida Theater

                                      Sandpoint’s historic performing arts center, The Panida Theater has a rich winter season filled with concerts, plays, fine art films and events.

                                      Schweitzer Fall Fest

                                      Schweitzer’s big annual autumn music festival features live bands and mountain fun including chairlift rides, kids’ activities and microbrews from the region’s best brewers. Slated for Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2014.

                                      The Festival at Sandpoint

                                      The Festival at Sandpoint offers star-studded musical performances under the stars during the first two weeks in August at Memorial Field. It’s a magical time of year, and a true feast for the senses!

                                      Other

                                      Chairlift rides at Schweitzer

                                      Schweitzer Mountain Resort, 11 miles from Sandpoint, runs chairlift rides during summer, offering easy access to the resort’s peaks for hikers and mountain bikers and magnificent views of Lake Pend Oreille and surrounding mountains. There are also a host of other activities for young and old alike, including a bungee trampoline, climbing wall and much more.

                                      Ice skating

                                      There’s usually a narrow window, but when conditions allow, ice skaters flock to the Third Avenue Pier for excellent skating on Lake Pend Oreille; you may also be able to get into a pick-up hockey game. Also, Sand Creek below the Cedar Street Bridge downtown can provide a charming venue for ice skating. The city also frequently clears an ice skating area at City Beach near the mouth of Sand Creek.

                                        Shopping

                                        Bonner Mall

                                        Bonner Mall, two miles north of Sandpoint off Highway 95, features a full-service supermarket, four-plex movie theater, several nationally known retailers, more shops and a restaurant.

                                        Cedar Street Bridge Marketplace

                                        Shop at the only covered mall shopping bridge in America.

                                        Downtown Sandpoint

                                        Downtown Sandpoint abounds with rare and unique shopping opportunities.

                                          Sandpoint Shopping District

                                          The Sandpoint Shopping District exists to support & promote, through cooperative marketing efforts, a unique shopping experience which reflects the individual visions and passions of proud local owner-merchants. The district works cooperatively to provide locals and visitors alike with a unique & vibrant shopping environment in downtown Sandpoint.

                                          Skiing/Snowboarding

                                          Schweitzer Mountain Resort

                                          11 miles from Sandpoint, is a world-class ski and snowboard resort, and boasts two magnificent natural bowls encompassing 2,900 skiable acres, 2,400 feet of vertical drop, with 92 runs and trails served by two high-speed quads, a high-speed six-pack, one triple chairlift and three double chairlifts.

                                          Selkirk Powder Company

                                          In the winter and spring, Selkirk Power Company operates out of Schweitzer Mountain and offers superb backcountry cat skiing and snowboarding into 3,000 acres of open bowls, steep chutes and glades beyond the reach of the Schweitzer’s lift-assisted skiers. Snowmobile tours, too. In the summer and fall, they take to the water and trails for individually catered kayaking, biking and fishing tours.

                                          Sleigh Rides

                                          Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

                                          Enjoy horse riding in the warmer months, and horse-drawn sleigh rides in the winter at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.

                                          Snowmobiling

                                          Priest Lake winter trails

                                          For the destination-worthy Priest Lake winter recreation trails, the Priest Lake Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club at Elkins (208-443-2432), Priest Lake Chamber of Commerce (208-443-3191), the U.S. Forest Service and Priest Lake State Park all offer a detailed map of the trail system. Recommended trails include the North End Trail, Two Mouth Loop, Boulder Trail, Beaver Creek to Beaver Pass and Reeder Bay. Maps are $1 and support the Priest Lake Groomer Association. Contact the Priest Lake Ranger Station at 208-443-2512.

                                            Sandpoint-area winter trails

                                            For those with their own ‘cats, the Sandpoint Winter Riders Snowmobile Club recommends checking out Roman Nose peak, the Sundance Fire area near Bonners Ferry, Drew Creek Loop, Pearson Creek, Upper Pack River and Trestle Creek.

                                              Selkirk Powder Company

                                              In the winter and spring, Selkirk Power Company operates out of Schweitzer Mountain and offers superb backcountry cat skiing and snowboarding into 3,000 acres of open bowls, steep chutes and glades beyond the reach of the Schweitzer’s lift-assisted skiers. Snowmobile tours, too. In the summer and fall, they take to the water and trails for individually catered kayaking, biking and fishing tours.

                                              Spas

                                              Spa at Seasons

                                              The Spa at Seasons is a luxury spa located in downtown Sandpoint and offers the latest in massage, facial, nail and therapeutic techniques.

                                              Tours

                                              Action Water Sports

                                              Action Water Sports offers lessons, lake tours and rentals in two convenient locations in Sandpoint and Hope, Idaho. Rentals include Ski and Pontoon Boats, Jet Skis, Stand Up Paddleboards and Kayaks. 

                                              Wineries

                                              Pend d’Oreille Winery

                                              Pend d’Oreille Winery offers tours and tastings of its award-winning wines at 220 Cedar St. downtown.