Living in Idaho affords you a lifestyle you can’t find anywhere else. This is a ruggedly beautiful state, filled with incredible scenery, recreational opportunities, and culture. You’ll find everything from gold panning, fishing, skiing, concerts, comic cons, Basque festivals, and so much more. What makes Idaho unique is that you may enjoy all of that surrounded by truly breathtaking scenery. And you never have to give up the big city life if you don’t want to.
Welcome to Sandpoint, Idaho. This town along the 43-mile long Lake Pend Oreille has been named the “Most Beautiful Town in America” by both Rand McNally and USA Today. When you visit, it’s abundantly clear why. Surrounded the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountains, with Schweitzer Mountain not far away, Sandpoint is a lake oasis, high in the mountains of northern Idaho. And there’s plenty to do to keep yourself, or anyone else, entertained for a very long time.
Thirty minutes south of Sandpoint you’ll find the Silverwood Theme Park. This is the largest theme park in the Northwest, with over 70 rides and attractions, spread across 200 acres. The largest ride is Aftershock, a 191-foot-tall steel roller coaster. It speeds you through cobra rolls and inverted loops, reaching speeds up to 65 mph. Silverwood also has two wooden roller coasters: Tremors and Timber Terror. Tremors takes you underground four different times, at speeds up to 65 mph, and Timber Terror goes 55 mph.
You’ll find plenty of rides and excitement at Silverwood Theme Park, including a running 1915 steam engine train that chugs around the entire park. When the Idaho summer heats up, you can cool off at the Boulder Beach Water Park. The water park is right next to Silverwood, and at 21 acres, you’ll find plenty to keep you cool, like the Avalanche Mountain.
When October comes around, Silverwood turns into Scarywood. There are five attractions and plenty of scare zones to keep your adrenaline pumping for Halloween. Silverwood is worth the visit to Sandpoint by itself, but Sandpoint has so much more to offer. Art and Film
Sandpoint, Idaho is also home to a booming and thriving arts community. If you love the arts, you’ll love what Sandpoint has to offer.
· Artists’ Studio Tour. Watch artists in action. This is a self-guided tour of North Idaho that happens every August.
· Arts and Crafts Fair. Every year in August, you’ll find the Pend Oreille Arts Council’s Arts and Crafts Fair on the City Beach lawn. You’ll find unique and regional gems, which make great gifts.
· ArtWalk. From June through September, head to Downtown Sandpoint. The ArtWalk is a collaboration between local businesses and galleries to showcase amazing art exhibits.
· Panida Theater. This historic performing arts center brings winter to life. You’ll enjoy concerts, plays, events, and even fine art films.
Biking and Hiking
Sandpoint offers a lot of great trails for mountain biking and hiking. You’ll find short loops or much longer loops, all of varying difficulty. A popular trail, the Gold Hill Trail, is just under four miles, and it can be moderate or strenuous. It’s all up to you. You’ll ride through a forest before reaching a beautiful panoramic view of Sandpoint across Lake Pend Oreille.
You can also head to Schweitzer Mountain Resort. It’s not just for skiing. In the summer, you have access to over 20 miles of alpine trails. Work your way up the mountain for better and better views. Or, take a chairlift to the top and enjoy a wild ride down the mountain.
It wouldn’t be Idaho without beer, and Sandpoint is no exception. You’ll find great places to hang out or eat, while enjoying refreshing craft brews made right here in Idaho. Laughing Dog Brewing has a great selection of local craft brews and flavors, and it’s a great place to hang out. MickDuff’s Brewing Company is a wonderful family restaurant, and it’s also a small craft brewery. Located in Downtown Sandpoint, MickDuff’s is a great place to visit.
And So Much More…
This is just a taste of what Sandpoint has to offer. Don’t forget about Lake Pend Oreille. Take a relaxing cruise, head out on your own boat, enjoy the wide variety of watersports available, or just relax and soak in the Idaho sun on the sandy beaches. When winter hits, hit the slopes. You can also take advantage of the numerous cross country skiing opportunities.
By now it should be apparent. Sandpoint, Idaho has a lot to offer, just like Idaho. No matter where you live in the state, you should visit Sandpoint at least once, just to see what North Idaho has to offer.