Nestled in the mountainous Idaho Panhandle, 45 miles North of Coeur d’Alene, lies the small resort town of Sandpoint. Located next to the largest lake in Idaho, Lake Pend Oreille and close to Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, Sandpoint thrives on tourism and recreational activities. For residents of North Idaho and Eastern Washington, Sandpoint is a fun day excursion, particularly when the weather is warm enough for outdoor activities.

Residents and tourists alike enjoy the unique treasures that can only be found at Foster’s Crossing. Located at 5th and Cedar, this mini mall has antiques, vintage jewelry, crafts, collectibles as well as new and used books. There’s even an entire room full of custom clocks. There’s also an adjacent café serving espresso and light snacks.

Walk down the street from Foster’s Crossing and you’ll find the Pend d’Oreille Winery. This shop has locally produced, award-winning wines as well as gifts for wine lovers. In addition to good wines, the Pend d’Oreille Winery has live music on the weekends and daily free wine tasting and tours. If you enjoy wine or know someone who does, you won’t want to pass up a visit.

Sandpoint is famous for its beach. But before you go, stop at The Loading Dock for lunch. This small, unpretentious building with groceries for boaters serves some of the greatest food in the area. Don’t let the casual atmosphere fool you- this is not fast food and worth the wait. The Loading Dock serves a variety of pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and hot dogs- including a vegetarian “hippie dog.” They offer five homemade soups every day with at least one vegetarian option as well as the cheapest beer in town.

After lunch, walk down to the City Beach and relax on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. With two designated swimming areas as well as horseshoe pits, volleyball nets and tennis courts at City Beach Park, you won’t run out of things to do. If you’re feeling adventurous, book a kayak tour through Full Spectrum Tours, which offers guided half day, full day and multiple day kayak tours of the lake.

If you’d prefer something larger than a kayak, Lake Pend Oreille Cruises offer a daily 90 minute, nine mile afternoon cruise. Learn about the history of the area while enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery.

Delicious treats from Hey Cupcake are the perfect way to end a visit to Sandpoint. They offer six different kinds of homemade cupcakes as well as weekly specials, all made with organic flour. Cupcake samplers are available, which allow you to taste every flavor. Hey Cupcake also sells 16 flavors of Dreyers ice cream, milkshakes and malts, banana splits and sundaes. Try the huckleberry cupcakes when huckleberries are in season- they’re grown locally.

What & Where:
Foster’s Crossing Antique & Country Market
(5th & Cedar St.; 208-263-5911)
Pend d’Oreille Winery (220 Cedar St.; 208-265-8545;
The Loading Dock (202 N. First Ave.; 208-265-8080)
Full Spectrum Tours (321 N. 2nd Ave.; 208-263-5975;
Lake Pend Oreille Cruises (888-SANDPOINT;
Hey, Cupcake! (204 N First Ave; 208-265-6767)