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. Here is how to spend a summer day in Sandpoint.
What do to in Summer in Sandpoint, Idaho
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 Panhandle Cone & Coffee are the perfect way to end a visit to Sandpoint in summer. They have a variety of flavors including fun choices like Elvis (banana & peanut butter), Butter Pecan, Chocolate Malt, and Rum Raisin.
What & Where:
Foster’s Crossing Antique & Country Market (5th & Cedar St.; 208-263-5911)
Pend d’Oreille Winery (220 Cedar St.; 208-265-8545; www.powine.com)
The Loading Dock (202 N. First Ave.; 208-265-8080)
Full Spectrum Tours (321 N. 2nd Ave.; 208-263-5975; www.kayaking.net)
Lake Pend Oreille Cruises (888-SANDPOINT; www.lakependoreillecruises.com)
Panhandle Cone & Coffee (216 N 1st Ave; 208-265-8996)
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6 Indispensable Items to Pack for a Sandpoint, Idaho Summer Vacation
- Get the Moon Idaho Travel Guide.
- Bring a good quality mirrorless camera for getting those beautiful Sandpoint beach landscape shots. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
- Summers are hot in Sandpoint, so make sure to bring Neutrogena Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Spf 45
- A great cross body travel bag. Cross body bags prevent theft and are much easier to access.
- Don’t forget sunglasses for the beautiful sunny days in Sandpoint. A.J. Morgan Unisex Sunglasses are a great choice and very affordable!
- Water shoes are a great item to pack for any beach vacation. They take up little room when packing and great if you end up at beach or kayaking.
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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.
Thinking about visiting Sandpoint? Ask your questions in the comments below!
Jessica Lee is a freelance writer who was born and raised in Central Washington. She lives in North Idaho and travels whenever possible.