Sandpoint, Idaho is a glorious vacation destination any time of year, but if you are into snow sports, Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort is sure to deliver. If you are looking for more than just skiing in the Schweitzer basin, consider some of these other winter entertainment opportunities around Sandpoint.
Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, near Sandpoint, Idaho offers a lot more than just skiing as a winter activity. While you are there, try snow-tubing down Hermit’s Hollow.
With over 32 kilometers of Nordic trails, consider doing some cross-country skiing or renting snowshoes for a quiet hike hike with your family. You can strike out on your own or join a guided hike along the trails.
If you are looking for more thrills than your standard downhill skier or snowboarder, you want to connect with the Selkirk Powder Company to be taken by snow-cat into back country powder skiing and snowboarding. Selkirk Powder also rents snow mobiles right from their top of Schweitzer Mountain headquarters.
Shopping around Sandpoint
When you come down off the mountain, make sure you take time to check out the local shops. Did you know that the women’s clothing company Coldwater Creek was started in Sandpoint, Idaho. Their flagship store in downtown Sandpoint often has great deals on overstocked items.
Other stores around Sandpoint include Hallan’s Gallery. This is the art gallery featuring the photography of Ross Hall, a nationally known photographer who beautifully captured the spirit of the Pacific Northwest.
Cedar Street Bridge Market Place is a great stop for shopping for Sandpoint souvenirs. This shopping center houses many stores and galleries for local artisans. You can find jewelry, photography, paintings, and even local jams and jellies for sale in the Cedar Street Bridge.
If antiques are your thing, check out Foster’s Crossing, a unique to Sandpoint antiques mini-mall that includes a coffee shop and a used book store in a train car.
If you have a child along, make sure you stop at A Child’s Dream Come True for natural crafts and toys. The Imagination Box Company paintable dollhouses that are features in the window are created by a local Sandpoint Idaho company.
Brews & Wines
Have you ever been on a tour of a micro-brewery, Laughing Dog Brewery, located in nearby Ponderay, Idaho, offers daily tours & a tasting room, and it is dog friendly.
MickDuff’s Brewing is a great place to try local brews and eat at a family friendly restaurant.
If wine is more your drink of choice spend an evening at the Pend Oreille winery enjoying these locally produced wines made from northwest grapes.
Fun And Games
One thing we know in Sandpoint is how to have fun.
As you drive into town (heading North on highway 95), you will see an orange building on the left side of the street. The orange building is The Dive. This place is like chuck-e-cheese without the scary rat. There are plenty of opportunities for fun at The Dive and kids are welcome (until later at night). Shoot some hoops, play some Foosball, or go for old-fashioned arm wrestling. If you have peanut allergies, be aware that they do encourage patrons to throw their peanut shells on the floor.
Eichardt’s pub & grill is another hang out for Sandpoint locals. There are games upstairs and kids are welcome until 9 p.m. It looks a little dark and scary, but once you get in it is great. There is usually live music in the evenings. The food is amazing (try the garlic fries)! The staff is awesome. They really go out of their way to get you exactly what you want (including working with you for special dietary needs). Eichardt’s is famous locally for having a huge selection of good brews on tap.
If bowling is up your alley, EFX bowling is the place to be. You can bowl all night for just $1 per game.
There is a local saying in Sandpoint, “The best place to eat in Spokane is 60 miles east, in Sandpoint.” While you are here, take some time to enjoy the local dining.
For a nicer meal, take your loved one out to Ivano’s Ristorante. The Italian fare at this local restaurant is hard to beat. Ivano’s also serves gluten free options.
If you are looking for a place to watch sports, try Slates Prime Time Grill. The owner of this sports bar put himself on the map by boycotting Michael Vick, The Philadelphia Eagles, and Coors Light (the Eagles’ corporate sponsor)!
If you are a pizza fan, you have to try Second Avenue Pizza while you are visiting Sandpoint. These awesome pizzas are cooked in stages, some toppings are put on at a later time than others. When they go into the oven, the pizza looks like a mountain of toppings at least 4 inches thick. The calzones are amazing too. My favorite pizzas at Second Avenue are the Carolyn Special, and the Schweitzer Ski Flake.
This article can only give you a quick slice of everything that Sandpoint, Idaho has to offer in the winter. There is also the winter carnival, local coffee roasters (and bakeries), and shows at the historic Panida theater just to name a few.
When you drive across the long bridge for the first time, you will feel like you are coming home. When you meet the people in Sandpoint, they treat you like family. When your vacation is over and you have to leave Sandpoint, you will start planning how to come back to Sandpoint even before your plane leaves the ground.
Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort
Selkirk Powder Company, 1-866-464-3246
Coldwater Creek, 311 N. First Ave., Sandpoint, open Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-7p.m. Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Hallans Gallery, 323 N. First Ave. , Sandpoint
Cedar Street Bridge, 334 N. First Ave., Sandpoint,
Foster’s Crossing Antiques, 504 Oak St., Sandpoint
A Child’s Dream Come True, 214 Cedar St # A, Sandpoint
Laughing Dog Brewery, 55 Emerald Industrial Park Road, Ponderay, Open Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
MickDuff’s Brewing Company, 312 N 1st Ave, Sandpoint
Pend O’Reille Winery, 220 Cedar St, Sandpoint
The Dive, 1st Ave., Sandpoint.
Eichardt’s Pub, 212 Cedar St. Sandpoint
Ivano’s Ristorante 124 s 2nd ave, Sandpoint