In 2011, both Rand McNally and USA Today declared Sandpoint the “Most Beautiful Small Town” in America. Situated on Lake Pend Oreille with its 100 plus miles of shoreline, the town is bordered by three mountain ranges, the Selkirk, Cabinet and Bitterroot which rise majestically above. Home to Schweitzer Mountain Resort, the largest ski area in Idaho, Sandpoint is also located along the International Selkirk Loop and 2 National Scenic Byways, Wild Horse Trail and the Pend Oreille Byway.
Not only is Sandpoint a feast for the eyes, it is a town set up to house and entertain year-round guests. Restaurants are abundant, over 60 at last count, catering to a wide variety of tastes from relaxed waterfront cafes to elegant haute cuisine. Should you like to mix fishing with nightlife, there are ample bars, taverns and nightclubs to choose from. Sandpoint’s Arts Alliance has done a noteworthy job of attracting over two-dozen permanent art galleries while there are countless revolving exhibits throughout the summer.
Lake Pend Oreille, over 1000 feet deep in several sections, is perhaps best known for its Kamloops trout, (actually a Gerrard rainbow) first introduced to the lake in 1941 and successfully spawning there ever since. The world record for a non-genetically engineered rainbow trout was granted to Wes Hamlet, who in 1947 caught a 37 pounder in the Lake. That record is still waiting to be broken.