Autumn is simply spectacular in Sandpoint. The weather is dry and warm, with long Indian summers extending the swimming season well into September. Crisp nights begin to arrive as the mountains shimmer with autumn’s brilliant foliage. Fall is a time for reflection, and anticipation of the winter season ahead.
OUT ON THE LAKE
Lake Pend Oreille offers a new sort of splendor come fall, and typically attracts swimmers and waterskiers well into September. As the days cool and the crisp weather arrives, mountains surrounding the lake turn golden with brilliant fall colors on birch and tamarack trees. Hikes along lakeshore trails are extra special this time of year, and lake cruises offer terrific scenery.
Lake Pend Oreille Cruises continues its tours aboard "The Shawnodese," for individuals, groups and private charters into October, as well as jet boat tours and rentals. 208-255-5253 or 888-726-3764. LakePendOreilleCruises.com
A Day on the Lake Rentals continues to offer rentals of ski boats, pontoons, SeaDoos, and vacation homes on Lake Pend Oreille during the early autumn months (and they also deliver!). 877-890-2444 or 208-755-4958. ADayontheLake.com.
Sandpoint Elks Golf Course is little more than a mile northeast of downtown Sandpoint off Highway 200, with a well-maintained 9-hole course, equipment and cart rental, friendly clubhouse and reasonable rates. 208-263-4321
Priest Lake Golf is a beautiful 18-hole golf course offering over 6,500 yards of challenging golf on a course nestled among lush forests and wetlands. Golfers will also find a driving range, putting greens, and a restaurant. 208-443-2525; PriestLakeGolfCourse.com.
The Idaho Club, just minutes from Sandpoint, is an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course nestled among picturesque mountains along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. 208-265-8600; TheIdahoClub.com.
SILVERWOOD THEME PARK
Come fall, Silverwood begins weekend operations - with a special boost come Halloween time, when it morphs into Scareywood, a haunting grounds not for the faint of heart. Enjoy its four roller coasters, 60-plus other rides and amusements, vintage narrow-track railroad and turn-of-the-century village. Check the website to confirm days of operation in fall. Located 30 minutes south of Sandpoint on Highway 95 at Athol. 208-683-3400; SilverwoodThemePark.com.
Surrounded by state and national forestlands in the Selkirk, Cabinet and Bitterroot mountain ranges, the Sandpoint area has countless roads and trails for mountain bikers. Popular ride areas include Mineral Point, Gold Hill, Schweitzer Mountain and Strong Creek. Visit the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce for more details and maps.
Downtown Sandpoint abounds with unique shopping opportunities. Charming shops line First Avenue, home to Coldwater Creek’s flagship store. Visitors will find unique crafts by local artisans at Art Works, and Pend d'Oreille Winery has an eclectic gift shop that’s not to be missed!
Bonner Mall – This indoor shopping center is two miles north of Sandpoint off Highway 95, and includes a movie theater, restaurant, full-service grocery and several national-brand retailers as well as locally owned shops.
Schweitzer Village. Head up the hill for great shopping (and skiing!), with a selection of fine outdoor sportswear, gear and rental shops. Just 11 miles from downtown Sandpoint.
The Spa at Seasons offers spa packages, skin care, spa nail treatments, massage, body treatments and more. Make it a party - they can accommodate groups of 3 to 6 people for services and can also customize packages. 888-263-5616; SpaatSeasons.com.