The tiny town of Sandpoint, located in Idaho’s lush green panhandle, is the ideal place for shopping and lounging at the lake. Located right off of Lake Pend Oreille, the downtown sector is lined with petite brick buildings packed in side-by-side, fronted by cozy boutique shops, hotels and restaurants. The rising mountains beyond offer a picturesque background for this cute, cozy town—and travel with babies is made especially easy with the laid back atmosphere.
Head to the Market
In Sandpoint, the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market is a great place to start. As the only market located on a bridge in the United States, it already provides an interesting history, but by visiting the market, you can learn more about the timeline of the bridge’s construction and transformation as well as see pictures of it in the past. Then, shop—or eat! There is plenty to see and do within the market itself. Stop by the Cedar Street Bistro for a European-style meal or Kyoko Sushi for fresh Japanese food with fish flown in from Japan and Hawaii. Shop around for gifts for friends back home at the Huckleberry Depot—jams, coffees, teas, chocolates, syrups, all made with huckleberry—or stop by It’s What You Keep for a selection of goat cheese, jewelry, quilts and more.
So you got some gifts for friends at the market. Now it’s time to shop for you. Push your baby’s stroller at a steady pace (don’t run, ladies!) to the delicious chocolate shop down the street. The Sandpoint Chocolate Bear has hand-dipped chocolates, buttery caramels and ice cream—indulge in some dessert here or stop by the nearby Pie Hut for a slice of locally-baked pie. If it’s clothes you’re after, moms will love the selection at Eve’s Leaves.
Experience some of the local art scene too at Sandpoint Art Works. Local members of the community have been running this open-to-the-public art gallery since the 90s, giving visitors a chance to view art and fine crafts produced nearby. There is a vast selection of works available here: from photography, watercolor and acrylic paintings to jewelry, crystal and copper artwork. You will definitely be impressed by the selection, the dedication and the variety—and looking at art is more relaxing than almost anything else.
During your lazy day wandering the town of Sandpoint, you can also take in a movie at the stunning Panida Theatre. First opened in 1927, the building, which has been listed as a national historic place, features ornate decorations and plenty of space for visitors. Make sure you check the schedule before you go so you don’t accidentally take your little one to Sandpoint’s Rocky Horror Show, but with a variety of events taking place, you’re bound to find a child-appropriate time to check it out during your stay.
Wind down with some wine at Pend d’Oreille Winery’s tasting room. They specialize in red wines and have pours each day so head in and spend the $5. You’ll get five pours and if you end up buying a bottle, they’ll waive the fee anyway—and you’ll have some wine to give as a gift or to enjoy by the lakeside. The winery also features a bistro and a gift shop so you have plenty to check out while you’re there.
Back to the Lake
Once you’ve spent some time roaming around Sandpoint, you’ll want to finish off your relaxing day by the water. Instead of heading out to the lake then having to come back to town, spend your nights there. Consider staying at the Dover Bay Resort for a breathtaking view of the sun setting over the nearby tree-covered hills.
The resort rents out bungalows right on the shoreline. The front deck of each cabin is the perfect spot for your baby to nap as you watch the sunset and local boaters. During the daytime, rent kayaks or canoes to head out on the water yourself. The resort’s restaurant, Dish, offers another spectacular view of the lake, with an umbrella-shaded outdoor deck just above the water.
With the lake right outside your day, there is truly nowhere better to stay in Sandpoint. The views are lovely, but it’s the feeling of serenity you get while you’re there that truly makes it a spectacular place.