Best Of

Best of Sandpoint

Summer's coming and that means road trips. If you've never visited Sandpoint, put this North Idaho town on your to-do list. Plan on spending the day exploring on foot (or by bicycle) and by car, depending on your inclination.

Start the morning with a fresh-baked treat from our readers' choice for Sandpoint's best bakery, BLUEBIRD BAKERY. Located on the corner of First Avenue and Cedar Street, this cozy spot offers prime people-watching with a side of hot DOMA coffee.

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Courtesy photo
Fresh bread at Bluebird Bakery.

"We have been fortunate for all the local support the last couple years as well as the positive word-of-mouth reviews to get us to where we are now," says manager Jill Severson, who describes Bluebird as a European-style bakery with locally sourced ingredients from their favorite farmers and friends. Try a breakfast pizza, or grab a loaf of bread for the road.

Pack your hiking gear and spend the day exploring SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN, your all-season destination for fun. During warmer months, find 20 miles of hiking for every level of hiker. Try the family-friendly, 2.5-mile nature trail accessible from Schweitzer Village. Or take the lift to the summit, and try the shorter Stewart's Loop. Pack a picnic lunch (Bluebird Bakery does sandwiches!) or your binoculars and keep an eye out for wildlife.

click to enlarge Best of Sandpoint
Schweitzer photo
Build up a thirst, then quench it in Sandpoint.

With all that fresh air and exercise, you'll probably work up an appetite. Sandpoint has lots of other places to grab a bite and a beverage. Get both at MICKDUFF'S BREWING COMPANY, which is Inlander readers' pick for Sandpoint's best burger and best happy hour.

Even though MickDuff's locations have changed over the years, the popularity of its beer, food and festive atmosphere has not. Happy hour occurs Sunday through Thursday, from 3-5:30 pm, at the Second Avenue location, with discounted purchases on select beer. Missed happy hour? Check the brewery's website for all kinds of other daily drink specials. For eats, try the uber-popular smash burger, with two, 3-ounce patties from local Woods Meats.

Sandpoint is a great destination for dining and for doing the outdoors, but it's also an ideal place for shopping, including at SANDPOINT FURNITURE & MATTRESS. This 76-year-old family-owned business balances style and performance with affordability, including in their 4,000-square-foot clearance center. But don't expect pushy sales staff. Rather than work on commission, Sandpoint Furniture staff operate out of a desire to ensure that you simply love whatever couch, bed, dining room table set, or other home furnishings you may need.

1st PLACE: Bluebird Bakery
2nd PLACE: Pie Hut
3rd PLACE: Swartzendruber's Bake Haus & Deli, Sagle

1st PLACE: Schweitzer Mountain
2nd PLACE: Scotchman Peak
3rd PLACE: Beehive Lakes

1st PLACE: MickDuff's Brewing Company
2nd PLACE: The Burger Dock
3rd PLACE: Dub's Drive-In

1st PLACE: MickDuff's Brewing Company
2nd PLACE (tie): 219 Lounge, Idaho Pour Authority, Pucci's Pub at Schweitzer, The Fat Pig

1st PLACE: Sandpoint Furniture
2nd PLACE (tie): Meadowbrook Home Furnishings, Carousel Emporium

It Happened Here: Expo '74 Fifty Years Later @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 26
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