The Festival at Sandpoint

The Festival at Sandpoint, Aug. 2-5, 9-12 features eight nights of eclectic music under the stars, on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille.

Courtesy of Gary Lirette

As a center of culture, history, and watery fun, North Idaho is a perfect getaway for a day trip or a weekend in the lush Pacific Northwest.

The Idaho Panhandle offers 140 lakes and nearly 2,000 miles of rivers and streams, including some exciting whitewater runs, crystal mountain lakes, and family-friendly beaches. Cities such as Coeur d’Alene and Wallace, right off Interstate 90, are rich with historical and cultural attractions including art galleries, wineries, and fine dining throughout a walking-friendly downtown.

Lake Coeur d’Alene offers spacious sandy beaches and Tubbs Hill, a miniature mountain filled with well-marked paths, native plants and rocky cliffs, all within a two-minute walk from downtown Coeur d’Alene.

And there’s so much more.

Here are 10 events happening around North Idaho we wouldn’t want to miss, with something for everyone.

So pull out a map and plan a weekend.


Monty Python’s “Spamalot,” July 26-Aug. 5, Coeur d’Alene.

Coeur d’Alene Summer Theater presents the Broadway play taken from Monty Python’s classic film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Starring Ellen Travolta and Jack Bannon.

Race the River Triathlon, July 29, Coeur d’Alene.

This sprint distance event features a half mile swim with the river’s current, a 11 mile flat bike course and a beautiful 3.1 mile run.

The Festival at Sandpoint, Aug. 2-5, 9-12, Sandpoint.

Eight nights of eclectic music under the stars, on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. Featured artists include Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Johnny Clegg, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Barenaked Ladies, Pink Martini, Counting Crows, and Kenny Loggins. Family Sunday, Aug. 5, features the Spokane Youth Orchestra and Sandpoint’s Studio One Dancers in “Pinocchio.”

Downtown Street Fair, Aug. 3-5, Coeur d’Alene.

A street fair through downtown Coeur d’Alene which includes daily entertainment and vendors offering food, fine art and crafts.

Wings over Sandpoint Fly-In, Aug. 11, Sandpoint.

Regional pilots fly into Sandpoint Airport or into Dover Bay, for seaplanes, and hold a breakfast and aircraft display.

Brews Fest, Aug. 17-18, Silver Mountain Resort, Kellogg.

The festival includes a ride on North America’s longest gondola, more than 30 micros from the region’s finest breweries including Deschutes, and live music from the Big Mumbo Blues Band, Kenny-James-Miller Band and Filé Gumbo.

Wooden Boat Festival, Aug. 20-21, Coeur d’Alene.

See the grand assortment of wooden boats along the boardwalk near the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Food and local brews are available along the boardwalk and on the resort lawns.

North Idaho Fair and Rodeo, Aug. 22-26, Coeur d’Alene.

Located at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds, the North Idaho Fair offers family fun and entertainment, including live music, carnival rides and games, food from the best Coeur d’Alene and North Idaho vendors, arts and crafts, livestock, contests and community exhibits.

Rathdrum Mountain Adventure Race, Sept. 8, Rathdrum.

The premier alternative triathlon in North Idaho, encompassing 22 miles of mountain biking, a 5.5 mile kayak and a six-mile run. Also included are events for children, displays, food vendors, outdoor gear vendors, and a beer garden.

Grandparents’ Weekend, Sept. 8-9, Silverwood Theme Park.

General admission to the Pacific Northwest’s largest theme and water park is discounted, and for each grandchild who buys a ticket, they will be given a free ticket for a grandparent.

Joanna Wilson is a journalism student at the University of Idaho and a Missoulian intern. She can be reached at (406) 523-5251.

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