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Sandpoint in Idaho gives its residents the best of both worlds. Lying on the shore of Idaho's biggest lakes, Lake Pend Oreille, and backed by three different mountain ranges, the town looks genuinely picturesque. The town was even named the "Most Beautiful Small Town" by USA Today, and will soon come to be known as the most dog-friendly too.
The Dog Beach Park is right off the highway and provides open fields and a beach for Fido to play in. The area allows dogs to play off-leash and is partially fenced in, with the fences ending in the water. There is also benches, trash bins, water fountains, and clean-up stations.
For another beach park, head over to the Sandpoint City Beach Park, a 22-acre park that lies along the shoreline. With towering trees, vibrant grass and a sandy beach, its no wonder the park is not only popular among humans, but leashed dogs too. The park also provides trash bins and nighttime lights, making this a great option for those late walkers.
The city has 5 animal hospitals and multiple dog-friendly eateries, like the Connie's Cafe, the Pita Pit and the Kokanee Coffee restaurant, that will leave you and Fido saying bone a-petit!
Central Sandpoint is the city's central neighborhood, and is filled with urban communities and business areas. Among the small metropolis is a row of parks along the Chuck Slough, including Travers Park, Centennial Park, and the Great Northern Park. All three parks are dog-friendly and have a combined paved walkway for extended walk times. Travers Park has ballfields and soccer fields, while Great Northern Park and Centennial Park have open areas for run and play. Dogs must be kept on a leash while inside all parks, and throughout the combined parks there are benches, trash bins, water fountains, lights for nighttime use, and a clean-up station in the parking area of Travers Park.
West Pine Street is the residential neighborhood in Sandpoint. Residents of the community usually head to the Pine Street Park, a 2-acre area with a paved path around the park and an open field. The park is dog-friendly to leashed dogs, and offers trash bins, water fountains, and benches. Hickory Street Park is on the eastern side of the neighborhood, and takes up 2.3 acres of open fields. This park features two paved paths that wind throughout the park, with shaded benches and clean-up stations for Fido. Dogs must remain on a leash at the park, and owners must bring their own water as there is no running water there.
The Wood View neighborhood gets its name from the beautiful sight of the far-off forests and mountains in the distance. The best place to go for dog walkers in the neighborhood is the Pinecrest Memorial Park. The park is 3 acres with a large area for running and playing, and a lining of trees for privacy, benches for resting and a few shrubs. Dogs are welcome in the park while on a leash, and owners must bring water and clean-up bags. If you're staying in the neighborhood, head to the Talus Rock Retreat, a residential bed and breakfast with dog-friendly rooms for an extra fee.
The Kootenai neighborhood is the largest neighborhood in town, and is mostly made up of dense forests and mountain ranges. Among the slopes is the Moose Lake and Mountain Trail, a 7-mile, dog-friendly hiking trail. The trail is easy for humans and dogs, and generally takes about 4 hours to complete. At the end, you will be rewarded by an alpine lake, which is open for dogs and humans to enjoy a swim. Whether hiking or swimming, dogs must remain on a leash and owners must bring water and clean-up bags. Afterward, the Laughing Dog Brewery is a dog-friendly bar that allows pets inside and outside, and even offers complimentary water for pups.
The town of Dover is just 2 miles from Sandpoint, and is famous among dog-lovers thanks to the Balto Dog Park. The park is fenced-in and has a double-gated entrance for dogs to play off leash. There is a solar-powered heated water system for drinking water and washing stations, benches, and clean-up stations here. The park is also a starting point for a dog-friendly trail that leads outside the park and goes for 9 miles through the town. When hunger strikes, DISH At Dover Bay is an eatery that offers dog-friendly outdoor seating with gorgeous views of the lake, water for Fido, and delicious soups for humans.
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