Sandpoint is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Bonner County, Idaho. Its population was 7,365 at the 2010 census.Sandpoint's major economic contributors include forest products, light manufacturing, tourism, recreation and government services. As the largest service center in the two northern Idaho counties (Bonner and Boundary), as well as northwestern Montana, it has an active retail sector. It is the headquarters of Coldwater Creek, a national women's apparel retailer; Litehouse Foods, a national salad dressing manufacturer; and Quest Aircraft, a maker of utility aircraft.
Sandpoint lies on the shores of Idaho's largest lake, 43-mile-long Lake Pend Oreille, and is surrounded by three major mountain ranges, the Selkirk, Cabinet and Bitterroot ranges. It is home to Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Idaho's largest ski resort, and is on the International Selkirk Loop and two National Scenic Byways (Wild Horse Trail and Pend Oreille Scenic Byway). Among other distinctions awarded by national media in the past decade, in 2011 Sandpoint was named the nation's "Most Beautiful Small Town" by Rand McNally and USA Today.[
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.79 square miles (12.41 km2), of which, 3.98 square miles (10.31 km2) is land and 0.81 square miles (2.10 km2) is water.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,145, and the median income for a family was $47,875. The per capita income for the city was $22,888. The percentage of persons below the poverty line (2007-2010) was 19.4%. The median value of owner-occupied housing in the city was $228,800. The homeownership rate (2006-2010) was 49.6%.Of the population over 25 years of age (2006-2010), 89.9% had graduated high school, 25.6% had achieved a Bachelors degree or higher.
The Salish Tribes, specifically the Kalispel and the Kootenai built encampments on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille every summer, fished, made baskets of cedar, and collected huckleberries before returning to either Montana or Washington in the fall. The encampments ended before 1930.
The region was extensively explored by David Thompson of the North West Company starting in 1807. Disputed joint British/American occupation of the Columbia District led to the Oregon boundary dispute. This controversy ended in 1846 with the signing of the Oregon Treaty, whereby Britain ceded all rights to land south of the 49th parallel.
Local businesses in and around Sandpoint include Litehouse (a national salad dressing manufacturer), Coldwater Creek (a national clothing and apparel marketer), Encoder Products, Percussionaire (medical instrumentation)and Pend d'Oreille Winery, a nationally recognized wine maker.
Since 2002, Sandpoint has been home to Quest Aircraft the manufacturer of the Kodiak, a ten-seat, single-engine, turboprop airplane designed and produced to meet the needs of missionary and humanitarian organizations that travel to remote regions of the World.
The Sandpoint Amtrak Station serves as the only stop in Idaho. The Amtrak Empire Builder route carries passengers daily in both directions between Chicago, Illinois to the east and Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon to the west.
Sandpoint is part of the Lake Pend Oreille School District. Sandpoint High School educates students in grades 9 through 12.Sandpoint Charter School educates grades 6-12.