Road Trip - Schweitzer Ski-Cation
Family Road Trip - Schweitzer Mountain Resort
by Erin Peterson
featured in Spokane Cd'A Living Magazine
Are you as exhausted from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season as we are? Well, lucky for us, we live in one of the world’s premier locations for beautiful, dreamy winters and sophisticated snow sport resorts. After the long and often demanding month of December, we craved a family outing that was anything but ordinary. I wanted a hot tub and spa treatments, the boys wanted fun and adventure, and my husband wanted beautiful restaurants - preferably with a view. Schweitzer Mountain Resort was able to give us everything we were looking for, and then some. Located in Sandpoint, Idaho, this world-famous ski resort is known for its plush amenities both for the sportsman and for relaxing.
We couldn’t visit Schweitzer without enjoying what they are most famous for - skiing! If you don’t have gear of your own, they have a fully-stocked pro shop that will professionally fit you for the day. If you are new to skiing or snowboarding, they also offer lessons in a variety of formats from beginner to advanced. If you’re not up for riding lifts and taking lessons, snow biking or tubing may be more your speed, which are for any level of snow experience. If sliding down a hill in a giant donut-shaped device doesn’t bring out the kid in you, there are always options to snowshoe or snowmobile to enjoy the winter wonderland in a more controlled manner.
If you want to be up early to catch the first fresh powder, it’s easiest to hit the slopes when staying at the resort itself. Selkirk Lodge has a classic ski chalet feel but has modern conveniences like hot tubs, a year-round heated swimming pool, a movie theater and dining nearby. My first priority after getting settled in was to relax in the hot tub surrounded by snow while I looked at the stars. The sky is so clear up here that you can see infinitely more detail in the night sky than we can in the city. The boys were pumped to hop right into the heated pool despite the chill outside.
In search of the ultimate spa experience, we tried out two spots. One was right at the mountain, Solstice Wellness Spa, which boasts house-made products, personalized treatments and Eastern bodywork, this place has it all. We chose the 90-minute couples session, complete with a charcuterie plate, champagne and a soak followed by a salt scrub, paraffin wax treatment and a one hour full body massage customized with aromatherapy. If you want to venture into town, Highlands Day Spa North is a rejuvenating retreat for mind, body and spirit. After skiing, I opted to enjoy a luxurious pedicure while the boys played a little longer in the snow.
Chimney Rock Grill and Mojo Coyote Cafe are available on-site at the Selkirk Lodge for casual fare, and if you’re a little more adventurous, up the mountain The Nest has panoramic views of Lake Pend Oreille. You can choose from a fine selection of small plate options while you sip a cocktail, wine or beer at the summit. It’s truly an experience all on its own and feels like you’re dining at the top of the world.
An exceptional spot that is fully stocked with specialty foods and artisanal items from around the world is Gourmandie in the White Pine Lodge. It focuses on highlighting culinary craftsmanship of the Northwest, and has farmstead cheese, cured meats, soups and regionally and internationally crafted beer and wine. Snag some special bites to take back to your room after a long day of skiing, tubing and snow biking, or even to take home to enjoy after your trip.
If you’re one of those types that tend to complain about the snow, I personally invite you to take another look at the fluffy white powder coating our region this time of year and fully embrace it. You might just surprise yourself with how much you can enjoy the snowy landscape while it lasts.