Flathead County in northern Montana is home to the town Whitefish, named for the nearby lake it abutted. Whitefish began as a railway and logging town founded in 1904, but by the 1940s the tourism industry took over with the erection of the Whitefish Mountain Resort. Since then, tourism has reigned supreme, and vacationers from all over the world come to visit the small town every year.
An outdoors focus is at the root of many activities available in Whitefish, particularly at the Whitefish Mountain Resort. Glacier National Park and Flatland National Forest are just a hop, skip, and a jump away, where many people camp, take climbing tours, ski, fish, hike trails, and do water sports.
Golf tours and spas are also available for those who are not so physically inclined. Many breweries offer tastings, including Spotted Bear Spirits, Bonsai Brewing Project, and Great Northern Brewing Company. If it’s not Christmas, check out City Beach, and if it is, check out the lights on the main drag Central Avenue.
Excellent choices to experience the nightlife include Crush Lounge, Hellroaring Saloon, Good Medicine Lodge, and the Bull Dog Saloon and Grill. Red Caboose Frozen Yogurt Coffee is exactly what it sounds like, boasting a frozen yogurt bar and coffee in front of the fireplace. Sweet Peaks Ice Cream has adventurous flavors like lemon dill, cardamom, rhubarb, and huckleberry if you’re looking for less yogurt and more cream.
Pig & Olive sandwich shops hosts the notoriously delicious fried potato salad and vanilla bean lemonade, and if the lemonade didn’t sate your sweet tooth, try a sweet crepe at Amazing Crepes (if you’re daring, try the Darth Bacon). Other must-visit locations include Loula’s, Tupelo Grill, Buffalo Café & Nightly Grill, and Zucca Marketplace Bistro.
Theater buffs will enjoy Alpine Theater Project and the Whitefish Theater Company, and train enthusiasts should stop at the Stumptown Historical Society.
Day trips are mostly restricted to the national park variety or Canada (bring your passport if this is in your plans). The northern tip of Flathead Lake is half an hour south of Whitefish, and Missoula is about 2.5 hours south if exploring the capital of Montana interests you.
Hotels, inns, cabins, and B&B’s are available all over town. Visitors’ favorites include the quaint atmosphere of Garden Wall Inn, Lodge at Whitefish Lake, Hampton Inn & Suites Whitefish, Garden Wall Inn, Best Western, The Firebrand Hotel, and Hibernation House. Tripping.com also provides rental options.
Kalispell, Montana Glacier National Park Airport is about 15 minutes outside of town and shuttles and taxis service the airport. Renting a car is mostly likely the best choice for freedom of mobility, and Interstate 90, Highway 93, and US Highway 2 pass through the area. Amtrak trains pass by the Whitefish stop twice a day. The town itself is around 60 miles south of the Canadian border.
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