You know the beauty of Big Sky and have fallen in love with Bozeman before. But what if we told you that in the northwest corner of Montana your next big small town adventure awaits? In whitefish, MontanaThe rugged beauty of Flathead Valley is fully on display during the colder months, and this mountain town filled with food and entertainment is the perfect base to enjoy it all.
Originally known as “Stumptown” due to the abundance of cleared timber to build the town (it was first incorporated in 1905), Whitefish offers something for all types of winter travelers, so you will never be short of exciting things to do. Do you like skiing? The powder-dusted slopes of Whitefish Mountain Resort are just 19 miles from Glacier Park International Airport, one of the shortest distances in the United States! Are you more of an antique dealer? You’ll shop for beautiful vintage merchandise at an old train depot near Columbia Falls. If your focus is more on food and drink, there’s no shortage of delicious restaurants and bars, and fans of winter festivals will also find one of the most unique offerings at the Whitefish Winter Carnival.
If you’ve been looking for fun things to do in Whitefish, MT, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve even rounded up our favorite Whitefish hotels and cabin rentals so you have a comfortable place to rest after a long day of exploring. And while winter is perhaps our favorite time to visit, it’s worth noting that with over 700 miles of trails and wildlife aplenty in nearby Glacier National Park, the warmer months also bring adventures of their kind.
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Go for berries
The best whitefish mornings start with homemade donuts and pancakes coated with blueberry compote in Farmhouse Inn & Food. Slightly more tart than a blueberry, this wild fruit is a famous local specialty.
Strap on your snowshoes
Whitefish is just 25 miles from the western entrance to Glacier National Park, where the million acres of protected land offers 700 miles of hiking trails, so many glacial lakes, and the chance to spot moose, mountain goats and bighorn sheep.
Take a ride
Open from March to October, Pole bridge Mercantile is a Flathead Valley institution. Locals and tourists alike stop at the 107-year-old general store for the essentials of exploration and delicious bear claws before heading to the National Glacier.
Just east of Whitefish in Columbia Falls, Rachel Hopkins oversees the well-organized antique stalls of The shops at station 8, which is housed in the city’s first train depot. At the modern merchant nearby Scout + Gathering, Montana-made items include sun-bleached bandanas.
Savor a treat
Churned with winter-flavored Montana dairy products such as Gingerbread House, Ice cream with sweet peaks is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Grab a scoop after a lunch of gourmet sandwiches at The Wich Haus.
Meet the neighbors
Hikes to Bar W Guest Ranch run from May to October, but families can still enjoy the horses in the cold season with a scenic sleigh tour.
Examples of local libations
Before dinner at Jalisco Cantina, stop for spicy apple mules and white russian made with Spotted bear spirits vodka and coffee liqueur at the tasting room of the distillery in town.
Join the celebration
Get rid of the winter doldrums at the annual meeting whitefish winter Carnival. Scheduled February 4-6, the event has historically included a quirky parade, social pie, and a penguin dive in Whitefish Lake.
Name your favorite little town!
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