The year was 2018. I was living in Steamboat Springs, CO about to end my summer job. I had no idea what was next for me. I had always wanted to live in Montana, but had only been once to visit University of Montana in Missoula. I like Missoula, but it had a very Boulder or Fort Collins vibe, and I wanted to experience something new.
I started to look for jobs in the Kalispell, Columbia Falls, and Whitefish triangle. I was fortunate enough to get a job in Columbia Falls and moved up in September to begin an adventure of a lifetime. I found housing on Craigslist and moved in with 3 guys I never met before in Whitefish. It was like New Girl, but it was nothing like New Girl at the same time.
I spent the first few months of my time in Northwest Montana becoming acquainted with the many trail systems in the area. Some of my favorites were Whitefish Trails, Jewell Basin, and, of course, Glacier National Park. In the winter I got to ski at Whitefish Mountain Resort (Big Mountain) and even spent a day at Blacktail in Lakeside.
Whitefish is the best place on Earth! Not only is there a ton of natural beauty, but the people are kind, and there are amazing restaurants, coffee shops, and culture. This blog post is dedicated to me telling you about 11 gems I have discovered surrounding the area.
1 – VISIT GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
Ok, this one may seem obvious, but it’s true. You can drive Going to the Sun Road and check out
2 – GRAB SOME ICE CREAM AT SWEET PEAKS
3 – VISIT FLATHEAD LAKE
UGH it’s the PRETTIEST and biggest lake out there! There’s even Wild Horse Island State Park!
4 – CHECK OUT THE WHITEFISH TRAILS
Spread throughout the northwest part of the Flathead Valley, there are so many trails that connect! Don’t forget your bear spray!
5 – SPOTTED BEAR SPIRITS!!
If you are of age, Spotted Bear is an absolute MUST! Their handcrafted cocktails are so so so so so good.
6 – LAKE KOOKANUSA
Just drive up 2, and you’ll hit Eureka and get to the sandy beaches of Lake Kookanusa. It’s a real treat.
7 – WHITEFISH LAKE!!!!!!!!
Whether you sit on the beach, find a boat, or go for sunset and ice cream, Whitefish Lake is the crowning jewel of town.
8 – ART WALKS, FARMERS MARKETS, & MORE ON MAIN!
Whitefish has spirit, yes they do! Celebrate the quirky community of this little town at an art walk, farmers market, or one of the many parades hosted throughout the year down the iconic main street.
9 – PIZZA! ARE YOU A SECOND STREET OR JERSEY BOYS FAN?
The biggest question in Whitefish revolves around pizza! Do you love the thin greasy style pizza that resides at 2nd Street or are you a fan of the doughy Jersey Boys?
10 – WHITEFISH MOUNTAIN RESORT!
Want to go skiing? Hiking? Drinking? Zip lining? You can basically do it all up here!
11 – 4th OF JULY
This was the best day of the year. From a boat parade in the morning, to festive food trucks and firetrucks on the shore of Whitefish Lake at night, it is the BEST.
There’s my 11! There’s honestly so much more, but I hope this sparks some ideas for you! Remember, Whitefish is a small community, so please be considerate of the service workers! They are often overworked and stressed due to the mass amounts of tourism. Just be nice!
Thanks for reading, and happy travels!