21 Best Things to Do in Whitefish, MT

Whitefish, Montana
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Whitefish is a small town located in Flathead County, Montana.

It has a population of 8,032 people as of the 2020 consensus and is a perfect getaway for people who are fed up with the hustle and bustle of big cities.

If you badly need a break from towering skyscrapers and pollution, this is the town you should visit.

It has plenty of breathtaking natural sights, scenic views, and rich wildlife, making it the perfect place for family vacations and weekend getaways.

Additionally, Whitefish has a rich history, as Native Americans inhabited it before European explorers made their way to America.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 21 best things you can do in Whitefish, Montana:

See Glacier National Park's Natural Beauty

Snow landscape of Glacier National Park
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The Glacier National Park is the most popular attraction in Whitefish.

People from all over the country visit Whitefish just to witness the natural beauty offered by the Glacier National Park.

At Glacier National Park, you’ll find trails of 700 miles.

Colorful frozen waterfall at Glacier National Park
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Rent a bike and explore the rich wildlife that this fantastic park offers.

If you visit Whitefish in winter, you can even see some snowfall.

If you’re still not sold on this  extraordinary national park, you must check out some photos on Google!

A tourist near the waters of Glacier National Park
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Experience the Fun at Whitefish Winter Carnival

If you find yourself in Whitefish during the winter season, be sure to check out the Whitefish Winter Carnival.

This carnival includes parties, rides, skijoring, and even a grand parade.

You’ll find and enjoy some fantastic food at this carnival.

Don’t miss out on the pie social and penguin plunge events at this carnival.

Try Under the Big Sky Music and Arts Festival

Under the Big Sky Music and Arts Festival usually takes place in mid-July on a 350-acre ranch.

Good music, lively parties, amazing food, and a fun crowd are some things that characterize this festival.

Catch some performances by the local musicians and artists of Whitefish, Montana.

It’s a festival organized to appreciate the beauty of art and Montana’s rich culture.

You may also go hiking, play volleyball games, horse riding, and many more!

Be sure to witness the macho cowboys who will entertain you with their bull riding rodeo.

Words are not enough to describe the atmosphere of this amazing festival.

You’ll have to witness it yourself!

See the Photo Exhibitions at Whitefish Theatre Company

Exterior of the Whitefish Theatre Company
Craig Talbert, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Whitefish Theatre Company is perfect for those people who tend to enjoy classier things.

If exploring the mountains is not your cup of tea, you might want to give the Whitefish Theatre Company a chance.

At this place, you can catch live theatre productions, photo exhibitions, music concerts, art exhibitions, and even quilt displays.

You can appreciate art and even meet like-minded people who appreciate artistic endeavors.

If you can, try to buy some art at this place and support local artists.

Visit the Whitefish Museum

Exterior of the Whitefish Museum
Elkman, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Great Northern Railway project greatly influenced the town’s development during the early 20th century.

All of the town’s rich history is documented and stored at the Whitefish Museum.

This museum is managed by The Stumptown Historical Society.

This society was established in 1982 with just one aim in mind: that is, to preserve the rich local history of Whitefish.

You can check out relics of this town’s past at this museum, located at 500 Depot Street, Whitefish.

Have Fun at Huckleberry Days Arts Festival

Exterior of the Huckleberry Days Arts Festival
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If you’re more of a foodie, then the Huckleberry Days Arts Festival will suit you!

Here, you'll find loads of dessert-eating and hot dog competitions and even find a dessert bake-off competition.

While eating and baking, your kids can enjoy themselves on the mobile climbing wall.

Truly, Huckleberry Days Arts Festival is the pinnacle of good vibes, good people, and delicious food.

Go Kayaking at Whitefish Lake

Scenic view of Whitefish Lake
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The 7-mile-long Whitefish Lake is a natural beauty that will take your breath away.

Bring a camera and a good photographer to get pictures of this beautiful lake.

In summer, you can rent a boat and go out to the middle of the lake.

Kayaking on Whitefish Lake during sunset
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You can even kayak or go for a swim.

Along with the Glacier National Park, Whitefish Lake is one of the most popular hotspots in Whitefish.

You can even relax at a lodge by this lake and just soak in the view while sipping some wine.

Chairs overlooking Whitefish Lake
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Food Hopping in Downtown Whitefish

Buildings along Downtown Whitefish
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The food in Whitefish is simply amazing.

With its unique festivals, such as the Huckleberry Days Arts Festival and the Whitefish Winter Carnival, it is no surprise that this town offers delicious dishes.

You can just walk to the downtown area,and check out some amazing restaurants.

Be sure to taste everything from a variety of restaurants!

Night scene at Downtown Whitefish
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You can eat however much you want, and you’ll still not run out of delicious dishes to savor.

The best restaurants here include Montana Coffee Traders, Loula’s Café, Café Kandahar, Craggy Range Bar and Grill, and The Great Northern Bar and Grill, among many others!

Relax at the Whitefish Mountain Resort

Skiers at Whitefish Mountain Resort
Ronnie Chua / Shutterstock.com

If you’ve come to Whitefish just to take off your boots and chill for some days, then the Whitefish Mountain Resort is the perfect place for you.

This resort is located near the Big Mountain, and you can even go for activities like skiing and hiking!

The Aerial Adventure Park is also close by.

Snowboarding at Whitefish Mountain Resort
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You can send your kids there while sipping some whiskey on rocks and chill by the pool.

If you want to get in the spirit of things, you can go for zip lining, lift rides, the alpine slide, and even bike riding in the mountains.

There is no shortage of activities at the Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Aerial view of Whitefish Mountain Resort
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Shop at Stumptown Marketplace

Whenever you visit a new place, it’s important that you bring back a souvenir to remember the trip.

The Stumptown Marketplace in Whitefish is one of its biggest hip markets.

You can find a lot of art and craft there.

Spend some cash and support the local artists of Whitefish, as that’s their only source of income.

The Stumptown Marketplace is a small indoor market.

When you’re at this market, you can also try some delicious food at Zucca.

Go Mountain Hiking

As there are a lot of mountains near Whitefish, you’ll find a lot of options when it comes to hiking trails.

Just two miles away from downtown Whitefish, you’ll find the Reservoir Trailhead.

It’s a 5.5-mile trail that features some breathtaking views.

Another option to consider is the Lion Mountain Trailhead.

This 3-mile loop is perfect for beginners!

If you’re used to hiking and are looking for something adventurous, then the Danny on Trail is the trail for you.

It is one of the popular hiking trails in Whitefish.

Take the lift ride to the top of this trail and then hike down.

Visit the Boat Club Bar

The food and Whitefish has many places to enjoy a drink, whether with your partner or a group of friends.

One such place is the Boat Club Bar where you can even enjoy dining by the fireplace and have a view of the beautiful lake.

If you’re the type to enjoy drinking and dining from a height, Whitefish has again got you covered.

Casey’s Whitefish has a beautiful rooftop bar where you can enjoy sunsets and a fancy city dining experience with good music.

Visit the Tasting Room of Spotted Bear Spirits

The tasting room for Spotted Bear Spirits is situated on the northern side of downtown Whitefish, directly adjacent to the train station, and it has a view of Depot Park.

Spotted Bear Spirits serves as a gathering place for the people, a spot to make memories and exchange tales, a venue for inspiration, and a place for gatherings.

They source their fresh, original food from magnificent farms in their thriving mountain region, and wherever feasible, they employ locally sourced and organic components in their spirits and cocktails.

Their tasting area is charming and homey, with thoughtful details that pay respect to the forest outside.

They organize a carefully designed private function in their loft space or simply a small group of people.

The Walking Man Frame Shop & Gallery has a modern art gallery and custom photo framing.

They provide several options of services, including canvas extending, dry mounting, wrapped-by-hand textile matting, mirrors, shadowboxes, and other customized framings with a range of moldings and hand-crafted frameworks.

They strongly recommend using preservation procedures to safeguard your images, artwork, and souvenirs.

They participate in the enduringly well-liked Whitefish First Thursday Gallery Nights activities, which take place from May through October and are a unique monthly event including exquisite art and beverages.

Featured at The Walking Man Frame Shop & Gallery is a distinctive collection of modern painters and outdoor sculptures.

Shop Healthy Food at Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market

From the end of May through September, savor the summer's harvest every Tuesday between 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

At the northern end of Central Avenue, the Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market is where regional farmers and artisans display their wares.

In contrast to corporate farming, family farms are managed by individuals who reside in the area and have a strong connection to it.

They guard the soil because it keeps them alive.

The freshest goods of the season are highlighted together with live music and gourmet meals.

The Dick Idol Signature Gallery debuted in June 2012 in the charming center of Whitefish, Montana.

It quickly emerged as one of the Northwest's attractions for art galleries.

An extensive selection of antler home furnishing products and other merchandise is available at Dick Idol Signature Gallery.

Jewelry and several other products that may stand out in a house or business are sold together with rare and distinctive treasures that are one-of-a-kind pieces.

Along with the artists the gallery represents, they provide a vast selection of ancient and modern art that covers a variety of subject matters, genres, and price ranges.

Unwind at Buffalo Cafe

Owners Charlie & Linda Maetzold initially came to the region when they founded the Buffalo Café in the late 1970s because they loved the great outdoors and genuine people.

It is run by a family and provides cuisine that has won awards.

Buffalo Cafe initially established its name by providing freshly prepared breakfast and lunch to Whitefish residents.

With the advent of their Evening Grill dinner program in 2008, they had their greatest growth.

This service immediately became a favorite, with Whitefish families seeking a casual evening outing that included more options than just bar fare.

They take pleasure in using as many regional suppliers as possible to make their fresh fruit, pieces of bread, burgers, beers, and even ice cream.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go Sightseeing at Kalispell

Scenic view of Kalispell Glacier National Park
Vaclav Sebek / Shutterstock.com

Kalispell is a small Northwest Montana city just 17 miles away from Whitefish.

If you’re at Whitefish for a considerable time, you can plan a getaway to Kalispell.

At Kalispell, you can indulge in horse riding and even visit the Flathead National Park.

Beautiful landscape at Kalispell
Aleksadnra Was / Shutterstock.com

Like Whitefish, Kalispell also offers its visitors a lot of scenic landscapes and natural beauties.

The Hockaday Museum of Art is another amazing place to visit in Kalispell.

Buildings at downtown Kalispell
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Visit the Flathead Lake

Scenic view of Flathead Lake
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The Flathead Lake is an enormous freshwater body perfect for families.

You can set up a picnic on the shore or drive around the lake with your fiancée.

The waters of Flathead Lake
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Activities such as kayaking, boating, and paddleboarding are available at this lake.

If you find yourself at this lake during summertime, check out the Flathead cherry orchards!

Cherry orchard at Flathead Lake
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Explore the Wild Horse Island

Wild Horse Island in Montana
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The Wild Horse Island is located in Flathead Lake.

It is the largest island in the lake.

To get to this island, you’ll have to take a boat ride.

Aerial view of Wild Horse Island
Danilo Ruiz / Shutterstock.com

Once there, you can get in touch with your inner self as you soak in the natural beauty of this place.

And yes, you can ride horses there too!

The waters of Wild Horse Island
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Final Thoughts

There are several attractions in Whitefish's modest but diverse downtown areas, such as a community theater, neighborhood restaurants, and close-by parks with accessibility to the Whitefish River.

Ice skating, snowboarding, trekking, hiking, and a wide range of water sports on Whitefish Lake are well-known recreational pursuits frequently associated with this treasure of the Northwest.

In addition to the abundance of entertainment and recreation, Whitefish has a distinctive mountain-town atmosphere that appeals to vacationers and weekend guests.

All year round, Whitefish is ideal for holidays.

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