At the intersection of limitless outdoor recreation and eclectic mountain culture stands Whitefish, one of Montana’s best-kept secrets. This small town of only 6,357 residents has welcomed adventure-seeking visitors for decades, many of whom are attracted by the world-class slopes and a variety of cultural events throughout the seasons.
With a broad base of offerings usually seen in mountain towns at least twice its size, Whitefish has something for everyone – just like our vacation rentals provide options to fit all budgets and group sizes.
Where is Whitefish, MT?
Located in Flathead County about 60 miles south of the border with British Columbia, Canada, Whitefish lies in a valley on the west side of the Continental Divide. Twenty-six miles east sits the Flathead National Forest and the gateway to Glacier National Park at West Glacier’s Apgar Visitor Center. The largest town in the region, Kalispell, lies 16 miles south, and just a bit farther is thirty-mile-long Flathead Lake and quaint waterfront communities like Lakeside and scenic Rollins.
Things to Do in Whitefish, MT
Whitefish prides itself on yearly traditions, and you’ll find fun cultural events for all ages during every season. One such tradition is the annual Whitefish Winter Carnival, a three-day celebration in February of all-things-snow, with festivities such as an ice sculpture contest, a penguin costume parade through downtown, the crowning of a winter king and queen, and a polar plunge for the truly daring. Participants even line up for skijoring, a popular Norwegian winter sport in which a person on skis is pulled behind a horse over snow-covered obstacles like slalom gates and jumps.
Luckily, Whitefish is serious about its festivals even during the lazy days of summer. If your trip falls on the second weekend of August, make sure to check out the free Huckleberry Days Arts Festival. Over 100 artists, food vendors, live entertainment, and a huckleberry dessert bake-off contest await.
Hot summer days also bring a return to abundant water sports on beautiful Whitefish Lake, as well as exceptional fly-fishing, kayaking, and rafting on the Whitefish and Flathead Rivers. A number of challenging hikes through unmatched natural beauty are available nearby in the Jewel Basin Hiking Area of the Flathead National Forest.
Day Trips from Whitefish, MT
If you come during the winter and enjoy snow sports, you’ll definitely want to check out the champagne powder conditions that exist seven miles north at Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain. Boasting an incredible 300 inches of snowfall per year, spread over 105 ski trails for all skill levels, this is a powder hound’s paradise! If going out into the cold sounds unappealing, you could always stay home and snuggle up in front of a warm fire in your cozy vacation rental.
Fifteen miles south on Highway 93, a visit to historic downtown Kalispell provides a fun diversion when you need to give your legs a break from the slopes. Browse boutique shops and quaint eateries housed in one-hundred-year-old buildings on Main Street, then stop by Hockaday Museum of Art to view works by Montana artists. Or, bone up on Old West history at the Conrad Mansion, built by Kalispell founders, Charles and Alicia Conrad, in 1895 during the western railroad boom.
Dubbed “Montana’s outdoor recreation playground”, Whitefish is a hidden gem in the Treasure State. Don’t just take it from us, though – come see for yourself with a stay in one of our charming vacation rentals!
Photo Credit: Phil Trease via Flickr
Properties managed by Meghan Lutterman of Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, license #RRE-RPM-LIC-53181.
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