The soul of the Flathead Valley, Kalispell, Montana, is a mountain town that combines incredible access to the outdoors with the perfect amount of urban culture through museums, touchable history, live music, photographers, artists, creators and craftsmen. And while the mountains of Montana may beckon you to explore the outdoors, Kalispell’s museums, art galleries and thriving arts community are some of the must-see things to do on any visit.
The Conrad Mansion Museum
From the flower-filled gardens and grounds to the immaculately-kept inside of this 13,000-square-foot mansion, the Conrad Mansion Museum provides a beautifully preserved look into the 19th-century life of Kalispell’s founder, Charles E. Conrad. Docent-led and self-guided tours are available year-round, while the mansion hosts special events throughout the year.
The Northwest Montana History Museum
While Charles E. Conrad is thought of as the founder of modern-day Kalispell, he was not the first person to call the Flathead Valley home. Located inside the historic 1894 Central School building, the Northwest Montana History Museum helps visitors explore the valley’s deep roots and earliest industries through immersive exhibits, including regional Indigenous history, the timber era and the valley’s early European settlers.
Hockaday Museum of Art
The cultural history of the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park has a fitting home in downtown Kalispell at the Hockaday Museum of Art. The museum itself is housed in a stunning classical-revival-style building, originally erected as the town library in 1901. In addition to rotating exhibitions, it has a permanent “Crown of the Continent” exhibit that features 15 historic Glacier National Park murals, as well as work from some of the West’s most well-known artists, including Charles M. Russell and O.C. Seltzer.
Artists and creators are very much at home in Montana’s Flathead Valley and today, their work can be found in beautiful early 1900’s buildings in downtown Kalispell. Take time to stroll Main Street to see the work of modern-day makers at Sassafras where you’ll find an eclectic mix of local-made fine art, apparel, jewelry, photography and more.