How to Have the Best Summer Vacation Ever – Travel Tips for Montana

By Discover Kalispell on May 12, 2022

Summer is one of the most-loved times of year in Montana. And with long daylight hours, plenty of wide-open spaces and charming towns like our very own Kalispell, it’s easy to see why folks are drawn to our corner of Montana during the warm season. 

If you’re planning on visiting Montana this summer, we want to give you a heads-up that things tend to get pretty busy around here, especially from mid-June through Labor Day. To help ensure that your vacation is full of incredible memories, beautiful vistas and unforgettable experiences, we’re sharing ways to help you have the best summer vacation ever. 

Here are some travel tips, suggestions and general advice: 

  1. Don’t forget that there’s more to Montana than just Glacier National Park. We know the Crown of the Continent is high on the list of many visitors and believe us, we get it. The park’s 1 million acres are home to some of the most incredible terrain we’ve ever seen, and though we get to see it often, it still blows us away and is a major draw for visitors from near and far. This year, the National Park Service is continuing their vehicle reservation system (more about that here) which means that if you haven’t snagged a reservation, you will need to be flexible with your travel plans so you can head in after a reservation is no longer needed.
    But there’s more to explore than just the park. Check out the Flathead National Forest, hike at Herron Park, kayak (or sail) on Flathead Lake or take a day trip.
  2. Plan ahead. One way to have the best time in Kalispell, Montana, is to plan ahead. There’s so much to do here, from taking a guided fly-fishing trip on the Flathead River to setting out on a horseback trail ride to sipping on a brewed-right-here beer. Things do get busy, so we recommend booking your guided excursions as early as possible (for example, right now). The next best suggestion is to have a back-up plan in case of a canceled trip, stormy weather or heck, even just a change in your mood. Check out things to do here and order a free travel guide.
  3. Be cool. Pack your patience and don’t be in a hurry. Give yourself more time than you might think you need to get somewhere, in case of busy traffic, construction or delays.
  4. Learn what recreate responsibly means. We’re just going to be honest and tell you that we need your help to keep our area pristine and wild, not just for residents and visitors, but for the plants, flowers, forests and wildlife that call this area home. Put in the time to understand what it means to recreate responsibly.
  5. Try something new. Montana is always ready to push you out of your comfort zone. If you’re all about the outdoors, give one of our amazing museums a shot and book a guided tour. If you’re more into easy cruising, switch gears and consider zip lining high over the Flathead Valley on Big Mountain. If you’re a chain restaurant lover, dig into Montana-style grub at one of our local restaurants. We’ve got heaps of inspiration waiting right here.
  6. Support local. Locally owned businesses - from shops to breweries and cideries to restaurants and outfitters - are the heartbeat of this place. While it might be easier to pop into a chain store, we invite you to go local and spend a little extra effort, snag a sweet parking spot on Main Street and visit our local-centric establishments.
  7. Pack appropriately. Most of the time, summer brings beautiful temperatures and weather to our corner of Big Sky Country. But mornings and evenings are cool and storms can roll in quickly and unannounced. Be sure to utilize our packing list, bring layers and check the weather before you come. Keep in mind that if you do end up forgetting something, chances are you’ll be able to find it at one of our Kalispell shops.


If you need more travel tips, suggestions for things to do and see or if you want us to provide personalized travel consultation, let us know. In the meantime, you can find plenty of trip-planning ideas at


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