We’ve got to hand it to Charles E. Conrad, Kalispell’s founder—he knew a good thing when he saw it. And while it looks different than it did in the late 1800s, the potential that Conrad saw has come to life and today it’s a mountain town with beautifully historic roots, a vibrant downtown and plenty of things to do right here in Kalispell, Montana. Steeped in history and filled with locally owned shops and boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and more, downtown Kalispell beautifully combines touches from the past with modern offerings in a charming setting.
Throughout Kalispell’s downtown core, there are many places to shop, from art to furniture and clothing to jewelry, and everything in between. One of the anchors of downtown, Western Outdoor, is located underneath what used to be an opera house that dates back to 1896. Step inside the shop and you’ll be welcomed by more than 2,500 boots and 1,500 hats, as well as all the western-inspired attire you can get your hands on. Keep strolling and perusing the offerings at Wheaton’s Cycle (a bike shop that’s been around for more than 100 years), The Toggery, Sage & Cedar, The Montana Scene and Sassafras, to name a few.
DINING & DRINKING
Food and drink options in downtown Kalispell are some of the most diverse you’ll find in northwest Montana. Around here, Kalispell restaurants serve up an array of mouth-watering dishes, from locally sourced bison and beef to fresh sushi, pastas and tapas. And in a place like Montana, you also better believe that our beverage options are some of the best around, from downtown locations that include Bias Brewing, SunRift Beer Company, Montavino Winery and local watering holes that carry ciders and kombucha made in the heart of the Flathead Valley. Take the time to stroll through downtown, check out local stores and end the day with a dinner or a made-right-here beer.
In a place that combines Montana’s wildness with mountain town amenities, it’s likely no surprise that there are plenty of wellness offerings downtown. Move your body at yoga, barre and aerial fitness classes, treat yourself at a local spa or make customizable fragrances and essential oils at Sage & Cedar.
HISTORY & CULTURE
Take a walk through Kalispell, Montana’s downtown and you’ll quickly notice that history has stood the test of time and created a firm foundation for the type of destination it is today. History can be found in buildings that date back to the late 1890s and early 1900s (like the Conrad Mansion Museum, the Hockaday Museum of Art, Kalispell Grand Hotel and the Northwest Montana History Museum) and Kalispell’s love affair with beer that dates back to the first pint that was brewed in 1894 by Kalispell Malting and Brewing Company. And if you want to do a deep dive into the history of Kalispell, go on a self-guided walking tour with virtual guides from Downtown Kalispell or Historic Montana.