We’re just going to say it…if you’ve been thinking of planning a summer vacation to Kalispell, northwest Montana and Glacier National Park, now is the time. From comfortable hotels to mouthwatering culinary offerings and Flathead Lake to outdoor adventures, there is so much to see, do and experience in Kalispell.
Remember, here in Montana, wildfires are part of the landscapes and while some are caused by natural occurrences like lightning, many are caused by humans. When you’re here, please do your part to recreate responsibly. Get the latest information on regional wildland fires and air quality here.
Here are 10 reasons to visit Kalispell this summer.
1. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is OPEN all the way across. You heard that right – this is the earliest the road has opened in years and as you can imagine, the park is extra beautiful right now. Keep in mind that there is ongoing construction along Lake McDonald – pack your patience and go with the flow.
2. More reservations for Glacier National Park. Alright, so you DO need vehicle reservations for many areas in the park, including the North Fork, Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor, Two Medicine and St. Mary BUT here’s the scoop: more vehicle reservations are released daily, 24-hours out from first day of entrance for the 3-day tickets. Jump on recreation.gov and snag yours.
3. You CAN visit without a reservation. We get it – the term reservation and national park can tend to cause a little more mayhem and misunderstandings than it probably should. But the truth is that you can indeed visit Glacier National Park without a reservation. How? Well heck, we’ll tell ya. You can enter anytime after 3 p.m. or before 6 a.m. or book a guided activity in the park and that will count as your reservation for the day.
4. Fewer people. Chances are, you have friends in your instagram feed that are doing their vacations up BIG this year. And while the world has opened back up again, that means more people are traveling abroad…but it also means fewer people are coming to beloved places like northwest Montana. If you want to explore Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Flathead National Forest and the region with less people, this summer is a great time to do it!
5. Flathead Lake. Summer was made for fun on the water and as the largest natural freshwater lake in the West, Flathead Lake has ample room to soak in as much summer as possible. Set sail, go boating, catch a massive lake trout, kayak or swim at one of the public beaches or state parks.
6. A booming food scene. Truth be told, our mountains and lakes tend to get most of the attention around here. But honestly, Montana’s culinary offerings – especially in Kalispell – can hold their own. And if you haven’t been to Kalispell in the last few years, you and your stomach are going to be literally delighted with all we have to offer. A few places to put on your list – Big Mountain Ciderworks, DeSoto, Mercantile Steak, MontaVino Winery, Hops Downtown Grill, Bias Brewing and Ceres Bakery.
7. 14 hours of daylight. One of the best things about summer in Montana is how long the days are. We’re talking 14 hours of solid daylight, which means you can pack in as much fun as possible on your vacation.
8. Something for (basically) everyone. We don’t want to fall into the cliche of saying that there’s something for everyone in Kalispell, but it is true and there’s no better way to say it. From horseback trail rides to mountain biking and fishing to exploring museums, there are abundant options of things to see and do. Want more details? Start here.
9. Trails, trails and trails. While Kalispell is a mountain town that has trails extending in every direction, it also has trails right in the heart of downtown. Be sure to check out the recently complete Parkline Trail, as well as the Great Northern Rail Trail. You can bring your own bike or rent one right here in Kalispell. Additional hiking destinations can be found at Herron Park, Glacier National Park and Jewel Basin.
10. Check in at Kalispell locations and we’ll give you prizes. When you visit Kalispell, we want to help you make the most of your time here, which is why we’ve come up with something called the Town & Trails Pass. With the pass, you can check into locations and win prizes, all while exploring the many offerings of Kalispell. And the best part? After you check into three locations, you automatically win a prize. And after you complete 15 stops, you’ll automatically be entered to win a Kalispell vacation package. While there are many locations to choose from and visit, examples include the Conrad Mansion Museum, SunRift Beer Company, Lone Pine State Park, Norm’s Soda Fountain and The Rancher’s Daughter. Sign up here.
If you need help planning your trip, visit DiscoverKalispell.com or call us at 406-458-2811. Already here? Swing into our Visitor Information Center at 17 South Main Street (inside the Flathead Beacon Productions office).