Kalispell Montana

Kalispell Montana
Kalispell Montana  Image: ahisgett (flickr)

When making your Kalispell travel plans, you might find it hard to fit everything in, unless you have weeks on end to work with. In addition to the in-town attractions in Kalispell, which include some interesting museums and a handful of neat art galleries, the surrounding area boasts natural wonders that are sure to have you considering a move. From virtually every vantage point in town you can glimpse high-rising, snow-capped peaks, and a myriad of pristine lakes dot the countryside. For those who truly enjoy the outdoors, the fact that Glacier National Park is just 30 miles away is enough reason to plan a Kalispell vacation. But that's just one reason to visit, and while it's a good one, there's plenty more. It's no wonder that Kalispell is growing. You'll hardly find a city anywhere in the country that has more to offer, provided that you can handle a good amount of snow in the winter.

When the snow does begin to fall in Kalispell Montana, many locals and visitors break out their skis and snowboards, looking to hit the area slopes. Kalispell is just under 3,000 feet above sea level, and the nearby mountains rise even higher, making for some excellent skiing conditions. The top ski resort in the area is the Big Mountain Ski Resort, which is known for its well-groomed trails and its long runs. The Big Mountain ski resort is just 17 miles from the city, so arranging a day on its slopes during your Kalispell vacation is about as easy as it gets. While you're heading to or from the resort, you might stop in Whitefish along the way. Another small city that enjoys the same relative location as Kalispell, Whitefish is also a terrific place to both live and visit.


One of the country's best national parks and an ideal mountain ski resort aren't all that you'll find in the general area when visiting Kalispell Montana. Flathead Lake, which is the largest U.S. freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, can be found just south of Kalispell. Those who plan a day trip there can enjoy any number of recreational activities, with fishing and boating being among the top pursuits. Thousands of square miles of national forest and park lands can be found in the northwestern part of Montana, and bordering Kalispell are the Flathead National Forest and the Kootenai National Forest. As one might imagine, hiking in these forested areas is wildly popular with outdoor enthusiasts, and you're bound to spot some interesting Montana wildlife during your hikes, which is a nice bonus. Your Kalispell travel plans can definitely involve visiting nearby parks, towns, and lakes, but you'll also want to reserve some time to see what Kalispell itself has to offer.

As for the attractions in Kalispell, the art galleries and studios are among the top draws, as is the Hockaday Museum of Art, which offers classes, lectures, and special events throughout the year. Much of the art that is produced locally carries a western theme, and among the sculptures, paintings, and other works of art, you're bound to find something to take home with you that is a little more substantial than a standard souvenir. In addition to perusing the pieces at the local galleries and studios, you might also hit up the many antique stores that also call Kalispell Montana home. Traditional and contemporary art are on display at the Hockaday Museum of Art, and a few rotating displays help to keep things fresh if you plan a return visit in the future. Works of art that revolve around Glacier National Park figure prominently among the exhibits here.

Should you be interested in adding another interesting museum to your Kalispell vacation itinerary, the Museum at Central School is a fine candidate. Northwest Montana history is the focus of this museum, which is housed in a school building that originally dates back to 1894. Renovations have changed the schoolhouse to some degree, but it still maintains unique Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style, which is a style that few remaining buildings in the country can boast. Plan your Kalispell travel time for December, and you'll have the chance to enjoy a Holiday Tour of Historic Homes in Kalispell. These tours, which are hosted by the museum, offer visitors the chance to look inside some of the most historic houses in town.

You'll enjoy a savory slice of Rocky Mountain life when you visit Kalispell Montana, and should you be looking for a place to stay during your trip, you can choose from bed and breakfasts, an array of hotels and motels, cabins, and even some area campgrounds. You can also look to the nearby city towns of Bigfork and Whitefish when looking for accommodations in the area. The Glacier National Park hotels also present some intriguing lodging options for those who want to stay within the boundaries of this cherished national treasure.

Top image: Katie@! (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
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