This article was sponsored by Explore Whitefish
Whitefish, Montana is nestled along the shores of Whitefish Lake in the Northern Rocky Mountains, providing the perfect basecamp for exploring the Glacier National Park region.
Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road
In the late spring, as the snow plows start to make their way up the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, starting at Avalanche Creek, the road is open to cyclists and pedestrians, creating a scenic bike ride or a casual hike. For the first few miles, the road meanders along the cascading falls of McDonald Creek, providing a leisurely cruise and more than one perfect lunch spot. The road starts to climb, revealing views of the snowcapped Heavens Peak and Birdwoman Falls providing a quieter glimpse into the heart of the Park. It is not uncommon to spot a rider loaded up with ski gear aiming to reach some upper peaks for some spring backcountry skiing. Pedal as far as the plows (or your legs) allow, keeping an eye out for bighorn sheep and mountain goats as they forage for new spring greens.
Activities at your Doorstep
The Whitefish River flows gently from Whitefish Lake through town, under pedestrian bridges and along city parks. Launch a paddleboard or kayak at Riverside Park for a mellow paddle to Whitefish Lake for a picnic at City Beach and an even easier float downstream back to the park. Or take a leisurely stroll on the paved Fish Trails paths as they follow along the river and link downtown with city parks, including the WAG Park for the four-legged members of the family.
The Whitefish Lake Golf Club is the only 36-hole golf course in the area and features all the amenities of a world-class resort course, featuring exceptional lake and mountain views only minutes from downtown.
The Whitefish Trail offers 36 miles of forested rolling singletrack, and is a favorite destination for hikers, trail runners, bikers and equestrians in the spring when the flowers are in bloom. The Lion Mountain Trailhead is only a mile from downtown, and offers easy access for hikers and bikers. Other trailheads, including South Beaver Lake and Woods Lake, offer more solitude and overlooks with amazing views.
Eat & Drink Local
The culture of local food is prevalent with a thriving weekly Farmer’s Market that kicks off in May, and numerous restaurants that source ingredients from the many farms, ranches and orchards in the Flathead Valley. The fare in Whitefish is a delightful surprise due to the range of food choices and chefs who pride themselves on creative dishes. Whitefish is home to two microbreweries and two distilleries adding a little more “happy” to happy hour. Take a coffee roasting or brewery/distillery tour and see where the magic happens.
Save Time for a “Down Day”
Whitefish has you covered when a rest day is needed. Start the morning with a relaxing yoga class at one of the many yoga and fitness studios, or go for a swim at the aquatic center. Book a massage or facial for a well-deserved treat. Central Avenue is filled with great shopping, and for some hands-on fun, stop by the art studio to paint pottery or create a mosaic. Whitefish is full of artisans, and stunning galleries are plentiful. Live music and theatre round out a day on the town.
Actually, It’s Easy To Get There
Whitefish is one of the closest mountain towns to a major airport. Once arriving at Glacier Park International Airport (FCA), you are only 15 minutes from downtown Whitefish. Amtrak’s Empire Builder arrives twice-daily at the historic Whitefish Depot, from Chicago and Minneapolis to the east, and from Seattle and Portland to the west. Arriving by car is also easy, with roads that meander through some of the most beautiful landscapes in North America.
To learn more about Whitefish, visit ExploreWhitefish.com