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Towns + Events Near Glacier National Park

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Near the Park Explore Small Towns and Communities Near the Park

Explore Small Towns and Communities Near the Park

The beauty of Western Montana's Glacier Country is that the gorgeous landscapes and exceptional communities surrounding Glacier National Park offer as equally memorable an adventure as the park itself. Western Montana boasts charming small towns welcoming visitors with restaurants, breweries and distilleries, unique shopping, museums, galleries, and, best of all, the authentic warm welcomes Montana is known for. So, explore beyond the park—Glacier Country is well worth the visit, and, when the park is at capacity, it's the perfect place to discover your next unforgettable adventure.

The communities of Essex, West Glacier, Lakeside, Polson, Hungry Horse, Coram, Martin City, Columbia Falls, Polebridge, Bigfork, Whitefish and Kalispell are ideal towns from which to base your trip. Each community offers access to incredible outdoor recreation in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, expansive trail systems in the Flathead Valley, water recreation on Flathead Lake, on-mountain offerings at Whitefish Mountain Resort and incredible food and drink scenes.

On the east side of Glacier National Park, St. Mary, Babb, Browning, Cut Bank and East Glacier Park provide multiple launching points for exploring the Blackfeet Nation—complete with guided tours and incredible history—as well as central Montana. 

It’s important to be aware of when you are on tribal lands: the Blackfeet Reservation, home to the Blackfeet Nation; and the Flathead Reservation, home to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

While tribal communities are welcoming to respectful visitors, this is not our land and there are sacred places we must not disturb. It’s also important to be mindful and respectful of a tribe’s unique culture, history and traditions. Make sure you “know before you go” in terms of permits and policies that may be different from Montana law. Learn more here.

Please RECREATE RESPONSIBLY, now more than ever. Know before you go, plan ahead, stay informed, stay safe, be kind, be respectful, be patient and leave no trace. Call or check in advance to make sure the businesses you are interested in are open.

BABB

Visit Babb on glaciermt.com.

Babb is located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. If you plan to recreate (camp, fish, hunt, hike, boat) on tribal land, you will need a tribal permit. Visit Blackfeet Nation Fish & Wildlife for more information.

Drink + Eat Local

  • Grab dinner at Two Sisters Cafe, an eye-catching roadside eatery that's been satisfying diners for more than 25 years.
  • Enjoy a big, juicy steak at the Cattle Baron Supper Club, a steakhouse born out of the Babb Bar, once one of the rowdiest watering holes in Glacier Country.

Get Your Shop On, Tax Free!

Outdoor Adventure

  • Buy a tribal permit and fish Duck Lake, known for unusually large brown and rainbow trout.

Sweet Dreams

BIGFORK

Visit Bigfork on glaciermt.com.

Visitor Information

Bigfork Chamber of Commerce | 8155 State Highway 35, Bigfork | 406.837.5888

Arts + Culture

  • Take in a show at Bigfork Summer Playhouse, the finest live professional repertory theater in the northwest.
  • Go on a gallery stroll; Bigfork boasts a surprising array of art galleries.

Drink + Eat Local

Get Your Shop On, Tax Free!

  • Shop downtown for unique jewelry, clothing and gifts.

Outdoor Adventure

BROWNING

Visit Browning on glaciermt.com.

Browning is located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. If you plan to recreate (camp, fish, hunt, hike, boat) on tribal land, you will need a tribal permit. Visit Blackfeet Nation Fish & Wildlife for more information.

Visitor Information

Visit Blackfeet — Blackfeet Tourism, Parks and Recreation | 409 N. Piegan St. | 406.338.3821

Arts + Culture

Get Your Shop On, Tax Free!

Indoor Pursuits

Outdoor Adventure

  • Stop at the viewing area on U.S. Highway 2 to look for free-roaming bison on the Blackfeet Nation Bison Reserve.
  • Listen to traditional stories and learn about the landscape on a hike led by Iron Shield Creative’s Blackfeet guides.

COLUMBIA FALLS

Visit Columbia Falls on glaciermt.com.

Visitor Information

Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce at Marantette Park | 233 13th St. E., Columbia Falls | 406.892.2072

Drink + Eat Local

Get Your Shop On, Tax Free!

Family Fun

Outdoor Adventure

CORAM

Visit Coram on glaciermt.com.

Visitor Information

Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce at Marantette Park | 233 13th St. E., Columbia Falls | 406.892.2072

Drink + Eat Local

  • Savor handcrafted whiskey and spirits “so close to Glacier you can taste it!" at Glacier Distilling.
  • Enjoy tapas and delicious dishes made with local ingredients at Josephine's Speakeasy, an eatery housed in an old homesteader cabin.

Family Fun

  • Crank up the fun level! The Amazing Fun Center has a maze, go-karts, mini-golf, bumper boats and bankshot basketball.

Outdoor Adventure

CUT BANK

Visit Cut Bank on glaciermt.com.

Visitor Information

Cut Bank Area Chamber of Commerce | 59 Golf Course Road | 406.873.4041

Art + Culture

  • Step back in time at the 14-acre Glacier County Historical Museum and Archive with the option to spend the night in a historic caboose, oil worker's house or homestead house.
  • Learn about the Cut Bank Army Airfield's role in World War II at the Airmen's Museum.
  • Take a stroll around town to view the murals that celebrate Cut Bank’s history.

Drink + Eat Local

Family Fun

  • Take a selfie with a 27-foot-tall penguin statue that claims Cut Bank is the “coldest spot in the nation."
  • Buy tickets for a scenic roundtrip train ride on Amtrak's Empire Builder from Cut Bank to Whitefish, skirting the southern border of Glacier National Park.
  • Release some pent-up energy on the playground at City Park.

Outdoor Adventure

  • Hike the Cut Bank Trail System along the scenic Cut Bank Creek Coulee.

EAST GLACIER PARK

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East Glacier Park is located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. If you plan to recreate (camp, fish, hunt, hike, boat) on tribal land, you will need a tribal permit. Visit Blackfeet Nation Fish & Wildlife for more information.

Visitor Information

East Glacier Park Chamber of Commerce | 909 State Highway 49 N. | 406.226.4403

Art + Culture

  • Visit the John L. Clark Western Art Gallery to view works from internationally renowned wood carver and local Blackfeet tribesman, John L. Clark.
  • Wander around the architecturally stunning Glacier Park Lodge, a historic hotel built in 1913 by the Great Northern Railway.

Drink + Eat Local

Outdoor Adventure

ESSEX

Visit Essex on glaciermt.com.

Visitor Information

Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce at Marantette Park | 233 13th St. E., Columbia Falls | 406.892.2072

Outdoor Adventure

  • Indulge your inner cowboy or cowgirl on a week-long cattle drive with Bear Creek Guest Ranch.
  • Take a horseback ride into the Great Bear Wilderness with Snowy Springs Outfitters.
  • Hike 4 miles round-trip to Stanton Lake in the Great Bear Wilderness.
  • Scan for mountain goats at the nearby Goat Lick Overlook.

Visit the Walton Ranger Station for more information on nearby recreational

HUNGRY HORSE

Visit Hungry Horse on glaciermt.com.

Visitor Information

Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce at Marantette Park | 233 13th St. E., Columbia Falls | 406.892.2072

Art + Culture

Drink + Eat Local

Outdoor Adventure

  • Camp, boat or hike: recreation abounds!
  • Take a stroll around Lion Lake. Look—and listen—for loons.
  • Head out for huckleberry picking, a quintessential Montana experience.
  • Kayak or stand-up paddleboard Hungry Horse Reservoir.
  • Contact the Hungry Horse Ranger District for more information about recreational opportunities in the Flathead National Forest.

Sweet Dreams

  • Stay at Timberwolf Resort, with camping accommodations from tent and RV sites to rustic cabins and lodge rooms.

KALISPELL

Visit Kalispell on glaciermt.com.

Visitor Information

Kalispell Chamber of Commerce + Discover Kalispell Visitor Information Center| 15 Depot Park, Kalispell | 406.758.2811

Art + Culture

Drink + Eat Local

Get Your Shop On, Tax Free!

Outdoor Adventure

LAKESIDE / SOMERS

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Visitor Information

Lakeside and Somers Chamber of Commerce | 7191 U.S. Highway 93, Lakeside | 406.844.3715

On the Lake

Around the Lake

Drink + Eat Local

Sweet Dreams

MARTIN CITY

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Visitor Information

Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce at Marantette Park | 233 13th St. E., Columbia Falls | 406.892.2072

Outdoor Adventure

POLEBRIDGE

Visit Polebridge on glaciermt.com.

Visitor Information

Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce at Marantette Park | 233 13th St. E., Columbia Falls | 406.892.2072

Drink + Eat Local

  • Stop at the beloved Polebridge Mercantile & Bakery and try a huckleberry bear claw or stock up on trip essentials and Montana-made souvenirs.
  • Drink, dine and listen to live music on the lawn of the Northern Lights Saloon.
  • At Home Ranch Bottoms, enjoy a freshly squeezed huckleberry margarita, food and live music through their annual summer concert series.

Outdoor Adventure

Sweet Dreams

POLSON

Visit Polson on glaciermt.com.

Polson is located on the Flathead Indian Reservation. If you plan to recreate (camp, fish, hunt, hike, boat) on tribal land, you will need a tribal permit. Visit CSKT Wildland Recreation for more information.

Visitor Information

Polson Chamber of Commerce | 402 First St. E., Suite 102, Polson | 406.883.5969

Arts + Culture

Drink + Eat Local

  • If you're visiting in July, you can't miss tasting the famous Flathead cherries, grab them at a roadside stand, U-Pick farm or during the Flathead Cherry Festival.
  • Please your palate at Flathead Lake Cheese, where you'll find delicious artisan cheeses handmade in small batches.
  • Try some of the finely crafted local beer on tap at Glacier Brewing Company.
  • Grab a bite to eat on the lakeshore at Finley Point Grill, serving up steaks, seafood and other mouthwatering entrees, and boasting a robust wine list.
  • If you're in the mood for burgers, you're in luck. Richwine's Burgerville is known for its 100% bull hamburgers, which they've been serving for more than 50 years.
  • For a taste of Thai, head to Hot Spot Thai Café.
  • For blues, booze and barbecue, mosey on over to East Shore Smoke House.

Outdoor Adventure

Family Fun

  • Skate the 7th Avenue Skatepark.
  • Play along the shores of Flathead Lake at Riverside Park, Sacajawea Park, Point Salish Park or Boettcher Park.

Sweet Dreams

ST. MARY

Visit St. Mary on glaciermt.com.

St. Mary is located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. If you plan to recreate (camp, fish, hunt, hike, boat) on tribal land, you will need a tribal permit. Visit Blackfeet Nation Fish & Wildlife for more information.

Drink + Eat Local

  • Eat hearty at Johnson's of St. Mary. The Johnson Family has been dishing up their signature American-style fare since 1950.

Outdoor Adventure

  • Walk the paved paths at St. Mary Overlook for marvelous views of the valley below.

Sweet Dreams

WEST GLACIER

Visit West Glacier on glaciermt.com.

Visitor Information

Visitor center at the Historic Belton West Glacier Train Depot | 12544 U.S. Highway 2 E., West Glacier | 406.888.5756

Drink + Eat Local

Family Fun

  • Head to the family-friendly Crown of the Continent Discovery Center to book guided trips, relax with coffee, spirits, or ice cream, shop for souvenirs, visit the petting zoo and more!
  • Tee up at Golfing to the Sun mini golf course and then treat the family to ice cream from the on-site Club House.

Get Your Shop On, Tax Free!

Outdoor Adventure

Sweet Dreams

WHITEFISH

Visit Whitefish on glaciermt.com.

Visitor Information

Explore Whitefish/Convention and Visitor Bureau + Whitefish Chamber of Commerce | 505 E. 2nd St., Whitefish | 877.862.3548

Exploration is easy with visitor kiosks throughout town featuring maps, travel guides and activity/event posters. Please remember to recreate responsibly and Be a Friend of The Fish.

Getting Around: SNOW Bus

  • Catch a ride with daily service from Whitefish to Whitefish Mountain Resort (running whenever the chairlifts are running at the resort, Winter and Summer).
  • Bring your wheels on bicycle-friendly buses with racks for up to 16 bikes during summer operation.
  • View the current schedule here.

Drink + Eat Local

Get Your Shop On, Tax Free!

Outdoor Recreation

Indoor Fun

Whitefish Mountain Resort, Summer Style

A Little Further Out: Northwest Corridor

Consider exploring Glacier Country’s Northwest Corridor rather than Two Medicine or Many Glacier, which can be intimidating to visitors who are new to the outdoors. It’s a beautiful hour and a half drive from Kalispell to the town of Libby . Libby is located on the Kootenay River in the heart of the Kootenai National Forest. Libby Dam, Souse Gulch Recreation Area and Lake Koocanusa are incredibly scenic and easily accessible off Highway 37. Downtown Libby offers a brewery, dining, lodging and shopping.

Weekly Events (Seasonal)

Monday

Bigfork: Shop local at the Bigfork Monday Market.

Tuesday

Whitefish: Shop local at the Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market.
Kalispell: Picnic in the Park at free outdoor evening concerts in Kalispell.

Wednesday

Kalispell: Picnic in the Park at free outdoor lunchtime concerts in Kalispell.
Bigfork: Shop local at the Bigfork Farmers Market.

Thursday

Columbia Falls: Shop local at the Columbia Falls Community Market.

Friday

West Glacier: Shop local at the West Glacier Farmers Market.
East Glacier Park: Shop local at tsiikaa’’tīyiikiitsii’p – A People’s Market.

Saturday

Kalispell: Shop local at the Kalispell Farmers Market.
East Glacier Park: Shop local at tsiikaa’’tīyiikiitsii’p – A People’s Market.

Recreate Responsibly Plan Ahead, Play it Safe, and Leave No Trace.
News from Glacier National Park Currently, 12 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

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