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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 are infused with the same spirit of otherworldly splendor 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 western hospitality Montana is known for. 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.

To the west, 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. Along with easy access to the park, 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.

To the east, 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—and central Montana.

Please TRAVEL 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, and find out what their requirements and restrictions may be before visiting. This goes for exploring our communities as well.

BABB

Visit Babb on glaciermt.com.

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!

  • Shop for necessities and souvenirs at the locally-owned and nearly century-old Thronson's General Store.

Outdoor Adventure

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

BIGFORK

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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

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Blackfeet Tourism, Parks and Recreation | 16 Old Person St. | 406.338.7406

Arts + Culture

  • Learn about the history and culture of area tribes at the Museum of the Plains Indian and the Blackfeet Heritage Center & Art Gallery.
  • Admire Plains Indian artwork at Lodgepole Gallery and the Blackfeet Heritage Center & Art Gallery.

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.

COLUMBIA FALLS

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Visitor Information

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

Drink + Eat Local

Family Fun

  • Take on a treetop adventure with unforgettable views from Glacier Ziplines.
  • Don't miss out on family fun at Montana's largest waterpark, Big Sky Waterpark.
  • Experience the anomaly for yourself at Montana Vortex and House of Mystery—it's internationally famous.
  • Looking for a good old-fashioned swimming pool? Visit Pinewood Park Aquatic Center.

Outdoor Adventure

  • Trek to the summit of Columbia Mountain or make your turn around point at one of three waterfalls along the way.
  • Explore trails in the Flathead National Forest.
  • Go hiking, backpacking or rock climbing with Glacier Adventure Guides.
  • Go green at the “must play" Meadow Lake Golf Course.
  • Enjoy picturesque Montana fly-fishing and rafting on the Flathead River.
  • Rent a jeep from Glacier Jeep Rentals and explore the backcountry.

CORAM

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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.
  • Savor the bison gyros at Josephine's, 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

  • Get an adrenaline rush at Glacier Highline, an aerial adventure park boasting 50 activities.
  • Bicycle 7 miles to West Glacier on the Gateway to Glacier Trail.
  • Rent e-bikes, paddleboards, kayaks, or floatzillas from Sky Eco Rentals.
  • Explore Hungry Horse Recreation Area on an ATV or UTV from Glacier Ridge Runners.

CUT BANK

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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.

Outdoor Adventure

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

EAST GLACIER PARK

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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

  • Chow on buffalo tacos at Serrano's Mexican Restaurant, a classic East Glacier Park eatery.
  • Moose-watch from the deck of Summit Mountain Lodge & Steakhouse while enjoying local beef and views of Glacier National Park.

Outdoor Adventure

  • Play the nine holes named after Blackfeet Indian chiefs at Glacier Park Lodge Golf Course, the oldest grass greens course in Montana.
  • See Montana from horseback. Glacier Gateway Trail Rides' Blackfeet guides lead riders to marvelous views along the edge of Glacier National Park.

ESSEX

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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

  • 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.

Sweet Dreams

  • Satisfy your need to sleep and eat at the historic Izaak Walton Inn. Spend the night in a caboose or railroad car and fill your belly at the railroad-themed Dining Car Restaurant.
  • Fall asleep counting the stars from your luxury sky dome at Clear Sky Resorts.

HUNGRY HORSE

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Visitor Information

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

Art + Culture

  • Visit Montana's highest dam: Hungry Horse Dam and Visitor Center.
  • Drive the 120-mile scenic loop around Hungry Horse Reservoir.

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.

KALISPELL

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Visitor Information

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

Art + Culture

Drink + Eat Local

  • Enjoy Kalispell's array of culinary offerings, including breweries, restaurants and coffee shops.
  • Wet your whistle at Kalispell Brewing Company, Bias Brewing, SunRift Beer Company, MontaVino Winery, Sacred Waters Brewery or Rough Cut Cider.
  • Stroll through downtown and be greeted by mouthwatering offerings. Fill up on pastries at Ceres Bakery, pizza at Moose's Saloon, bison burgers at Hop's Downtown Grill, BBQ at DeSoto Grill or fresh sushi at Blue Samurai.

Get Your Shop On, Tax Free!

  • Visit downtown Kalispell's shops and boutiques for made-in-Montana items, cowboy boots, clothing, outdoor gear, jewelry and souvenirs.
  • Peruse Kalispell's north end for national-brand camping supplies, clothing, footwear and box stores.

Outdoor Adventure

  • Plan to paddle, boat or fish the waters of Flathead Lake, located a 10-minute drive from downtown Kalispell. Guided recreation is available on the lake, as well as numerous state and public parks that provide access to its glacial-fed waters.
  • Soak up Montana's agriculture scene with a visit to Bibler Gardens or Hurst Flower Meadow.
  • Saddle up and ride through Montana's mountains on a horseback trail ride with Artemis Acres.
  • Get a bird's-eye view of the entire valley at Lone Pine State Park.
  • Explore Foy's to Blacktail Trails at Herron Park—only 10 minutes from town. Dog and mountain-bike friendly.
  • Bike from downtown Kalispell to Flathead Lake on a nonmotorized “Rails to Trails" paved trail system.

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

  • Cast a line from a chartered fishing boat.
  • Play on the water with kayaking and SUP rentals/tours
  • Take a cruise with Far West Boat Tours.
  • Access the lake at Somers Bay, Lakeside Marina, Volunteer Park and West Shore State Park.

Around the Lake

  • Visit Purple Mountain Lavender for the sights and scents of more than 1,500 lavender plants (35 varieties) and pick up some lavender oil, bundles, hydrosol or sachets. 
  • Stop by an orchard to pick famous Flathead Cherries, or find a roadside stand.
  • Access the lake at Somers Bay, Lakeside Marina, Volunteer Park and West Shore State Park.
  • Bike from Somers to Kila on the paved Great Northern Historical Trail.

Drink + Eat Local

  • Relax with a craft beer on Tamarack Brewing's creekside patio.
  • Dine on food made from locally sourced ingredients at Beargrass Bistro.

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

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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.

Outdoor Adventure

Sweet Dreams

  • Stay at the off-the-grid North Fork Hostel & Square Peg Ranch and meet visitors from all over the world.
  • Rent the Ben Rover Forest Service cabin.

POLSON

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Visitor Information

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

Arts + Culture

  • Visit the Miracle of America Museum and explore the vast collection—340,000 and counting—of Americana curiosities.
  • Stop in at the Polson Flathead Lake Museum for a look at how the first homesteaders settled and farmed in the area. Don't miss the Flathead Lake Monster!
  • At the Sandpiper Gallery and hand MADE Montana, shop for local art, pottery, jewelry and other gifts and handmade items.
  • Top off a day on the lake with a live performance by the Port Polson Players inside a 1938 log theater on the lakeshore. 

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 Polson Main Street 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.

Outdoor Adventure

Sweet Dreams

ST. MARY

Visit St. Mary on glaciermt.com.

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

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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!

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 that recreating responsibly and checking local health guidelines are as important as ever.

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).
  • Bring your wheels on bicycle-friendly buses with racks for up to 16 bikes.

Drink + Eat Local

  • Get your beer on at Bonsai Brewing Project, a community-raised brewery featuring locally crafted brews, food, live music and an outdoor beer garden.
  • Taste the rugged landscape and the heart and soul of Montana at Spotted Bear Spirits or Unleashed: A Winery.
  • Dine outdoors at one of many restaurants that offer summer outdoor seating, including Last Chair, Piggyback BBQ, the Wich Haus, Jalisco Cantina, Boat Club, Casey'sFirebrandAbruzzo Italian Kitchen, Indah Sushi, Craggy Range or the Whitefish Lake Restaurant. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially during the busy summer months.

Outdoor Recreation

Indoor Fun

Whitefish Mountain Resort, Summer Style

  • Soar through the trees, high above the slopes on a zipline tour.
  • For "an obstacle park in the trees" visit Aerial Adventure Park.
  • Take sliding to a whole new level on the Alpine Slide.
  • A must-do Montana attraction—Scenic Lift and Gondola Rides.
  • Taste Montana with mountaintop dining at the Summit House.
  • Go for a ride on smooth-flow, lift-accessed mountain-biking trails.
  • Take a hike, literally, with miles of trails to explore.
  • Learn more about summer activities at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Weekly Events (Seasonal)

Tuesday

Whitefish: Shop local at the Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market. (2021: masks are recommended) 
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.
Kalispell: Kick up your heels at Kalispell's Thursday Fest, a weekly street festival boasting music, food and local brews, arts and crafts.

Friday

West Glacier: Shop local at the West Glacier Farmers Market.

Saturday

Kalispell: Shop local at the Kalispell Farmers Market.

Recreate Responsibly Plan Ahead, Play it Safe, and Leave No Trace.
News from Glacier National Park Currently, 29 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

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