Towns + Events Near Glacier National Park

glacier national park

Near the Park Explore Small Towns and Communities Near the Park

Explore Small Towns and Communities Near the Park

Glacier National Park is a wonder all its own, with plenty of exploration and adventure to keep you busy for the entirety of your stay. But the communities that surround the park are infused with the same spirit of otherworldly splendor. Our charming small towns welcome visitors with restaurants, shops, museums, galleries and, best of all, authentically Montanan western hospitality.

Capture Your Montana Adventure With a Salvage Sign

Get lost in Montana and take home something to remember us by—a vintage-inspired sign handmade right here with reclaimed Montana barn wood.

Map of communities outside of Glacier National Park.

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. Operated by Belton Chalets Inc., Granite Park Chalet is a National Historic Landmark that was constructed by the Great Northern Railway in the early 1900s.

To the west, Essex, West Glacier, Lakeside, 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.



In the Know: Visitor Information
  • Visitor center, located in the Historic Belton West Glacier Train Depot. 12544 U.S. Highway 2 E. West Glacier | 406.888.5756
  • Discover Flathead Valley communities, activities, events and lodging.
  • Stop by the Glacier Park Conservancy Book Store to support park activities and programs.



In the Know: Visitor Information
  • Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce at Marantette Park. 233 13th St. E., Columbia Falls | 406.892.2072
Drink Up, Local Style
  • Swap stories over local brews at Backslope Brewing.
  • Savor handcrafted whisky and spirits “so close to Glacier you can taste it!” at Glacier Distilling.
Summer See and Do
  • Go green at the “must play” Meadow Lake Golf Course.
  • Take on a treetop adventure with unforgettable views from Glacier Zip Lines.
  • Don’t miss out on family fun at Montana’s largest waterpark, Big Sky Waterpark.
  • Enjoy picturesque Montana fly-fishing and rafting on the Flathead River.
  • Experience the anomaly for yourself at Montana Vortex and House of Mystery—it’s internationally famous.
  • For family fun in the Valley, take the kids to Amazing Fun Center.
  • Glacier Highline Adventures offers “something fun for everyone.”
  • Looking for a good old-fashioned swimming pool? Visit Pinewood Park Aquatic Center.
Gateway to Glacier Communities
  • The North Fork – Polebridge (Don’t miss the famous Polebridge Mercantile).
  • Bad Rock Canyon/Hungry Horse, Martin City, Coram, West Glacier, Essex.
Hungry Horse Reservoir
  • Recreation abounds with camping, boating and hiking opportunities.
  • Head out for huckleberry picking, a quintessential Montana experience.
  • Visit Montana’s highest dam: Hungry Horse Dam and Visitor Center.



In the Know: Visitor Information
  • Kalispell Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitor Bureau. 15 Depot Park, Kalispell | 406.758.2811
A Landmark City
On the Green and Off the Beaten Path
Get Your Shop On, Tax Free!
  • Visit Historic Downtown Kalispell for locally made crafts, clothing, jewelry and souvenirs. While downtown, find several handcrafted ways to wet your whistle: Kalispell Brewing Company, Bias Brewing, SunRift Beer Company and Vilya Spirits. And with the number of coffee shops and restaurants that have opened their doors on Main Street, your night out will plan itself!
  • Peruse the North-End District for national-brand camping supplies, clothing and footwear.


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In the Know: Visitor Information
  • Whitefish Chamber of Commerce. 307 Spokane Ave., Suite 103, Whitefish | 877.862.3548
  • Exploration is easy with visitor kiosks throughout town featuring maps, travel guides and activity/event posters.
Getting There: Glacier Commuter Shuttle
  • Catch a ride with daily service from Whitefish to Apgar Visitor Center and Whitefish Mountain Resort (July 1 to September 4).
  • Bring your wheels on bicyclist-friendly buses with racks for up to three bikes.
Drink Up, Local Style
  • Taste the age-old tradition of a “gravity-flow” brew house at Great Northern Brewing.
  • Get centered at Bonsai Brewing Project, a community-raised brewery featuring craft beer, live music...and yoga.
  • Taste the rugged landscape and the heart and soul of Montana at Spotted Bear Spirits.
  • Get your morning buzz at Montana Coffee Traders Roastery.
Summer See and Do
  • Play on Whitefish Lake, with three public-access points.
  • Explore 42 miles of dog-friendly trails and scenic overlooks on The Whitefish Trail.
  • Drive one home on Whitefish Lake Golf Club’s 36-hole course.
Whitefish Mountain Resort, Summer Style



In the Know: Visitor Information
Live Theater
Drink Up, Local Style



In the Know: Visitor Information
  • Lakeside and Somers Chamber of Commerce. 100 Bierney Creek Road, Lakeside | 406.844.3715
On the Lake
  • Cruise the lake on a Far West Boat Tour.
  • Cast a line on a chartered fishing boat.
  • Play on the water with kayaking and SUP rentals/tours with Sea Me Paddle.
  • Public Access: Somers Bay, Lakeside Marina, Volunteer Park and West Shore State Park.
Local Montana Flavor
  • “Think Local. Drink Local.” at Tamarack Brewing in Lakeside.
  • Take in the tunes at the Lakeside Town Center Concert Pavilion.
  • Enjoy a variety of local dining favorites including Glacier Perks Coffee House.

Weekly Events





Shop local at the Columbia Falls Farmers Market.


Shop local at the Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market.

Picnic in the Park at free outdoor evening concerts in Kalispell.


Picnic in the Park at free outdoor lunchtime concerts in Kalispell.

Shop local at the Bigfork Farmers Market.

Shop Local at the Cut Bank Farmers Market.


Shop local at the Columbia Falls Community Market.

Discover local artists at Whitefish’s First Thursday Gallery Nights.

Kick up your heels at Kalispell’s Thursday!Fest, a weekly street festival boasting music, food and local brews, arts and crafts.


Shop local at the West Glacier Farmers Market.


Shop local at the Kalispell Farmers Market.

News from Glacier National Park Currently all of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is open for travel.

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