Travel Update Montana COVID-19 Updates

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

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.

Play it Safe in Yellowstone Country

The cure for cabin fever lies just north of America’s first national park. Pack your mask, travel smart, and brace yourself for nature’s wild wonderland.

Map of communities outside of Glacier National Park.

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.

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. Note: THE BLACKFEET RESERVATION IS CURRENTLY CLOSED THROUGH THE END OF THE 2020 TOURISM SEASON in light of COVID-19. This affects the five towns east of the park noted above, though travel on Highway 2 through the reservation is possible and travelers are permitted to stop for essential services like food and fuel.

Please also TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY, now more than ever. Plan ahead, stay informed, stay safe, be kind, respectful and patient.


BABB |

glaciermt.com/babb

Note: The town of Babb on the Blackfeet Reservation is closed through the 2020 tourism season to anyone who is not a resident of the reservation.

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 its unusually large brown and rainbow trout.

BIGFORK |

bigfork.org

Visitor Information

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

Learn More

Arts + Culture

  • Take in a show at Bigfork Summer Playhouse, the finest live professional repertory theater in the northwest. Note: The 2020 season begins July 2, and face masks are strongly recommended.
  • Go on a gallery stroll; Bigfork boasts a surprising array of art galleries. Note: Contact the Bigfork Chamber or individual galleries to find out if and when galleries are open.

Drink + Eat Local

  • Taste award-winning craft brews at Flathead Lake Brewing Company.
  • Tour Whistling Andy Distilling and sample their Hibiscus Coconut Rum. Note: The Whistling Andy tasting room is currently closed in light of COVID-19, but bottles spirits and cocktail kits can be purchased. Please check the distillery’s facebook page for hours.

Get Your Shop On, Tax Free!

  • Shop downtown for unique jewelry, clothing and gifts. Note: Contact the Bigfork Chamber or individual shops to find our if and when shops are open.

Outdoor Adventure

BROWNING |

blackfeetcountry.com

Note: The town of Browning on the Blackfeet Reservation is closed through the 2020 tourism season to anyone who is not a resident of the reservation.

Visitor Information

Blackfeet Country | 108 All Chiefs Square | 406.338.7406

Learn More

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.

Sweet Dreams

  • Spend the night in a traditional Blackfeet tipi—complete with a fireplace in the center—at the Lodgepole Tipi Village.

COLUMBIA FALLS |

columbiafallschamber.org

Visitor Information

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

Learn More

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. Note: Limited hours and attractions.
  • Experience the anomaly for yourself at Montana Vortex and House of Mystery—it’s internationally famous. Note: Call ahead to confirm hours; face masks strongly recommended.
  • Looking for a good old-fashioned swimming pool? Visit Pinewood Park Aquatic Center. Note: Pool is open with limited capacity. Visit the City of Columbia Falls website for details.

Outdoor Adventure

  • Go green at the “must play” Meadow Lake Golf Course.
  • Enjoy picturesque Montana fly-fishing and rafting on the Flathead River.

CORAM |

glaciermt.com/coram

Visitor Information

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

Learn More

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. Note: Josephine’s is currently open for takeout only.

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.

Sweet Dreams

CUT BANK |

cutbankchamber.com

Visitor Information

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

Learn More

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.

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.

Sweet Dreams

  • Fly a small plane into Cut Bank International Airport and stay the night. The airport offers overnight sleeping rooms, showers, free camping and courtesy cars for local use.

EAST GLACIER PARK |

eastglacierpark.info

Note: The town of East Glacier Park on the Blackfeet Reservation is closed through the 2020 tourism season to anyone who is not a resident of the reservation.

Visitor Information

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

Learn More

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 East Glacier 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.

Sweet Dreams

  • Set your eyes on, or better yet, rest your head at the architecturally stunning Glacier Park Lodge, a historic hotel built in 1913 by the Great Northern Railway.

ESSEX |

glaciermt.com/essex

Visitor Information

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

Learn More Outdoor Adventure
  • Indulge your inner cowboy or cowgirl on a cattle drive with Bear Creek Guest Ranch.
  • Horseback ride, raft, hunt or fish the Great Bear Wilderness with Snowy Springs Outfitters.
  • Cross-country ski miles of groomed trails along the southern border of Glacier National Park.
  • 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.

HUNGRY HORSE |

glaciermt.com/hungry-horse

Visitor Information

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

Learn More Art + Culture
  • Visit Montana’s highest dam: Hungry Horse Dam and Visitor Center. Note: Please call ahead to ensure it’s open.
Drink + Eat Local Outdoor Adventure
  • Camp, boat or hike: recreation abounds!
  • Head out for huckleberry picking, a quintessential Montana experience.
  • Kayak or stand-up paddleboard Hungry Horse Reservoir.

KALISPELL |

discoverkalispell.com

Visitor Information

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

Learn More Art + Culture
  • Visit Conrad Mansion Museum for a slice of history and railroad glory-days architecture. Note: Tours are being offered, but the schedule has changed due to COVID-19.
  • Discover Glacier National Park art and memorabilia at the Hockaday Museum of Art. Note: Limited hours during COVID-19 recovery.
  • Learn the local history through interactive exhibits for the entire family at the Northwest Montana History Museum.
  • Enjoy small-town charm and western hospitality with a self-guided walking tour of downtown Kalispell.
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 you'll 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 and 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 Purple Mountain Lavender and Bibler Gardens, or set out on a horseback ride at 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 |

lakesidesomerschamber.org

Visitor Information

Lakeside and Somers Chamber of Commerce | 100 Bierney Creek Road, Lakeside | 406.844.3715

Learn More On the Lake
  • Cast a line from a chartered fishing boat.
  • Play on the water with kayaking and SUP rentals/tours with Sea Me Paddle.
  • Access the lake at Somers Bay, Lakeside Marina, Volunteer Park and West Shore State Park.
Drink + Eat Local
  • Relax with a craft beer on Tamarack Brewing’s creekside patio.
  • Dine on dishes made from locally sourced ingredients at Beargrass Bistro.
  • Kick off your day with brunch from Farmhouse.

MARTIN CITY |

glaciermt.com/martin-city

Visitor Information

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

Learn More

Sweet Dreams

  • Stay in a historic log cabin surrounded by forestland at Abbott Valley Homestead.

POLEBRIDGE |

glaciermt.com/polebridge

Visitor Information

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

Learn More Drink + Eat Local
  • Stop at the beloved Polebridge Mercantile and try a huckleberry bear claw.
  • Drink, dine and listen to live music on the lawn of the Northern Lights Saloon.
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.

ST. MARY |

glaciermt.com/st-mary

Note: The town of St. Mary on the Blackfeet Reservation is closed through the 2020 tourism season to anyone who is not a resident of the reservation.

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.

WEST GLACIER |

glaciermt.com/west-glacier

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
  • Indulge in fine dining at the Belton Chalet, a Great Northern Railway hotel dating back to 1910.
Family Fun Get Your Shop On, Tax Free! Outdoor Adventure Sweet Dreams

WHITEFISH |

explorewhitefish.com | whitefishchamber.org

Visitor Information

Whitefish Chamber of Commerce | 307 Spokane Ave., Suite 103, Whitefish | 877.862.3548

Learn More

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 + Eat Local
  • 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. Note: Limited hours during COVID-19 recovery
  • Dine, drink and dance at Casey’s, Whitefish’s go-to nightclub.
Outdoor Recreation
  • 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
  • Soar through the trees, high above the slopes on Zip Line Tours.
  • For “an obstacle park in the trees” visit Aerial Adventure Park. Note: New during COVID-19 recovery: Reservations required.
  • 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.

Weekly Events (Seasonal)

Tuesday

Whitefish: Shop local at the Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market. Note: Current limit two people per family only.
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. Note: Please wear a mask.
Note: The Cut Bank Farmers Market has been cancelled for the 2020 season.

Thursday

Columbia Falls: Shop local at the Columbia Falls Community Market. Note: Current limit two people per family only.
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.

News from Glacier National Park Currently, 15.5 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

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