When I discover new locations and destinations and share them on the blog, I truly get excited like a kid in a candy store! Montana captured my heart early on when I discovered Missoula and Paws Up last year. Imagine my excitement when Glacier Country Tourism invited me back to explore Whitefish and Glacier National Park. Follow along and see why you want to travel to the upper western part of Montana in the summer. Specifically, I’ll give you my Top 7 reasons why you should book a trip NOW!
If you are looking for rugged mountains, gorgeous waters and a happening restaurant and bar scene, the upper western region of Montana is for you. Glacier National Park, beautiful lakes and rivers, two Indian reservations – the Flathead and Blackfeet along with the charming town of Whitefish make this destination a must. Did I mention that you can now fly non-stop from Dallas DFW to Glacier Park International Airport? Yep, the flight just started daily service on June 6 and we were on the inaugural trip! More about that in my list below.
Pack nothing but casual clothes and definitely bring a jacket as temperatures drop at night. You will have endless activities to chose from especially if you love the outdoors. But even if you don’t, just enjoying the scenery is spectacular. I’m listing my Top 7 reasons below but honestly my list could have been endless. I have numerous friends from Dallas that have vacation homes in this area of Montana and now I see why. Actually, I’m not sure why they aren’t there full-time. Yes, it’s that gorgeous!
Montana is home to majestic mountains, big skies, huckleberries and much more. Find out why “I’m you’re huckleberry” and can’t wait to get back!
xoxo – Tanya
Top 7 Reasons to Visit Whitefish Montana and Glacier Country NOW!
1. Non-Stop flight from Dallas DFW to Glacier Park International Airport
Yep, you heard right. Last year we took the non-stop flight from Dallas DFW to Missoula. Now, American Airlines has added a seasonal direct flight from Dallas DFW to Glacier Park International Airport (Kalispell). This is a game-changer because after a short 3 hour flight, you are right there in Glacier Country before lunch! Pete and I were on the inaugural flight on June 6 and we were treated like celebrities when we landed! They even had a water brigade “shower” us in when we landed. Watch this video clip from 8KPAX News and you will see Pete and I getting off the plane. 🙂
2. Glacier National Park
This is God’s country – there is no doubt in my mind! If you are staying in Whitefish, Glacier National Park is a short 40 minute drive. There are so many activities you can do in the park but we really wanted to do some hiking and just enjoy nature. Because we had a cloudy and somewhat drizzly day, we did the Trail of the Cedars in West Glacier close to Apgar. The hiking opportunities are endless and driving the Going-To-The-Sun-Road is beautiful. Nature at its finest! Glacier National Park is run by the National Park Service and there is an entrance fee. Be sure to check their website for any alerts before you go. Did you know that in 1910 President William Howard Taft signed a bill establishing Glacier Park as the 10th national park?
3. Western Montana’s Local Flavor
Do you know what a Huckleberry is? I had no idea. It’s native to Montana and grows in the wild. Huckleberries are a little smaller than blueberries and are delicious! Pete and I became obsessed with them and ordered anything made with a huckleberry, especially Montana Mules at Spotted Bear Spirits. YUM! While in Whitefish we also enjoyed Tupelo Grille (amazing dinner spot), Montana Coffee Traders, Sweet Peaks Ice Cream, Swift Creek Cafe (fabulous for lunch; say hello to Guillermo) and Loula’s Cafe (OMG – the pies). While staying on Whitefish Mountain be sure to eat at Last Chair Kitchen & Bar.
4. Amazing Places to Stay
Snow Bear Chalets is the perfect place to stay if you want to be right on the mountain. We stayed in the Ponderosa and were literally on the ski run. There are three luxury tree houses that are ski-in/ski-out in the winter. In the summer season, they are right in the middle of all the activity that Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort has to offer. Perfect for families, couples or friends, each house sleeps 6-10 people and comes with luxury amenities. Owner Gail Goodwin found the lot of land and built the treehouses. If you don’t go in the summer, you will definitely want to stay here in the winter ski season.
The Lodge at Whitefish Lake offers luxury accommodations right on Whitefish Lake. With exceptional service and deluxe accommodations, you will be able to enjoy all that Whitefish and all that western Montana have to offer. The Lodge is only minutes from downtown Whitefish, near the ski slopes of the Whitefish Mountain Resort and a 40 minute drive to Glacier National Park. Our beautiful room overlooked the lake and we snapped this gorgeous sunset one night at dinner. Be sure to eat at their restaurant – Boat Club which overlooks their pier. They also have a spa and featured lodge events.
There are numerous places to stay in the area so be sure to check out the full list on this website.
There are literally endless things to do in Whitefish, Montana. If you love the outdoors, you will be in heaven! Pete and I went on a trail ride at Bar W Guest Ranch (yes- the one featured on an episode of The Bachelor) and had such a great time. Our wrangler was well versed on the local area and we loved talking with her during our ride. you can also stay here and do a full dude ranch experience.
While in Glacier National Park, you can go mopeding (and do many other activities) with Swan Mountain Outfitters. Or head out on a drive on Camas Road to Polebridge to see interesting sites. Be sure to check out Polebridge Mercantile if you need a little snack break along the way. Taking pictures at Two Medicine Lake would also be lovely. Stop by Izaak Walton Inn in Essex for lunch if you do that scenic drive. This is a great reason to rent a car at the Glacier Park International Airport. We got ours from Avis and I highly suggest getting a SUV. It goes without saying, fishing is a huge activity in Whitefish, Montana!
Did I mention we are now obsessed with huckleberries? I wasn’t kidding… Anyone know where I can get some in Dallas?
7. The Perfect Summer Climate
Summer in Montana is heavenly, with long sunny days. The warm afternoons turn into cool summer evenings, so packing a lightweight sweatshirt or jacket is key. Sunscreen is a must! Average temperatures in the summer months range from a high in the low 80’s and dip down to the 50’s at night.
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photo: Pete Foster
Thank you to Glacier Country Tourism for sponsoring the trip. All selections and opinions are my own.
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Time to treat yourself to a Nordstrom shopping spree just in time for the Anniversary Sale!
I’ve teamed up with a group of bloggers to give one lucky winner
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Tanya, Not sure if you were aware… BUT if you loved Montana Coffee Traders, you should know that they also own Texas Coffee Traders (in Austin). This is one of my FAVORITE coffee places in either state!
Happy you enjoyed Whitefish and Glacier, its my happy place. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be using this and your Missoula/Paws Up post for my trip at the end of the month!
I did NOT know that. What a small world. I’ll have to stop by next time I’m in Austin. Thanks for sharing!
xoxo- Tanya 🙂
For you AARP-type folks, the US Parks Service offers a special discount to the national parks. I’s called the America The Beautiful Pass and it really saves a lot of money. We discovered it when entering Glacier National Park. It’s only $20, good for a whole year, and covers any National Park you go to during that year.
Ha! I totally forgot about that! And good thing you got the pass because we used it in Alaska!
xoxo- Tanya 🙂
So fun having you and Pete here! Glad you enjoyed your time in Glacier Country.
YOU are one of our favorite people! We love getting to visit with you when we are in Montana. Come back to Dallas soon!