The mountains are calling! From hiking and skiing, to sampling delicious cuisine, find out the top things to do in Kalispell, Montana!
If you’re looking for the ultimate outdoor holiday, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do in Kalispell, Montana. From hiking in the beautiful Glacier National Park to skiing at the Whitefish Mountain Resort, this is a destination made for adventure lovers.
Located in the heart of the Flathead Valley is the vibrant mountain town of Kalispell. Many people only visit briefly when travelling to Glacier National Park, but I’d recommend stopping for a few days to enjoy the landscapes. After all, you don’t want to miss out on some of the most unforgettable adventures in western Montana!
Enjoy horseback riding at Lone Pine State Park, a day of family fun at the Woodland Water Park, or delight your taste buds with Kalispell’s robust culinary scene. The Flathead Valley community is waiting to welcome you with open arms!
Ready to ditch the bustle of the city and head outdoors? Then dive straight into guide to the top things to do in Kalispell, Montana!
8 Amazing Things To Do In Kalispell, Montana
Go Rafting In Glacier National Park
One of the best things to do near Kalispell is to visit the spellbinding Glacier National Park. Filled with scenic hiking trails, rugged mountains, and stunning alpine meadows, is a great place to visit if you love being immersed in nature.
If you’re looking for one of the most unique things to do in Kalispell, why not try rafting down the Flathead River? In this 2-3 hour scenic rafting trip, you’ll have the opportunity to relax and learn all about Glacier National Park from a knowledgeable guide. Transportation to and from the river is included too, so you don’t need to worry about a thing!
Ski at Whitefish Mountain Resort
Whitefish Mountain Resort, also known as Big Mountain, is a world-renowned ski resort located just 25 miles from Kalispell.
With over 100+ named routes available, including several glades and tree runs, there’s plenty to explore. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some thrilling nighttime skiing which is available at weekends.
If you’re not into cold-weather activities, there’s plenty to do in Kalispell in summer too. Zip-lining, alpine sledging, hiking, and mountain biking are just a few of the great outdoor activities available.
Spend the Day at Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake is a picturesque, freshwater lake located just a 15-minute drive from Kalispell. Once there, you’ll have access to a variety of water sports and outdoor recreational activities. With over 200 miles of shoreline, you can spend the day relaxing and soaking up some sun or try swimming, kayaking, or paddling on the lake.
Be sure to visit Wild Horse Island, the biggest island on Flathead Lake. While the island is only accessible by boat, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to spot some of the island’s local inhabitants… the wild horses!
Tour the Conrad Mansion Museum
One of the most unique things to do in Kalispell is a visit to the Conrad Mansion Museum. This 13,000-square-foot mansion once belonged to Kalispell’s founder, Charles Conrad. Today, the mansion depicts the state of the home as it was in 1895 when Conrad first purchased it, offering visitors a rare glimpse into life in the late 19th century.
The only way to explore the inside of the mansion is on a guided tour. However, you can still get lost in the mansion’s immaculately kept gardens without booking onto a tour.
Go for a Stroll Down Main Street
Take a stroll through downtown Kalispell for a day of shopping, dining, and fun. Kalispell’s Main Street is lined with colourful storefronts that have remained unchanged since the town’s founding in the 1890s. During your walk, you’ll encounter everything from quaint cafes and restaurants, to small boutiques and art galleries. There’s something for everyone!
If you’re looking for places to eat in Kalispell, Main Street’s vibrant culinary scene will have you hooked! Grab lunch from one of the many local diners or cafes, such as Hops Downtown Grill and The Knead Café. Then, round off your experience with an ice cream from Sweet Peaks – a local gem for homemade ice cream!
Visit Lone Pine State Park
Hikers, mountain bikers, and horse riders will love all the outdoor Kalispell activities available at Lone Pine State Park. Just a 5-mile drive from Kalispell, the park offers some fantastic views of the entire Flathead region. There’s also a visitor’s centre filled with lots of info on the park, as well as some family-friendly activities.
Don’t skip a visit to the Lone Pine State Park just because it’s winter! In the wintertime, the park maintains a number of well-groomed snowshoeing trails, and there’s free snowshoe rental available at the visitor’s centre.
Head for a Hike in Flathead National Forest
Kalispell is surrounded by 2 acres forest, where you’ll find plenty of beautiful places to get out and about. Wander along the local hiking trails, try horseback riding, go paddling on one of the many lakes, or spend the night camping. It’s a great place to visit in the summer months.
If you visit during winter, Flathead National Forest becomes a winter wonderland filled with opportunities for snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. Dog sledding is also popular in the nearby community of Bigfork.
Visit the Northwest Montana History Museum
To learn all about the history and culture of the Flathead region, be sure to visit Northwest Montana History Museum. It’s a great place to learn all about the local community and its history as a booming logging town. There’s also plenty of info on the local indigenous people who call the region home.
Many other popular Kalispell activities are located near to Northwest Montana History Museum. For example, the Conrad Museum is only four blocks away, so you might want to combine the two into one sightseeing trip!
Where To Stay In Kalispell, Montana
For over 100 years, this historic Kalispell boutique hotel has been wowing guests with its mix of old-world charm and modern amenities. Centrally located and just a short walk from numerous restaurants, bars, and museums, Kalispell Grand Hotel is the perfect starting point for enjoying all that this town has to offer.
You’ll enjoy amenities like an on-site spa, spacious rooms, and a continental breakfast filled with home-baked goods. The reception area is available to help you 24 hours a day and serves complimentary coffee, tea, and sweets in the evening.
The Hampton Inn Kalispell is conveniently located just 9 miles from the airport and provides a free shuttle service for guests. You’ll find everything you need to enjoy a pleasant stay including a free hot breakfast, fast WiFi, a 24-hour indoor pool and hot tub, and a fitness centre.
The hotel itself is centrally located just 35 miles from the Glacier National Park, and close to many other local attractions such as the historic district of Kalispell and Flathead Lake.
The Hampton Inn is the perfect choice if you’re travelling as a family, with options for connecting rooms, cribs and rollaway beds.
If you’re looking for a hotel in an easy location for exploring a number of Kalispell’s best attractions, look no further than the Red Lion Hotel. Its central downtown location is just blocks away from Main Street with its shopping, theatres, art galleries, and top food scene!
The hotel itself has a rustic charm reflecting Montana’s warmth and rugged ambiance. Guests will enjoy amenities like a free airport shuttle, fast WiFi, complimentary breakfast, an indoor pool, and a fitness centre.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the best things to do in Kalispell, Montana. If you visit Kalispell, you’ll fall in love with the locals’ hospitality and Montana’s endless opportunities for adventure.
If you’re looking for more things to do on your Montana road trip, check out my bumper guide to the best things to do in Big Sky.