While our snowcapped peaks, azure rivers and deep lakes call to the soul, Kalispell itself has a way of capturing your heart. Our town has a rich history built on the railroad and forestry. Our people are warm, friendly and decidedly enthusiastic about sharing the place they love. And the vibe, whether at a symphony concert in the park or the counter at the local soda shop, is relaxed. Yet, because Kalispell is the largest community in the area, you’ll discover things you wouldn’t in just any Montana town — gourmet restaurants, a wide range of shopping, quality museums, hotels that pamper and the performing arts. A week of vacation here, and you’ll come to understand why some people who visit never leave.
KALISPELL AS A BASE CAMP
ACTIVITIES YOU’LL LOVE
The Hockaday Museum — The artistic legacy of Montana and Glacier National Park come to life at the Hockaday. Originally Kalispell’s Carnegie Library, this historic building is now home to a permanent collection of Montana artists and rotating exhibits of nationally renowned and emerging artists.
Moose’s Saloon — Walk through the swinging saloon doors, cross the real sawdust floor, order up a pizza and, oh, what the heck, carve your name in the wall. You’re at Moose’s!
The Farmers Market — Locally grown produce, wild Montana huckleberries, Flathead cherries, handmade crafts, riotous flowers and a cornucopia of local personalities vie for attention each Saturday during the summer. Don’t miss it.
Historical Walking Tour of Kalispell — History buffs can pick up a brochure at the Kalispell Chamber for this self-guided tour of Kalispell’s many architectural highlights.
Taste a Local Brew – Sample some of Montana’s finest handcrafted lagers and ales in
Kalispell Brewing Company’s tasting room where gleaming fermenting tanks now occupy the former show room of Henricksen Motors, one of Kalispell’s early auto dealerships.
Tune In — The Glacier Symphony & Chorale offers concerts throughout the year. One of the most is the Summer Classical Pops Concert at the beautiful Rebecca Farm equestrian center. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy.
Engage with history — Built in 1894 as Kalispell’s first school, the fully restored Museum at Central School tells the story of early Kalispell from its founding in 1887. Exhibits include authentic Native American artifacts, original paintings, photography, a full-size tepee and lodge, and a 1900s-era sawmill.
Conrad Mansion — On the National Register of Historic Places, the Conrad Mansion is one of the most outstanding examples of Victoria-era elegance and period architecture in the Pacific Northwest. The 26-room, 13,000-square-foot Norman-style mansion features eight sandstone fireplaces, Italian onyx drinking fountains, Tiffany stained glass windows, and a great hall with a massive native stone fireplace and golden oak staircase.
Downtown Stroll — A stroll through downtown will have you trying on everything from fitted straw hats to hiking boots to haute couture. There are also art galleries, coffee shops, Montana-made gifts and what is quite likely the world’s coolest yarn store.
Rodeo – Local cowboys and cowgirls compete in steer wrestling, barrel racing, calf roping, bull riding and other contests of skill and courage at the Majestic Valley Arena.
THINGS YOU’LL NEED
The best way to experience Kalispell is on foot. Our community is very walkable with lots of parks, trails and quiet historic neighborhoods. So, wear comfortable shoes. Everything in town is pretty casual, but it’s always nice to have a pair of chinos or a summer dress along for a concert or evening out. And, remember, we’re in the mountains. The weather can change quickly. Even on the warmest summer days you may find a fleece jacket essential once the sun goes down.
SEASONS YOU’LL ENJOY
Every season here has its charms and activities. Summer is the high season. From late June through early September most everything in the area is open and hopping. If you plan to visit in summer, be sure to book your stay well in advance. Temperatures vary, but a typical summer day is between 80˚ F and 85˚ F and there’s plenty of sun.
Winter is our second busiest season, due to our proximity to two great ski areas. Typically, things get rolling around the Christmas holiday and keep going right on through the middle of March. There are lots of fun events, concerts and happenings in winter.
Fall is uncrowded but truly spectacular. If you’re a couple looking for a romantic getaway, you couldn’t pick a better season. High temperatures range from around 60˚ F to 70˚F and we have spectacular color, late September through mid-October.
Spring, too, is uncrowded and the weather can be unpredictable. But seeing bright white peaks against emerald green foothills and experiencing the valley “wake up,” is worth a little unpredictability.