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Location: Hwy 35 and 93; 55 miles south of Kalispell; 68 miles north of Missoula. Population: 4,000. Area Population: 15,000. Visitor Information Center: Hwy 93, downtown Polson. Chamber of Commerce: Polson Chamber, 418 Main Street, Polson, MT 59860; Phone: (406) 883-5969.
Polson has one of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in the Northwest. The course is located in Boettcher Park on the Lake and backed on the east by the magnificent Mission Mountains. Because of its popularity, golfers should reserve tee times two days in advance. Boettcher Park also has a recreation area complete with a well-equipped playground, swimming beach and picnicking facilities.
The Polson-Flathead Historical Museum on South Main Street focuses on the Flathead’s pioneer homesteaders. Experience shopping in the region’s only 1880s store at the trading post, imagine cooking, washing and preserving food with few labor saving devices in the true-to-life kitchen, and marvel at the stagecoaches, buggies and fire trucks that served the Valley.
The largest collection of antique artifacts in western Montana is exhibited at the Miracle of America Museum just south of Polson on Hwy 93. Called "The Smithsonian of the West" the museum displays everything from a tiny bird-point arrowhead to the 65 foot Paul Bunyan, a logging tow listed in the National Register. Displays of Native items, cars, cycles, toys, dolls, boats, guns, clothing, wagons, buggies, sleighs, snowmobiles, militia, tools and tractors spill out of the main building into a Pioneer Village in the courtyard. Allow yourself plenty of time to see it all. Hours are 8-5 daily year around, but in the summer they usually stay open until dark. A nominal admission is charged with a money back guarantee.
The area is noted for great trout fishing, with nearby rivers and streams as well as Flathead Lake yielding excellent catches. Bull trout and Westslope Cutthroat must be released. In areas under the jurisdiction of the Flathead Reservation, tribal permits are required. Information concerning regulations may be obtained at the Chamber of Commerce.
Eight miles south of Polson, Kerr Dam provides spectacular viewing any time of year. While there are no scheduled tours, a short self-guided trail leads to the vista point for a magnificent panoramic view of the area.