Location: Hwy 93; 8 miles from Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort (Big Mountain); 15 miles north of Kalispell; 30 miles from Glacier National Park. Population: 6,800. Visitor Information: Whitefish Area Chamber of Commerce, 307 Spokane Ave, Ste 103, PO Box 1120, Whitefish, MT 59937; Phone: (406) 862-3501; Email: email@example.com; Website: www.whitefishchamber.org
Whitefish has evolved from a sleepy little forestry and railroad town to a unique destination alpine village, offering the best in four season recreational activities and scenic beauty. While portions of Glacier National Park are open year-round, summer in Whitefish offers close access to the hanging valleys and emerald peaks of this World Heritage Site, just 25 miles from town.
Once the snow flies, Whitefish takes on a winter wonderland charm, providing superb downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling in unspoiled country. Every winter, Whitefish residents band together to welcome visitors with celebrations like the Whitefish Winter Carnival, complete with a hometown parade, penguin plunge, yetis, vikings, snow sculptures, and non-stop parties. Horses and skiers unite in the ski joring races that illustrate the crossover of the Old West with modern day adventures.
After a fun-filled day, it's become tradition for locals and visitors to meander through the charming downtown area brimming with interesting specialty shops, art galleries and exciting nightlife venues, many offering the best in live music. Take the self-guided Made in Montana walking tour to fully explore all that downtown Whitefish has to offer.
Visitors can splurge on a luxurious spa day, stop in any time at Stumptown Art Studio to learn how to make pottery, mosaics or fused glass, or enjoy a production from the Whitefish Theatre Company or Alpine Theatre Project, one of the most respected professional theatres in the Northwest US.
Accommodations range from cozy b&bs to condos and long-term vacation homes right on the ski hill or at lakeside, and a host of lodges, resorts, retreats, ranch homes, motor inns, guest ranch, camping and hostel facilities.
For a truly Western experience, visitors can stay any time of year at the Bar W Guest Ranch located three miles from Whitefish on Spencer Lake. While horseback riding is a main attraction, arena events include horsemanship clinics, barrel racing, beginner cowpoke lessons and advanced instruction in roping, team penning and sorting cattle. 3,000 acres of pristine Montana countryside provide an endless playground for all kinds of outdoor activities, including fabulous skiing, snowmobiling. snowshoeing, ice fishing and dog sledding in the winter.
Bar W Guest Ranch