12 Amazing Things to do in Whitefish, Montana (during the summer)

the view out over skyles lake in Whitefish, Montana

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About Whitefish, Montana

Whitefish, Montana is located in the northwest region of Montana and has plenty things to do no matter what season you visit! Summer boasts a multitude of fun adventures and more daylight to enjoy them with. Read on to add all of these activities to your summer things to do in Whitefish, Montana list!

Whitefish is sometimes referred to as “Stumptown” due to the fact that it was cleared out of trees during the towns early days.

Where to Stay in Whitefish, Montana

There are an abundance of hotels, resorts and vacation rentals all over Whitefish, Montana that have year round availability. You will find resorts as well as well known hotel chains in the Whitefish area.

Click here to look at more information to help you decide where to stay while exploring Whitefish, Montana.

Woman standing in sandals, jeans and t shirt with sunglasses on by a mural saying Greetings from Whitefish

Things to do in Whitefish, Montana

1) Downtown Train Depot & Historical Museum

The train depot in Whitefish, Montana is a long standing piece of this mountain town’s history. Established in 1928 and you still can take an Amtrak train into Whitefish to this day. It was revamped and restored in 1990 check out Amtrak to look into arriving into Whitefish, Montana by rail.

You can learn more about Whitefish (or Stumptown) logging and rail early days by exploring the historical museum. With limited hours, be sure to check before you make your way there! The museum is free, but donations are gladly accepted.

2) Biking

In Whitefish, there are several paved bike trails throughout the city, some even go along the river. Definitely be sure to bring your bike with if you’re on a road trip or there are several companies in Whitefish where you can rent a bike. So get out on a two wheel adventure in Whitefish, Montana!

3) Hiking (or mountain biking) on Lion Mountain Trail

Lion Mountain Trail is an easy jaunt on a mountain bike or a short hike that you definitely should include on your things to do in Whitefish, Montana list. At under 3 miles and only about 350 ft of elevation gain it’s really enjoyable for the whole family. My favorite part was the overlook where there is a bench that looks out over Skyles Lake. Dogs are permitted just make sure that you put them on a leash & clean up after them!

4) Paddling

There are many places within Whitefish that you can go paddling with a kayak or SUP (Stand up paddle board) such as Whitefish city beach or __ River. However, not too far from Whitefish is Flathead Lake that has an island called Wild Horse island in it that you can explore. The only caveat is you can only reach this island by water. Taking a tour with Seame paddle company to Wild Horse island was an amazing way to spend a Saturday while in Whitefish. Although a bit of a drive from Whitefish, it was so worth it!

Another great option would be to rent a boat on Flathead Lake to have a lake day especially if you’re traveling with a bigger group. Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River.

the view from wild horse island within flathead lake in montana

5) Shopping Downtown Whitefish, Montana

There are so many cute shops in downtown Whitefish, Montana be sure to set aside an early afternoon to stroll through the area and shop. One bit of advice though, shops aren’t open really late (many close around 5-6 PM with a select few open til 7-8) so when carving out time don’t expect to do it after happy hour as many of them will be closed! This really surprised me especially since there are so many people here as tourists but it is a small town after all.

6) Golfing

Whitefish, Montana is a great destination if you’re wanting to golf many different courses. It’s not the first place I would think of to plan a golf destination trip but given the fact that there are 10 golf courses in the Flathead Valley area it’s a great option for the golf enthusiast to get multiple rounds in.

Meadow Lake golf course near Whitefish, Montana

7) Sip Craft Cocktails

Located in downtown Whitefish, Montana Spotted Bear Spirits is a small craft distillery with a tasting room that’s perfect for a happy hour drink or two! Offering distillery flights of the liquor as well as deliciously crafted cocktails. Keep in mind, it isn’t a late night spot it closes relatively early. They also switch out their menu seasonally and the drink I had (and absolutely loved!) doesn’t appear to be on the menu anymore. (Insert sad face!) It was called the “Bad Bee”. With honey, lime, orange and a tasty jalapeno agave spirit it was just the right amount of sweet but with a little spice. It reminded me of a spicy margarita but less acidic and a just a little bit sweeter.

spotted bear spirits cocktails in whitefish, mt

8) Visit a Craft Beer Brewery

Bonsai brewing project was a perfect evening after biking to have a few beers and dinner. They have a wide open outdoor space with shady areas to chill with a cold brew. The array of different beers on tap was top notch and the food menu also was delicious. Definitely recommend stopping in for just a few beers or a meal as well while you’re in Whitefish.

bonsai brewing whitefish, MT

9) Have a bite to eat or Sweet Treat at Whitefish Restaurants

Bulldog Saloon

So the Bulldog’s are Whitefish, Montana’s local high school mascot. This divey and local spot has great wings and food. The beer selection was only so so but it was a good spot overall. The huckleberry wings are a must here!

Inside the dimly lit sports bar the bulldog in whitefish, montana with sports pennants tacked to the ceiling

Craggy Range Bar & Grill

Definitely a sports bar vibe with many different TV’s. At first we were skeptical of the spot and we ended up going there due to multiple places being a really long wait. First of all, we had awesome service. I always notice when a server has a ton of tables but is hustling and totally on top of it. (In all honesty it gives me nostalgia a little bit having served for about 12 years before I solely worked only my corporate job but that’s a story for another time.) The service was top notch and a lot of places it’s really hard to come by these days.

Another healthy dose of nostalgia going back to my 25th birthday in Vegas, this sports bar offers beer towers! My husband and I don’t always see eye to eye on beer selections so sadly we didn’t get one but I just love that they do that. Our food was great and the drinks we ordered were amazing as well. I honestly can’t say enough great things about this sports bar. I would go back in a heartbeat because of the great experience & excellent food.

Loula’s

Loula’s is a must for breakfast or brunch! Get there early or you will likely wait. (Especially on the weekends.) It’s a place where you can enjoy great homestyle meals and really attentive service. Even if you’re there for breakfast, check out the pie board. They typically post on the white board the pies they have available for the day. Trust me, you neeeeed to get a slice of pie to go. It was one of the best pieces of pie I’ve ever had! I loved the fact that they had a complete separate kitchen dedicated to just pies. (That’s when you know they’re really serious about their pies when they have that kind of real estate committed to just dessert.)

pie and specials whiteboard at loulas in whitefish montana

Cowgirl Coffee

I always love supporting local coffee shops when possible. There was a cute little coffee kiosk not to far from where we stayed so of course we had to grab an iced latte here.

Sweet Peaks ice cream

There is usually a line, however it moves pretty quickly. It’s small batch locally sourced ice cream. Need I say more? It’s truly worth the wait. After deciding on what sweet treat to enjoy, outside you will find some picnic tables to enjoy your tasty dessert.

10) Visit the Whitefish Mountains ski resort

Yes! Even in summer visiting Whitefish Mountains Resort is a fun thing to do. You can stay here year round at the resort and during the summer there’s mountain biking, zip lining, hiking, and scenic lift tour up out over the town of Whitefish. Be sure to make it out to the resort as one of the things to do while you’re in Whitefish, Montana.

11) Explore Flathead National Forest

Flathead National Forest is located south of Glacier National Park in Flathead County. If you’re planning on exploring here, it’s good to have a plan of where you’re going and what you want to see. (If you’re like me, that’s always a good idea to be organized and maximize your time and the amount of things you’re able to do and see!) But fair warning that Flathead National Forest is absolutely huge! Parts of it can be accessed from Whitefish.

12) East of Whitefish, Montana: Explore Glacier National Park

Summer definitely is the best time to visit Glacier National Park as it’s one of the National Parks in the United States that has the most limited season for visitors. When we visited in early summer (June) there were still winter storms and snow which created avalanche conditions. Not all parts of the park were accessible because of this. However, July-early September are usually optimal times to visit Glacier. If you’re in Whitefish then I’d definitely pop over to the park to view stunning glacial lakes and snow capped peaks into the summer months.

on Lake Josephine in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park

Pin for later!

Beyond things to to in Whitefish- More Montana Travel:

Glacier National Park (When Going to the Sun Road is closed)

8 Things to do while working remotely in Livingston, Montana

Itinerary for 2 days in North Yellowstone National Park

Published by WanderLust in Real Life

I'm a 30 something living in the Midwest of the United States that loves every aspect of travel. Researching, planning, & of course actually going on adventures whether near or far.

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