Whitefish is a small city in Montana, near Glacier National Park.
Whitefish is a quaint and cozy resort town in the Flathead Valley. The Flathead Valley is a unique area of Montana created by the awesome force of glacial activity over millions of years. Dotted with clean alpine lakes and streams, and a wide array of amenities, Whitefish and the surrounding valley, is a great place to serve as a launch pad into Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Reserve.
Today, Whitefish is an eclectic community that offers year round entertainment. Recreational activities include: backcountry skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, horseback riding, water sports, hiking, zip-lining, theater, art festivals, music venues and a vibrant night life.
Glacier Park International Airport is a 20 minute drive southeast. It offers regular flights to several areas in the Northwest; Missoula, the Puget Sound area (Seattle/Tacoma) at Sea-Tac Airport, Salt Lake City, Denver, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. It also offers seasonal flights to Chicago-O'Hare and Atlanta-Hartsfield.
The Empire Builder Amtrak route serves Whitefish, which runs west to Spokane and Seattle/Portland and east through the northern Plains, terminating at Chicago.
To access Whitefish from the south, you can take either Exit 96 on I-90 near Missoula and head north on U.S. 93.
Whitefish is accessible from Canada at several border crossings. From Calgary, the fastest route is to go southwest on the Crowsnest Highway 3, passing through Fernie. Continue south on hwy 3 until it crosses with Hwy 93. Take that south through the Roosville border crossing and the town of Eureka until hitting Whitefish. Driving time is approx. 5 hours.
Whitefish is accessible several ways from Regina. One could take the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 west to Calgary and then follow the route explained above, which would take about 12-13 hours.
Another is to take Hwy 6 south to Plentywood, and take Hwy 16 south to Culbertson. Take Hwy 2 west through Glasgow and Havre until eventually hitting Whitefish. This takes approx. 13 hours.
Rimrock Stagelines operates once daily between Missoula and the Whitefish Amtrak Station. For details see: http://www.rimrocktrailways.com/
Airport Shuttle Express of Calgary Canada operates a year-round "charter van" service between Whitefish and Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise. For details see: www.airportshuttleexpress.com
Walking or biking are the best ways to get around Whitefish and get a feeling for downtown. A car is necessary to get to Glacier National Park or to Whitefish Mountain Resort. The local taxi service, Drive 4 U (http://www.drive4u.org), can aid in getting around Whitefish and the surrounding area and does shuttles to and from the airport and amtrak stations. During the ski season there is a FREE "snow" bus shuttle from downtown to the ski resort. Visit http://skiwhitefish.com/getting_here.php for more information on the "snow bus".
- Whitefish Lake is on the NW corner of the town. Walking distance to downtown, there is a state park and city beach on the shores. It is roughly 3300 acres and popular in summer for boating. There are public access boat launches, with a small marina at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake. The Lodge also rents boats and jet skis.
- Big Mountain provides excellent views of the northern Flathead Valley. During the summer the chairlift/gondola is operated by Whitefish Mountain Resort. You can take this lift to the Summit House Restaurant, which features an outdoor deck with breathtaking views.
- The Whitefish Mountain Resort (known formerly as Big Mountain), just north of the city on the aptly named Big Mountain. Offers a wide variety of terrain, from moguls to powder to bunny hills. Many businesses, including a few hotels, operate at the base of the hill.
- Golf Big Mountain also operates as a golf resort in the summer. The Whitefish Lake Golf Club, just west of the city on the lake is also worth checking.
- Hike and Bike Big Mountain has several hiking and biking trails in the summer.
- Fish Fly fishing is the choice in and around Whitefish. Located close to the Flathead River, trout fishing is ample during summer and fall. There are two fly shops in Whitefish. There are many lakes in the area that support fishing, though rivers are better.
- Boating Water sports form kayaking down the lazy flowing Whitefish River to water skiing across Whitefish Lake can be enjoyed. Boats can be rented from local business.
- Invert Sports, 888-205-7119.  Enjoy fun for all occasions with vacation rentals and guided watercraft tours including; boats, jet skis, waverunners, stand up paddle boards, wakeboards, water skis, water trampolines, other water toys, water sport lessons, and private tours at Whitefish.
The downtown area has many family-run stores. In the southern part of the city are larger chain stores such as Safeway. In the same area is a small shopping mall, which includes a Super 1 supermarket and a cinema.
For cross-border shoppers, the commercial area just south of the city in Kalispell on Highway 93 should fulfill consumer needs. Stores include:
- Bed Bath And Beyond
- Best Buy Electronics
- Home Depot
- Lowe’s Home Improvement
Fast food options in Whitefish include McDonald's, Taco John's, and Dairy Queen. Pizza by the slice can be purchased at Jersey Boys Pizzeria located downtown at Spokane Ave and 1st Street as well at Second Street Pizza on Second Street and Baker. Taco Del Sol offers cheap and quick mexican located at the Mountain Mall; south of downtown. Also try local favorite Montana Coffee Traders for quick and healthy food; located on Central Ave. between 1st and 2nd Street.
- Great Northern Bar and Grill.
- Central Avenue Bakery and Deli.
- Bulldog Saloon.
- Quickee's Grille and Pub.
- Amazing Crepes.
- Montana Coffee Traders.
- Craggy Range Bar and Grille.(
- Coopers Eatery and Drinkery.
- Pescado Blanco (Mexican).
- Mambo Italiana (Italian).
There are also several standard pizza places that offer delivery. They are Second Street Pizza, Jersey Boys Pizzeria, Mackenzie River Pizza Company and Pizza Hut.
For breakfast; Loula's Cafe, Swift Creek Cafe and The Buffalo are all great family owned and operated businesses offering great breakfast and lunch. The Buffalo is now also open for dinner service.
With the exceptions of Pizza Hut and Taco Del Sol all of these options are in or within walking distance of the downtown area.
There are a few luxury dining options in the Whitefish area. The Boat Club and Whitefish Lake Restaurant offer a standard selection of entrees. Tupelo's is a Cajun-themed menu.
- Cafe Kandahar on Big Mountain
- Latitude 48
- Wasabi Sushi Bar and Ginger Grille
- The Boat Club @ The Lodge on Whitefish Lake
- Whitefish Lake Restaurant, at the golf course.
- The Great Northern Bar and Grill, cnr 1st and Central Ave, . There are two full bars and a kitchen (consisting of burgers/sandwiches mostly). An outdoor deck is provided to allow for smoking, which is prohibited inside the bar. Live music three times a week, pool tables, shuffleboard and ping pong provide the entertainment. Usually is the busiest bar in town.
- The Great Northern Brewing Company is in the downtown area at 2 Central Ave. Formerly the Black Star Brewing Company, it does not have tours, but operates a tasting room open from noon to 8PM. It can be rented out for private functions. Also provides wireless internet access.
- The Bulldog Saloon, 144 Central Ave., . It is smoke-free, and children are welcome.
- Remington Bar and Casino, Central Ave, two doors down from The Bulldog. Containing two full bars, it has two poker tables, shuffleboard and three pool tables. It also has the only dartboard (electronic) in town. The Remington allows smoking.
- The Palace is a small bar across the street from the Remington. It allows smoking. A popular hangout for locals and those looking to escape the throngs, The Palace maintains a good crowd throughout the week.
- Caseys, across 1st St from the Great Northern Bar and Grill. The oldest building in Whitefish. Casey's is busiest on the weekends when it employs a DJ to play hip-hop and attracts a younger crowd. Smoking is allowed.
There are many lodging options available in and around Whitefish. They range from four star luxury, to budget, to vacation homes and condominiums.
- Glacier Mountain Lodge, 2347 Middle Road, ☎ 406-892-2661, . edit
- Best Western (Rocky Mountain Lodge), 6510 Highway 93 South (1 Mile South of Downtown Whitefish), ☎ 406-862-2569, . checkin: 3:00 pm; checkout: 11:00. The Best Western Rocky Mountain Lodge offers rooms with king or queen sized beds. Suites-featuring a fire place, hot tub, and wet bar- are also available. This pet-friendly hotel has specially designated rooms available for guests who wish to travel with their dogs and/or cats edit
- The Lodge at Whitefish Lake The Lodge is a full service resort located a few miles from the heart of Whitefish. There is an outdoor pool and hot tub, full service day spa, concierge service, marina and private beach. The Boat Club restaurant is fine dining and there is also a full service bar, both offer spectacular views of the lake.
- Grouse Mountain Lodge, three miles west of downtown. The Whitefish Lake Golf Club is directly across the street. An indoor pool, driving range, tennis courts, and sauna highlight the amenities. They also provide a free shuttle service to downtown. Dining at the resort ranges from casual to formal. Find out more here: The Grouse Mountain Lodge