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Northwest Montana History Museum

Visit Kalispell: 11 Top-Rated and Vibrant Things to Do in Kalispell, Montana (2024)

Kalispell is one of the prettiest parts of Montana, located on its north-western side. Within the region, it comes out as the largest city but the one with a lesser crowd. The natural setting of Kalispell makes it sit right between Glacier National Park and the glorious Flathead Lake National Park. Its location between two prominent natural and less-disturbed landscapes provides it with great adventure opportunities. When in the city, you are always half to an hour away from some of the best Montana wilderness when in the city. Besides that, with gorgeous Rocky Mountain landscapes surrounding all parts of the city, the list of quintessential Montana fun never really comes to an end.

Once you have been to Kalispell, you will consider visiting it time and again. Why? From friendly community to outstanding art & culture and the warm western hospitality, Kalispell makes everyone feel at home. Whether you are a part of the west or not, a visit here will take you in its embrace in the most pleasant way. With all that said, find out your reasons to visit the vibrant Montana city, Kalispell.

11 Top-Rated and Vibrant Things to Do in Kalispell

The list below has some popular and must-visit tourist attractions of Kalispell. We hope it will help you build your itinerary.

1. Begin with Exploring the Hockaday Museum of Art

Hockaday Museum of Art is worth your time, especially if you are into history and art. The museum is located on 302 2nd Ave E inside a stunning classical-revival-style building, a town library back in 1903. Its permanent collection is known for the famous “Crown of the Continent” exhibit that is home to 15 historic Glacier National Park murals. Besides that, it also presents Charles M. Russell and O.C. Seltzer’s artwork and that of other popular western artists. With that, the rotating exhibits at Hockaday ensure presenting something new every time you visit. Including both permanent and rotating exhibits, the museum is home to about 2000 artworks and cultural artifacts. The museum operates Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 am to 4 pm.

2. Visit the Northwest Montana History Museum

Northwest Montana History Museum is home to the extensive local history of the region. It is housed inside the restored Central School building in Kalispell. The building in itself is one of the first stone and brick buildings in the Flathead Valley and a rare example of original Richardsonian Romanesque architecture that still is in most of its real form. The museum aims to exhibit local Northwest Montana history in the form of photographs and texts. Some of the popular exhibits here include Montana pioneer Frank Bird Linderman, the Northwest Montana timber industry, Northwest Native American Culture, History of Flathead Valley, and Early Kalispell. For exploring them all, the museum offers tours as well as facilitates several events on local history. The museum is interactive and interesting enough to keep kids and adults captivate for long.

3. Dive Into the History of Conrad Mansion Museum

Conrad Mansion Museum is located in the heart of the city and is the most popular tourist attraction in Kalispell. The mansion was originally home to Charles E. Conrad and his family during the late 1800s. Conrad built this 13,000-square-foot Norman-style mansion when he moved to the region to flourish his empire on trading and freighting. Later in 1974, it became a museum and a historic landmark. A walk inside will introduce you to 26 rooms, original furniture, and elegant interiors. Tours for the mansion operate Tuesday through Sunday between May and October. Though even if you happen to visit here during the off-season, you can still book appointments to visit inside. Besides indoors, Conrad Mansion has three acres of immaculately kept grounds and beautifully manicured gardens. The mansion also celebrates Christmas Carol Radio Broadcast at the end of the year. Exploring the whole property ideally takes an hour and a half.

4. Stroll Down the Main Street Kalispell (Downtown Kalispell)

Main Street Kalispell is an urban downtown area exhibiting the vibrant side of the city. Throughout the downtown’s core, there are multiple shopping venues selling everything from clothes to jewelry, art, craft, etc. Here, some popular shopping destinations are Toggery, Sage & Cedar, the Montana Scene and Sassafras, the Wheaton’s Cycle, and the Western Outdoor. Main Street has also brought up a range of drinking and dining venues for better community engagement. The selection here is impressive, from delicious sushi to hot and spicy pasta teamed with local craft beer. Besides that, you can find several tourist attractions, a spa, and a yoga facility at the place. Though if you aren’t up for spending a penny, you can simply walk down the main street and observe the colorful facades from the 1800s. The idea for the same is so popular here that no surprise if you find foot traffic.

5. Explore the Wilderness of Lone Pine State Park

Lone Pine State Park is a public recreational area, 11 minutes drive towards the southwest of the city of Kalispell. This 270-acre park overlooks Flathead Lake and the Flathead Valley and provides some undisputed views of Kalispell town. Visitors can access its seven miles of multi-use trails for hiking, horse riding, and mountain biking. Or during the snow season, the park operates for snowshoeing. Gaining an elevation between 2,959 and 3,709 feet, a visit here makes up for an adventure full day. Besides that, the park is also home to a community room that rents for meetings, parties, celebrations, and weddings. One can even plan an outdoor event at the rustic picnic shelter in the Lone Pine State Park region. Lately, it has also begun its own visitor’s center exhibiting an interpretive display of local flora and fauna.

6. Have Fun at the Flathead Lake

Another adventure stop in Kalispell is Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi in the lower 48 states. It is 7 miles south of Kalispell, nearly 15 to 18 minutes drive away. The lake is 30 miles in length, blooming a whopping 185 miles of shoreline. This aids in popular water sports, including boating, fishing, and swimming. For boating, visitors can reach the Glacier Outdoor Rentals and rent whatever gear and equipment they wish for. Besides adventure, Flathead Lake is also popular for its jaw-dropping beauty. Upon standing on its shoreline, the view in front will make you go ‘Wow’ without wasting a second. And if it is the wintertime, the snow-peaked mountains covering the glorious water body will take your heart away.

7. Go Hiking in Herron Park

Herron Park is another recreational spot on the southwest edge of town beyond Lone Pine. This parkland is ideally known for its trail network that facilitates hiking, natural walking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and cross-country snow skiing. Within its 44 acres of land, Herron Park comprises 15 miles of trails that accommodate all levels of outdoor abilities. Because the part also has a few private properties, visitors are asked to respect one’s privacy and ask before invading anything personally. The most popular trail here is the Blacktail Trail, more of an adventurous option. However, the signature viewpoint is the Foy’s Overlook which opens up excellent views of Flathead Valleys.

Other Popular and Fun Places Around Kalispell:

8. Woodland Water Park: (It is a summer-only park, ideal for beating the heat. Besides the waterpark, there is an abundance of green space to relax and enjoy around).

9. Jewel Basin: (It is a popular feature of Flathead National Forest and is half an hour drive from Kalispell. The area is popular for hiking and camping).

10. Whitefish Mountain Resort: (It is a popular winter destination 40 minutes from Kalispell. A visit here will allow you to discover 3,000 acres of skiable land).

11. Glacier National Park: (It is just 32 scenic miles from the city of Kalispell. Operating year-round, this is a gem of a location to visit, especially if you are into nature traveling).

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