Whitefish, Montana, Is the Perfect All-seasons Destination — With Small-town Charm, Lakefront Lodges, and Mountain Views

Whitefish, Montana, is the ideal destination for an outdoor adventure no matter the season.

Scenic view of Whitefish Mountain Resort


If awe-inspiring vistas, fresh air, and easy access to the best of Mother Nature are what you're after, then it's time to plan a trip to Whitefish, Montana

Located in the northwest corner of the state, Whitefish is a resort town with fewer than 10,000 full-time residents. It sits on the shores of Whitefish Lake, where visitors can gaze upon both the water and surrounding craggy mountaintops. It's a place where peace and quiet are the norm, and it's ready to welcome you no matter the season. 

What to Know Before You Visit Whitefish

Whitefish isn't the place to go if you're looking for hustle and bustle. Instead, it's a destination tailor-made for those who want to disconnect from their everyday routines and reconnect with the simpler things, like the landscape's breathtaking natural beauty.

Murder on the Orient Express, Whitefish Theatre Company, Montana

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Best Time to Visit Whitefish

Those looking for verdant landscapes and blue skies should plan their visit to Whitefish in the spring and summer months. According to Weather Spark, temperatures will likely fall between the mid-50s and mid-60s by May and increase each successive month through June, July, and August, when they can reach the low 80s. 

The fall is another beautiful time to visit, as the weather cools off a bit and the trees turn a kaleidoscope of colors with peak foliage. Expect September, October, and November temperatures to drop quickly from the high 60s to the low 40s.

However, if you love snow, winter may be the ideal time for you to visit. Winters are certainly cold, with temperatures dropping to the low 20s in December, January, and February and snowfall likely falling throughout those months as well. In other words, Whitefish is a great place for everyone. All you need to do is decide if you want to explore it in a T-shirt or are willing to get bundled up. 

RELATED: Montana Is Packed With Luxury Hotels, Charming Small Towns, and Lots of Adventures — How to Plan the Perfect Trip

Best Things to Do in Whitefish

Glacier National Park, Montana

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Take a day trip to Glacier National Park.

Visitors to Whitefish shouldn't miss nearby Glacier National Park. Located about 30 minutes away, the national park makes for an awe-inspiring day trip. Drive down Going-to-the-Sun Road, embark on a hike, or simply pop over to soak in the stunning views. 

Hike the Whitefish Trail.

Set out for a day of hiking or biking down the community-supported trail that stretches for 47 miles through the wilderness around Whitefish. It's appropriate for all abilities as you can turn back whenever you'd like. 

Shop in downtown Whitefish.

Take a stroll down Central Avenue or through the historic Railway District to find a few quaint shops that will be more than happy to point you in the direction of your perfect souvenir. Check out spots like Cabin Creek Antiques for something unique, Cawdrey Gallery for a contemporary piece, or Polka Dot Sheep Fine Yarns to fill your knitting basket with goodies. 

Downtown, Whitefish, Montana

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Hit the slopes at Whitefish Mountain Resort. 

Visiting in winter? There's no better place to be than Whitefish Mountain Resort. The ski resort, which has been in operation for 75 years, comes with 3,000 acres of skiable terrain across 111 marked trails. Newbie skiers can also take advantage of its lesson program, while seasoned pros can go off-piste for a few tree runs. 

Catch some rays at Whitefish City Beach.

Here when the sun is shining and mercury is rising? Make your way to Whitefish City Beach, a lovely seven-mile-long glacial lake that will surely delight. There are designated swimming areas, picnic tables, a bike path, and even paddleboards and kayaks to rent from Whitefish Outfitters & Tours

Where to Stay in Whitefish 

Skiers at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana


The Lodge at Whitefish Lake

Have yourself a mountain retreat by booking a few nights at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, which prides itself on bringing "a sense of leisure and grace" with all the modern amenities one would expect from a rejuvenating stay. Book a single room, a lakefront condo, or an entire luxury home, depending on your travel party size.  

The Firebrand Hotel

Stay close to all the best outdoor attractions in Whitefish by checking into The Firebrand Hotel, which sits just minutes from the slopes and trails. It makes for an ideal home base thanks to its cozy atmosphere, in-house dining options, and full-service spa. 

The FarmHouse Inn

Good things come in small packages, especially if you stay at The FarmHouse Inn. Classic and comfortable, the bed-and-breakfast also comes with quick access to its cafe, which serves organic breakfasts and lunches, including fluffy pancakes and towering slices of avocado toast. 

How to Get to Whitefish

You have several great options for getting to Whitefish, including direct flights into Glacier Park International Airport, located about 20 minutes from town. Those who like to take the slow route can drive in or arrive via Amtrak's Empire Builder, which pulls into the historic Whitefish Depot.

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