Envision a rustic town engulfed by a mystical ski resort, restaurants, rugged mountains, and a hypnotizing landscape.. you’re in Whitefish, Montana. This gorgeous town is a must-see of the state, complete with attractive shops, super fun bars, live music, and even more to keep you going. Not to mention, it’s a short drive away from Whitefish Mountain, the ski resort, and the City Beach. This quickly became my favorite place to go after a long day of outdoor adventure at Glacier Park, and it was only a 10 minute drive from my luxury Treehouse rental. Here are my favorite places to go in Whitefish:
Restaurants, Bars, & Breweries
The best thing about the restaurants in Whitefish is that most locations offer healthy, vegan-friendly options to the menu. Even at hole-in-the wall cafes, I found meal choices like black bean burgers, salads with falafel, and healthy veggie sides. However, you have to splurge here and there at restaurants like Amazing Crepes and Sweet Peaks Ice Cream.
This place was super busy when the sun started to set, and it consists of one large bar on the first floor. There are three floors, two open for seating and one open for events. The rooftop was awesome to sit and enjoy drinks, since it’s located right across from Whitefish Mountain. Casey’s also regularly hosts live music and events, and it’s close to pretty much every other shop and restaurants in Whitefish.
The Boat Club
Boat Club is the only restaurant on Whitefish Lake, which means guests receive undeniably amazing views their entire visit. The cozy interior has a large stone fireplace, Tiki Bar & Grill, and extensive food & beverage menu. It’s attached to The Lodge at Whitefish, which is situated directly on the water.
A popular sushi place in Whitefish, located close to Bulldog Saloon and cute souvenir shops. It can get crowded, but the service was quick, the food is really good, and there are tons of drink options.
A fun, lively place in the center of Whitefish. When I visited Craggy Range there was live music occurring in the outdoor section of the bar. There’s a small stage placed outside with pretty lights and spacious seating. It’s also affordable, and quick!
Blackstar had a super fun atmosphere both times I visited. They have a great beer and wine selection, and really good food of decent portions as well. You can sit at the bar, one of the window seats, or a table on the first and second floors.
A high class hotel & bar with exceptional wine and a glamorous personality. It’s a little pricey, but much quieter than other Whitefish locations. Firebrand is a great date night spot, with small bites and tasty drinks.
Bonsai is a casual spot perfect for a midday beer. In addition to the extensive drink menu, there’s a large food menu with choices like Soul Bowls, salads, burgers, and sandwiches.
A vintage style bar with live music, great bar food, and an outdoor deck. The Great Northern is filled with bustling energy and radiates Montana’s character. Drinks are served in mason jars, and the building is full of antique, rustic style decor.
The best barbeque in Whitefish. Piggyback is a well-known establishment with delicious bbq, tacos, and appetizers. The small restaurants is decorated with rustic Midwest style touches.
Whitefish mountain + ski resort, mountain biking
Whitefish mountain may be known as one of Montana’s famous ski resorts, but it’s open all year round for activities like trail hiking and mountain biking. It faces front and center directly across from downtown, so the beautiful peak is impossible to miss. Just like Glacier National Park, bike rentals are easy to find here, so it doesn’t take long to arrange plans.
Hiking here was absolutely beautiful, and although we came in contact with other travelers, the higher up we hiked the more sparse of people it got. The scenery is also everchanging, from trails in the Alpine forest to gaping huge fields. Each path was rocky and narrow, and we kept catching glimpses of how high up we were once the trees made room. You can truly see your height from the carved trails, which is both intimidating and rewarding. Mountain bikers would zip past us at a shocking speed, riding the steep ridges. While Montana is a hot spot for photography, I quickly found that pictures don’t do the scenery justice.
Best places to stay + our VRBO rental
Most of the hotels in Whitefish are designed as lodge/cabin style buildings. The glamorous hotels have stunning views and amazing amenities like saunas, hot tubs, and fitness rooms. While some lodges are situated in woodsy, secluded locations, they’re all close enough to Whitefish’s main attractions.
- The Pine Lodge on Whitefish River
- Grouse Mountain Lodge
- Best Western Rocky Mountain Lodge
- The Lodge at Whitefish Lake
- The Firebrand Hotel
Montana Luxury Treehouse Retreat
This was by far the coolest place I’ve ever stayed in. Kati and Darin Robison built the AirBNB around two trees, both of which cascade through the small house. I was shocked to see the trees shooting straight up through the cozy home, decorated with string lights. It’s also designed with two bathrooms, a spacious kitchen, a large bedroom and an upstairs deck. Note that there are two treehouses from these owners, and we stayed in the slightly smaller one.
Another plus of this rental is that there is a washer and dryer unit outside the treehouse, which was a pleasant surprise. It’s also only 10 minutes from Whitefish and 30 minutes from Glacier National Park.
You can book this rental here or on VRBO.