15 Things To Do In Kalispell MT: Fun & Free Activities | Karta

15 Things To Do In Kalispell MT

Trip Ideas Jun 28, 2024

Kalispell, Montana, is a hidden gem in the heart of the Flathead Valley, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a plethora of outdoor activities. Situated in northwestern Montana, Kalispell is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, including the majestic Rocky Mountains and pristine lakes, making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. 

Kalispell is more than just a picturesque destination; it's a vibrant community with a deep-rooted history and a gateway to some of the most stunning scenery in the United States. From its charming downtown area filled with historic buildings and local shops to the vast expanse of Glacier National Park just a short drive away, Kalispell offers a variety of activities that cater to all interests.

Kalispell MT
Source: LandSearch

This article will guide you through the best things to do in Kalispell, MT, ensuring your trip is filled with unforgettable experiences. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore one of Montana's most charming destinations.

1. Explore Glacier National Park

Explore Glacier National Park and uncover a treasure trove of activities in Kalispell, MT. This stunning park is just a stone’s throw away from Kalispell, making it a must-visit for anyone looking for the best things to do in Kalispell, Montana. Glacier National Park is a pristine wilderness area renowned for its dramatic landscapes, majestic mountains, and over 700 miles of hiking trails. Its proximity to Kalispell means you can enjoy both the charming town and the natural beauty of the park in one trip.

Glacier National Park
Source: Great Runs

The crown jewel of Glacier National Park is the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a scenic 50-mile drive that takes you through the heart of the park. This road offers unparalleled views of snow-capped peaks, glacial valleys, and lush forests. It’s a photographer’s dream and a must for anyone seeking fun things to do in Kalispell Montana. The road connects West Glacier and St. Mary, allowing visitors to see the park’s diverse landscapes in a single day. Along the way, you can stop at various viewpoints and take short hikes to waterfalls and scenic overlooks, making it one of the most engaging Kalispell activities.

Exploring Glacier National Park is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Kalispell, MT, offering an unparalleled experience that stands out among Montana hidden gems.

2. Visit Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, offers an array of activities that make it a must-visit destination for those exploring the things to do in Kalispell, MT. This stunning lake, covering nearly 200 square miles, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone looking to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Montana.

One of the primary draws of Flathead Lake is its vast expanse of clear, pristine waters. Boating is one of the most popular activities, providing an excellent way to explore the lake’s numerous bays, coves, and islands. Boat rentals are readily available around the lake, making it easy for visitors to experience the thrill of being on the water.

Flathead Lake
Source: Discover Kalispell

Fishing enthusiasts will find Flathead Lake a rewarding destination. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including lake trout, yellow perch, and whitefish. Fishing charters and guided trips are available for those who want to increase their chances of landing a big catch.  

For those seeking a more relaxed experience, the charming towns around Flathead Lake, like Bigfork and Polson, offer unique shopping, dining, and cultural experiences. These towns are great for discovering hidden gems in Montana, including local art galleries, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. The vibrant local culture and friendly atmosphere make them perfect spots for enjoying some of the best things to do in Kalispell, Montana.

3. Discover Conrad Mansion Museum

Discover Conrad Mansion Museum, a gem in the heart of Kalispell, Montana, offering a glimpse into the region's rich history. Built in 1895 by Charles E. Conrad, a prominent businessman and founder of Kalispell, this impressive mansion showcases the opulence and grandeur of the Victorian era. The mansion, designed by renowned architect Kirtland Cutter, stands as a testament to Conrad's success and influence in the early development of northwest Montana.

Conrad Mansion
Source: Crown Of The Continent

 One of the highlights of visiting the Conrad Mansion is the guided tour, which offers an in-depth look at the history and stories behind this remarkable home. Knowledgeable guides lead you through the mansion, sharing fascinating anecdotes about the Conrad family and their significant contributions to the region. The tours provide a comprehensive understanding of the architectural features, the personal belongings of the Conrads, and the historical context in which the mansion was built.

For those looking to explore more of Kalispell's attractions, the Conrad Mansion is a perfect addition to your itinerary. It stands out among the many things to do in Kalispell, MT, offering a unique blend of history and beauty.  

4. Enjoy Lone Pine State Park

Lone Pine State Park is one of the top attractions for those exploring Kalispell, MT, offering an array of activities for all types of visitors. This park is a must-see for anyone searching for fun things to do in Kalispell, Montana. The park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring over 7.5 miles of well-maintained hiking trails that cater to both novice and experienced hikers. These trails meander through dense forests and open meadows, offering breathtaking views of the Flathead Valley and beyond.

Lone Pine State Park 
Source: Discover Kalispell

One of the highlights of visiting Lone Pine State Park is its rich offering of activities in Kalispell, MT. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk, an invigorating hike, or simply relax and take in the views. The park also serves as a gateway to other nearby attractions, making it an excellent starting point for further exploration in the region.

For those planning a visit, Lone Pine State Park offers free things to do in Kalispell, MT, that combine recreation with education. It's an ideal spot for both locals and tourists seeking hidden gems in Montana. Whether you're looking for a peaceful hike, a scenic picnic, or an educational outing, Lone Pine State Park promises a memorable experience that captures the essence of what to do in Kalispell, Montana.

5. Walk Through Downtown Kalispell

Downtown Kalispell, Montana, is a charming destination filled with historical significance, vibrant culture, and an array of unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries that make it a must-visit for anyone exploring the region. Walking through this historic downtown area is a delightful journey through time and culture, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the local flavor and discover hidden gems in Montana.

Start your adventure by strolling along Main Street, where the rich history of Kalispell is on full display. The architecture, a blend of restored historic buildings and newer structures, offers a picturesque backdrop for your exploration. As you wander, you'll find a variety of local shops that cater to diverse tastes and interests. From boutique clothing stores to quirky antique shops, there's something for everyone. Don't miss the hidden gems in Montana like Sassafras, a local favorite known for its eclectic mix of gifts, home decor, and vintage treasures.

When it comes to dining, downtown Kalispell boasts an impressive selection of restaurants that highlight the best of Montana's culinary scene. For a hearty meal, stop by The Desoto Grill, where you can indulge in some of the finest BBQ in the state. If you're in the mood for something lighter, Sweet Peaks Ice Cream offers a delectable range of locally made ice creams that are perfect for a sunny afternoon treat. Each restaurant and café in the area brings its own unique flair, ensuring that food lovers will find plenty of fun things to do in Kalispell, Montana, especially when it involves indulging in delicious cuisine.

6. Tour Hockaday Museum of Art

The Hockaday Museum of Art is an essential stop for anyone interested in the vibrant art scene of Montana. The museum's collection spans a wide range of artistic styles and periods, showcasing the talents of Montana artists. From contemporary pieces to historical works, the Hockaday Museum provides a comprehensive look at the evolution of art in the state. It's a hidden gem that art enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate, adding a touch of sophistication to the list of fun things to do in Kalispell.

Hockaday Museum of Art 
Source: Hockaday Museum of Art 

Visitors can expect a dynamic rotation of exhibits that highlight different aspects of Montana's artistic heritage. Current exhibits feature a mix of traditional landscapes, modern art, and multimedia installations. These exhibits not only reflect the natural beauty and cultural diversity of Montana but also offer insight into the artists' interpretations of their surroundings and experiences. For those looking for free things to do in Kalispell, MT, the museum occasionally hosts free admission days, making it accessible to all.

Upcoming exhibits promise to be just as captivating. The museum will soon feature a retrospective of a renowned Montana artist, giving visitors a chance to explore a lifetime of work in one comprehensive display. Additionally, a new exhibit focusing on Native American art will highlight the rich cultural heritage and contemporary expressions of Indigenous artists in the region. These future displays are sure to cement the Hockaday Museum’s reputation as a must-visit destination for those seeking out the best things to do in Kalispell, Montana.

7. Experience Woodland Water Park

When planning your trip to Kalispell, MT, one destination that promises endless fun for the whole family is the Woodland Water Park. This family-friendly attraction is a highlight among the many things to do in Kalispell, Montana, offering a refreshing escape on a warm summer day.

Woodland Water Park is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, thanks to its diverse array of attractions that cater to all ages. The park features multiple pools, ensuring there's a spot for everyone to enjoy. 

Woodland Water Park
Source: Trip

The main pool is expansive, perfect for a leisurely swim or some playful splashing around. For those seeking a bit more excitement, the park boasts thrilling water slides that promise adrenaline-pumping rides and squeals of delight. These slides vary in intensity, making them suitable for both older kids and adults looking for some high-speed fun.

Beyond its water attractions, Woodland Water Park is also a gateway to other fun things to do in Kalispell, MT. Its location within Woodland Park means you have access to additional recreational activities. The surrounding park area features beautiful walking trails, lush green spaces, and a serene pond, making it a great spot for a family walk or a peaceful moment in nature.

8. Visit the Northwest Montana History Museum

Visiting the Northwest Montana History Museum is one of the best things to do in Kalispell, MT, for those looking to delve into the rich history and culture of the region. Established to preserve and celebrate the vibrant past of Northwest Montana, the museum has become a cornerstone of local heritage, offering an engaging experience for all visitors.

The museum itself is housed in the historic Central School building, an architectural gem constructed in 1894. This building, once a bustling center of education, now serves as a beacon of historical preservation. Walking through its halls, you can almost hear the echoes of past students and teachers who once filled the classrooms.

Northwest Montana History Museum
Source: Wikipedia

The Northwest Montana History Museum boasts a variety of exhibits that paint a vivid picture of the area's history. From the early Native American tribes who first inhabited the region to the advent of European settlers and the subsequent development of Kalispell, each exhibit is meticulously curated to provide an immersive experience. One of the most compelling displays is dedicated to the timber industry, which played a crucial role in the economic development of the area. Here, visitors can explore the tools, techniques, and stories of the loggers who shaped the landscape.

9. Go Skiing or Snowboarding at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Whitefish Mountain Resort is a premier destination for those seeking an exhilarating winter adventure in Montana. Located just a short drive from Kalispell, this resort is renowned for its pristine slopes, diverse winter activities, and vibrant après-ski scene, making it one of the best things to do in Kalispell, Montana.

Whitefish Mountain Resort
Source: Skimap

As you approach the resort, the breathtaking views of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains set the stage for an unforgettable experience. The resort boasts over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, catering to all skill levels. From beginners testing their skills on gentle slopes to seasoned experts seeking the thrill of challenging black diamond trails, there's something for everyone. The meticulously groomed trails and consistent snowfall ensure optimal skiing and snowboarding conditions throughout the season.

For snowboarding enthusiasts, Whitefish Mountain Resort offers a variety of terrain parks. These parks feature an array of jumps, rails, and boxes, providing endless opportunities for riders to showcase their skills. The resort's commitment to maintaining top-notch facilities ensures that both skiers and snowboarders have a safe and enjoyable experience.

10. Enjoy Kalispell Brewing Company

Kalispell Brewing Company is a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts exploring Kalispell, Montana. This local brewery offers a rich tapestry of flavors, crafted with a dedication to quality and a passion for brewing. Located in the heart of Kalispell, this brewery stands out as one of the best things to do in Kalispell, MT, offering a unique blend of craft beer experiences that cater to both locals and tourists alike.

Kalispell Brewing Company
Source: SnowGhost 

At Kalispell Brewing Company, the brewing process is an art form. Their selection of popular brews reflects a commitment to traditional brewing techniques while embracing innovative flavors. One of their standout brews is the Two Ski Brewski Pilsner, a crisp and refreshing option perfect for those hot Montana summers. For those who prefer a more robust flavor, the Snowslip Stout offers rich, chocolatey notes with a smooth finish. Their dark German lager, Rauchbier, is another favorite, featuring a smoky flavor that pairs well with the brewery’s cozy atmosphere.

11. Hike the Jewel Basin

Jewel Basin, a hiker's paradise in the Flathead National Forest, is one of the best things to do in Kalispell, Montana. Known for its stunning alpine scenery, this 15,000-acre area offers a diverse range of trails suitable for all skill levels. The Jewel Basin Hiking Area, a true hidden gem in Montana, is dedicated exclusively to hiking and camping, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the natural beauty of the region.

Jewel Basin
Source: Adventure Quest

The trails in Jewel Basin are meticulously maintained, providing hikers with a variety of experiences, from leisurely walks to challenging climbs. Among the most popular trails is the Mount Aeneas Trail, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park. This trail, approximately six miles round trip, is perfect for those seeking a moderate hike with rewarding vistas. The climb to the summit is steep, but the effort is well worth it as you stand at the peak, taking in the expansive scenery that stretches as far as the eye can see.

Another favorite is the Picnic Lakes Trail, a slightly shorter route that leads hikers to a series of serene alpine lakes. These pristine waters reflect the surrounding peaks, creating a picturesque setting ideal for photography or a peaceful rest. The trail is relatively easy, making it suitable for families and those looking for a relaxing hike with ample opportunities for wildlife spotting. The Jewel Basin area is home to various animals, including deer, mountain goats, and an array of bird species, enhancing the overall hiking experience.

12. Visit Herron Park

Herron Park is a vibrant outdoor destination that promises an array of activities for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Located just a short drive from downtown Kalispell, this park offers a tranquil escape into nature with its expansive trails, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking views.

Herron Park
Source: Aspen Daily News

One of the main attractions of Herron Park is its extensive trail system, perfect for hiking enthusiasts of all levels. The trails meander through lush forests and open meadows, offering hikers a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. The well-marked paths make it easy to explore the park's diverse landscapes, from dense woodlands to serene grasslands. Each trail provides a unique perspective on the local flora and fauna, making every hike an adventure.

13. Experience the Depot Park Farmers Market

Experience the Depot Park Farmers Market in Kalispell, Montana, where vibrant community spirit meets the freshest local produce. This seasonal farmers market, open from late spring to early fall, is an unmissable event that perfectly captures the essence of Kalispell. 

When you step into Depot Park, the market's lively atmosphere immediately draws you in. Vendors line the pathways, offering a diverse array of goods that showcase the best of what the region has to offer. From crisp apples and juicy berries to organic vegetables and fragrant herbs, the produce here is as fresh as it gets. Many vendors come from small, family-owned farms, ensuring that what you buy supports local agriculture and sustainability. This is one of the best things to do in Kalispell, Montana, if you are a fan of fresh, farm-to-table food.

Beyond the produce, the Depot Park Farmers Market also boasts a variety of crafts and artisanal goods. Local artisans display their handmade creations, including jewelry, pottery, and textiles. These unique items make perfect souvenirs or gifts, each piece telling a story of the region's rich cultural heritage. The market's craft vendors add a distinct charm, making it one of the fun things to do in Kalispell.

14. Play Golf at Buffalo Hill Golf Club

Buffalo Hill Golf Club is a must-visit for golf enthusiasts exploring Kalispell, MT. This gem of a course is renowned for its beautiful layout, challenging holes, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. As you plan your list of things to do in Kalispell, MT, Buffalo Hill Golf Club should be at the top.

Buffalo Hill Golf Club
Source: Buffalo Hill Golf Club

The course itself is a masterpiece. Designed to blend seamlessly with Montana's natural beauty, the fairways are lined with mature trees, and the greens are meticulously maintained, providing a top-tier golfing experience. The layout offers a mix of challenge and playability, making it enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels. The strategic placement of bunkers and water hazards requires thoughtful play, ensuring that every round is both exciting and rewarding.

Buffalo Hill Golf Club has a rich history dating back to its inception in 1918. Over the years, it has evolved, growing in both size and reputation. Today, it stands as one of the premier golf destinations in Montana, drawing visitors from all over who are looking for fun things to do in Kalispell, MT. The club's commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect, from the course maintenance to the quality of service provided.

15. Attend a Performance at the Wachholz College Center

Attending a performance at the Wachholz College Center is a must for anyone exploring things to do in Kalispell, MT. This state-of-the-art venue, located within the Flathead Valley Community College campus, offers a rich cultural experience, attracting both locals and visitors alike. The center is renowned for its exceptional acoustics, comfortable seating, and intimate ambiance, making it an ideal spot for enjoying a diverse range of performances.

 Wachholz College Center
Source: Flathead Valley Community College

The Wachholz College Center is a hub for various events, including concerts, theater productions, dance performances, and lectures. This versatility makes it one of the premier Kalispell attractions, catering to a wide array of interests. The venue prides itself on hosting top-tier performances, often featuring local talent as well as nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. Its programming is designed to engage and entertain audiences of all ages, ensuring there's always something exciting on the calendar.

In the coming months, the Wachholz College Center has an impressive lineup of shows and events. Music enthusiasts can look forward to concerts by renowned musicians, offering everything from classical to contemporary genres. Theater lovers will be delighted by a series of compelling plays and musicals, showcasing both dramatic and comedic talents. Dance performances at the center are equally captivating, with shows that highlight a variety of styles, from ballet to modern dance.


Kalispell, Montana, is a treasure trove of diverse activities and attractions that cater to all types of travelers. This charming town is the gateway to some of the most stunning landscapes and hidden gems in Montana. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, Kalispell has something for everyone.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Kalispell. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding near Kalispell, MT, are just a few ways to explore the beautiful scenery. Glacier National Park is a must-visit for its breathtaking vistas and trails. Flathead Lake offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming, making it perfect for a day of fun on the water. For those who prefer winter sports, the nearby Whitefish Mountain Resort provides excellent skiing and snowboarding.

Kalispell MT
Source: Travel Weekly

Kalispell also boasts many free things to do, making it an affordable destination for families and budget-conscious travelers. Lawrence Park and Lone Pine State Park are perfect for picnics, hiking, and enjoying nature without spending a dime. The Kalispell Farmers Market is another excellent spot to experience the local culture, offering fresh produce, handmade crafts, and live music.

In conclusion, Kalispell, MT, is a destination that combines natural beauty, rich history, and a variety of activities to create an unforgettable experience. The town's unique charm lies in its ability to offer something for every type of traveler, ensuring that visitors leave with fond memories and a desire to return. So, pack your bags, head to Kalispell, and discover why this Montana town is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

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1. What makes Kalispell a standout destination for experiencing Montana's natural beauty?

Kalispell is surrounded by stunning landscapes, from the majestic peaks of Glacier National Park to the serene waters of Flathead Lake. The town boasts charming parks and trails, offering endless opportunities to immerse in Montana's natural beauty.

2. Are there any off-the-beaten-path attractions in Kalispell, Montana?

Yes, venture to the Lone Pine State Park for panoramic views without the crowds, or explore the Jewel Basin for pristine hiking trails. These hidden gems offer unique experiences away from the typical tourist spots.

3. How does Kalispell compare to Whitefish as a travel destination?

While both towns offer unique charms, Kalispell is known for its historic downtown and proximity to Flathead Lake, whereas Whitefish is celebrated for its ski resort and vibrant nightlife. Both are gateways to Glacier National Park, but Kalispell often provides a quieter, more laid-back atmosphere.

4. What is the weather like in Kalispell, MT throughout the year?

Kalispell experiences all four seasons. Summers are warm, and perfect for outdoor activities, while winters are cold with snow, ideal for skiing and snowboarding. Spring and fall are mild, offering beautiful foliage and blooming landscapes.

5. What are the best routes to reach Kalispell, MT?

The most scenic route to Kalispell is via Highway 93, which offers breathtaking views of Flathead Lake. US Route 2 connects Kalispell with other major cities for a more direct approach. Both routes provide stunning vistas of Montana's landscapes.


Emily Carter

With over 10 years of experience, Emily is a seasoned expert in planning bespoke tours across the United States and Canada, with a specialization in eco-tourism and adventure travel.