The first time I went to Whitefish, I thought it was adorable—and that was under inches of rain and even a little early summer snow. So, this time, beneath a bluebird sky? Positively gorgeous.
After two nights in Missoula, we headed up to Whitefish for a little mountain town fun. You may recall that last time I was there three summers prior, SVV and I exercised our love of heights and monkeying around with some ziplining and canopy fun at the Whitefish Mountain Resort. This time ’round, we didn’t head up to the famed ski spot; instead, we headed deep into the woods.
But first, we checked into our hotel for the night: The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. Recognize this place? Well, you should if you are a fan of The Bachelor (Sean’s season stayed here, or so they tell me).
The lodge has a variety of accommodation options, including a three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo, which is where Jade, Tia and I stayed.
Truth be told, we didn’t really have any time at all to hang out at the hotel as we had a pretty action-packed itinerary, but this would have been the perfect place to bring a group on a vacation. There was even a grille out on our terrace!
But what was even prettier were the grounds and the property’s lakeside perch, surrounded by rolling hills and mountains.
And while June weather can be unpredictable, we lucked out; it was a glorious day, perfect for sitting by this perfect lakeside pool.
Though I spent my free time indulging in the best massage I’ve ever had. I’m a) only going to have a male massage therapist from here on out and b) never going to get deep-tissue again now that I know hot stone is pretty much heaven. And where better to splurge on spa treatments than in the capital of outdoor adventure? I don’t know about you, but after hiking and biking and canoeing, I always feel much better once someone has pounded on my back for an hour.
Our lone night in Whitefish, we headed into downtown, peppered with cute novelty shops and delicious restaurants.
We had a reservation at Tupelo Grille, a Southern-style restaurant. Now, I’ll be frank: I looked at the menu, which had shrimp and grits and hushpuppies and fried green tomatoes and all those things I eat regularly here in Nashville, and I thought, pssh, there’s no way they can do Southern food here in Montana. I would be wrong. Really, really wrong.
That meal was the best we had during our week-long road trip around Glacier Country, and I’m still dreaming about the huckleberry cobbler. (I’m still dreaming about all things huckleberry, but that’s another story entirely.) You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you were heading up to Glacier National Park and didn’t stop in Whitefish for a bite to eat at Tupelo Grille. I’ll leave it at that.
The next morning, we had a quick breakfast at Loula’s, where SVV and I had a delicious brunch a couple years back, and I wanted to eat all the pie. But as it was barely 8am, I opted for eggs and bacon to fuel our hike instead.
Our bellies full, we headed on into the wilderness to check out the progress being made at the Whitefish Trail.
The group behind the Whitefish Trail-building effort was established to preserve Montana’s land and provide recreational opportunities for its people.
Currently, the effort includes 25 miles of trail, aimed at hikers and bikers alike, and seven trailheads. Over the next 10 years, the group plans to expand that system of trails even further.
We had a lovely 3.5-mile walk with overlooks of Whitefish Lake. It made me feel not so guilty for all the things we’d eaten already that week (and would continue to stuff in our mouths).
Then, it was back to the Lodge at Whitefish for some lunch and R&R.
Jalapenos on pizza? Always a good idea.
After I was all relaxed-out, I decided to mosey on downtown with Jade to find Kent and Canaan. This two adventurers consider Montana their second home, so I knew they’d know the cool spots to go.
Sure enough, I found them in Red Caboose. If I wasn’t so eager to visit every last shop in Whitefish during our two-hour downtime, I would have camped out here for the duration of the afternoon.
Jade and I shopped until we dropped—no, that’s a lie; I could have easily shopped longer, but we ran out of time—then we reconvened with our friends and made one last stop on the way out of town: Sweet Peaks, a local institution. You didn’t actually think I’d go to as cute as this and not seek out the best ice cream, now did you?
Y’all, I could have spent a week in Whitefish; there’s truly that much to do. I just hope this is a town to which I’ll continue to return time and time again. Winter ski vacation perhaps? Who’s in?