8 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do Near Glacier National Park

From Mountain Resorts to the Local Watering Hole, Here Are the Best Things to Do in Whitefish, MT

Welcome to my article on great things there are to do around Glacier National Park. I’m going to assume that most of you are looking at this list because you are planning a vacation to the park at some point. As such, I’ve tried to include something that is fun for people of all ages somewhere on the list. There’s everything from waterp[arks to a distillery so I hope I’m able to help make your vacation a little more fun than you thought it might be. 

For each of these great activities I will give you the address so that way you can find your way there. And I’ll include a quick summary as well as a Yelp review from other customers so that you can see what others have had to say about it. And if any of these fun things to do accept our convenient digital gift cards I’ll throw you a link.

If you aren’t using them yet, you should know that GiftYa are completely digital gift cards that make a great option for gift giving occasions, or a great idea for those who love to travel. Since GiftYa gift cards are completely digital, they can be purchased and sent wirelessly in just seconds. And since you keep them entirely on your phone, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pack it, or leaving it behind in your hotel room. And on top of that, you can keep countless GiftYas on your phone so that way you can have all your gift cards instantly accessible without having to keep track of those clunky plastic cards.

But enough about how GiftYas work, let’s get to that list of fun things to do around Glacier national Park that brought you here!

1 - Whitefish Mountain Resort 

A Great Way to Spend the Day No Matter When You Visit Glacier National Park 

3889 Big Mountain Rd | Whitefish | skiwhitefish.com

Whitefish Mountain Resort makes it to the top of the list for a couple of reasons. First of all, it has a ton of positive feedback from customers in both the summer season and the winter season. A lot of activities (and even restaurants) around the national park aren’t available during the winter because the economy around the park can change so drastically between seasons. 

I think the fact that Whitefish Mountain Resort has something great to do for people of all ages no matter what time of year you visit. If you go in the summer there’s all kinds of great outdoor activities like hiking, biking, zipline, and even a gondola ride. And if you go in the winter then you are going to be able to enjoy really fantastic skiing or snowboarding because the resort gets tons of snow in the winter. Many people consider it one of Montana’s hidden gems after they visit so be sure to give it a try if you are looking for things to do around Glacier National Park in the winter or summer.

“Lots of fun summer activities; tube slide, chair lift, alpine slide and gondola ride.  Beautiful place too. One of my favorite places in Whitefish.” - Yelp Review 

2 - Whitefish City Beach

A Great Location for Family Fun in the Sun

Lakeside Blvd | Whitefish | cityofwhitefish.org

Whitefish City Beach is pretty much precisely what it sounds like. The beach is in nearby Whitefish and makes for a great afternoon activity when you are getting a little tired of hiking the park trails. The beach is set up for people who are on vacation so you don’t need to worry about bringing everything with you. You can rent plenty of water vehicles like kayaks and paddleboards if you want to get out in the water. But even if you don’t want to get too far from shore the beach is a warm sandy beach with beautiful views of the mountains and forests so you will be able to have an enjoyable afternoon here no matter what you decide to get into!

“Great sandy beach to take the kids on a hot day. Parking is limited and there's a ton of traffic getting there but other than that, it's a beautiful spot.” - Yelp Review 

3 - Flathead National Forest

A Pristine Outdoor Location to Spend the Day Relaxing

Swan Lake | Whitefish |fs.usda.gov

If Glacier National Park has proven to be beautiful, but way too busy for your taste, then be sure to give Flathead National Forest a visit. I can tell you first hand that the national parks can get overwhelmingly busy during their peak seasons. So if you were hoping to get out into nature and away from all the noise and bustle of the modern world, then Flathead National Forest might be perfect for you. It’s a national forest located about thirty miles from Glacier National Park. But it offers just as much beautiful scenery and mountain views as the park, but it won’t be nearly as busy. So if you are looking to spend the day relaxing out in nature this is a great spot.

“Just drive around and enjoy the scenery, great drive and enjoy the lake....a place to go and relax all day.” - Tripadvisor Review 

4 - Spotted Bear Spirits

The Best Spot to Get A Drink Near the Park

503 Railway St | Whitefish | spottedbearspirits.com

Spotted Bear Spirits is going to be a great location for any of you who are visiting Glacier National Park without children with you. Or you know what, it might be even better for those of you who are vacationing with your kids and really need a break.

They feature a distillery that is inspired by Montana’s wide open wild spaces. So they offer tasting room samples, as well as bottle sales of their homemade cocktails that feature local and organic ingredients. I think it honestly makes a pretty great gift for yourself to take home and share with friends. How often can you take a place and share it with others in drink form like you can with liquor distilled with the local ingredients? And hey, if you find something you really love, they recently started offering online shipping so you will be able to order it anytime.

“Best place to get cocktails! We came here at least 3 times during our 4 day trip. We were so impressed. It's a bummer you can only get 2 cocktails a day here but it's definitely worth going. Cute spot too.” - Yelp Review 

5 - Whitefish Farmers Market

A Quaint Farmers Market With Plenty of Options

Railway Street At Central | Whitefish 

Whitefish Farmers Market makes for a great activity if you are trying to have a day out in the sun, without having to deal with all the crowds at the parks and resorts. You can have a low energy and relaxing afternoon browsing all the local vendors or trying some local cuisine from the food trucks. Overall I think this makes a great stop if you are trying to have a more subdued afternoon after a couple of jam packed days.

“Pretty great farmers market!  Lots of vendors, food trucks, and farmers.” - Yelp Review 

6 - Whitefish Depot

A Historic Train Station With A Museum Included

500 Depot St | Whitefish | crownofthecontinent.net

The Whitefish Depot is a historic, but still operating Amtrak train station. But given its historic nature, it includes a museum that is filled with all sorts of local history. It’s a piece of Whitefish and American history. However, it isn’t an enormous museum, it’s actually fairly small so don’t plan to spend a whole day here. But if you need to find something quick to do one afternoon you will definitely want to visit this historic piece of American history.

“Beautiful building & surroundings. There's a certain old worldly charm to this Amtrak. I'm glad that I got stranded here. ;-)” - Yelp Review 

7 - The Whitefish Trail

Over 47 Miles of Pristine Hiking Trails

Street Address | Glacier National Park 

The Whitefish Trail is actually 15 different trails that add up to over 47 miles of non-motorized hiking trails. Given all the different trails you’ll want to be sure to research them a little bit before you head off on a hike because they range from very easy to very long. You don’t want to get stuck an hour in and realize you didn’t bring enough water. But as long as you prepare for your hike, you are sure to have a great day out in nature hiking The Whitefish Trail. 

And I think what I like best about this is that it gives you so many options over what kind of hike you want to go on. You aren’t limited to just one or two choices, you get a wide variety of different trails that you can keep coming back and enjoying over and over.

“I don't know of another city of any size that has the extent of easy hiking/running/mountain biking trails that Whitefish does through its nonprofit Whitefish Legacy Trail system.” - Tripadvisor Review 

8 - Big Sky Waterpark

A Great Outdoor Family Activity to Round Out A Great Vacation

Grab a Big Sky Waterpark gift card by following the link!

7211 Hwy 2 E | Columbia Falls | bigskywp.com

A lot of what has been on this list has been a lot of being outdoors and just enjoying nature. But after a couple days of hiking trails you might be in the mood for something new. And I think nothing helps round out a great summer vacation than a nice fun filled afternoon at a waterpark. After days of long hikes, nothing helps alleviate sore muscles like a day spent having laid back fun in some warm water.

Plus, I am sure that at least a couple of you who have young ones that just aren’t interested in seeing the parks and enjoying the natural beauty. So if they are being stubborn, I think a trip to the waterpark could be just the thing to help brighten their mood on vacation.

“Love this place! Small, but has great slides, smaller crowds, shorter lines. Plus mini golf and bumper cars! All a slide lover like myself needs!” - Yelp Review 

You can get a digital Big Sky Waterpark gift card for you or a loved one by following the link!

And there you have it dear internet traveler. That is my article on some of the great activities there are to do around Glacier National Park. I tried to get something on the list for everybody, so whether you are traveling with your family, or just a bunch of friends, I hope you found something on this list to help make your vacation even more fun than you planned. I tried to keep restaurants off this list, but if you were hoping to find great spots to eat around Glacier National Park then be sure to check out our other great article on restaurants in the area!

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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