Our First Visit to Kalispell
Long before we considered Kalispell, MT our home base, experiencing the uniqueness of this wonderful place was just a pipe dream for our family.
After years of research and praying we planned a trip to check it out for ourselves.
In 2019, we planned a quick family trip to Kalispell and it was life-changing, you guys!
While this small town may be lacking some of the big city amenities and box stores, it quickly makes up for it with its natural beauty and charm.
From the blue sky mountain views to the deep green forests.
Life in Kalispell Montana
Long before RV life, our intention was always to move to Montana.
More particularly, Kalispell, Montana.
Our family finally made that big move in November 2020.
With that said, housing shortages in NW Montana were definitely a thing during that time, and a short while later, the housing market began to boom.
Long story short, this eventually led to camper living at a favored campground of ours.
Then, eventually, full-time RV living.
All that said, life in Kalispell has been nothing short of an adventure for our family!
While we aren’t here full-time, yet, we are here for at least 4-6 months at a time and we have learned so much about this wonderful place!
Our kiddos have made wonderful friends, my teens enjoy working in town, we all love the proximity to Glacier National Park, and no matter how far away we travel, it truly feels like home.
When to Visit Kalispell
Our love for Kalispell may be a little more personal than most, but that’s what makes this travel guide even more unique!
If you are planning a trip to Kalispell, this is everything you need to know before you visit.
Check out some of my favorite (and not-so-favorite) things about each season.
Autumn in the Pacific Northwest can be so incredibly beautiful, you guys!
While you won’t see a ton of red and orange, the contrast between the deep green and bright yellow is absolutely breathtaking!
Fall will always be my favorite time of year, but truthfully, it’s also my favorite time to travel — and sometimes that means heading away from Kalispell.
With that said, fall can be a beautiful time in Kalispell, Montana.
However, it can also be an unpredictable time.
Winter can sometimes make a very early appearance which isn’t always ideal for vacationers.
So, if seeing Kalispell or Glacier National Park in the fall is on your bucket list make sure you check it off by mid-late September as October weather can be very unreliable.
The best part about visiting Kalispell in the fall? Tourism season tends to die down in September and October making for a much slower pace and less crowded venues.
All that said, our family loves spending fall in Kansas City near our friends and family!
Not going to lie, you guys! Winter is my absolute favorite season to spend in Montana.
With that said, I can’t necessarily say it’s the best season to visit Kalispell, Montana as most of the winter fun happens outside of town.
Most of my personal love for this incredible season actually goes to Kalispell’s neighbor, Glacier National Park and it will always, always be my favorite time to visit and hike there.
However, it’s also a wonderful time to visit Whitefish, Montana for those who love skiing and snowboarding.
All in all, planning a fun winter trip to Kalispell can be a wonderful idea, but mostly for visiting its surrounding towns and attractions.
This time of year can also be very heavy with snowfall and frigid temperatures which may limit the possibility for outdoor fun.
The best part about visiting Kalispell in the winter? Much lower tourism than in summer and fall, close proximity to winter fun in Glacier and Whitefish, and beautiful snow views just outside of town.
All that said, wintering in an RV in Kalispell (or anywhere up north) isn’t exactly the easiest, which is why many full-timers go south for the winter!
I will definitely look forward to winter days a little more once we have a house up here!
I gotta be honest here, you guys!
Spring is by far my least favorite time in Kalispell.
From the spring run-off turning everything into a soppy mess to the inconsistent weather that can’t decide if it’s still winter or not.
However, there is one major perk I do thoroughly enjoy this time of year and that is all the adorable new wildlife that emerges.
The best part about visiting Kalispell in the spring? Tourism season tends to start late up here so traffic is lighter and as things begin to open back up you truly can enjoy some of the great things summer has to offer without the rush.
With that said, the weather isn’t quite good enough for lake play just yet and sometimes camping can be soggy and unpredictable.
Summer is definitely the most ideal time for most vacationers to visit Kalispell.
All the local hot spots open back up by June, the snow will have melted and the mush dried up.
Kalispell and the surrounding areas are wonderful places to hit for outdoor play and nature adventuring.
From the lakes, the eats, and the attractions, you won’t run out of things to do during the summer months!
The best part about visiting Kalispell in the summer? Everything is officially open for business! All of the attractions and restaurants that close down over the winter months finally open their doors back up to guests. Plus, the temperatures are mostly mild making outdoor adventuring and getting on any number of the beautiful lakes in the area a dream. Also, the Flathead cherries are to die for — cherries are definitely a reason to visit Kalispell during the summertime.
While winter is my top favorite time in Montana, summer is a close second. However, I do sometimes have a love-hate relationship with this incredible season.
I absolutely love the mild weather and the opportunities to get outdoors but this introvert isn’t too keen on the in-town traffic and the crowds.
All that said, visiting during peak season definitely has its perks and its downside. While there is more to do and see, getting to your destination can be a problem sometimes. Kalispell tourism traffic is no joke and businesses are busting at the seams with visitors — making wait times long and sometimes even impossible.
Lastly, late summer is fire season in Kalispell, as well as much of the north & PNW. This means lots of smoke and sometimes even evacuations which can wreak havoc on even the most well-thought-out vacation plans.
Things to Do in Kalispell
Whether you’re planning a visit or you want to move to Kalispell, Montana, these are just a fraction of the awesome things you can do in this little corner of the country!
Check out some of our favorite local shops and eateries.
You can find a few of our favorite places to eat (or drink) in Kalispell below!
- Mckenzie River Pizza Co.
- 406 Taco Nite (open in summer)
- Corndog House
- Sweet Peaks Ice Cream
- Sable Coffee
- The River Coffee Company (open late)
There are also a number of amazing places to eat in surrounding areas such as Whitefish and Columbia Falls!
We frequent Columbia Falls for amazing eats anytime we head out to Glacier National Park.
Check out our top two picks for shopping in Kalispell!
- Montana Scene
- Flathead Valley Farmers Market (Saturdays in the summer)
While shopping isn’t our favorite pastime, there are tons of great shops in downtown Kalispell, Whitefish, and Columbia Falls as well!
Check out some of the fun you can have on your next trip to Kalispell!
- Paddleboard & kayaking
- Wildlife Watching
- Skiing & snowboarding
While most of this can be done inside Kalispell, there are some pretty awesome lakes in nearby Marion and endless hiking opportunities all over the entire Flathead National Forest area.
Of course, Flathead Lake in Kalispell is a must-see, but some of our favorite summer memories have always been made in the Thompson Chain of Lakes out in Marion.
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