What happens when you discover a town that possesses the perfect balance between a brilliant vision of landscape, a buffet of activities to feast your enthusiasm on, and a community rich with genuine warmth? You fall in love with it. This is why Kalispell, Montana is the crown jewel of the Flathead Valley.
Kalispell was erected as a city true in 1892. It is home to many popular events and attractions in the Northwest region of the Big Sky State. From having the privilege as the county seat to the honor of hosting the annual Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo, Kalispell has made a glorious name for itself. But it’s not just the big events that give the town its glory. The abundance of awe-inspiring terrain surrounds the town with life and beauty, and supplies every person with many avenues to bask in the majesty of the environment and enrich their lives with appreciation for the countryside that nurtures the very breath of the town.
Lone Pine State Park, is one distinctively majestic site known for good hikes, learning about the local habitat, or pouring your heart upon a captivating view. If hiking your way to an outlook spot isn’t your thing, no sweat (pun intended), there is a charming, short mountainside drive available to enjoy on the way to the visitors center near the popular outlook posts! The magnificent scenery overlooks the popular town. The scene starts north near Whitefish Mountain and stretches eastward with the gleaming and regal glacier-capped mountain tops beaming from Glacier National Park. It continues across the skyline curving southward with a glimpse of the northern shore of the renowned Flathead Lake. Feeding the gaping, blue mouth of the northern shore, the Flathead River winds down from the canyon inlet of Glacier Park. If the view just isn’t enough for you, Lone Pine is also equipped for weekend barbeques and company picnics; complete with a volleyball pit, gazebo, grill, and even outdoor plumbing!
You can find the balance between the land’s natural beauty and the community coming into play at the Kalispell’s pearl: Woodland Park. It truly is another kind of jewel for Kalispell and its residents. The trees there could whisper stories of soul mates being united in the bosom of its elements or children bellowing laughter as they glide with the wind on a swing. With an abundance of ways to occupy afternoons of play and leisure a playground isn’t the only thing keeping people busy. Woodland Park has the waterpark and a skate park for the summertime, and ice skating on the pond for the wintertime.
Depot Park is another prevalent park which is located in the heart of Kalispell directly off of Main Street in downtown. It is popular for other reasons than being a place to waterslide, wed, and get your standard weekend kicks. A few summer concerts are held at Depot Park. Whether you go to Depot Park for fundraising or entertaining these concerts are a great way to appreciate folk, blue grass, country, and other various genres of local bands while relishing a burger hot off a nearby grill on grass greener than Mother Nature’s thumb.
Surrounding the park is a different kind of community venue that can be appreciated by those who are more shopping-oriented. While there is the Kalispell Center Mall which is known as the Valley’s principal shopping mall with more than 50 stores to choose from and the adjacent Red Lion Hotel, there is also Main Street and the surrounding downtown centers. Here, in Downtown Kalispell, you will find unique, pristine boutiques for a range of needs from souvenirs to a new wardrobe, and discover a restaurant that pleases your pallet and any budget.
Among the prominent historical architecture in Downtown Kalispell is the old Kalispell Grand Hotel established in 1912. For a classic Hamburger or Milk Shake you can walk yourself to Norm’s News, established 1938, within a couple minutes of the hotel. You will find yourself being welcomed by the most charming staff, flipping through the newsstand, gawking at the substantial array of candy, or enjoying your 1938-experience in a “comfortable place to linger” (as stated on Tripadvisor.com). And, in only a three minute drive (or twelve minute walk), you can find yourself exploring the Conrad Mansion Museum of the pre-twentieth-century while you marvel at the family’s original furnishings.
One of the niftiest characteristics about Kalispell is that not only is it gifted with gems of a glimpse into the history but the streets downtown are adorned with historic buildings that have plaques etched with information on the history for a strolling public to enjoy on an afternoon walk. Yet, with so much history and tradition carved into the very essence of Kalispell, there is still so much ingenuity, growth, and progress.
Kalispell Regional Medical Center is the core facility for state-of-the-art medical practices and prides itself in being the largest employer for the Flathead. Not to be outshone, is Kalispell’s Glacier International Airport; sending travelers across the nation and connecting them from the Valley to other major cities every day. The growth and commerce doesn’t stop at Hospitals and Airports. Kalispell Signature Theater is the hub of movies being the largest motion picture establishment in the Valley with fourteen stadiums and even an arcade room. Younger than the Grand Hotel but still as much of a monarch is the Flathead Majestic Arena which houses events year-round from Concerts to Boxing to Country Music Vocal Competitions and is kept company by the Montana Raceway Park just over the hill.
Finally, a prominent part of Kalispell’s economy and culture is the Flathead Valley Community College which educates and graduates around 400 students every year. Although earning a two-year education and receiving an Associate’s Degree in Arts, Science, or Applied Science is made available to their students, FVCC is a very forward-thinking society has been progressing towards the expansion of becoming a four-year college. They also pride themselves in employing some of the State’s top educators.
Let’s just be honest. When you can go for a hike on a sacred Saturday morning to take stunning photos, head down to the lake to cool off in the afternoon before going to grab a classic milkshake for accompanying you on your historic exploration downtown, and still have time to enjoy the evening watching a theater movie, you know life is good – unless you live under a rock. With an abundance of ways to enjoy an all-American lifestyle, it’s hard not to fall in love with Kalispell, MT. That being said, it doesn’t matter whether you’re outdoorsy, community-oriented, a history fanatic, a hipster, or a college student; season to season and year to year, many are thankful and comforted to call Kalispell, “Home.”