The best place to stay in Whitefish, Montana and for those visiting Glacier National Park : The Lodge At Whitefish Lake
This post is soooo belated and I am so mad at myself for waiting so long! But here it is.
John and I took a spontaneous trip (planned just 3 weeks ahead) to Montana in October and it was one of the best decisions we ever made! I polled my IG audience about suggestions for travel out west and someone suggested Whitefish and specifically the Lodge At Whitefish Lake. After one glance at their instagram, and after finding out they were a mere 30 minute drive from Glacier National Park, we were sold. It was definitely the non-busy season, in between the gorgeous Montana summer and ski season in the winter, so we got great rates on the rooms, and also felt super safe as it wasn’t so crowded.
The Lodge is located just a few miles out of Downtown Whitefish and it’s lake front property offers absolutely breath-taking views. We stayed in a lakeview junior suite in the main lodge, and definitely would make sure we are lake front next time, but it was cozy and spacious nonetheless! But in my opinion, I think the extra cost for lake front would be worth it. Each room has its own gas fireplace which is an absolute dream. I basically had ours on whenever we were in the room!
The Lodge has its own restaurant, bar and lounge, coffee shop, spa and hot tub, and if there weren’t so many amazing things to do in the area, it would be easy to just stay posted up there all day long! In the summer there is a lake front outdoor pool along with the hot tub, as well as boat slips. (Definitely need to go back in the summer!) The bar and lounge have different theme nights, many of which include live music! While we were there we enjoyed a jazz duet by the fire while drinking Martinis and Manhattan’s on their “Mad Men Monday.”
HIKING AROUND WHITEFISH
We had 3 full days in Montana and stayed around Whitefish on the first day! There are some great hikes right around the lake and we chose an easy-ish one that led us up to an overlook where we had insanely gorgeous views of the lake & the mountains surrounding. It was the Reservoir Trailhead which was a 3 mile up and back (with an option to keep going on a much longer hike if you wanted), which was exactly what we wanted before some more “aggressive” (to me) hiking in Glacier National Park. Here is a fun lil’ Reels video from the hike! There are plenty of other, longer hikes around the lake and the concierge at the Lodge was super helpful and knowledgeable about all of our options, so we definitely took advantage of that.
After that, we drove over to City Beach, which is a hopping lake front area in the summer, but was deserted when we were there. From City Beach we had a different view of the lake, where we sat right up against the crystal clear water and looked across the lake to the Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort.
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
We spent the next 2 days in Glacier National Park, which obviously deserves its own full blog post! It is located just under 30 mins (off season, no traffic) from the Lodge and is the most gorgeous place I have ever been. We honestly had no idea when we first decided to go to Whitefish that it was so close, and we were a little worried that too much of it would be closed for us to explore. BUT, there were plenty of amazingly beautiful trails to hike and enjoy! So stay tuned for my October Glacier National Park Guide and so many more gorgeous photos.
Like I said before, the Lodge has a large lounge and bar area, but also a full service restaurant as well- The Boat Club Bar & Dining Room! We ate in the lounge a bunch of times while we were there and loved the food. The giant bar, live music and lake views make it just that much better. I can imagine that the large deck outside is a gorgeous place to hang out in the summer!
Jalisco Cantina – We ventured just a mile or so down the road one evening to Jalisco Cantina and we were SO glad we did. It is a relatively new Mexican restaurant with a sister spot in Cali, and everything we had was amazing. It is in a seemingly random location between the Lodge and Downtown, making it kind of easy to miss, but trust me, you will definitely want to make a res here!
Ciao Mambo – Ciao Mambo is a delicious Italian spot in Downtown Whitefish! It was a rec from a friend and we were really glad to get into town one night for a delicious meal after a long day hiking in Glacier. The pasta was divine and the bread INSANE. Highly recommend.
Markus Foods – This local market became our go-to place to grab premade or made to order sandwiches each day to take with us on our hikes! It is located on the edge of town and was on our way out each day. They also had an amaaaaazing selection of local beer and wine at epic prices, so we obviously grabbed some to enjoy during our stay.
Cowgirl Coffee – There are now 4 locations of Cowgirl Coffee small coffee stands around Whitefish, one located right up the road from the lodge, in between the lake & Downtown! Definitely a must stop to grab a cup of their signature organic blend.
We had so many other recommendations of places to eat & drink but with such a short trip, we stayed pretty close to the Lodge. And I only like to bring reviews here of places I have actually tried. I look forward to growing this list after we return to Whitefish (hopefully very soon!).
John and I were lucky enough to be treated to a couples massage at the Spa, which was SO needed after we had hiked over 10 miles in Glacier that day! We chose late afternoon appointments so that we didn’t have to miss a day in the park, but could experience the spa as well. We enjoyed a glass of champagne in the relaxation lounge and our massages were excellent. Because of Covid restrictions, things are little different at the spa right now, when it comes to treatments and facilities, but DEFINITELY worth checking out during your stay.
If you are looking to plan a trip out west, I couldn’t encourage Whitefish enough. The lake is a beautiful place year round! We cannot wait to visit during a ski season and the summer. I think it is time to plan our next trip! Shoot me a message if you want to chat about Whitefish or Glacier. Would love to chat, xx.