Kalispell, MT: Where History Meets Modernity

Annabel Petty



Kalispell MT

Nestled in the heart of Montana’s Flathead Valley, Kalispell is a typical example of a city that represents a blend of past and present. If you find yourself at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 93 and U.S. 2, don’t pass on this place. I’m sure you’ll enjoy being here.

Its charming Old West feel, beautiful scenery, welcoming people, relaxed way of life, and many fun activities made it “The Best Mountain Town in America” according to Mountain Sports and Living magazine.

Key takeaways

  • The city boasts significant cultural attractions like the Conrad Mansion Museum, and the Hockaday Museum of Art.
  • Recreational activities in this city might include visiting Wild Horse Island and enjoying the Flathead Lake State Park.
  • There’s a range of dining options, such as The Desoto Grill for BBQ and Sykes Diner for breakfast, along with lodgings like Glacier International Lodge and Best Western Plus Flathead Lake Inn And Suites, catering to various needs and preferences.

Art, museums, and music in Kalispell

Conrad Mansion Museum

The Conrad Mansion Museum

This museum stands as a window into the past. The mansion was built in 1895. Its mission is to preserve and exhibit the Charles Conrad Family Estate. Visitors can take house tours or explore the gardens.

If you want to visit this place, you can choose either self-guided or docent-led tours.

Tours led by docents provide an in-depth exploration of the Conrad Family’s history. Discover interesting details about the Mansion’s hidden spots and the Conrad family’s contribution to Montana’s history. These tours accommodate up to 40 individuals per group and take approximately 1.5 hours.

Self-guided tours are perfect for visitors with limited time or those who like to explore at their own pace.

Docent-Guided Tours

  • $20 per adult
  • $18 per senior (65+)
  • $10 per child/teen (5-17)

Self-Guided Tours

  • $15 per adult
  • $13 per senior (65+)
  • $5 per child/teen (5-17)

Contact information: [email protected], PO Box 1041 Kalispell, MT 59903, 330 Woodland Avenue Kalispell, MT 59901.

The Hockaday Museum of Art,

On the other hand, this museum is a celebration of artistic expression.

The Museum’s expanding permanent collection highlights the work of artists from Montana and Glacier National Park. The collection showcases pieces by notable artists such as Charles M. Russell, John Fery, Leonard Lopp, and many others.

Music lovers are in for a treat with the Glacier Jazz Stampede in October and the delightful Picnic in the Park summer concert series in Depot Park.

Admission Prices

  • Adults: $8
  • Seniors (60+) & Veterans: $6
  • College Students, Active Military, Active Military Spouse: $4
  • Children (under 18): Free
  • Members: FREE
  • Youth Members + 1 Adult Guest: FREE

Contact information: [email protected], (406) 755-5268.

What to do in Kalispell?

Don’t hesitate, visit Wild Horse Island!

If you’re a huge fan of horses like me, this should be the first thing on your list. The island is amazing, I was so happy to be there!

Wild Horse Island is the largest island in Flathead Lake. It is the home to five wild horses. Access to the island is only possible by boat which makes the whole experience even more exciting. There are six designated landing sites for visitors accessing the island by boat. Keep in mind that it’s a day-use-only park.

Besides these beautiful horses, you can see bighorn sheep, mule deer, songbirds, waterfowl, bald eagles, and falcons. What a place, right?

Enjoy the Flathead Lake State Park

This is one of the cleanest lakes in the world. The scenery is surreal. My family and I took about a two-mile walk around the lakeside and it was so peaceful and quiet. This is a great way to spend your day in Kalispell outdoors.

Where to eat?

The city boasts a rich gastronomic heritage, with restaurants, cafes, and eateries offering a delightful blend of traditional Montana flavors and contemporary cuisine. Here are some of my top recommendations:

1. The Desoto Grill

If you want to eat the best BBQ ever – this is the place for you. The portions are huge, so you’ll leave the place full and satisfied. The owners are a lovely couple with a very interesting background story you should definitely hear (they’ll be more than happy to chat with you).

Location and contact

227 1st St W, Kalispell, MT 59901-4403


+1 406-314-6095

2. Sykes Diner

This diner offers an amazing breakfast in an old-fashioned diner vibe. If you get a chance, you must try the Rancher’s breakfast, trust me on this one. The atmosphere is very cozy and comfortable, so there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy it.

Location and contact

202 2nd Ave W, Kalispell, MT 59901-4488


+1 406-257-4304

Where to stay?

Glacier International Lodge

Located conveniently close to Glacier Park International Airport, this laid-back, lodge-style hotel offers beautiful mountain views. It’s just 7 miles away from the Village Greens Golf Club and 23 miles from the breathtaking Glacier National Park. A night in this hotel usually costs $268.

Guests can enjoy a free breakfast buffet in a casual dining area adorned with exposed beams. The hotel also features an indoor pool with a fun waterslide and a fitness center for staying active. Parking is conveniently available for all guests.


4150 US Highway 2 E, Kalispell, MT 59901-6514

Best Western Plus Flathead Lake Inn And Suites

If you’re traveling for work, this hotel offers rooms with spacious work desks and free internet, keeping you connected and productive. There’s also an on-site fitness room so you don’t have to worry about falling behind your workout regimen.

This hotel typically costs $192 a night.


4824 South US Highway 93, Kalispell, MT 59901

00 1 800-568-8520


What's the best time of year to visit Kalispell for outdoor activities?
Spring and summer offer the best weather for outdoor activities in Kalispell, with pleasant temperatures and less rainfall, making it ideal for exploring the lakes and parks.
Can you recommend any hiking trails near Kalispell?
Yes, Lone Pine State Park and Herron Park are two popular hiking spots near Kalispell, offering trails with varying difficulty levels and beautiful views of the Flathead Valley.
What are some local specialties or foods to try in Kalispell?
Visitors should try huckleberry products, a local favorite, and dishes featuring game meat like bison or elk, showcasing the region’s culinary heritage.
How accessible is Glacier National Park from Kalispell?
Glacier National Park is about a 40-minute drive from Kalispell, making it an easily accessible day trip for visitors wanting to explore the park’s natural beauty.