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Kalispell, Montana ranks as the largest city and commercial hub of the state’s northwest region. As the county seat, we were unsure we would find Kalispell, MT activities for tourists – and we almost skipped the city in favor of other area destinations. However, we made a last-minute decision to spend an afternoon in the city – and we discovered a few of the best things to do in Kalispell, Montana.
We focused our exploration on the old town center, where there are a cluster of Kalispell, Montana attractions. Historic buildings, an array of restaurants and breweries and nearby Montana nature are just a few of the things to see in Kalispell.
The Best Things To Do In Kalispell, Montana
The Kalispell, MT attractions on our list are all centrally located – and most are within walking distance from the old town center. In addition to our list of Kalispell tourist attractions, we provide other tourist information – like things to do near Kalispell, where to stay in the city and how to get there – at the end of the post.
Save, Pin or Bookmark our list of Things To Do in Kalispell so that you can use it while planning – and during – your trip to Montana!
#1 Stroll Kalispell Main Street
Topping our list of Kalispell Things To Do is walking down Main Street, where it feels like you are stepping back in time.
The street features buildings that date to the early 1900s…and occupying the historic buildings are boutique shops, antique stores, locally owned restaurants, and charming cafes.
Shopping: Kalispell Main Street
Shopping at the stores on Main Street is one of the top things to do in Kalispell – and there is something for everyone! From outdoor apparel to western wear to Made-in-Montana art to used book shops and entertaining thrift stores, there is a range of goods for sale on Main Street. A few of the top places to shop on Kalispell Main Street are Rocky Mountain Outfitters, Sage and Cedar and The Toggery.
Pro Tip: Start your visit at the Kalispell Visitor Center for more information and brochures about activities in Kalispell, Montana.
#2 Explore Historic Kalispell On Foot
One of the Kalispell activities that we most enjoyed was discovering the entire Kalispell Historic District, which extends beyond Main Street.
The city of Kalispell dates to 1891 – and much of the city’s original plan and several structures still exist today. We wandered the streets by walking down tree-lined lanes, past historic dwellings and by a few of the beautiful churches in Kalispell, MT.
We were happy to roam the Kalispell downtown district without purpose, but there is a useful Self-Guided Walking Tour that can help lead the way, too!
Pro Tip: The Conrad Memorial Cemetery might not be one of the highly rated Kalispell attractions, but history buffs will want to check it out! The cemetery, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located on the northwest side of Kalispell historical downtown.
#3 Visit Museums In Kalispell, MT
Visiting one of the city’s museums is one of the top Kalispell, Montana things to do! There are three Kalispell museums located within the heart of the historic district: Conrad Mansion, Northwest Montana History and Hockaday Art Museum.
Conrad Mansion Museum
Charles E Conrad is credited with founding the city of Kalispell – and, in 1895, he built a mansion in the city where he resided with his family. Today, the house stands as the Conrad Mansion Museum, fully decorated as it might have been when it was first built.
Northwest Montana History Museum
Housed in an old school building, the Northwest Montana History Museum features exhibits detailing the history of Flathead Valley. Visitors can learn about the first people to live on the land – and the logging industry that helped shape the region to what it is today.
Hockaday Museum of Art
The Hockaday Museum of Art is located in the iconic 100-year-old Carnegie Library Building. The museum hosts a permanent collection of art depicting Glacier National Park (including photographs, paintings and collectibles) – all of which have been created by Montana artists.
Pro Tip: Travelers who are not interested in visiting a museum may still want to seek out these buildings – as they are all beautiful, historical structures.
#4 Go To A Kalispell Park
It’s a well-known fact that the region surrounding Kalispell, Montana boasts incredible nature. However, visitors of the city don’t need to go far to find beautiful green spaces. There are several parks where guests can get a full dose of nature – which just happens to be one of the best things to do in Kalispell!
Just a few blocks from Main Street, Woodland Park is a fantastic city park – and visiting is one of the fun things for families to do in Kalispell. In addition to the playground and skate park, the park features a duck pond, walking and biking trails and picnic areas.
Lone Pine State Park
Want to go hiking in Kalispell, MT? Check out the nearby Lone Pine State Park, which is just a short drive from downtown Kalispell. The park is known for fun and relatively easy hiking trails that lead to fantastic viewpoints.
Trails for hikers of every level, Herron Park is a favorite local spot. In addition to the hiking trails, visitors can go mountain biking, skiing, sledding and horseback riding.
Flathead National Forest
The nearby 2.4-million-acre Flathead National Forest is a perfect place to escape into nature. Featuring incredible vistas, beautiful lakes and miles of trails, it is one of the best parks in the region.
Pro Tip: If you are visiting Montana to go to Glacier National Park, use our GNP Itinerary to help plan your trip!
#5 Sip Craft Beers at the Breweries in Kalispell, MT
If you follow our blog (and you should!) you know that we are big fans of craft beer…and it just so happens that tasting locally produced craft beer is one of the fun things to do in Kalispell, MT! There are three Kalispell breweries located within the downtown historic district.
Kalispell Brewing Company
Established in 2014, Kalispell Brewing was the first craft brewer on the scene in downtown Kalispell and is one of the popular craft brewers in the region. The taproom is staffed by friendly bartenders – and the open-air rooftop offers a birds’ eye view of the surrounding area.
SunRift Beer Company
SunRift is a fun spot to have a pint (or two!) in the heart of downtown Kalispell. Their line up of beers is inspired by the surrounding nature. On-site food is provided by food trucks – and they have a stellar happy hour!
Featuring an experimental range of beers, Bias Brewing is a fun place to check out to see what they have brewing! Located one block from Main Street on 1st Avenue, Bias is open daily from noon until 8pm.
Pro Tip: Sacred Waters Brewing Company is one of the Kalispell, MT breweries located outside the historic center along Highway 2 – but is well worth a visit, in our opinion! The Sacred Waters Brewery (MAP) was built with the great Montana outdoors in mind – both in their beers and the taproom space. The inside is as cozy as a family room and the lawn space is as comfortable as a friend’s backyard. Oh, and the beer is delicious!
The Best Places To Eat In Kalispell, MT
When it comes to eating, there is no shortage of restaurants in Kalispell, Montana! Whether looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, many of the best restaurants in Kalispell, MT are located along Main Street.
For the first meal of the day, Ceres Bakery is considered one of the best bakeries in Kalispell, MT. For something a little more filling than pastries, try Sykes Diner, The Knead Cafe or Montana Coffee Traders.
For lunch and dinner in the city, Norm’s Soda Fountain, Hop’s Downtown Grill and Moose’s Saloon are top picks!
If you are looking for a sweet treat, get an ice cream cone from Sweet Peaks, which is also on Main Street.
All of our top tips for Kalispell things to do are marked on the map. Use this link to Google Maps for our Kalispell, Montana Map online.
Things To Do In Kalispell, MT on a Rainy Day
We were lucky with the weather on our trip to Kalispell – it was sunny and bright! However, if you are wondering what to do in Kalispell, MT when it is cold and wet outside, we have a few tips.
Movies in Kalispell, MT
Movies are always a good idea when the weather outside is unpleasant – and there are a few movie theaters in Kalispell that show current flicks. The most popular place to see a movie in Kalispell is at Signature Stadium 14, which is located north of the historic center along Highway 93 in Hutton Ranch Plaza.
Malls in Kalispell
The Kalispell Center Mall is another good place to escape foul weather – and it is right in the center of the city off Main Street. Although rather small, there is a nice selection of chain stores – and the Magic Diamond Casino.
Pro Tip: Several big box stores and chain restaurants are located in Hutton Ranch Plaza and the surrounding area – including Cabela’s, Ross, Ulta Beauty, Target and Walmart.
Things To Do Near Kalispell, MT
Above, we feature what to do in Kalispell, but there are many more things to do around Kalispell, MT, too. The cute town of Whitefish is to the north, amazing hikes in Glacier National Park is to the east and Flathead Lake is just a short drive to the south!
Visit Whitefish Mountain Resort
Deciding between Whitefish or Kalispell? The distance from Whitefish, Montana to Kalispell is only 15 miles – so seeing both places is quite easy! Read our blog post, Things To Do in Whitefish for tips on what to see and do in the town!
Go To Glacier NP
To get from Kalispell to Glacier National Park takes about 45 minutes, but it is well worth the trip! We feature top tips on visiting the park in our blog post, Glacier National Park Itinerary!
Check Out Flathead Lake
Ranking as the largest freshwater lake in the western United States, Flathead Lake is a must-see when visiting the region! Many visitors opt to simply drive around the lake, but we recommend making stops in Bigfork, Bear Dance and Polson – and even on Wild Horse Island! Find more details in our guide to the Best Montana Road Trip.
Tips for Visiting Kalispell, Montana
We have covered the top things to do in Kalispell, MT – but we have a few more tips to help you plan your trip!
Airports In Kalispell, MT
The Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) is where commercial flights to Kalispell land (although there are several general aviation airports in the area – including Kalispell City Airport).
The Missoula Airport also has several direct, year-round flights – and Missoula is definitely worth visiting as well!
Renting a Car for Your Trip
We highlighted the best things to do in Kalispell, Montana – many of which you can reach on foot once you are in the city. However, to get around the region and into nature, you will need a car.
It is easy to rent a vehicle at the airport – and we do recommend upgrading to an SUV for a more comfortable ride on Montana roads.
Where To Stay In Kalispell
On our month-long trip to Montana, we were exploring several attractions. Although we considered staying in Kalispell, we opted to base ourselves in a small town that was more centrally located to the sights we wanted to see in the region. That said, there are several options for accommodations in – and around – Kalispell – and the city makes a great base! Read our tips for booking the best accommodations.
Hotels in Kalispell, MT
Visitors who want to stay in the Kalispell historic district should check availability at the Kalispell Grand Hotel. The iconic hotel opened in 1912, serving elite guests and featuring amenities such as running water and door locks. The hotel retains a rich history, modern rooms and an on-site spa.
Airbnb is our go-to resource for accommodations when traveling – as we find the spaces are usually bigger than hotel rooms and we like having a kitchen and other home comforts.
There are several Airbnb rentals in Kalispell to fit a range of budgets and styles – many of which are within walking distance to our recommended Kalispell Things To Do. If you are not already a member of Airbnb, you can use this link to create your account and save money on your first stay!
Read our Tips for Airbnb Guests that will help you find the perfect place to stay!
What To Pack for your Kalispell Trip
Now that you know what to do in Kalispell, Montana, how to get there and where to stay, we have some find packing advice for your trip!
Spending time outdoors is one of the top Kalispell, Montana things to do – so you will want to pack appropriate footwear. Use our tips on the best travel shoes.
Kalispell, MT attractions – from the main thoroughfare to the incredible landscapes – are stunningly beautiful! You will want to capture the beauty of the city with a real camera. We share our tips for the best travel cameras here.
There are so many things to do around Kalispell, Montana – and you will need a map to find your way to them! Make sure you buy a map before your trip!
We Want To Know: What are your favorite things to do in Kalispell, MT? Is there anything you would add to our list? Tell us in the comments below!
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