Relaxing on the shores and swimming in the massive 30-mile expanse of water provides hours of fun, but between nearby towns, seasonal festivities, and activities you just can't enjoy anywhere else, there's much more to Flathead Lake than meets the eye.
Small towns on Flathead Lake
When it comes to choosing the right vacation home for your visit to gorgeous Flathead Lake, there are plenty of lovely towns to consider. The quaint, western-themed town of Bigfork lies at the northern end of the lake, offering live theater and art galleries, alongside more conventional shops and restaurants. Sharing the same north-shore beauty just a few miles away is the community of Lakeside- home to Tamarack Brewing Company and popular for kayak and boat tours.
The tiny town of Dayton, nestled on the southwest shore of the lake, takes things a step further with boat access to nearby Wild Horse Island, an isolated state park. Nearby Rollins, also on Flathead's southern shore, provides a quiet place to relax in the comfort of a private vacation rental with wonderful views.
Flathead Lake is just south of several more towns—the bustling commercial hub, Kalispell, boasts several notable seasonal events, including pumpkin picking and races. Farther north is Whitefish, a small mountain town that boasts access to another beautiful lake and ski resort.
Summertime adventures on Flathead Lake
The most obvious summertime fun at Flathead Lake involves the water itself - swimming, kayaking, jet skiing, fishing, and water sports are excellent ways to spend your time. Once you've had your fill of splashing around in the mountain lake, work up a sweat by taking a hike in the nearby Jewel Basin Hiking Area east of Bigfork, or work on your golf swing at Eagle Bend Golf Club. However you choose to spend your days, be sure to reward yourself with a fresh-tasting beer at Flathead Lake Brewing Co. in Bigfork.
Wintertime wonder around Flathead Lake
You may not be able to swim in Flathead Lake during winter, but that doesn't mean you can't admire the frigid beauty from the shore. After you've had enough of gazing at mesmerizing ice formations, check out a couple of ski resorts nearby. The closest one is Blacktail Mountain Ski Resort, directly west of the lake. With views of the vast lake in the distance, the three-story lodge at this resort boasts all the amenities you could want after hours of tearing up the slopes.
A little farther away but definitely worth the drive is Whitefish Ski Resort, just north of the small mountain town sharing the same name. The long mountain trails here are perfect for skiers of every skill level, and the delicious restaurants and art galleries in town provide plenty to do afterward.
Unique attractions of Flathead Lake
One of the biggest attractions of Flathead Lake are the cherry orchards directly east and west. Available from both the orchard itself and from charming roadside stands, you can bring as many cherries as you like back to your vacation rental to make a delicious dessert. For a fun day trip, stop by the Dayton Yacht Harbor to rent a sailboat for a new look at the lake. Or, if you'd rather admire the lake from the sky, companies like Fantasy Flights, Osprey Aero, and Skydive Lost Prairie Montana offer stunning airplane rides that let you see the full beauty and grandeur of the lakes and mountains below.
There are plenty of incredible sights awaiting you in Big Sky Country, and Flathead Lake puts plenty of quintessential Montana experiences right at your fingertips, from freshwater fun to small-town charms to mountainside beauty. Experience it like a local and rent your very own vacation rental today.
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