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Travel 3 months ago

Montana Travel + Packing Guide

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You guys know by now that Montana is truly one of my absolute favorite places on earth. Michael’s parents have a house there so we typically go at least twice a year every year – once in the winter to ski and once in the summer. We went the last week of August which was the perfect break from Texas heat, and I got so many DM’s from you guys asking for a travel guide! I’ve actually shared a few Montana travel guides (here and here) but figured I’d recap what we did this year since I have a few new favorites to add!

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Above: Grinnel Glacier Hike

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what to see and do in whitefish + travel, everyday and going out looks

In addition to sharing my favorite things we did in Montana this year, I also wanted to round up what I packed + what I wore during the trip!

We stay in Whitefish, Montana every year when we go. You fly into Kalispell and then it’s about a 10-15 minute drive into Whitefish! Like I mentioned we always stay at Michael’s parents house but if you’re looking for a place to stay in Whitefish…I’d recommend finding an air bnb! Whitefish is about a 30ish minute drive from Glacier National Park, has an adorable downtown with lots of cute shops and restaurants, and is also a very short driving distance to other hikes you can do outside of GNP.

There is a farmer’s market every tuesday throughout the summer in Whitefish, which is where I took the photo above! Lots of local fresh produce, cheeses, baked goods, flowers, and tons of food trucks! We went here on Tuesday evening and shopped around for a bit and then enjoyed dinner from some of the food trucks out on the lawn.

The photo above was taken outside of the CUTEST new coffee shop in whitefish called Boudoir Bar. It’s not only a coffee bar but they also have gelato, a cute gift section with clothes, journals etc, and then the most adorable play area in the back for little ones! Shiloh was obsessed with the kitche in the back and could’ve stayed there for hours. I got a matcha and michael got a latte – both were delicious and the environment was very ‘instagrammable’.

The photos above were taken at Jalisco’s which is the YUMMIEST taco place in whitefish! TBH I did not have high hopes for this place haha – mexican food in montana? But their tacos and margaritas are both SO good and the decor is really cute as well!

The photo above (and LOTS of my pics from Whitefish) were taken at a place called Iron Horse, which is a club in Whitefish where Michael’s parents are members. This is honestly one of the many reasons why we love whitefish so much haha. Iron Horse is MAGICAL and we eat a lot of our meals there which is why I don’t have a super extensive list of restaurants we try while we’re there. They also have amazing locker rooms / spa / sauna situation, activities for kids, plus a gorgeous golf course. So we spend a lot of time at Iron Horse while we are there!

Outside of Iron Horse, a few other restaurants I love in Whitefish:

  • Loula’s – probably my favorite breakfast spot! Get breakfast here and then GET A PIE to bring home! They have the most DELICIOUS homemade pies!
  • Wich Haus – I’ve been wanting to try this sandwich place for a long time and we finally did this trip. I’m honestly not a huge sandwich girl but their sandwiches are NEXT LEVEL AMAZING. They use fresh local ingredients and change the menu out seasonally. Their sandwiches are pretty huge though so you could probably split one!
  • Latitude 48 – I really wanted to go here with Michael for a date night this past trip but we didn’t get reservations in time! I’d say their menu is kind of tapas style but it’s a great date night spot and the food is DELISH. I love their ahi tuna!

And can’t forget…Sweet Peaks ice cream!!! you guys know what an ice cream connoisseur I am haha and I can honestly say their grizz tracks flavor is some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. They have really unique flavors and I’ve legit loved every single one I’ve tried!

where to hike and explore in whitefish + athleisure, hiking and activewear looks

I would love to take a trip to Montana one day maybe with a nanny or something so Michael and I could hike every single day haha. Doing the hikes that we want to do with a 2 year old is pretty much impossible so we were dependent on Michael’s parents to watch Shiloh if we wanted to go hike. Some of the hikes I wanted to do were pretty long, and they were also about two hours away so…it wasn’t really feasible to do that with Shiloh. SO we only got to do two solo hikes in glacier this year, but I have a list of more i want to do next year. Next year we also talked about maybe staying in many glacier for a few days so we can be closer to some of these hikes!

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Grinnel Glacier

The photos above are from grinnel glacier hike and it was honestly one of (if not THE) most beautiful hikes I have ever done. It was about 10.5 miles round trip and it’s rated ‘difficult’ but honestly it wasn’t hard at all! Michael and I both said we would rate it moderate. It’s long but not too steep and you have absolutely breathtaking views the entire way….and then at the end you end up at the most beautiful glacier lake. If you only do one hike in Glacier National Park, I think it needs to be this one! We left Whitefish around 530am, packed snacks and breakfast and lunch and made a day out of it! [This hike is close to Many Glacier so it took us about 2.5hrs to drive here from Whitefish].

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Apgar Lookout

The photos above are from a trail called Apgar. We chose to do this one because we were short on time and this one is right at the entrance of the park so it only took us about 45minutes to drive here. This one is definitely more steep – it’s about 6 miles but you’re climbing up the whole way. We did it at sunrise and the views were beautiful! I definitely recommend going early for this hike because the entire thing is exposed (very little shade) so you don’t want to be stuck in the sun like that midday! If you’re looking for an easy-to-get-to quick out and back trail, this is a great one!

There’s a trail in Whitefish called Lion Mountain that I like to do just beacause it’s about 10 minutes from where we stay, and we can do it with Shiloh! I think it’s maybe 3 miles round trip so it’s kind of just a nice walk + fun way to be active with the family!

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Avalanche Lake

We did this hike with Michael’s family and I think it’s a must in Glacier, especially if you are hiking with kids. We carried Shiloh in the hiking backpack for this one and it was very doable. About 5 miles roundtrip and very little elevation gain. The hike itself isn’t super exciting but you end up at Avalanche Lake which is absolutely breathtaking.

Two other hikes that were on my list this year that we didn’t get to are Hidden Lake and Cracker Lake – both of which I hope to do next year! I share lots of other great hikes in this blog post as well.

Have you been to Whitefish or to Glacier National Park?! Let me know if there are any MUST-DO’S that I’m missing in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

xo Lauren

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