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Must See Places in Glacier Country


Montana’s Glacier Country is most often associated with its primary attraction, Glacier National Park. The area and towns surrounding Glacier, however, are jewels in and of themselves that offer a feast of sites and activities to delight all ages!

1) Whitefish Lake State Park
1 mile west of Whitefish on us. 93, then 1 mile north. Summer: 862-3991 Winter: 752-5501.
This popular, 10 acre park has a mature spruce/fir forest which contributes to the ambiance of the campground and beach. Boating, swimming, and fishing opportunities are abundant.

2) Whitefish Lake City Beach
Northwest edge of Whitefish. 863-2470
Yes Virginia, there are beaches in Montana, and this is one of the better ones. This free-use city beach has lifeguards, swimming docks, picnic tables and shelters. Paddle boats, kayaks, and sea cycles can be rented here too. Open in the summertime from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

3) North American Wildlife Museum
U.S. Hwy. 2, West Glacier. 387-4018
For those who would like to learn more about area wildlife, this museum holds 85 animal and bird mounts in a simulated outdoor setting. Exhibits include elk, deer, moose, grizzly, black, and polar bears, coyotes, wolves, foxes and birds. All are portrayed in realistic dioramas. Experience the sound of the loon or the elk bugle as if you were hiking a trail. You will also see a tepee display in the complex. The museum is open daily May 1 through October from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. A small admission fee is charged.

4) Conrad Mansion
330 Woodland Ave. (6 blocks off Main St. on 4th St. East), Kalispell. 755-2166
The Conrad Mansion is one of the most outstanding examples of luxurious living and period architecture in the Pacific Northwest. The building itself remains unchanged since Spokane architect Kirtland Cutter designed and built the home in 1895. Ownership and occupation of this beautiful Norman-style mansion remained in the Conrad family until 1975, when it was given to the City of Kalispell.

The youngest of the Conrad children, Alicia Conrad Campbell, gave the Mansion to the city to be maintained in perpetuity as an historic site. It was her wish that the ancestral home be preserved in memory of and as a tribute to her pioneer parents, Charles E. and Alicia Conrad.

In 1868, at the age of 18, Charles Conrad left his boyhood home in Virginia and traveled to Fort Benton, Montana Territory. There he built a trading and freighting empire on the Missouri River that lasted more than twenty years. In his lifetime, C.E. Conrad lived through the Civil War and the settling of the West, and he left an indelible mark on the history of Montana.

The Mansion kitchen showcases a custommade range, a Southern beaten biscuit machine, and a servants’ call board. The dining room has the original Chippendale table and complete set of chairs. The bedrooms, with their imported marble lavatories, sleigh beds and canopied four-posters, appear as they did when many notable guests were shown by the servants to their rooms. The Great Hall, with its massive stone fireplace and golden oak woodwork, provided the setting for the legendary two-story Christmas tree, ablaze with the light of hundreds of beeswax candles. This beautiful scene is recreated during an exciting three-day social event, “Christmas At The Mansion,” held every October.

During the life of the Mansion, there have been no architectural changes in the building. Both the exterior and interior (all three floors!) have been completely restored to their original beauty. From its exquisitely landscaped gardens to its collection of original furniture, toys and clothing, the Conrad Mansion offers the most complete example of privileged life in turn-of-the-century Montana.

Visit the most beautifully preserved pre-1900 mansion in Montana and experience the elegance of a bygone era. The museum is open from May
15 to October 15. Special events include Christmas at the Mansion, a Victorian holiday bazaar.

5) Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake is located between Kalispell and Polson on Highways 93 and 35. This beautiful lake is renowned for boating, sailing, fishing, camping, and swimming. The lake’s six park units offer public access to portions of Flathead Lake. One of the units—Wildhorse Island—is accessible only by boat.

Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, and was dredged out by receding glaciers during the Wisconsin period of glaciation. The lake is 38 miles long and between 5 and 15 miles wide. Encompassing 188 square miles at an elevation of 2,892 feet, the lake’s maximum depth is 339 feet, with 185 miles of shoreline.

Partially reprinted from The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia


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