Category Archives: Travel Deals

Discover Fall in Glacier Country

We’re sweet on every season here, but we’re especially smitten with autumn. The tapestry of golden hues and hillsides dusted with the first snow complemented by the impossibly blue sky gets us every time, and fall brings a few of our favorite things: flannels, festivals, scenic road trips, seasonal microbrews and farmers markets brimming with pumpkins, heritage apples, ciders and more of our favorite harvest flavors.

Not to brag, but our fall look is pretty spectacular.

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The crisp mountain air beckons, so we get out and about for fall frolic, and then we cozy up fireside. Autumn is our golden season—it’s vibrant, it’s quiet, it’s not to be missed. Traffic is lighter and shoulder season prices kick in. It’s a wonderful time to hop in the car and take a road trip around Glacier Country.

Here’s where and how we like to spend beloved fall days in our corner of Montana.

INTERSTATE 90 CORRIDOR – MISSOULA

The thing about Missoula is that you can explore one of Glacier Country’s hippest cultural hot spots, which bustles all year long, and then pretty much take off in any direction to add a scenic fall drive into the mix. While in town, explore the “Best of the West” outdoor market scene, visit one of 10 breweries, three distilleries and two wineries, pick out a pumpkin and conquer the corn maze, or hike any one of several trails; we love the Rattlesnake Wilderness in the fall.

Fall Bonus: Montana Cider Week (September 29 – October 7) hosts events throughout Montana, with multiple festivities taking place in Glacier Country communities. See what’s happening where and when, and prioritize a stop at Missoula’s new (and first ever) cidery—Western Cider—for a tour and a taste.

We love dining out during all our seasons, but fall cuisine has some extra special flavor. Photo: Top Hat Lounge

Trip Tip: A Missoula favorite, the Top Hat serves up mouthwatering cuisine—like chicken spaghetti squash—amid live music and friendly community vibes. Plan your visit around one of their Tunes & Taste music-infused dinner theme nights.

BITTERROOT VALLEY

This lush forested valley nestled between the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountain ranges is prime for leaf peeping, and the fall rut makes it a spectacular time for watching wildlife at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. Begin in Missoula, and take U.S. Highway 93 south toward Hamilton, stopping along the way in some of Glacier Country’s most charming towns.

Hamilton’s Daly Mansion boasts 50 kinds of trees—all gorgeous this time of year—and offers haunted hayrides at the end of October. Top off your tour at Backroad Cider or betterRoot Cidery for some fresh-pressed deliciousness—the core of fall flavor.

It doesn’t get much more festive than Stevensville’s Scarecrow Festival. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Fall Bonus: Plan your trip around a Ravalli County Museum Ghost Tour, Victor’s Field of Screams, Stevensville’s famous Scarecrow Festival or Hamilton’s McIntosh Apple Day—hailed as one of Montana’s Best Fall Festivals.

Trip Tip: Bike “The Root” instead! The Bitterroot Trail is a 50-mile-long paved bike path following the same route mentioned above, perfect for a vibrant autumn cycling adventure.

TOUR 200

Montana Tour 200 in Sanders County from Dixon to Heron travels along scenic riverbanks (bursting with fall color), active wildlife and ample outdoor recreation opportunities. Stop for a soak in the mineral waters at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort, nestled in Paradise along the Clark Fork River. Afterwards, stop in Thompson Falls for a home-cooked meal at Minnie’s Montana Café, or enjoy a drink and exceptional fall views from the deck Big Eddy’s.

Fall greets winter in Thompson Falls. Photo: Kate Baxter

Trip Tip: Lace up your hiking boots near Trout Creek and hike to the beautiful Vermilion Falls or Graves Creek Falls.

SEELEY-SWAN CORRIDOR

Between the stunning Swan and majestic Mission mountain ranges, the Seeley-Swan Valley boasts hundreds of pristine alpine lakes and beautiful hiking spots. Kayak around picturesque Holland Lake, canoe the Clearwater Canoe Trail or hike Morrell Falls, all spectacular ways to take in the fall spectacle. This exceptionally scenic valley is known for its large population of tamaracks—unique pine trees that lose their needles in the fall, setting Montana’s hillsides aflame with vivid shades of yellow and orange.

If you take U.S. Highway 83 from Seeley Lake all the way to Bigfork (as you should), this storybook village on the northeast shore of Flathead Lake, does not disappoint. Bigfork’s Whistling Andy Distilling serves up award-winning whiskeys and spirits made with Montana-grown grains and fruits. Savor some Harvest Select Whiskey, perfect for the season. From Bigfork, head south on State Highway 35 to The Raven Bar & Grill in Wood’s Bay for delicious waterfront dining, craft cocktails and some of the best views in the area.

A road trip to an event on Flathead Lake is always filled with incredible views.

Fall Bonus: Visit Seeley Lake mid-October and meet some of Montana’s finest artists, see their work and tour area studios, galleries and museums during the Alpine Artisans – Tour of the Arts, or land in Bigfork on October 13 for Tamarack Time!—an annual local’s-favorite amateur food competition akin to a county fair—and be sure you’re hungry.

Trip Tip: Make your Glacier Country getaway an overnight adventure with an authentic Montana lodging experience at the Double Arrow Resort in Seeley Lake, offering four-season recreation, cozy accommodations and incredibly warm hospitality.

FLATHEAD CORRIDOR

The west side of Flathead Lake is equally as scenic and charming as the east. If you’re coming from the south on U.S. Highway 93 or State Highway 200, stop in Moiese for wildlife watching at the National Bison Range. You may even get to experience bull elk bugling in the fall rut. Further north, in Charlo, visit Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana and Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge with stunning wide-open panoramas of the Mission Mountains. Then, on to Flathead Lake where jaw-dropping views await.

Fall Bonus: The Tamarack BrewFest take place in Lakeside, October 13. Enjoy live music, line dancing, canoe races, local vendors and evening bonfires, all taking place in this stunning fall Flathead Lake location.

HIGHWAY 2 CORRIDOR LIBBY TO KALISPELL

Running through Western Montana’s northern region, Highway 2 travels along some of the most scenic places in Glacier Country and introduces road-trippers to off-the-beaten-path treasures and well-known attractions. Begin in Libby, one of the region’s most scenic and quietest corners and end in Kalispell, the perfect mix of small-town Montana and old-west charm. Ghost chasers can head to the Conrad Mansion for a ghost tour.

Fall Bonus: Meander 4,000 bales of hay at Kalispell’s Whitefish Stage Organic Farm hay bale maze. This family-fun autumn activity also includes a barrel train ride, hay ride, super trampoline, petting zoo, pumpkins and more.

Get lost in Glacier Country. Photo: Whitefish Stage Organic Farm

Trip Tip: Linger in Kalispell for good food, shopping and museums, plus the whimsical autumn wonderland of Sweet Pickin’s Pumpkin Patch, where you’ll find plenty more than gourds.

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK SURROUNDING AREA

The park is absolutely breathtaking in autumn. Traffic is light, shoulder-season prices are in effect, and communities in and beyond the park are celebrating the season. Explore the outdoors by boat in Whitefish on Whitefish Lake, or take to the trails by bike or by foot on The Whitefish Trail or the Swift Creek Loop, and then stop in for delicious food at Casey’s Whitefish pub and grill, featuring rooftop dining options—especially scenic right about now.

Raise a glass to our amazing local brews at the Great Northwest Oktoberfest. Photo: Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

A bit closer to the park, Columbia Falls offers the perfect place to swap adventure stories over burgers and craft beer at Backslope Brewing. Try one of their rotators on tap this fall: Chocolate Hazelnut Stout. When it’s time to turn in, Cedar Creek Lodge offers a truly exceptional Montana lodging experience, and their pool and hot tub are open year-round.

Fall Bonus: The Great Northwest Oktoberfest takes place in Whitefish, and, because one weekend is not enough, join us for two weekends of authentic German beer, food, music and fun with a Montana flair, September 27 – 29 and October 4 – 6.

Trip Tip: There’s still time to get on the green at Meadow Lakes Golf Course, open until mid to late October.

We packed quite a bit of autumn adventure in for you, and now it’s time for you to pack your bags and head to Western Montana’s Glacier Country for the perfect fall road-trip experience.

Insider Scoop: The Best Spring Travel Deals in Montana

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: spring is one of the best times to visit Western Montana’s Glacier Country. During this time of year, the weather is actually pretty nice, there are tons of baby animals and—the granddaddy of them all—there’s basically no one here.
Sidenote: I do need to warn you that Montana’s weather has a flair for the dramatic (no wonder we get along so well) and in spring it can go from snowing to 70 degrees in a few hours. But I always say our weather is just part of our charm. 

A spring view from Montana's National Bison Range.

A spring view from Montana’s National Bison Range.

And truth be told, spring is one of the most awesome seasons for exploring and playing under Montana’s big blue sky and in Glacier National Park. So as a lover of spring—and all things Montana—I’ve rounded up some of the best travel deals in #GlacierMT for spring 2016.
PS: if you book one of these and come to Montana, be sure to tweet us at @GlacierMT. We can tell you all the best places to eat and kick up your heels, Montana style. Don’t believe us? Check out THIS list

Without further ado, meet my top 5 picks for Montana travel deals for spring 2016.

1. 20% off June 2016 at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge. Located on the west shore of Flathead Lake, family-owned Flathead Lake Lodge is offering 20 percent off all stays in June. Reasons I love Flathead Lake Lodge: family-style dining in their main lodge, kids can run free (and still be safe), incredibly nice horses and genuine, true Montana hospitality.

Spring at Flathead Lake Lodge.

Spring at Flathead Lake Lodge.

2. Spring into Glacier at the Belton Chalet. Located just outside the west entrance to Glacier National Park, the Belton Chalet has a “Spring into Glacier” travel deal that includes a one-night stay and dinner at the on-site Belton Grill for $180 per couple. Why I love this deal: the Belton Chalet has an incredible history, cozy lodge rooms and I’m a BIG fan of Chef Melissa’s cooking. An added bonus: Glacier National Park is one minute away.

A bird's-eye view of the peaks of Glacier National Park in spring.

A bird’s-eye view of the peaks of Glacier National Park in spring.

3. Glacier Spring Special at Glacier Guides. Just up the road from Highway 2 in West Glacier, Glacier Guides Lodge is offering spring rates on lodge rooms in their eco-friendly lodge for $166.79 from mid-May through mid-June. Reasons I love Glacier Guides Lodge: continental breakfast is included, they have Wi-Fi and they’re two minutes away from Glacier National Park.

Oh hello, Glacier National Park.

Oh hello, Glacier National Park.

4. Pet-friendly Spring Getaway at Laughing Horse Lodge. Situated in Montana’s Swan Valley, the Laughing Horse Lodge has a “We’re Going to the Dogs Spring Getaway” deal on stays from Wednesdays – Sundays from early May to late June that includes a two-night stay, hot breakfasts and gourmet dinners. Reasons I love this package: Laughing Horse Lodge is so cozy, their meals are tasty and their setting is within easy reach of great outdoor recreation in the Swan Valley.

Holland Lake is an easy drive from Laughing Horse Lodge.

Holland Lake is an easy drive from Laughing Horse Lodge.

5. 20% off two-night stays at Meadow Lake Resort. Located in one of the area’s prettiest settings, Meadow Lake Resort has a 20 percent discount on stays that are two nights or more from now through mid-May. Why I love this package: their spa-like lodge rooms are my favorite, the lodge is located minutes from Whitefish and Columbia Falls and I love their outdoor fireplace.

Hello, gorgeous.

Hello, gorgeous.

You can also peruse more Montana spring travel deals here. Happy traveling!

xo,
TT

PS: You can also read more spring travel tales in Montana here, here and here.

5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas and Travel Deals in Montana

Well you guys, it’s official. Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. And I don’t know about y’all, but I love Valentine’s Day…maybe because I’m a big fan of love. Whether it’s the love between a couple, the love of a mama for her baby or the love of friends, I’m all about it.

One of my loves: Missoula, Montana.

One of my loves: Missoula, Montana.

While I don’t think we need a special holiday to tell people that we love them (I prefer to tell those I love that I totally heart them basically every time we talk), at the same time it’s pretty nice to have a day that’s all about the one that you adore. Sidenote: their birthdays are also all about them, just an FYI. 

Whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s Day with grand gestures, flowers delivered to their work, diamonds or a heartfelt card, I (probably) like your style. Because no matter what, we all—at our very core—want to be loved. And in honor of the world’s biggest, sappiest day of love, I’ve rounded up some Valentine’s Day gift ideas and getaways.

1. Jewelry from Rag and Stone. This is a new discovery for me (thank you instagram) and it’s safe to say I’m obsessed with the work that Ms. Erin Hawley is whipping up in her northwest Montana shop. If your lady loves jewelry and Montana, a piece from Rag and Stone is a safe bet. PS: you can also shop via her Etsy site here.

Steelhead bracelet. Photo via @ragandstone instagram.

Steelhead bracelet. Photo via @ragandstone instagram.

2. Foldover clutches from The Montana Scene. Gentlemen, if you have a lady on your list who loves Montana, just buy her one of these clutches. I’m pretty sure she’ll love you forever.

Obsessed. Photo via @themontanascene instagram.

Obsessed. Photo via @themontanascene instagram.

PS: ladies, The Montana Scene also has lots of gear for that hunky man in your life, including T-shirts, hoodies and hats.

3. Mountain home necklace from Made Of Mountains™. Created by the same Montana mama from Poisonberry Jewerly, Britt is also the lady behind Made of Mountains. Plus, she has a line of “Mountain Mama” tops that are adorable for the mama in your life. Shop here.

Mountain home necklaces. Photo courtesy of @madeofmtns instagram.

Mountain home necklaces. Photo via @madeofmtns instagram.

4. A winter getaway to the Belton Chalet in West Glacier. It’s no secret that I love the Belton (read about my obsession with their Sunday brunch here). And as someone who’s had the pleasure of staying there, this girl thinks that a weekend getaway (that conveniently falls over the Valentine’s Day weekend) may be just what the doctor ordered for you and the one you love. This weekend, the Belton has two specials: a one-night Valentine Dinner + Lodging Package (for $199) and a two-night Romance + Rendezvous All-Inclusive Weekend (for $399).

Winter at Montana's Belton Chalet.

Winter at Montana’s Belton Chalet.

5. Sweetheart Package at the Bitterroot River Bed-and-Breakfast. If you’re looking for a quiet, low-key getaway, this cozy B&B may be the perfect place. They’re offering the Sweetheart Package (starting at $99/night) through February 29 with code WINTER99. Sidenote: if you go to Stevensville, be sure to make a dinner reservation at Mission Bistro or The Catered Table.

Wishing you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day!

xo,
TT

A Montana Thanksgiving + Great Vacation Deals

It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is almost upon us. For me, that means heading to my childhood home on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front and eating all the turkey and prime rib my dad has cooked, as well as trying my hand at baking pies. (Let’s just say pie baking is not my strong suit, but I’m working on it).

Thanksgiving along Montana's Rocky Mountain Front.

Thanksgiving along Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front.

But in case you’re going to be in Montana and would rather leave the cooking to someone else (which is kind of awesome), I’ve rounded up some of the Thanksgiving events, buffets and happenings throughout Glacier Country.

Thanksgiving Buffet at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake: Whitefish
The Boat Club Restaurant in The Lodge at Whitefish Lake is serving a Thanksgiving buffet and à la carte menu from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 406.863.4040. Cost: $41.95/guest; $21.95/children 12 and under

Thanksgiving Day Buffet at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort: Paradise
Located along the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway, Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort is offering a Thanksgiving dinner feast from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. For dinner reservations, call 406.826.3150. Cost: $25.95/adult; $19.95/children.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Grouse Mountain Lodge: Whitefish
Logan’s Bar & Grill at Grouse Mountain Lodge will be serving their special Thanksgiving menu from 2 p.m. to close. Reservations are not required, but recommended. Call 406.862.3000 to reserve. Cost: $32.95/adults; $12.95/children 12 and under; $12.95/senior citizens (65 and older).

The Montana Club: Kalispell and Missoula
The Montana Club will be serving a scratch-made Thanksgiving dinner at their Missoula and Kalispell locations from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Cost: $17.99 – $24.99/adult; $13.99/kids and seniors.

The Good Food Store: Missoula
Missoula’s Good Food Store has a holiday special order menu, with dining options that include a traditional turkey dinner, ham dinner and a variety of à la carte menu items. Dinner for four starts at $68.

Along with those Thanksgiving buffets, there are also some great November and December travel deals in Western Montana’s Glacier Country. I’ve included my top picks below…

Black Friday Special: Best Western Plus Flathead Lake Inn and Suites
From November 26 – 29, Flathead Lake Inn and Suites (located just south of Kalispell) is offering 10% off on all rooms. Rates include newspapers (complete with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday ads), hot breakfast and 24-hour pool and hot tub. Book here or call 888.226.1003

Holiday Shopping: Guest House Inn, Suites – Outlaw Convention Center
Sitting on the southern end of Kalispell, Guest House Inn and Suites has a $56 holiday shopping special that’s valid now through Thursday, December 31. Book by calling 406.755.6100

Fall Special: Glacier Ridge Suites
For the entire month of November, Kalispell’s Glacier Ridge Suites is offering 50% off their normal nightly rate. To book, call 406.752.4333 and mention “fall special.”

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!

xo,
TT

Fall: Montana’s Bashful Season

Last week, I mourned the loss of summer. This week, I’m embracing fall in Montana’s Glacier Country. I can’t help it. You see, autumn in Montana has its own distinct feeling and personality that is perhaps best described as the perfect combination of a charming bashfulness, a dash of showmanship and of course, all things delicious.

Maybe it’s the mixture of apples, homemade scarecrows, cutesy small towns or the ravishingly beautiful waters set against changing fall colors that is so riveting. Or maybe it’s the fall fly-fishing, hay rides and uncrowded roads leading into our region’s hidden corners.

Scarecrow Festival in Stevensville - Photo courtesy Donnie Sexton/Montana Office of Tourism

Hello, pretty. Photo courtesy Donnie Sexton/Montana Office of Tourism

Whatever it is, I dig it.

Happy autumn.
TT

PS: To read more on fall in Montana, check out this article from gonomad.com (published last year). And if you want to come see it for yourself, peruse vacation deals, created specifically for Montana’s bashful season.

Montana May: Events & Travel Deals

It’s officially May in Montana and that means: summer is on the way!

While typically a quiet time of year, it’s also a pretty prime month to visit. Sure, you can expect showers and cooler days but there are also fewer crowds, a quiet peacefulness and the distinct clean smell that means spring has arrived.

May. Even the Grizzly Bears love it! Photo by Tony Bynum - www.tonybynum.com

And please, don’t let May’s temperamental nature fool you. While she is a bit rough around the edges, you’ll find that under her layers, cloud cover and sporadic snowstorms, she’s hiding sunshine, the most brilliant blue sky you could ever lay your eyes on, Glacier National Park (open year-round) and some absolutely stellar events and vacation deals.

May Events
International Wildlife Film Festival
-Held annually in Missoula, the film festival (May 7 – May 14) brings award-winning wildlife films to downtown with showings at the Wilma Theatre and special events at the Roxy Theater.

Glacier Outdoor Center: Spring Boat Swap & Tent Sale
-Looking for a new raft, kayak or inflatable? On May 14 – 15, head to West Glacier’s Glacier Outdoor Center for fresh May deals on boats, rafting accessories, flies, clothing and cabin home furnishings.

St. Regis Annual Flea Market
-Each Memorial Day weekend (May 28 – 30), St. Regis hosts Montana’s largest flea market, with more than 200 vendors selling treasures. Warm up your casting arm for summer by bringing your fishing pole and trying your luck on the waters of the Clark Fork River.

Fresh Vacation Deals
Play Dirty in May
-Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish has a special package that’s valid through the end of this month. Their “Play Dirty” package includes two night’s accommodations, dinner for two (with a Mud Pie Dessert!), two muddy martinis and more. Check out the full package details here.

Spring’s On Sale
-Marina Cay, located in the adorable town of Bigfork on Flathead Lake, is offering a 25% discount when you make your reservation online. The offer’s valid from May 6 – June 9. Book online here. Enter promotional code: SPRING.

And just for fun, check out local Missoula musician John Floridis and his song “Late May Moon.”

Happy May!
TT

Travel With Deals

It’s Monday. And after a gloomy overcast start to the day the sun is radiating its warmth, which in my mind means that life is good!

And since it is Monday, we’ve probably got people already looking with hope toward the end of the week. How about this? We’ll give you something to keep your motor running and going for the next few days…Deal?

Actually, speaking of deals, we’ve got a lot of them up for grabs in Glacier Country. Read on for deals that are sure to keep your week sunny and your motor running.
sun-for-web

Glacier Raft Company: With their season winding down, they have rafts, kayaks, canoes and paddling gear on sale.

Confluence Rafting: Now through September 15, they are offering a three night, two day expedition (including meals and activities) for $395 per day.

Falls Motel: Now through September 15, they have a Kayak the Clark Fork package that includes lodging and kayaking.

For more travel packages, click here. And have a happy Monday!