Tag Archives: Whitefish

Montana Talent + Sweet Skis

It’s time to put my bragging pants on: I have the pleasure of knowing some great people here in Montana. Folks who are talented, smart, nice and funny. One such person: my friend Collin. Not only is he kind of ridiculously smart, outdoorsy and cool (as in he makes me look like an even bigger nerd than I already am), but he is hands-down one of the nicest gentlemen in the state of Montana.

Collin trail running in Glacier National Park last summer. Photo: Joe Johnson

Collin trail running in Glacier National Park last summer. Photo: Joe Johnson

During the past few years, I’ve gotten to know Collin through mutual friends and he has also helped me out on a few work projects. For example, this last summer I enlisted his help with a photo shoot. Little did he know that this would mean diving into the cold water at Tally Lake 20 times in a row at the crack of dawn. And you know what? He did it without one word of complaining. (Side note: I think he may be part super hero).

An early morning dive session at Tally Lake.

An early morning dive session.

But now onto the real reason I’m bragging on him…

Collin works as a graphic designer at Outside Media in Columbia Falls, a place where he’s able to put his ridiculous talents to work. One of their clients is Montana Ski Company, a company based in Whitefish that makes handmade custom wooden skis. This year, Collin and the crew at OM (as I lovingly refer to them) worked with Montana Ski Company on some one-of-a-kind designs. The best part? The designs drew inspiration from some of Western Montana’s history and culture, with the finished product resulting in incredible Montana-lovin’ skis. 

Take a look…

The inspiration for "The Gunslinger."

The inspiration for “The Gunslinger.”

The gunslinger model can be found in Whitefish at The Toggery.

“The Gunslinger Model” can be found in Whitefish at The Toggery.

The sketch for  "The Canyon Creek."

The sketch for “The Canyon Creek.”

"The Canyon Creek" model can also be found at The Toggery in Whitefish.

“The Canyon Creek” model can also be found at The Toggery in Whitefish.

To read more about Collin and these skis, check out Outside Media’s blog here.

As for me, I can’t wait to see what Collin comes up with next, especially with Western Montana’s Glacier Country as his muse.


A (Montana) Valentine’s Getaway for Your Love

Well, the holiday that you’ve all been waiting for is (nearly) here: Valentine’s Day! While there is much discussion over the intense love and hate relationship with the holiday itself, this messy-haired girl has always been a fan of it. And while it’s a day that’s commercially deemed for lovers, it’s so much more than that.

Valentine's Day is a day to tell your sunshine you love them.

Valentine’s Day is a day to tell your sunshine you love them.

It’s a day to tell your mama and/or your papa that you love them. It’s a day when you can send your best friend those earrings she’s been eyeing just because you love her! It’s a day when you (meaning me) can take the garbage out so your (meaning my) husband doesn’t have to. It’s a day that’s meant to celebrate love, no matter what and with no strings attached.

This year, as luck would have it, Valentine’s Day is on a Friday. Which means that if you want to, you can basically celebrate it the whole weekend! And for those of you choosing to do so, I’ve rounded up some of my top Valentine’s Day (or Valentine’s Weekend) recommendations in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Whitefish, Montana
Let’s face it: Whitefish is one of the most romantic towns in the West. It has an absolutely charming downtown, wonderful restaurants and cozy accommodations. If you’re looking to “woo” someone, this is the place to do it. Plus, they have a lot of choices when it comes to romantic settings. This girl recommends dinner at The Boat Club at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, Cafe Kandahar at Kandahar Lodge or Tupelo Grille in downtown.

Downtown Whitefish. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Downtown Whitefish. Photo: Donnie Sexton

And as icing on your Valentine’s Day sugar cookie, check out the Romantic Rendezvous Package at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake and Montana Romance Package from Good Medicine Lodge.

Glacier National Park
If I was a betting gal, I’d bet that your sugar hasn’t experienced winter in Glacier National Park. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to to introduce him or her to this gorgeous place with an intimate weekend at the Belton Chalet in West Glacier. After a day of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the park, settle in for an cozy stay at the historic lodge as part of their Sweetheart Package, complete with dinner and champagne.

Fireside at West Glacier's Belton Chalet.

Fireside at West Glacier’s Belton Chalet.

A Cozy Cabin in the Woods
If you’re looking for a cozy cabin in the woods, check out Double Arrow Lodge in Seeley Lake. Double Arrow has a Valentine’s Package that features a special menu at on-site Season’s Restaurant, as well as champagne upon arrival. Plus, it also happens to be located in one of the most picture perfect settings in Montana.

One of the snowy sun-kissed views from Double Arrow Lodge.

One of the snowy sun-kissed views from Double Arrow Lodge.

Missoula, Montana
I may be partial to this city (since my husband is from here), but Missoula continues to woo me in terms of its dining options and idyllic romantic settings. If I was trying to charm the socks off someone, I’d take them to Missoula’s snow-dusted, historic and cute downtown, before catching live music or grabbing a bite to eat at Red Bird Wine Bar (try the champagne fondue), Biga Pizza (um, hello Flathead cherry pizza) or Plonk. Other personal favorites include Finn & Porter and Mustard Seed (try the chocolate mousse).

Hello, boo.

Hello, boo.

And if you really want to impress your love, book a stay at The Gibson Mansion Bed and Breakfast, specifically with their Romance Package or by adding an in-room massage treatment to your stay.

No matter where you are or who you love, may your Valentine’s Day be filled with love and kindheartedness.


PS: You can find even more travel deals and coupons here.

A Montana Haven: Writing Retreats

You guys. Sometimes there are really cool things that I need to tell you about. And sometimes those things are related to a treasure that’s discovered on Montana’s backroads, while other times it’s about a perfect day spend in Glacier National Park. Well today, it’s actually neither of those things.

I recently (through twitter) met a gal who offers writing retreats in Whitefish, Montana. At first glance, she seemed pretty great. Super easy to talk to, happy and outgoing. But after delving into it a bit more, I discovered that in addition to being super cool she is also a smartie and a New York Times best-selling author for her memoir This Is Not The Story You Think It Is.

Please meet Laura Munson.

Author Laura Munson. Photo: lauramunson.com

Author Laura Munson.
Photo: lauramunson.com

In Laura’s own words: “My creative life has always been my safe haven. My refuge. My sanctuary. Since childhood, I have retreated into my self-expression, namely on the page.”

And now, as a best-selling author with a resilient and kind spirit, Laura offers writing retreats in the heart of Western Montana to help other writers in their own creative expressions. When we were chatting last week she summed it up for me in these words, “I help people step into the wilderness of creativity in the wilderness of Montana.”

Now I don’t know about you, but this girl thinks that sounds pretty amazing.

Here comes the awesome part: Laura is holding three retreats this summer and fall (which also happen to coincide with a gorgeous time of year in Montana). The retreats are being offered August 7 – 11, September 4 – 8 and September 18 – 22 and are held at Walking Lightly Ranch outside Whitefish, Montana.

The retreats welcome participants from near and far to work on their own creative expressions in a unique and loving setting, while at the same time providing inspiration for attendees to do their best work. And, as an added bonus, there is still time to sign up for one of this year’s retreats. For more info, visit www.lauramunson.com.

The location of the writing retreats: Walking Lightly Ranch.  Photo: Laura Munson

The location of the writing retreats: Walking Lightly Ranch.
Photo: Laura Munson

Here’s to channeling your inner creativity in the wilds of Montana,

May in Montana: Farmers Markets

The arrival of May means one thing in Montana. The season of farmers markets is upon us. And this girl is a firm believer in the fact that strolling through a local farmers market is one of the best ways to experience a community’s culture and some of the best of what they have to offer.

Sidetrack time: Last summer I was able to visit a friend in Mexico City. We hit all of the highlights of the city and I loved each and every moment that was spent there. But I’ll never forget the morning we spent at a local market. The smells and the energy, combined with an insightful look at the city’s culture, introduced me to a side of the city that I hope I never forget.

Dancers in Mexico City.

Dancers in Mexico City.


While I may be overly sentimental, I’m holding firm to the belief that local markets are a fantastic way to immerse yourself into a destination’s culture. And the farmers markets that are found throughout Western Montana’s Glacier Country are no exception. Leisurely strolling through a market on a sunny Montana day will give you a pleasant and fresh look at what makes each community so special.

Bigfork Farmers Market
Wednesdays (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.) and Saturdays (9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) – June to October
Embracing all things local, this market provides products grown or made in Montana, including produce, plants, flowers, baked goodies, jams, jellies and hand-crafted arts and crafts.

Columbia Falls Farmers Market
Thursdays (5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – mid-June to mid-September at Pinewood Park
This small town market combines live music with a family friendly atmosphere, as well as local arts and crafts, tasty food and produce.

Darby Farmers Market
Tuesdays (12 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – May to October at S. Main Street Park
Soak up small town charm and snag fresh produce, jams, soaps and crafts.

Eureka Farmers Market
Wednesdays (4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – May to September at Riverside Park
A hotbed of local talent and goodies, this market features produce, bedding, baked goods and arts and crafts from local Tobacco Valley artists.

It's farmers market time in Eureka, Montana.

It’s farmers market time in Eureka, Montana.

Hamilton Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) – May  to October at Bedford, Second and Third streets
With more than 150 vendors all from Ravalli County, this lively market includes fresh organic produce, locally raised beef, alpaca wool, jewelry and locally harvested wood furniture.

Hand-woven baskets. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Hand-woven baskets. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Kalispell Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) – May to October at Flathead Valley Community College
One of the oldest markets in the state, the Kalispell Farmers Market boasts a variety of goodies, including arts and crafts, meat and eggs, native plants, iron works, woven rugs, woodwork, handspun yarns, photograph and fresh produce.

Libby Farmers Market
Thursdays (12 p.m. – 5 p.m.) – May to September at Libby Chamber of Commerce
This market features live music entertainment, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, crafts and baked goods.

Missoula Markets
Tuesdays (5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.) – July & August; Saturdays (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – May to October at North Higgins and under the Higgins Street Bridge
An integral part of summer in Missoula, farmers markets feature fresh local produce, baked goods, organic dairy products, locally brewed coffee, flowers and crafts. An added bonus: The People’s Market is just up the street and is held every Saturday through the summer.

Live music in Missoula.

Live music in Missoula.

Polson Farmers Market
Fridays (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – mid-May to October
Located at the southern end of Flathead Lake, this market offers fresh farm produce, flowers, wood crafts, jewelry, photography and soap products.

Stevensville Farmers Market
Saturdays (May to October)
Located in the heart of downtown, the Stevensville market features local goods.

Seeley Lake Farmers Market
Sundays (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) – June to September
This outdoor market features locally grown produce, as well as artists and local food vendors.

Thompson Falls Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) – June to September at Rose Garden Park
This community market is known for its locally grown produce, craft items and baked goods, as well as handicrafts created by local area artists that include paintings, leatherwork, pottery and quilts.

West Glacier Farmers Market
Fridays (3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.) – June to Labor Day 
This quaint afternoon market showcases local products from farmers and artisans. Bonus: It’s steps away from the west entrance of Glacier National Park.

Whitefish Farmers Market
Tuesdays (5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – May to September at Central Avenue & Depot Park
One of the liveliest markets in the region, the Whitefish Farmers Market features live music, fresh herbs and spices, food vendors, produce and locally made arts and crafts.

The Whitefish market features a different musician each week.

The Whitefish market features a different musician each week.


A (Romantic) Getaway to Whitefish, Montana

By now you’ve likely seen or heard that Montana–the beauty that she is–made her primetime debut on “The Bachelor” this week. (In case you missed it, you can watch it here). And I’ll tell you what, she looked lovely. It’s like the old girl just gets better with age.

Two Medicine in Glacier National Park. (screenshot from ABC)

Two Medicine in Glacier National Park. (screenshot from ABC)

And now, thanks to the lovelies at Explore Whitefish, you can experience just how romantic it is by entering to win a romantic getaway for two to Whitefish this September.

The package includes:
-Three nights all-inclusive “Glamping” package at The Bar W Guest Ranch
-Three nights lodging at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake
-Dinner for two at Logan’s Bar and Grille at Grouse Mountain Lodge
-Aerial Adventure for two at Whitefish Mountain Resort
-Glacier National Park entrance pass
-Rental car from Dollar Rent A Car (Four-wheel drive)
-$1000 Gift voucher for airplane tickets through Flathead Travel

Sounds pretty sweet, right? So I’m sure you’re wondering to yourself, “How do I enter and take my own sweetie pie on the trip of his (or her) dreams?”

It’s really simple. You can enter on Explore Whitefish, now through February 18. The catch? There isn’t one. You just need to be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the United States.

This could be you.

This could be you.


PS: If you’d like to see visual highlights of Montana eye candy from “The Bachelor,” check it out here.

Falling in Love Montana Style on “The Bachelor”

Some places are made for falling in love. One such place (if I do say so myself) is Whitefish, Montana. If I had to sum up Whitefish in three words, I’d say it’s Montana’s “quintessential mountain town.” A stone’s throw (30 minutes) from Glacier National Park, it’s surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and incredible outdoor recreation, while the town itself is as cute as a button and has a charming downtown.

And this Monday, it will take center stage on ABC’s “The Bachelor.”

Photo courtesy ABC

Photo courtesy ABC

The episode will showcase the town of Whitefish and the surrounding Glacier Country area as the destination where the remaining bachelorettes will compete for the love of Sean Lowe–the dreamy blue-eyed blond haired bachelor. (Um, swoon).

The Bachelor arrives via seaplane to The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

The Bachelor arrives via seaplane to The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

The ladies arrived to The Lodge at Whitefish Lake on a historic jammer. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

The ladies arrived to The Lodge at Whitefish Lake on a historic jammer. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

During the episode, Sean and the ladies spend time at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, take a scenic helicopter tour over Glacier National Park, ride horses at The Bar W Guest Ranch and are serenaded by rising country music singer Sarah Darling in a live downtown concert.

Sarah Darling performs on Central Avenue in Whitefish. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

Sarah Darling performs on Central Avenue in Whitefish. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

Sounds juicy, romantic and beautiful, right? Be sure to tune in this Monday, February 4 at 7 p.m., MST and watch as Sean searches for love in the grandest lady of them all–Montana.


Montana: Home to Light Snow & Deep Powder

Montana is a pretty humble state. The people are low key, the mountain goats are composed and the communities are welcoming. All in all, it’s a cool crowd.

And while we know we’re fortunate in Big Sky Country, we also aren’t big on bragging. So instead we’re going to have someone else tell you how cool Montana is…so I chatted with pro skier and Warren Miller Entertainment athlete Tyler Ceccanti about opening weekend at Whitefish Mountain Resort to get his take on skiing in Western Montana.

TT: Tyler, how was the snow at Whitefish Mountain Resort?
TC: It was the lightest snow I think I’ve ever skied.

TT: How would you describe opening weekend?
TC: Those were two of the best days of skiing I’ve had in a long time.

And for those of you who are looking for photographic proof of Tyler’s take on Montana, here are a few images from last weekend.

Hello Big Mountain.

Look at that SNOW.

Tyler shredding through “the lightest snow” he’s ever skied.

Powder day.

And for even more proof, check out the Daily Snow Reporter Video.

Want more winter?

Come play in the powder at Lookout Pass (one of my personal favorites), Lost Trail, Turner Mountain, Blacktail Mountain, Montana Snowbowl or Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Happy winter,

Be a Winter Warrior (and win cool stuff)

We’re saying it: Happy winter! While the first official day of winter isn’t until December 21, around these parts we get pumped for winter early. How pumped, you ask? Very pumped.

In fact, this year we’re so excited about winter that we’re celebrating it and spreading the good word about winter in Montana with our Winter Warrior campaign.

Catching air at Lookout Pass last February. (Photo by Glacier Country Tourism)

As part of the campaign, we’re encouraging folks near and far to sign up to become a Winter Warrior and to learn more about their favorite winter-geared activity of choice in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

The best part, besides finding out all the info you need to shred, sled and play in Western Montana this winter, is that after you sign up you’re automatically entered into our weekly giveaways.  And boy howdy, we’ve got some good swag to give away!

Here’s a list of the goodness we’re giving away every week, all winter long. Drumroll, please…

Now that you’ve made it through this list (pretty sweet stuff, right?), be sure to head over and sign up to become a Winter Warrior.  After all, winter is rad.

And winter in Montana? Well, it’s even radder.

Bonus: When you order your Winter Warrior packet, we’ll send you one of these cool stickers.

Happy shredding,

Soak up Fall in Montana with Travel Deals

As sure as my eyes are blue, I felt it. That distinct crispness in the air that can only mean one thing: autumn.

It’s on its way folks. Sure, the sun in shining brightly now and we have some high temperature days still ahead of us, but I know that Mr. Autumn has started his journey toward us. And since there’s no stopping his arrival, I wanted to give you the scoop on some pretty sweet Montana fall travels deals that can be found throughout Western Montana.

Glacier National Park Area
Autumn Season Special, Glacier Guides Lodge: Valid from September 22 – October 14, this sweet special includes lodging and breakfast at an eco-friendly lodge on the edge of the park for $133.75/room.

Special Low Season Rates, Glacier Outdoor Center: Sitting on a lovely hill with views of Glacier National Park, you’ll find Glacier Outdoor Center and their one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom modern cabins. You’ll also find horseshoes, a volleyball court and trout ponds located on-site. You can scoop up a cabin starting at $125.60/night after September 16 (a 60 percent saving off regular rates) with this stellar low season deal.

Fall foliage along the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.

Golf Package, Grouse Mountain Lodge: Located on the outskirts of Whitefish and adjacent to Whitefish Lake Golf Course is the lovely Grouse Mountain Lodge. And from September 16 – November 12, the lodge is offering their golf package (including lodging, golf with cart and a $25 restaurant credit) starting at $310/night.

Save 10 Percent, Wingate by Wyndham: Located on the edge of Missoula and with an on-site waterslide, Wingate is offering 10 percent off their regular rate on any room. Just print out this coupon and use it when making your reservation.

A fall visit to Missoula should include a hike to the "M" on Mount Sentinel.

Because in total seriousness, Montana is lovely in the fall.

Here’s looking forward to autumn, while still soaking up the last rays of summer.

Montana: We’ve Got Good Eats

When this messy-haired blond girl was growing up, we lived one mile down the road from my grandparents and our family owned store, where my grandpa was constantly (and boy do I mean constantly) cooking food for whoever happened to be around. And since it was was a store, there were always people around to taste his cooking.

My gramps.

My grandpa had two catch phrases: one was “Have a happy day.” and the other was “Want to taste something good?” And when we heard the latter, we knew there was something delicious simmering on the stove for us in the backroom.

While fine dining may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Montana, we truly have some amazing chefs serving up mouth-watering dishes. And because I love food (thank you for that grandpa) and sharing special places with you, I need to introduce you to Cafe Kandahar (located at Whitefish Mountain Resort) and its delectable dishes. Have a gander.

Louisiana Shrimp.

Alaskan Salmon (so yummy).

The lamb was literally cooked to perfection.

Montana-raised Kobe Beef...it's what's for dinner.

Hello warm chocolate tort cake.

Not to play favorites, but this huckleberry dessert was perfection.

To which I now must ask you, want to taste something good?