Here’s a short synopsis of the primary cities and communities that are located on the lake. If you are planning a trip, these links will tell you everything you will want to know from where to eat to what to do.
City of Bigfork is known by a number of names such as the “Village by the Bay” and “One of the 100 Best Small Art Towns of the Nation”. The town is located on the northeast corner of Flathead Lake where the Swan River joins the lake (Highway 35). It is a picturesque, artsy little community where you will find first-rate bronzes, carvings and paintings and other local crafts. The Bigfork Festival of the Arts is a popular affair held the first weekend in August. Bigfork Summer Playhouse (Center for the Performing Arts) has live professional theatre. Known by many as the “theatre by the bay”, the playhouse brings talent from across the country to bring the finest live professional theatre in the Northwest.
Like most NW Montana towns, Bigfork has booming population growth, but the town preserves its small-town flavor. Christmas is a celebrated season here as locals decorate the entire town in lights and garland, a tradition that has won attention from the national media. Bigfork has more than twenty restaurants that provide a gastronomic variety from fast food to fine French gourmet. Bigfork claims the distinction of being the home of Montana’s #1 golf course, Eagle Bend.
Oh and BTW, if you’re in the area on January 1st, be sure to attend the Flathead Lake Polar Bear Plunge in Bigfork!
Points of interest
The Bigfork Inn, a Swiss chalet style structure is an elegant old fashioned hotel and restaurant that was built in 1937 and was the premier hotel in the area. The Inn is open year round and serves dinner with dining on the deck during the summer. 406-837-6680.
Marina Cay Resort and Conference Center a full destination resort community offers a remarkable blend of outdoor adventure and effortless luxury.
A tiny community located at the junction of highways US 93 and Montana 28 on the south west side of the lake on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Chief Cliff is located here and is considered a spiritual site to the Indians on the reservation. It is said that an Indian Maiden can be seen standing on this cliff.
Although Kalispell does not border Flathead Lake, it is the largest city in NW Montana and located just north of the lake on Highway 93. The City of Kalispell, MT is the primary retail and trade center in NW Montana. For more information, visit Flathead Convention & Visitors Bureau
City of Polson is located at the south end of Flathead Lake on the Flathead Indian Reservation. A quaint lakeside community with a population of approximately 4500 people. Named for one of its first pioneer ranchers, David Polson, this was the first settlement on Flathead Lake in the mid 1800’s.
Where to eat & sip
The Boardwalk 606 4th Ave E 406.883.1088
China Gate / South Shore Lounge
Cove Deli 11 3rd Ave West 406-883-0434
Hot Spot Thai Café 1407 Hwy 93 406.88.4444
Jocko’s at The KwaTaqNuk 303 Hwy 93 406-883-3636
Lake City Bakery and Eatery 10 2nd Ave. East
McDonald’s 59262 Hwy 93
Papa Don’s Grill 412 2nd Avenue E. #B
Phil and Eddies 113 Bayview Drive
Pizza Hut 1402 Hwy 93
Quinn’s Wrap Shack #3 #rd Ave W
Regatta Pizza 59240 Highway 93
Ricciardis Italian Seafood House 35427 Highway 35 406-887-2200
Stageline Pizza 4 Fourth Ave. 406-883-4411
At the very north tip of Flathead Lake is the sleepy little town of Somers on Highway 93. Somers shares resources and attractions with its neighbor, Lakeside, which is located a couple miles south on Highway 93.
Del’s Bar has liquor, beer, and wine, great pizza in a sports bar atmosphere. They have a casino, mini-golf, and beer gardens. (406) 857-3351
Tiebuckers Pub & Eatery. 75 Somers Road. (406) 857-3335.