Wander logo

Why Whitefish Montana is The Next "Big" Small Town

Discover America's favorite new small town with amazing outdoors, antiques, dining, and more!

By Matthew LundgrenPublished 3 months ago 4 min read
Via Wikipedia

If you've ever travelled through the Western United States, then it's likely you've gone through Montana, or at least thought about it. And that's for a good reason; Montana is a beautiful and wild state that still very much emanates the feeling of the Wild West. From the beautiful and vast Big Sky countrysides to the cowboy culture, if you want to step back in time and escape the modern world for a while, Montana is waiting for you.

We could talk about the wonders of Montana for hours, but we really want to focus on a town that you may not have heard of before, Whitefish. Whitefish is a town in northwest Montana, situated at the base of Glacier National Park. It has a population of just about 8,500 people and is known for world-class skiing and serving as a launching point for numerous outdoor adventures and activities. From camping and hiking in Glacier National Park, to skiing some beautiful mountains and fresh snow, you can find basically any outdoor activity in Whitefish.

Even though this town has definitely been popular for its natural beauty, Whitefish is becoming more and more popular for the town itself. Whitefish is full of antique shops, delicious restaurants, quaint atmosphere, and a historic downtown and main street that will make you feel like you've been transported decades back in time.

It is becoming more and more difficult for the charm of small towns to stay alive, which is what makes the atmosphere of Whitefish even more alluring. They've managed to keep the wonderful feel the American small town alive and thriving while welcoming more and more people each year.

History of Whitefish, Montana

Whitefish was founded in 1905 when The Great Northern Railway diverted it's route away from the steep Haskell pass and chose a more gentle journey through what would become Whitefish. Being in Montana, this land was full of forests, and so they had to clear a lot of timber in order to make room for the town. This gave rise to the nickname "Stumptown" and the logging industry stuck around to become a vital life line for the area. Most of the early residents worked in either the railroad or logging industries.

Antiquing in Whitefish

Via Cabin Creek Antiques on Facebook

Aside from all of the outdoor adventures, one of our favorite things about Whitefish is the selection of antique shops! For a small town of less than 10,000 residents, there are 6 pretty amazing antique shops that you can browse in for hours and just get lost in the history and beauty. We've gathered up a few of the best picks if you want to spend some time antiquing in this Montana small town!

Cabin Creek Antiques

Located right in the heart of downtown Whitefish, Cabin Creek Antiques is one of the best spots in town if you are looking for any unique pieces that are full of interesting Western history.

The owners curate a beautiful and thoughtful selection of pieces that have both aesthetic value and are steeped in history. They've had old chair lift convereted into benches, hutches from a train depot, and old school benches with names and writing carved right into them! They also have a great selection of home decor and accessories that are perfect for your home or cabin!

Big Antiques

Another antique shop right in downtown (and just about two blocks away from Cabin Creek) is Big Antiques, another staple of the town. This shop is full of wonderful pieces and if you look hard enough, we are sure you'll find a gem for your own home! Plus, what's more cozy than grabbing a cup of local coffee and rummaging through a new antique store you've never been to before?

Best Spots For a Bite to Eat

In between the skiing, hiking, and shopping, you'll need some spots to grab a delicious meal while in Stumptown. We've found three that you definitely need to visit!

Latitude 48 Bistro

Latitude 48 Bistro is a delicious and highly rated right in downtown! It features a beautiful blend of traditional and contemporary dishes which it couples with an international wine list that will satisfy any palate.

The Great Northern Bar and Grill

If you are looking for a more casual and local spot, then you don't need to look any further than The Great Northern Bar and Grill. It has a prime location just a block off of main street and features great live local music. It has great prices, good food menu, and a TON of seating that can really come in handy during those busy tourist seasons!

Swift Creek Cafe

No town is complete without at least a few amazing breakfast spots, and Swift Creek Cafe is definitely one of those! It has a cute interior and some delicious eats! They have several unique dishes on their menu, alongside breakfast classics such as eggs Benedict and biscuits and gravy! But what really jumps out to us are their apple pie pancakes!

We hope this article helps take you on a little tour of the wonderful small town of Whitefish, Montana. And we hope that the next time you are traversing through the Western United States, you carve out some of your trip to visit this cozy little town!

Happy Travels!

travel tipsguideamerica

About the Creator

Matthew Lundgren

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.