Good snow, good brews, good views – if those are priorities for your spring break destination, put a ski trip to Whitefish, Montana on the calendar. With spring break revelers south from Calgary and northwest from Bozeman, it will be a guaranteed good time without breaking the budget.
Whitefish has great lodging options, a bustling, vibrant downtown, and a variety of restaurants, all in the glorious shadow of expansive Glacier National Park. What else would make spring break better? Oh yeah, a good deal – with lift tickets ringing in at $79, you’ll save at least $40 per day compared to other Montana resorts like Big Sky.
Whitefish Mountain Resort was originally called “Big Mountain” for a reason – it’s big in both vastness and in heart. You’ll see that when you’re offered a free beer from Ski Patrol on a Wednesday afternoon. Whitefish has always had that down home feeling, although it’s now a world-class resort with endless options to ski, stay, eat and drink. Hit up the town of Whitefish for spring break this year to make deep powder turns and live it up while still saving a few bucks.
What does Whitefish have to offer?
Great Value: Consistently ranked high in Ski Magazine’s list of Best Value Resorts (this year nabbing the #5 spot overall), Whitefish won’t break the bank. Lift tickets are still under $100, and the nightly rate at the comfortable Grouse Mountain Lodge (chill enough so you actually sleep, but super close to town) doesn’t cost any more than a lift ticket! On-mountain food and beer keeps it real – you can get a burrito and a beer for just about $10.
Chow After Pow: Where to go after you hit the slopes? The downtown dining options range from Craggy Range Bar and Grill – a great sports bar on the main drag – to Mama Blanca’s, where you can grab some carne asada fries to cure your hangover at any time of the day. The nicer restaurants all have bar menus and classy lounges as well, so if you want to feel fancy one night, there’s a spot for you.
Better Après Options: First off, the day always ends at the Bierstube on Big Mountain. Since spring break lasts all week, swing by on Wednesday to watch the weekly “Fraburt Awards,” when embarrassing stories about employees or well-known locals culminate in a winner chugging a chalice of beer. Ski patrol buys the whole keg and walks around pouring free beer until it’s gone. Once you make it down to town, remember that Après Ski deals at Logan’s Bar at Grouse Mountain Lodge are some of the best in town with $3 microbrews from 4-7pm every day.
What’s a Stagette: Never heard of a Stagette Party, eh? Well, it’s a highlight of downtown nightlife in Whitefish. The Canadian version of a Bachelorette Party, ladies (and guys too, on "Stag Parties"), venture downtown, sample the local's beverages, talk about staying warm while looking good and keep the good times raging no matter what day of the week it is. You have to see it to believe it, but Canadians know how to have fun!
Are you in? Make the short (scenic!) drive to Whitefish or fly into Glacier Park International Airport (20 minutes from town) to kick off your spring break this year.