Kalispell is the biggest town in the Flathead Valley and is what most of the local population considers 'town'. There are a large number of galleries, good outdoor shops, Montana style bars and enticing restaurants to be found around the center of town. There are a number of music and art festivals that occur during the summer months in Kalispell and the town is also the site of the annual Northwest Montana Fair.
A great day drive from Kalispell allows visitors to explore the Northwest corner of the state in a day. Heading west on highway 2, visitors will travel through the town of Libby and end up passing Kootenay Falls, a worthy stop. A short hike brings you up close and personal to a massive cataract of waterfalls on the Kootenay River. Lucky visitors may see kayakers running one section of the falls and heading into the rapids below. These falls were used in filming the movie the River Wild (Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon) as the 'Gauntlet' scene and are definitely more impressive in person than on the big screen! After visiting the falls, visitors should consider driving north along Lake Koocanusa (named for Kootenay, Canada and USA), a large reservoir formed by Libby Dam. The canyon cliffs here hold only quartzite in northwest Montana that is high enough quality to support sport descent rock climbing. From Lake Koocanusa, visitors should head south along I-93 through Eureka, a tidy Montana hamlet with a quaint downtown area, and back through Whitefish to Kalispell.