Many people drive from all corners of the country to visit Glacier National Park. However just outside the park, there are some interesting and unique attractions in the Flathead region. If you have an extra day and these are along your route, I highly recommend checking them out! Here are 5 things to do near Glacier National Park.
1) Swim in Flathead Lake, MT
Just south of Kalispell lies Flathead lake, an absolutely massive clear water lake with boating, fishing, and a road that circles both the east and west. Depending on which way the sun is, I recommending driving south skirting the shores of this lake. There are many spots to pull over and look over the water or hike to the shore.
2) View the Mission Mountains
As you continue south via route 35 or 93, you will now enter the Mission Valley Wilderness. Which is a huge range with plenty of photo ops and small towns along the route. Take in some of the history at the signpost describing the tribes and frontiersmen that mingled in the area in the early 1800s.
3) Visit the Garden of 1000 Buddhas
On the foothills of the Mission Mountains is a peculiar stop along US-93. A Buddha sanctuary with 1000 donated Buddha relics and lots of statues and displays for the purposes of world peace. It is relaxing and meditative as you are surrounded by vast fields and hills. It is self guided and has restrooms.
4) Eat Burgers at Big River Cantina
If you’ve made it this far, you are probably a bit hungry. Drive over to Dixon, MT and have a burger. This was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. You can see the river and railcars as well.
5) Drive the National Bison Range
Finally, head to the National Bison Range. Which is an adventurous self guided safari showcasing the majestic American Bison which once thundered across the plains. You can see them up close and donate to enter. At some points you can even ascend to the summit of one of the hills to take in a 360 view of the entire valley! From here you can drive to the interstate to be on your way or stay in any of the small bed and breakfast inn’s in the area.