The Ultimate Ski Vacation: Whitefish
It’s not every day you get to fill your lungs with the crispest air, bag the highest peaks, or shred some of the most badass terrain in North America. Whether you’re a guy who prefers a high-end, no holds-barred ski vacation, or you’re a ski bum turned corporate dude looking to relive your glory days, your annual ski trip is a sacred, time-honored tradition. In our winter Ski Series, we’re delivering you a go-to guide, so you know where to stay, what to eat, and, in some cases, how to discover things only the locals know.
Whitefish is the town, Whitefish Mountain Resort is, well, the resort, and Montana is Big Sky Country for good reason. The scenic, mountainous, wild region that is Montana is home to some of the nation’s best adventurous living, and Whitefish is certainly no exception. A manageable resort in terms of size, Whitefish has already seen an impressive amount of snowfall this year, which stands to reason that the mountain will attract of bevy of skiers and riders this season.
Located on Big Mountain, Whitefish Mountain Resort is known for being an expert’s mountain serving a niche group of tourists year round. And these tourists we speak of are not looking for a luxurious, pampered sort of vacation, either. Old western mentality meets new school rippers who are more likely to be seen with duck-taped ski jackets than brand new fur-lined boots.
Where to eat
Serving up Authentic Montana Pit BBQ, Piggyback BBQ doesn’t need much introduction – or explanation. Local ingredients and a home-cooked style taste, this joint delivers some serious man food. For a more refined experience, Southern hospitality meets fine dining at Tupelo Grille, specializing in Cajun and Southern cuisine, fresh seafood, steaks, and pasta. Savory entrees, a casually elegant setting, and an award-winning wine list have all helped this restaurant garner recognition as one of the area’s best.
Where to stay
Located in the heart of town, the Whitefish Downtown Suites have Bachelor Party written all over them. This small handful of updated, modern and stylish condos offer a comfortable and chic place that everyone will appreciate, putting you right downtown with easy access to the local nightlife. For those looking for ski-in accommodations, check out Kandahar Lodge. A European-style lodge, the Kandahar offers the convenience of being slope-side with the ease of comfortable rooms.
Where to shred
Whitefish Mountain Resort’s 3,000 acres of terrain include 105 marked trails, 11 lifts, and two T-bars, but the real powder stashes can be found in Big Mountain’s vast amounts of bowls and tree skiing. According to the resort, terrain difficulty ranges from 40% intermediate to 40% advanced to 6% expert, with plenty of goods to be gotten all over the mountain.
Best après watering hole
Located under Latitude 48 Bistro, the Red Room Basement Bar is definitely worth a visit downstairs after dinner and a stumble out the door at the end of the night. If there were a place that somehow marries the vibes of a cool mountain town with a chic, somewhat city-like atmosphere, this is it.
Talk of the town
In December’s “Readers Sound Off,” Ski Magazine voted Whitefish, Mont., as having the friendliest locals, and considering the competition, that’s a pretty big deal. “Authentic. Genuine. Down-to-earth. All words commonly used to describe folks who live in this northern Montana ski town. We hear they’ll even ski with you on a powder day. And that’s something.” And what’s more? Ski Magazine also dubbed Whitefish as one of the “coolest towns to move to.” Big win for Whitefish, we’d say.