EAT

For a small town, Whitefish bustles. It has a rocking dining scene, complete with two breweries, a distillery, a variety of dinner options, and quirky late-night haunts—like The Great Northern Bar (greatnorthernbar.com)—where you’ll find cheap-beer specials and live music most nights of the week.

Craft beer fans get their fix at Bonsai Brewing Project (facebook.com/bonsaibrew/). Locals love the quaint taproom, but it’s the easy-drinking brews like Due North IRA (India Red Ale) that keep them coming back. For a post-shred refuel, head to Pescado Blanco (pescadoblancorestaurant.com)—where the kitchen serves balanced, hearty and healthy dishes. Kickstart your morning with a cup of coffee and house-made baked pastries at Montana Coffee Traders’ (coffetraders.com) downtown location. If you’re staying on the mountain, devour nachos and an après adult beverage at the Hellroaring Saloon & Eatery (hellroaringsaloon.com).

SLEEP

In true small resort town fashion, you won’t find chain hotels and generic lodging in Whitefish. Instead, visitors can choose from small, boutique hotels in town, and ample condos and townhouses scattered throughout the resort. If exploring Whitefish’s charming and historic downtown is in your plan, grab a room at The Firebrand Hotel (firebrandhotel.com)—a beautiful contemporary hotel located a block from the town’s main drag. Nightly rates at this gem start at $109. If spending all of your time up on the mountain is your top priority, book a room at one of Whitefish Mountain Resort’s lodging properties (skiwhitefish.com). Rates begin at $99 a night, and the resort also offers a handful of discounted packages, including a Ski & Stay and mid-week package.

 

PLAY

Whitefish Mountain Resort lacks the crowds of a Colorado resort, but it certainly can have as-good or better snow. Tucked up in the northwest corner of northwest Montana, it boasts 3,000 skiable acres and 300-plus inches of the white stuff each year. Grab a lift ticket for a fairly reasonable $79 per day and head to the untracked tree lines in Hellroaring Basin or the steeps of East Ridge—and lap away, friend. And defintely get in on the Moonlight Dine & Ski ($55 per person), which includes dinner on the top of the mountain and an instuctor-led moonlight ski down. Get to nearby Glacier National Park for a quiet backcountry jaunt. Rent snowshoes from the Sportsman & Ski Haus (sportsmanskihaus.com) at the Whitefish resort’s base lodge, and head out on a free guided snowshoe walk in the park every Saturday and Sunday from January to March.

—Tyra Sutak