Need NW Montana help

Discussion in 'Mountain' started by Srodri10, Nov 20, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Srodri10

    Srodri10 Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2009 Illinois

    Hey everyone. A friend of mine is getting marries in NW Montana. Specifically in the small town of Eureka. I am from Chicago. So I need a lot of help. For starters, how do I get there? Im thinking Glacier National Park airport (FCA). Next, having never been to MT I want to make the best of my trip there. So any suggestions about breweries...beers I need to drink...things to do...places to eat...just cool things ingeneral that I can incorporate into this trip would be greatly appreciated. I still have some time. Its in July so I also need to know if I can even afford this trip or not...Thanks in advance.
  2. quietdomino

    quietdomino Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2013 Texas

    Glacier is a must. And Lake Koocanusa is really nice.
  3. Vitacca

    Vitacca Devotee (445) Sep 15, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I'm not very familiar with that area. Everywhere you go in Montana takes multiple hours...especially where you're at. Glacier is amazing. Kalispell and Flathead Lake look like they're an hour and half away. That's probably your best bet. It's touristy. Shouldn't be too difficult to find things to do there. There's a brewery or 2 up that way. A quick google search should yield some better results. is a start. Good luck brother.
  4. growlerfills

    growlerfills Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2009 Montana

    For getting there, you can either fly into Kalispell, or take Amtrack from Chicago to Whitefish if you're up for that kind of adventure. Then rent a car and take the very scenic trip to Eureka which is 50+ miles northwest of Whitefish.

    Glacier National Park absolutely must be on your list. If you're a hiker, try to save a minimum of 2-3 days. As for breweries, Eureka is home to Montana's newest brewery ("newest" only for the next few weeks), Homestead Ales. It's about 7 miles south of Eureka and about 2.5 miles off the highway. Definitely put it on your list as a great Montana stop. Already producing fantastic beer. By July, Kalispell Brewing Co. should be open, Kalispell's first brewery. Others in the Flathead Valley/Lake area are Tamarack, Great Northern and Flathead.

    If your trip looks like a go, feel free to shoot me an email for more details. I'm in Missoula and was just up in Eureka last week.
  5. Srodri10

    Srodri10 Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2009 Illinois

    Thank you so much for the suggestions! Everyone... I LOVE the idea of taking the amtrak. However, do you have any suggestions/advice? I looked it up: A 31 hour journey. Not bad cuz it seems like it would be awesome. But if I did that should I just do coach? If you do anything other than coach it gets kind of pricey.

    As far as flights go i guess you can get some affordable deals into (FCA) Glacier International Airport. However, when I looked yesterday they had layovers in (MSP) Minneapolis.

    If you want to weigh in on flying vs train Id love to hear it.

    Other than that great suggestions....Thank You!
  6. Rbald42

    Rbald42 Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2008 Minnesota

    If time isn't an issue. I'd take the train. I'd guess it won't be very scenic until you hit the rockies, but who knows. If you want to maximize time then just fly into Kalispell and rent a car. As mentioned there are a handful of breweries around, but nothing in my opinion that I'd go far out of my way for unless you happen to be in the area sightseeing. That new place in eureka sounds pretty cool. I hear that Hops is a good place to have a beer in Kalispell. Markus Foods in downtown Whitefish that has a very good selection of Montana Local beer. Glacier NP is open but the main roads are closed for the season. You should still be able to get to Lake Mcdonald for some incredible views.
    Srodri10 likes this.
  7. spoony

    spoony Poo-Bah (1,880) Aug 1, 2012 Colorado
    Supporter Beer Trader

    That is a beautiful part of the state. Definitely try to hit Glacer and Waterton Lakes (the Canadian side of Glacier) if nature is your thing. Even if nature is not your thing, it is worth a day or two there. Whitefish and Big Fork are resort towns relatively near Eureka (Montana is a big state) that might be worth a visit (although I have not been to either town in a few years).

    Re: Travel, friends who have done the Amtrak train from Chicago to Glacier/Whitefish/Kalispell give it mixed reviews. The problems are that train tickets are not that much cheaper than flying and, more importantly, the view out the window only becomes interesting when you get about two hours away from your destination. If you're a train buff, go for it, but otherwise, meh.

    If you fly, you'll most likely have a layover (of varying durations) in Minneapolis, Denver, or Salt Lake depending on which airline you choose. You may have slightly better luck flying into Missoula, which is the closest "big" city to Eureka (Missoula is about 75,000 people and Kalispell is about 20,000 people). The drive from Missoula to Eureka is a bit of a haul (3.5 hours or so), but it is pretty and there is beer in Missoula (Big Sky, Bayern, and others). Flying into Spokane, WA is another option with slightly better flights, but a slightly longer (though still pretty) drive of about 4 hours.

    Good luck!
    GeezLynn likes this.
  8. GeezLynn

    GeezLynn Champion (856) May 10, 2009 Colorado

    If time isn't an issue for you, I'd second flying into Missoula. While I haven't been spent any time in the Kalispell area for years and therefore can't comment on the new breweries, Missoula will certainly be your best concentration of breweries/beer bars and stores in the region. Plus, it's not adding much to a drive from Kalispell and is a very scenic additional few miles.

    And make sure to see Glacier regardless of which option you choose!
  9. SalukiAlum

    SalukiAlum Disciple (332) Dec 19, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Can't imagine a 31 hour train ride would be much fun. Fly my friend and check out the beautiful part of Big Sky country. I would just imagine everything in between is fairly boring.
    Glacier National Park was awesome!!
  10. fuhkyou

    fuhkyou Aspirant (205) Feb 20, 2013 Idaho

    The train trip across Montana is a spiritual experience. I made it about 36 times. Twice (coming and going) on Amtrak, the rest hobo style. Amtrak will let you sleep on the floor in your sleeping bag in the observation car, if you are up by 6:00 am. I found a spot I just fit in that was some kind of empty luggage space with a carpeted floor. I slept till 8:00.
    Pretty country allrighty.
    Rent a car and see Dickey Lake and Koocanusa. Glacier park is a must too.
    Whitefish has changed a lot since 1984 when I first got there but still interesting to visit. Ride the ski lift to the top of Big Mountain. You can spot the locals at the Great Northern bar in Whitefish cause they all drink PBR from the can.
    tacosandbeer likes this.
  11. fuhkyou

    fuhkyou Aspirant (205) Feb 20, 2013 Idaho

    Westbound near Marias pass.
    Srodri10 and tacosandbeer like this.
  12. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Crusader (767) Dec 1, 2004 Washington

    I'm from Montana originally (Havre) and have taken the train to get there many times over the years. If you can afford it, the sleepers in the train are very nice, and all your food is included. They'll even bring it right to your room if you go that route. One downside of not doing this is that the dining car is set up so that they fill all the tables, which means you'll likely get stuck eating with strangers. Another plus is you could easily bring a few beers with you I suppose.

    Coach is ok if your trip isn't too long. Anything longer than about 12 hours and I'd do the sleeper car. It's tough to sleep in coach, the train stops and starts often and people board and exit constantly. You may get lucky and have the seat next to you unoccupied and you may not. If you don't, yes, it's tougher to sleep. My two cents: it's an expensive way to travel, but definitely an enjoyable experience if you have the extra time and money.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.