The pretty little town of Bigfork lies nestled on the edge of Flathead Lake, where its arty community offers visitors a warm welcome. Named as one of the 100 Best Small Art Towns in the Nation, Bigfork has no fewer than 15 bustling art galleries and studios for you to visit. Staying with the arts, you can also enjoy live performing arts at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse which hosts a full calendar of productions during the summer months. Outdoor activities include all forms of water sport on Flathead Lake as well as hiking, camping and biking in the Wayfarer’s State Park. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Bigfork Summer Playhouse
Big Fork Summer Playhouse was originally founded in 1960 to provide an artistic outlet for University of Montana Theatre students. Going from strength to strength, the Playhouse has brought a wonderful variety of performing arts to Big Fork for over 60 years. Many of the talented performers who have been seen on stage at the BSP have gone on win various accolades, including Oscar-winner J K Simmons, who appeared in many BSP shows. The Playhouse hosts a full season of live entertainment including dramas, comedy and musicals each year as well as hosting several shows for their Children’s Theatre, which brings the magic of live performance to thousands of children each year.
Big Fork Summer Playhouse, 526 Electric Ave, Main Street, Bigfork, MT 59911, Phone: 406-837-4886
2.Wayfarer’s State Park, Bigfork, Montana
Located less than a mile of Big Fork, Wayfarer’s State Park is the place to go to enjoy fun outdoor recreational activities and watch brilliant sunsets. The 67 acre park overlooks Flathead Lake, a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. The lake has a boat ramp and both motorized and non-motorized boating is permitted. Other popular recreational activities in the park include sailing and water-skiing, lake fishing, bird watching and hiking. Day trippers are welcome to use the picnic areas and you can bring along your tent or RV and spend a few nights under the stars – the campground is open from mid-June through early-September. The park offers regular guided nature walks on weekends.
Wayfarer’s State Park, 8600 Mt. Hwy 35, Bigfork, MT 59911, Phone: 403-837-3041
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3.Swan River, Bigfork, Montana
The Swan River is a 95-mile stretch of water which drains the isolated Swan Valley in western Montana. For adventure lovers the most interesting part of the river lies between Flathead Lake and Bigfork Dam, where the river drops a dramatic 30m over the course of a mile. This section is known as the “Wild Mile” and offers adrenalin junkies a truly exhilarating stretch of river for whitewater rafting, paddling and kayaking. This section hosts the annual Bigfork Whitewater Festival each May, when daredevils come from near and far to pit their skills against the Class IV and V+ rapids. The section of the river above Bigfork Dam is a lot more placid and is known to offer excellent trout fishing.
Swan River, Bigfork, MT 59911
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4.ARTfusion, Bigfork, Montana
Conveniently located right in the heart of arty Bigfork, ARTfusion is dedicated to showcasing the talents of local Montana artists. The gallery exhibits the work of over 70 Montana artists, with an emphasis on paintings in all mediums and ceramic art. This is the ideal place to find a unique piece of home décor or to stock up on gifts for friends and family. In addition to the art and ceramics, ARTfusion also stock a range of once-off pieces of jewelry. Art enthusiasts should try and schedule their visit to coincide with one of the town’s two annual art walks, when 15 galleries in the village collaborate to offer visitors a fabulous evening of art and artists.
ARTfusion, 471 Electric Ave, Bigfork, MT 59911, Phone: 406-837-3526
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5.Flathead Lake Brewing Company, Bigfork, MT
© Flathead Lake Brewing Company
Overlooking the picturesque shores of Flathead Lake, the Flathead Lake Brewing Company Pubhouse is your go-to destination in Bigfork for great food and even greater craft beers. The brewery was established in 2004 and in no time at all they were winning awards for their distinctive craft beers. When you visit the Pubhouse you will find at least 16 brews on tap, as well as a selection of wines, liquors and cocktails. There are two dining areas – the main floor serves freshly prepared seasonal dishes, with daily specials. On the lower level you can enjoy Chicago-style deep dish pizza and live music.
Flathead Lake Brewing Company, 116 Holt Drive, Bigfork, MT 59911, Phone: 406-837-2004
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6.Bigfork Inn, Bigfork, Montana
© Bigfork Inn
Bigfork Inn is a prominent landmark which has welcomed weary travelers and loggers for almost 80 years. The original wooden structure burnt down during the Great Depression and had to be painstakingly reconstructed from scratch. These days the accommodation part of this historic old inn no longer operates as such and the inn is home to the popular Traditions Restaurant. French chef Francois serves up a fresh seasonal menu, using locally sourced ingredients to re-create fine Mediterranean-style dishes. You can dine indoors in the charming dining room or outside on the terrace. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday and Sunday Brunch.
Bigfork Inn – Traditions Restaurant, 604 Electric Ave, Bigfork, MT 59911, Phone: 406-837-6680
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7.Riley’s Pub, Bigfork, Montana
© Riley’s Pub
Located on Wood’s Bay, overlooking Flathead Lake, Riley’s Pub is an ideal family dining destination which offers beautiful views. The pub has been pleasing Bigfork locals and visitors for over 15 years and continues to have a staunch following of fans. On the drinks side, you can look forward to tasting some of the 8 brews on tap, while you ponder the menu and wait for your dinner. Food choices include stone-baked pizzas, wood-smoked ribs, wings, burgers and other pub favorites, served with your choice of innovative sauces and sides. Other items on the menu include their famous fish and chips, a variety of salads and a few pastas. Remember to leave some room for a treat from the dessert menu.
Riley’s Pub, 14735 Sylvan Drive, Bigfork, MT 59911, Phone: 406-867-4263
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7 Best Things to Do in Bigfork, Montana
- Bigfork Summer Playhouse, Photo: cdrw1973/stock.adobe.com
- Wayfarer’s State Park, Bigfork, Montana, Photo: Alfredo/stock.adobe.com
- Swan River, Bigfork, Montana, Photo: Rahat/stock.adobe.com
- ARTfusion, Bigfork, Montana, Photo: ARTfusion
- Flathead Lake Brewing Company, Bigfork, MT, Photo: Flathead Lake Brewing Company
- Bigfork Inn, Bigfork, Montana, Photo: Bigfork Inn
- Riley’s Pub, Bigfork, Montana, Photo: Riley’s Pub
- Cover Photo: Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce
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