An August 2003 trip
to Whitefish by Lovestogo
Quote: We spent two weeks exploring Canada’s Waterton Lakes and Glacier National Park in late August/early September, 2003. We used Whitefish as our base for the final week to explore and sightsee in Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest.
Whitefish, Montana was our last stop on a two-week vacation which included spending 4 days in Waterton Lakes, Canada (Exploring Canada's Waterton Lakes) and 3 days around the Many Glacier area in Glacier National Park. (Look for my journal, Glacier On Fire.)
Whitefish is a small town in northwestern Montana that is close to the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park.
Whitefish has the charm of an old Western town where you could imagine gunfighters emerging from a saloon and engaging in a gunfight in the middle of town based on old TV shows. However, in keeping with today's modern lifestyle, Whitefish is rapidly transpiring into one of the fastest growing cities in Montana.
Big Mountain Ski Resort is just minutes from downtown Whitefish and provides both summer and winter activities. We enjoyed the drive up to the top of the mountain and the gorgeous mountain homes along the way. The view of Whitefish Lake would have been awesome if it hadn't been for the smoke from the many wildfires that were currently raging at the time of our visit.
One of our most memorable moments on this trip was realizing how much we love Montana and how often we dream of one day being able to retire there!!
Watch your speed!! We didn't go through Whitefish one day/night without seeing someone pulled over by the city police. As you go through town, the speed limit is 25, and it is extremely hard to stay under that! The area around the viaduct and train station was especially popular for getting tickets!
Try some of the many wonderful pubs and restaurants in the Whitefish area.
If you enjoy golf, there are several courses in the area.
Be sure to go to Glacier National Park if in the area. The Going To The Sun Road is nothing less that magnificent!!
Big Mountain Winter & Summer Resort, 5-10 miles from the resort to Ski Resort.
Whitefish Lake/City Beach, no more than a couple miles from the resort.
Restored train station of the Great Northern Railroad, 2-3 miles from the resort.
Best Things About the Resort:The large, spacious rooms with all the comforts of home made this timeshare a wonderful experience. Even with guests in the other unit, you never heard a sound!
The stackable washer/dryer was extremely handy as we brought almost all clean clothes home!
The short Saturday morning informational meeting was helpful for restaurant suggestions, things to do around town, etc.
We enjoyed seeing the deer playing in the yard across from the condos.Resort Experience:Crestwood Resort provided us with a close proximity for sightseeing and exploring in nearby Glacier National Park.
The units at Crestwood Resorts resemble a duplex with each unit having individual front entrances on opposite ends. A small patio and grill were at the front entrance, with lawn chairs inside the unit. (We had a new gas grill, but most were charcoal.)
As you walk inside, the large, spacious living room was on the left and consisted of two couches (one being a pull-out queen sofabed), two matching oversized footstools, a TV (with cable, HBO and Showtime), a VCR/DVD combo and a fireplace. A freestanding fan was in the corner and all windows opened to allow fresh air in since the units weren't air-conditioned.
The kitchen/dining area was on the right with glass sliding doors leading to the patio. The kitchen had all new full-size appliances and there was a dishwasher, garbage disposal, along with several small appliances such as a blender, coffee maker, toaster, etc. The unit contained dishes, silverware, pots, pans, etc. for cooking. We actually took a night to grill out steaks and baked potatoes, which was a first! A small bar separated the kitchen from the living room area.
As you continued down the hall, a closet was to the left, which housed the stackable washer/dryer and iron/ironing board. One package of laundry detergent was provided, but I purchased several additional ones and did our laundry late at night when we returned. (It was certainly nice returning home with clean clothes instead of dirty ones!!)
Immediately across the hall was the large master bathroom. It had a shower/tub combination and the vanity was filled with bath and hand towels and washcloths.
At the end of the hall to the left was the master bedroom, which had a queen-size bed, two nightstands with mirrors attached, a chest and a ceiling fan. A smaller bathroom with a vanity, toilet and a shower was off the bedroom with a full supply of towels and washcloths. A second bedroom was across the hall with two twin beds.
Crestwood Resorts had just completed the installation of a new pool and hot tub located in the center of the courtyard and was still in the process of landscaping at the end of August, 2003. The resort also planned for new carpet installation in all units during 2004. Guests at Crestwood have full use of the Whitefish Athletic Club by showing their room key.
Crestwood Resorts is just minutes from Big Mountain Ski Resort and Whitefish City Beach. It is within minutes of downtown Whitefish and there are several restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations nearby. Another big plus is that it is only approx. 26-28 miles from the west entrance of Glacier National Park.
The President/Manager of Crestwood Resort gave a short Saturday morning introduction to the area for all guests with muffins, coffee and juices provided. The manager also stated that units were available for sale if anyone was interested, but the sell of timeshares wasn't mentioned again and the phone didn't ring with a pesky salesperson interrupting your vacation, trying to make a sale!!
This was another great timeshare experience and the accommodations at Crestwood made this Montana vacation even more memorable.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 12, 2004
1301 Wisconsin Avenue
Whitefish, Montana 59937
Restaurant | "Wildwood Bakery & Cafe"
The olive-colored Wildwood Bakery & Café is an older-type house that has been remodeled into a restaurant. It has four steps leading into the building but has a ramp for those who might have difficulties with steps. It is only minutes from Crestwood Resort, and is located right before you cross the viaduct or immediately after you cross the viaduct, depending upon which way you are traveling.
Wildwood Bakery & Café has a variety of items on their breakfast menu. On the lighter side, they have seasonal fresh fruit and yogurt topped with homemade granola ($4.50), oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar and roasted walnuts ($4) and Wildwood Granola (homemade) with nuts and dried fruit, served with milk ($4). Pancakes, french toast, several varieties of omelets, and specialty items such as breakfast burritos and Eggs Benedict are also on the breakfast menu. Coffee and ice water were available on a self-serve basis immediately upon entering into the bakery/café. Espresso and other gourmet coffees were available as well as a variety of juices.
I chose the Farmers Omelet, which consisted of three eggs with fresh garden vegetables (green peppers, spinach, tomatoes, onions, zucchini), choice of hash browns or red potatoes and a choice of freshly baked bran or blueberry muffins ($6.50). My husband loves french toast and likes to try it at different restaurants, so his decision was easy. This french toast was homemade, thick-cut slices of oatmeal bread stuffed with cream cheese and served with a wildberry compote (raspberries, blackberries and huckleberries). While this french toast was different than what he was used to, it was still good. This was priced with two slices for $5.50 and three slices for $6.50.
As the name indicates, a bakery is on site and the display case on the way out tempts you one more time! It was filled with yummy muffins, cookies, and too many mouth-watering pastries to name individually. I used my "we-could-use-some-of-these-muffins-out-in-Glacier" speech to talk myself into purchasing something to take with us. (We actually did enjoy the treats while in Glacier)!!
Wildwood Bakery & Café only serves breakfast and lunch. Their hours are Monday – Saturday, 7:30–11:30am for breakfast and 11:30am-3pm for lunch. Sunday is breakfast only and their hours are 8am-1pm. We arrived around 8:45am on a Sunday in early September, and while it wasn’t crowded, it wasn’t long until every table was taken! Seating is available both inside and outside, with several patio and picnic tables outside. Breakfast prices range from $4 - $7.50.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 11, 2004
Wildwood Bakery & Cafe
102 Wisconsin Avenue
Whitefish, Montana 59937
The Dire Wolf Pub offers a variety of appetizers, including Black Bean Nachos, Chips and Salsa, Spicy Buffalo Wings, and Ale Battered Onion Rings ranging from $1.50 to $5.95. They have soups ($2.50 cup and $3.50 bowl) and salads, which are from $3.50 for a house dinner salad to $7.95 for a Caesar salad with chicken. Hot & cold sandwiches range from $5.95 to $7.95, with seven different types of burgers for $6-$6.50. They also have pub specials such as Ale Battered Halibut & Fries for $7.95, Ribeye with fries for $9.95, Italian Pasta with Meatballs & Garlic Bread for $8.95 and Wolf Den Gyros with fries for $6.95. They also specialize in several varieties of pizzas and have a large selection of toppings to create your own from.
I chose the Dynamo Burger, which had grilled onions and green peppers, mushrooms and cheddar cheese with chips, which was $6.00. My husband had one of the Pub Specialties, Chicken Fettuccine, which was served with garlic bread ($8.95). He had the chicken blackened (an extra $1) and he raved on and on about how good it tasted. Our total bill including soft drinks was less than $20.
Naturally, the Pub serves alcoholic beverages as well as soft drinks, iced tea, lemonade, coffee, juice and milk.
I described the Dire Wolf Pub in my daily vacation journal as "What a strange place"! If jumping to conclusions and judging the outside appearance of an all-wood building with huge, square wooden posts supporting the cedar-shake-shingled wraparound porch, one could almost visualize a saloon full of outlaws raising their drinks to a toast while enjoying the ragtime music resonating from a piano and the can-can girls dancing on the bar!!! Imagine my surprise as we entered a pub with the same huge, heavy wooden posts strategically placed as supports throughout the restaurant, with massive tables, chairs and wooden booths that had every square inch of wood carved with someone’s name, who they loved and where they were from. There must be years of history in the booth carvings alone!!!
The Dire Wolf Pub is a non-smoking family-type restaurant with an outside patio for dining during the warm Montana days and evenings. It also has a bookshelf filled with books, a pool table, a big screen television as well as a small television above the bar. A floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace was in the back of the room. I imagined the Dire Wolf in the middle of winter, a roaring fire, a full pub filled with locals and skiers exhausted from a hard day, watching a game on the big-screen TV while others were curled up in front of the fire with a book. Hours are from 11am Monday - Saturday and on Sunday from noon.
Dire Wolf Pub
845 Wisconsin Ave.
Whitefish, Montana 59937
Restaurant | "Truby's "
Truby’s is a smoke-free restaurant located in downtown Whitefish that is locally famous for their hand-tossed, wood-fired gourmet pizza. Even if you’re not crazy about pizza, it’s worth stopping in just to see them hand-toss the pizza dough and see it cooking in their authentic wood-fired oven.
Truby’s menu not only includes pizza, but offers two kinds of soup: Soup du jour and Baked Garlic & Onion as well as tossed and Caesar salads. Their dinner menu included Ravioli, Linguini, Baby-back ribs, and Roasted Half Chicken and range in price from $7 to $16. They also have burgers served on focaccia bread with fries for $5.95 and $6.95. A kid’s menu is available with hamburgers ($3.95), cheeseburgers ($4.50), cheese pizza ($4.95) and pasta with red sauce ($3.95).
We debated other selections but ultimately decided to try two of Truby’s famous pizzas. My husband decided on the Thai pizza, which had peanut sauce with sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, mandarin oranges, green peppers and mozzarella cheese. There were too many wild choices for me, so I stuck with the traditional pizza with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. Just call me boring, but this was my one meal for the day and I didn’t want to order something and it not be good!!! I have to say that the Thai pizza looked absolutely wonderful and my husband said that it was!! My normal-but-boring pepperoni pizza was good, but probably not as good as his!!
Truby’s has a lunch menu that is served Monday through Saturday from 11am – 3pm and includes soup, salads, pizzas, and other entrees. Prices range from $5 to $10. Dinner hours are from 4pm to 10pm Monday through Saturday and from 4pm to 10pm on Sunday. On Fridays and Saturdays, pizza is served until midnight. Happy Hour is from 4pm – 7pm Monday through Friday, and Truby’s has an extensive beer and wine selection that features local microbrews as well as all the popular name brands!
We enjoyed eating inside and looking out through the curved glass windows. However, many people decide to eat outside on the patio during the warm summer months. Our server was a little slow recognizing that we had been seated at her table, but outside that, our dining experience at Truby’s was a pleasant one.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 11, 2004
Truby's Wood Fired Pizza
115 Central Avenue
Whitefish, Montana 59937
We decided to eat at Dos Amigos on our last night in Whitefish and we weren’t disappointed. We arrived a little after 5pm, as we like to eat early (if possible) and avoid the crowds. There were already several cars in both the front and back parking lots, and based upon the week’s experience, it would only get worse as the night went on.
We were quickly seated with our server immediately bringing us a basket of chips and salsa. We munched away on these while we scoured the menus, trying to decide which dish we wanted to try. Thank goodness the menu gave descriptions, because it had almost anything you could imagine…. even non-Mexican food, for those people who want to have fish, chicken, steak or a burger and fries.
I decided on the Seafood Chimichanga ($12.95) which had shrimp, crabmeat and Monterey Jack cheese, topped with an avocado slice, sour cream, tomato and their lemon-garlic butter sauce. It also came with Spanish rice and refried beans. My husband decided on the Southwest Sampler ($23.95), which had grilled chicken with peanut garlic salsa served on a bed of lettuce, Cajun curry jumbo shrimp served on a bed of black beans and rice, and a Ricotta enchilada with cilantro pesto. Our selections were very good and it was a great way to end a week in yet another national park.
As mentioned, the selections are many at Dos Amigos, with many varieties of fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, chimichangas, tostados, combination dinners of many Mexican favorites including tacos and a variety of beef, pork, chicken and seafood dishes. Salads are also available including taco, avocado seafood, chicken fajita and a regular house salad. We didn’t even glance at the dessert menus, as we were too full from dinner!!
Dos Amigos is located on Highway 93 and their hours are from 4pm - 11pm. Plan on arriving by 6 or 6:30pm unless you want to wait, as the restaurant was starting to fill as we were leaving.
I read that Dos Amigos was voted the "Best Mexican Food in the Flathead Valley." With their many selections, I can certainly understand why.
6592 Highway 93 South
Whitefish, Montana 59937