Every summer, my side of the family gets together for a big family reunion! I come from a family of 12, you read that, 12 kids! Growing up in a large family was a crazy experience, but now with everyone grown, things are only better! We have the most amazing time together – relaxing, cooking, fishing, swimming and enjoying the warm weather!
This year, our family chose a beautiful location on Flathead Lake in Polson, Montana! If you haven’t been to this incredible place, you’re missing out! Flathead lake is HUGE and very similar to Lake Tahoe in California! The waters are crystal clear, the mountains with endless peaks and forests! We had so much fun this year and I wanted to share a little more about our stay: what to do and where to stay if you want to come and check out this stunning location!
All the Best Food!
I love food so much, I always get put in charge of coming up with the menu for our stay, organizing the shopping, cooking and cleaning! I start planning the menu a few weeks before the trip, writing down everyone’s dietary restrictions and plan accordingly. I don’t like to waste food so I count out exactly how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners we will be having.
Here are some of the breakfast recipes we enjoy during our stays. We always have coffee, juice, mimosa and fruit on hand!
- Classic Breakfast Bar: eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, toast, fresh veggies (+avocado!!)
- Breakfast Sandwich Bar: english muffins, bagels, eggs, bacon, ham, smoked salmon, cheese, spreads, veggies
- Pancake Breakfast: fresh buttermilk pancakes with fixings, berries, sausage, bacon
I loved enjoying my morning cup of coffee with this incredible view of the lake!
We keep lunches super simple and easy to enjoy on the go! With everyone swimming and enjoying the lake, it’s about sandwiches, burges and hot dogs!
- Classic Cheeseburgers with bacon – fry up some patties and toast the buns, then add all your favorite toppings!
- Salmon Avocado Burgers – I get my salmon patties at Costco! Enjoy them havarti cheese, guacamole, lettuce and fixings!
- Hot Dogs – grab a few different sausage flavors to make things more interesting! We love cheddar sausage, pineapple sausage and Polish kielbasa! Don’t forget to grab your favorite toppings!
Time for some grilled meats! We love grilled chicken, beef or seafood with veggies!
- Cedar Plank Salmon – this recipe is especially delicious with freshly-caught seafood!
- Grilled Veggie Salad – all the best veggies dressed with a zesty garlic dressing! This recipe will work with any grilled meats!
- Chicken Kabobs – I have my favorite recipe for kabobs in my cookbook, but you can check out my ‘Chicken Veggie Kabobs’, too!
- Grilled Lamb Chops – the juiciest and most delicious lamb chops. Plus, they’re so easy to make!
- Grilled Chimichurri Chicken – you’ll love the zesty and juicy chicken! Marinate the chicken the night before for even more flavor!
Cities by Flathead Lake
If you’re planning a trip to Montana and want to stay at Flathead Lake, here are some recommendations:
- Polson, MT – this quiet and picturesque community sits right above the southern tip of the lake. The views from the newer family homes overlook the most peaceful scene! This town was just 15 minutes from our home and it had everything we needed and more! Polson has Safeway, Walmart and several other stores where you can stock up on groceries and accesories before you hit the lake, or whenever you run out! We went to town several times for more supplies!
- Kalispell, MT – This small city sits on the northern tip of the lake. If you want to fly into Montana to visit Flathead Lake, you can fly into the Kalispell Airport! Tickets can be a little pricey but the convenience may be worth it for some. This small city has all the major stores with everything you need! It’s just a 10 minute drive to the northern part of the lake and the small town of Somers
Where to Stay
My favorite option for Flathead Lake is to stay in a VRBO or AirBnB home. You can get great prices for a private location! Most homes for rent in the area will have private beach access with a ramp or dock, so you can bring your water toys!
- Best Western Plus Flathead Lodge – great prices for this family-friendly hotel, just minutes from the lake!
- Flathead Lodge in Bigfork, MT – super cozy and rustic lodge right on the water, with chairs right on the docks to relax in!
- Mountain Lake Lodge – enjoy the lake from above in this stunning lodge situated in the mountains with plenty of activities!
Things To Do!
While at Flathead Lake, there are so many things you can do to have an amazing vacation! During our stay, we enjoyed kayaking on the lake, paddle boarding, jet skiing and swimming! The water is crystal clear and you can see quite far down from the surface! Whether you have private beach access or are at a park beach, you’re bound to have a great view and location!Want to enjoy the views from above?
The lake has many, many trails ranging from leisure walks to lengthy hikes! Make sure to check out the trail maps for locations. Have a day to spare? Glacier National Park is just 50 minutes away. This large national park is very busy during the summer months but is a must! The lakes and mountains are like nothing else! There are so many stops along the way to enjoy the views and even short trails you can enjoy!
We loved watching the sunset with a campfire on the beach, or on our house deck with a fire pit!
The sunsets at Flathead Lake are simply stunning in the summer! Every evening was unforgettable!
Driving to MT
We flew to WA before driving to MT- our family is in WA state, so we drove to Flathead Lake. And it was the most stunningly beautiful drive!! So many scenic spots along the way! We drove from Spokane along Interstate 90 going through charming Couer d’Alene, then headed north along HWY 135/200. Then it’s a straight shot through St. Ignatius to Polson, MT. There are huge, snow-covered peaks on one side and rolling hills and mountains on the other!
- If you do take a drive, make sure to stop at the St. Regis Travel Center along Interstate 90! This place has it all – the best souvenirs and by far, the largest selection! There’s food, drinks, clothing and plenty of trinkets! They have large, clean bathrooms, too!
This was our family’s first stay at Flathead Lake and we’re already planning for next year! This lake is so beautiful and has so many great activities! Montant is truly open sky country, with open vistas and starry nights! During our stay, we were able to see the comet of the decade and the most stunning display of the Milky Way.
If you’re looking for an amazing lake vacation, this place is for you!