Whitefish, MT

"Best small town in the west"

A snowy Whitefish mountainscape. (Credit: Jeanne Tallman)

Located in the Flathead Valley on Whitefish Lake, the beauty in Whitefish is breathtaking.  Folks here smile and wave when you drive by. Whitefish is forty minutes from Glacier National Park, the “Jewell of the National Park System,” and we are forty minutes from Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. You want culture? We’ve got a vibrant community theater, professional theater, symphony and chorale, and dance of all kinds, as well as an art community equal to any city. Whitefish is known as the “most giving town in Montana” for its generosity.

Stories About Whitefish

Alyssa, a young woman with an eight-year-old child, has breast cancer and her insurance won’t cover her treatment. In a month, the community raised thousands of dollars. Her husband can now sleep nights, and her treatment is paid for. We read about similar stories every week in our local newspapers. When a Jewish family was harassed last year by a national hate group, the community continues to give support to the family as they pursue legal recourse against the perpetrators. Love lives here.

Editors’ note: 

Whitefish has been in the news over the past several years for being the home base of one of America’s most prominent white nationalists, Richard Spencer. As a reaction to Spencer’s rising prominence and hateful rhetoric (he believes in Nazi ideology, praising Adolf Hitler, and advocates that America be made into a country for white people only, meaning the forced displacement or murder of anyone who is not white), the town’s government put out a proclamation repudiating his values. Spencer’s family, which has also disavowed his views, was at the center of a story involving an alleged harassment of a Jewish family in town. The town has also rallied around the Jewish family, with open signs of support.

Nicest Places in America is about places where people are kind, welcomed, and treated with dignity and respect. While there are certainly people who do not live this philosophy in all the places nominated, Spencer is an outlier and, we believe, deserves additional context.