Western Montana’s Glacier Country recently hosted a familiarization (FAM) tour for content creators, editors and journalists from the meetings industry across the U.S. This tour showcased our three anchor cities: Missoula, Kalispell and Whitefish. Our goal was to highlight each community’s unique and distinct vibe and ease of accessibility, leaving our journalists assured that Western Montana is an exceptional destination for corporate incentives, retreats and conferences. Here’s a recap of our FAM.

Day 1: Arrival in Missoula
After arriving at the newly constructed Missoula Montana Airport (MSO)—with 15 direct flight markets and seven air carriers—our guests explored Missoula, Montana’s second-largest city and cultural hub. Some strolled along the Clark Fork River, stopping to watch kayakers and surfers on Brennan’s Wave, while others enjoyed shopping at local boutiques and dining at cafes on Higgins Street.

The FAM officially started with a reception at the new Montana Museum of Art & Culture. This venue, featuring an impressive collection from Rembrandt and Picasso to local Western artists, provided a stunning setting for our opening night. The evening concluded with a delicious dinner at 1889, one of Montana’s top steakhouses, where we all bonded over a memorable meal.

The Montana Museum of Art & Culture.

Day 2: The Resort at Paws Up
The next day, we took a scenic 30-minute drive to The Resort at Paws Up, a working cattle ranch and luxury guest ranch. We toured a variety of accommodations, from lavish guest homes to riverside glamping tents with dedicated camp butlers. We also explored the green o, a resort within a resort featuring 12 luxury homes and the Social Haus restaurant.

Glamping camps at The Resort at Paws Up.

After sampling their lunch menu, we participated in an on-ranch activity that included guided ATV rides, horseback rides and hikes. Paws Up is ideal for corporate incentive trips, offering nature, adventure and relaxation.

Guided ATV ride at The Resort at Paws Up.
Riding the range at The Resort at Paws Up.

Back in Missoula, we freshened up at the Residence Inn by Marriott Missoula Downtown. This Marriott property feels like a boutique hotel, with 175 guest rooms and 1,500 square feet of meeting space. Dinner at Pangea Bar & Restaurant, one of Missoula’s premier restaurants, was a highlight, especially sharing a seven-pound slice of carrot cake in the elegant wine cellar.

Day 3: Journey to Kalispell and Whitefish
We started the day with a European-inspired breakfast at the AC Hotel Missoula Downtown, featuring fresh-baked croissants, seasonal fruits, prosciutto, and cheeses. The drive from Missoula to Kalispell on U.S. Highway 93 offered some of Montana’s most scenic vistas, including the CSKT Bison Range and Mission Mountain Range, with early summer wildflowers adding to the stunning views.

In Kalispell, we toured the Conrad Mansion Museum, once home to the city’s founder, Charles Conrad. The porch or the spacious lawn provides the perfect setting for off-site lunches, receptions and dinners. After a catered outdoor lunch with local ambassadors, we explored downtown Kalispell’s shops and boutiques, ending at the Western Outdoor Store, famous for its vast selection of boots and hats.

Catered lunch on the porch of Conrad Mansion.
Magnificent tour of the historic Conrad Mansion in Kalispell.

Next, we headed to Whitefish and checked into The Firebrand Hotel, a boutique hotel with 86 guest rooms, 1,100 square feet of meeting space, and a third-floor board room. After free time to explore the many shops, galleries and cafes that Whitefish has to offer, we enjoyed dinner at Tupelo Grille, a local favorite.

Day 4: Exploring Glacier National Park
The highlight of our trip was a visit to Glacier National Park. We met our guide from Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, and took a nature walk along McDonald Creek. After lunch at Lake McDonald Lodge, we embarked on a historic boat cruise aboard the DeSmet on Lake McDonald. We ended the day in Glacier National Park with a hike on the Trail of the Cedars, taking in epic views and fresh mountain air.

Everyone is excited about Glacier National Park.
Guided hike in Glacier National Park with Glacier Guides.
Beautiful day for a historic boat cruise on Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.
The iconic red busses give tours throughout Glacier National Park.

Our final evening was at one of Western Montana’s premier resorts, The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, with 101 guest rooms and over 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Dining at the Boat Club Restaurant on the lake’s shores was the perfect way to spend recapping our adventures and the end of our trip.

The final dessert of huckleberry mud pie was the winner.

Our guests departed from the newly renovated Glacier Park International Airport (FCA), which has 16 direct flight markets and seven air carriers and is a 15-minute drive from downtown Whitefish. The four-day trip was packed with lots of note taking on the amazing food, fantastic venues, fun activities and a deeper understanding of why Western Montana is an ideal meeting destination. Did we mention the amazing food?

If you want more information about Western Montana’s Glacier Country as a meeting destination, or if you’re interested in joining a future meeting planner FAM for Missoula, Kalispell, Whitefish, or other parts of Western Montana, drop us an email here.

Meet me in Montana,


June 24, 2024

Related: Arts and Culture, Direct Flights, Glacier National Park, Greenough, Incentive, Kalispell, Meeting Planner, Meetings & Conventions, Missoula, Whitefish