We all know that conferences and meetings are attended for many reasons: continuing education, training, sales and networking. And for most meetings, convention centers or hotel meeting rooms are the right environment for hosting a well-organized meeting. However, a great off-site venue, especially in Western Montana’s Glacier Country, can shake things up a bit, add excitement to a meeting and inspire and engage attendees, all while providing an added value to the event. Plus, let’s face it: they can be a lot of FUN.

Western Montana’s Glacier Country has plenty of great venues away from the hotel that are ideal for an interactive lunch, a signature cocktail reception, unique dinner setting or a place to dance the night away.

In Missoula, Montana, the Caras Park Pavilion is a fantastic outdoor venue located in downtown Missoula, right on the shores of the Clark Fork River. This year-round venue features a permanent white canopy that provides shelter or shade, and in colder months, canvas walls can be added. The pavilion can accommodate groups ranging from 100 to 3,000 for dinner events or outdoor music and festivities. Attendees can also enjoy the river overlook, where they can watch surfers and kayakers on Brennan’s Wave, adding an extra element of excitement to the event. Additionally, Missoula offers a variety of historic theaters, ballrooms, craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries that can serve as fun and unique venues for receptions and dinners, with the added bonus of offering informational tours about their products and processes.

One of the many breweries for a fun off-site event.
Watch surfers on Brennan’s Wave from Caras Park in Missoula.

In Kalispell, Montana, you can plan a cruise on the largest freshwater lake in the West with Far West Boat Tours. Enjoy an excursion around Wild Horse Island State Park, where you can spot bighorn sheep, wild mustangs, and other native animals. Alternatively, you can opt for a dinner or sunset cruise to unwind and mingle with colleagues after a long day of meetings. The ship features a fully licensed bar, and multiple catering options are available for up to 150 passengers. Another option in Kalispell is the Conrad Mansion Museum, a historic property surrounded by beautiful gardens. The mansion’s native stone fireplace and golden oak staircase provide an elegant backdrop for receptions or catered dinners for groups of 75. The manicured lawn and grounds, including a gazebo, can be utilized for larger events or musical additions. For a fun afternoon activity, Artemis Acres Paint Horse Ranch and Lonesome Dove Guest Ranch offer horseback rides and chuckwagon lunches or dinners.

Sunset cruise on Flathead Lake with Far West Boat Tours.
An outdoor dinner at the Conrad Mansion in Kalispell.

In Whitefish, Montana, 101 Central is an upscale venue located in the heart of downtown Whitefish, offering an elegant restaurant called Herb and Omni. This sophisticated venue is perfect for evening receptions or dinner events, allowing attendees to unwind after meetings. The building combines beautiful architecture with a multi-level hospitality atmosphere. The Second Story, located on the second level, provides ample room for a band to play, a dance floor, and functional furniture for relaxation. Head up to the rooftop skybar to enjoy breathtaking sunsets and spectacular views of Big Mountain and the surrounding area while sipping on a signature cocktail. Just 15 minutes from downtown Whitefish, Whitefish Mountain Resort offers a plethora of activities during the summer months. Choose from 5 or 7-course zip lines or an aerial adventure park, which are great for team-building exercises. The resort also has a base lodge available for meeting needs before embarking on the mountain adventures. For stunning views combined with dinner or a reception, the Summit House at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort is an ideal choice. In the warmer months, attendees can take an open-air chairlift or a gondola ride to the top of Big Mountain and experience 360-degree views of Glacier National Park and the Flathead Valley. It’s an unforgettable experience for groups of up to 125 people. During the winter, take advantage of the group deals and discounts offered by Whitefish Mountain Resort for lift tickets, lessons, rentals, and dining. Both Whitefish and Kalispell are 30 minutes from the west entrance to Glacier National Park, for the ultimate off-site adventure.

Team-building fun at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Photo: Whitefish Mountain Resort
Rendering of Herb and Omni (courtesy photo, Herb and Omni)

To find the perfect off-site venue for your meeting in Western Montana, it is recommended to reach out to the local convention and visitor bureaus. Destination Missoula, Discover Kalispell, and Explore Whitefish are excellent resources that can help you find the ideal venue for your next event. Or drop us a line, we are always here to help throughout the region.

Meet in Montana,


June 1, 2023

Related: Flathead Lake, Kalispell, Meeting Planner, Meetings & Conventions, Missoula, Outdoor Adventure, Unique Venues, Whitefish