I am in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, but with Montana, it is love." ~John Steinbeck~
Bigfork, Montana ~ Video provided by Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce
Click here to view the photos of the 2011 Bigfork 4th of July
Flathead Valley, in Northwest Montana, offers a little something for everyone….providing a dream many seek, but few find.The “Flathead,” as locals call the valley, lies just west of the Continental Divide in northwest Montana.Here you’ll find the gateway to Glacier National Park, and the home of both Whitefish Mountain Resort and Blacktail Ski Area. Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, is also among the cleanest large lakes – perfect for sailing, cruising, swimming, and fishing.
A surprisingly mild climate invites you outside all year. Typical winter temperatures are in the 20s and 30s. Summer temperatures usually range from the 70s to low 90s.Of course, what's not to love here in Bigfork and the Flathead Valley of Montana. I guess most people discover Bigfork either on a trip to see Glacier National Park, or as an invited guest. The local joke around here is that we have two seasons: winter and guests. Most of my clients come in from other states, fall in love with Montana and Bigfork, and decide to take root either starting with a second home or taking the plunge to make this their full time home.
Why do we live here?
Setting aside the obvious intense beauty of this area, we can boast the following as driving factors in "buying Montana" decision-making:
* There is no sales tax. This is a big time savings when buying your car, that Subzero refrigerator, or a great boat for fishing the lakes.
* We have a low crime rate. Comforting thought, especially if you come from the large metropolitan cities where you have road rage and a sundry of other ugly crimes. Of course, maybe the fact that we are the "Wild West" where lots and lots of households have stocked gun safes in preparation for hunting season, could deter criminals.
* We have great medical services. I am talking about state-of-the-art medical facilities in Kalispell, the commercial hub of the Flathead Valley. Kalispell Regional Medical Center has been listed in US News and World Report as one of the top 100 hospitals in the US and boasts acquisition of the national's first rural air ambulance and a 118,000 so top notch health and fitness center called The Summit. Health Center Northwest provides a super-surgical center and a leading-edge diagnostic hub. North Valley Hospital's newly built facility incorporates a holistic approach to health care.
* Glacier International Airport is centrally located in the Flathead Valley offering service to Seattle, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Denver, Chicago and Atlanta through Delta, United/Northwest, Sky West, Horizon/Alaska Air and Allegiant airlines. Major rental car companies offer on-site service and cars. The airline code is FCA.
* We are a mecca of recreational opportunities. Can you say "canoeing, kayaking, waterskiing, lake fishing, fly fishing, ice fishing, hiking, rock climbing, caving, hunting, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing, snow mobiling, horseback riding, river rafting, camping, mountain biking, cycling, bird watching, golfing, and tennis" three times in a row? I am tongue-twisted just typing it!
* If you love golf as much as we do, then you will appreciate that Golf Digest selected the Flathead Valley as a "Top 50 Golf Destination". There are 9 championship golf courses within a 45-minute drive, offering outstanding quality at an affordable price!
* And now the really big one....Community! Small town living is especially meaningful these days. Moving from the anonymity of big city living to the charm of a small town (where everyone knows your name) brings a certain amount of comfort and quality to your life. It's the little oddities, the characters you meet, group involvement and the sense of belonging that you gain. When I first came here from Hawaii, I was half expecting to find Bigfork, Montana to be a backwards, dusty redneck town with everyone driving pickup trucks loaded with gun racks... and the men would spit on the sidewalks. Pretty ugly visual, eh? What a surprise I was in for when I arrived in January 1989 to see the entire village of Bigfork dressed for the holidays with lights and trees and bows. I saw the Bigfork Playhouse, the art galleries and shops, the fine dining, the golf course, the incredible scenery and the greatest people and soon-to-be-neighbors I could ask for... Oh sure, we have our challenges, but as an unincorporated village, you find the level of volunteerism at all time highs and with that comes a sense of ownership. (Ask me about the Bigfork Elves!) It is YOUR town now. It is all about scale. If we see ten cars on the highway, that's a traffic jam!