Montana / Flathead / Lakeside


Located on the largest natural, freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, the appropriately named Lakeside is like stepping back in time to the days of the frontier. The town is squished between National Forest Service land and Flathead Lake, which comes straight down from Glacier National Park. Towering mountains loom over the landscape.

There are no lakeside resorts, no waterfront restaurants, and not a single hotel in town. If you want to visit here, you need to rent out a whole house.

"It’s so huge, it feels like you have it all to yourself.

The town offers 10 restaurants and 7 bars, but outdoor activities are the real draw—not just the requisite water sports, but also four-wheeling, hunting, and berry-picking.

In the winter, locals ski nearby Blacktail Mountain or Whitefish Mountain resort, about an hour away. A top local attraction is the annual skijoring competition, when skiers or snowboarders are pulled through obstacles by a person riding a horse. Yes, you read that correctly.