Canadian Shoppers Find Local Color and Money-Saving Deals in the Flathead

Looking for unique finds and good deals? Take advantage of the strong Canadian dollar and reasonable prices below the border and make a trip to Kalispell in Montana’s beautiful Flathead Valley.

Many artisans and entrepreneurs have been drawn to the Flathead Valley by the landscape and uncrowded spaces. Combine those merchants with a full complement of familiar brand-name stores, and Kalispell truly is a shopper’s paradise.

A golden retriever nicknamed “Snowbunny” was the inspiration for Kathy Mansfield’s business name, Snowbunny Soap. Sassafras Art Co-op and The Book Shelf on Main Street carry her handcrafted products, which include bath bars, liquid foaming soaps and lotion bars. Snowbunny’s products are made from natural ingredients, including dried herbs and teas, ground spices, dried citrus peel, coconut oil and olive oil. And for your own canine family members, Snowbunny even makes dog shampoo. (http://www.snowbunnysoap.com)

At the entrance to Glacier National Park sits a red barn in which employees busily tend a pot of the latest batch of Montana-made whiskey. Glacier Distilling is a new business, offering a distinct Montana take on the preferred evening sipping drink of rugged outdoorsmen and big city businessmen. Three different versions — aptly named North Fork Flood Stage, Bad Rock Rye, and the local favorite Glacier Dew — will surely put a smile on the face of any whiskey-lover. (http://www.glacierdistilling.com/whiskey)

Kalispell is also home to many “big box” stores and affordable Montana-owned retailers. Locally owned and competitively priced, Sportsman & Ski Haus (http://www.sportsmanskihaus.com) is the perfect place to stock up on ski and snowboard equipment and gear for the entire family. Wheaton’s (http://www.wheatonscycle.com), located in downtown Kalispell, offers great deals on bikes and skateboards. For mom and dad, electronic finds are always to be had at Best Buy to outfit the family room with the latest flat-screen TV. For good deals on toys, books, CDs, power tools and anything else on your shopping list, Kalispell offers several other national chains, including Target, Walmart, Costco, Home Depot and Lowes.

The vibrant city of Kalispell is the gateway to Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, Whitefish and all of the recreation, art, shopping and adventure that northwestern Montana has to offer. Plopped in the center of the Flathead Valley, it’s an easy drive to the park entrance, the art galleries of Bigfork or the water sports mecca of Flathead Lake and well-equipped with affordable, comfortable lodging, great dining and a range of shopping from one-off boutiques to price-conscious large-format retailers. For more Flathead-made and affordable gift ideas as well as lodging and activity information in Kalispell, visit http://www.discoverkalispell.com.


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