The largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, sitting not an hour's drive from Glacier National Park, completes western Montana's embarrassment of natural splendor. The small postcard community of Bigfork does its own artsy things on the north end of the lake while the southern end is anchored by the anywhere-USA town of Polson.
You can drive down either side of the lake, each with its own suite of campgrounds and lodges, beaches and hiking trails. Choosing is largely a matter of whether you prefer to watch the sun rise or set over the placid waters.
If you'd rather get away from the crowds, Swan Lake just to the east is a bit more primitive, while the Jewel Basin hiking area at its north draws backpackers from around the country.