If you've lived in Montana all your life, you may not realize how friendly your state is compared to others - I moved here from New York a few years ago, and let me tell you, it was an adjustment. I grew up in a place where people mostly kept to themselves and ignored everyone around them, but as soon as I moved to Missoula, I'd see total strangers making small talk on the street, people waving at other people they've never met, and just a general air of happiness around town.

So it comes as no surprise to me that a Montana city was actually named the friendliest city in the entire country. The honor goes to Whitefish, and Expedia created the top 20 list based on how often the words "friendly" or "friendliest" popped up in travel reviews for each city over the last couple of years.

(That said, Manhattan in New York DID make the list, at number 14 - so maybe the city got a little friendlier in the years I've been gone, who's to say.)

Coming just shy of Whitefish on the list were Sister Bay in Wisconsin, Manitou Springs in Colorado, Easton in Maryland, and Lihue in Hawaii. I spent a weekend in Whitefish in 2019 for the Under The Big Sky Music Festival, which was so cool, and I headed out to Glacier National Park this past summer, so I'm glad I got to experience that friendliness for myself, it really is such a great city.

Do you think Whitefish earned its spot at the top of the list?

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Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

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