Tag Archive for: billings

If you ask us, the best way to explore Billings is to get to know the locals themselves. And Visit Billings has made it easy for you to get to know the people who help make a getaway to the state’s largest city an authentic, bucket-list-worthy Montana experience.

Before visiting Billings, you can become acquainted with many of our residents and proprietors through our Meet Billings Locals page. Billings Buddies includes a series of online videos that introduce you to a variety of local experts who love living in Billings as much as you’ll enjoy visiting.

Discover ways to explore Billings with the family from second-generation cattle rancher and horseback ride guide Theresa Kuhlmann-Butcher. Gain some insider history on Billings and the American West from Terry Steiner at the Yellowstone County Museum. Explore Billings’ connections to Hollywood with Brad Tilden from Rand’s Hats. And listen to Shea Dawson of Thirsty Street Brewing Co. explain the popular craft beer scene of Billings.

To meet all our Billings Buddies, go online to VisitBillings.com/billingsbuddies. And we look forward to welcoming you in Billings, Montana’s Trailhead.

Through the Billings Buddies webpage, you’ll learn about ways to explore the city with the family from second-generation cattle rancher and horseback ride guide Theresa Kuhlmann-Butcher. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

 

The cowboy hat is as much a part of Western Americana as you can get, so it’s only fitting that an authentically Montana destination like Billings would be home to Rand’s Hats, a custom hat-making shop that has called the city home since 1973.

Third-generation citrus farmer Brad Tilden and his family are the current owners of Rand’s Hats and help to carry on the shop’s rich legacy. Tilden is somewhat of a local celebrity, given Rand’s Hats’ decades-long affiliation with Hollywood Westerns and the celebrities who star in them.

Rand’s Hats has provided costume crews working on John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies with the iconic hats that were worn during the films. And even today, big names like Dennis Quaid and Tim McGraw often turn to Rand’s Hats to create a custom look.

According to Tilden, cowboy hats originally become customized based on how a real cowboy would handle them, grabbing them by the top or by the brim. These personal preferences created the many shapes and styles we see in today’s cowboy hats.

So if you want to look like a real cowboy or cowgirl traveling through Montana, swing by Rand’s Hats for a Hollywood-worthy topper.

Billings’ own Brad Tilden and family own Rand’s Hats, a custom cowboy hat shop that has made creations for the likes of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Dennis Quaid and Tim McGraw. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

 

In Billings, outsiders are welcome to let their adventurous spirit run free around Montana’s largest city. But being an outsider doesn’t mean missing the inside scoop on local events that let you explore like a local.

In 2024, join us in Billings to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Yellowstone Art Museum (YAM) and discover the rich heritage of the region. Founded in 1964 to focus on contemporary, avant garde work originating in the northern Rockies region, the museum collects art from all historic periods, emphasizing artists working in Montana and the American Northwest. Notably, the YAM is home to the largest gathering of drawings, paintings, books and memorabilia of cowboy illustrator Will James, whose work depicts the day-to-day life of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

And don’t miss annual favorites like Montana Fair, where you can immerse yourself in authentic Billings culture complete with rodeo competitions, popular country music and more. Or check out Burn the Point – a Labor Day weekend celebration of 1950s Americana, big muscle cars and pop music that are the hallmark of an iconic generation.

To discover the full year’s worth of thrilling events in Billings, go to VisitBillings.com/Events.

Don’t miss Billings’ Burn the Point, a Labor Day weekend celebration of 1950s Americana, big muscle cars and pop music that are the hallmark of an iconic generation. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

Within mere moments of arriving in Billings, visitors become acquainted with the sort of American West landscape that is depicted in classic films and literature. After all, it’s hard to miss ancient sandstone bluffs that stand nearly 500 feet ensconcing the bustling city below. The Rimrocks, as the locals call them, are a place where visitors can make a quick retreat from the modern conveniences of the state’s largest city to breathtaking wilderness and views of distant mountain ranges piercing big blue skies. Three parks – Swords Park, Zimmerman Park and Four Dances Recreation Area – each offer a unique perspective of Montana terrain from atop the rims, ranging from glimpses of the mighty Yellowstone River to distant, brush-covered prairies.

Adventure further out and visit Bighorn Canyon. Just a two-hour road trip brimming with picture-perfect vistas, Bighorn Canyon treats visitors to astounding diversity in ecosystems, wildlife and more than 10,000 years of human history. The North District of the park, which is the closest to Billings, features about 5 miles of trails among dazzling canyon walls and Bighorn Lake.

The Rimrocks, as the locals call them, allow visitors to make a quick retreat from the modern conveniences of the state’s largest city to breathtaking wilderness and views of distant mountain ranges piercing big blue skies. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

You wouldn’t ordinarily think of a historic railroad station as a source of fame for a destination, but in Billings, that’s precisely where Montana’s largest city made major appearances on the big screen.

In 1993, renowned producer Ron Howard filmed portions of “Far and Away” at the Historic Billings Depot. The film, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, is a story about Irish immigrants seeking fortune in 1890s America.

Then in 2013, Hollywood returned to the Historic Billings Depot for the filming of “Nebraska,” a comedy-drama starring “Saturday Night Live’s” Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk of “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.” The black and white picture follows an elderly Montana man and his son on a journey to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes prize.

While the Billings Depot has served as the set of major motion pictures, visitors today can enjoy classic and contemporary Hollywood hits at other historic locations in the city. The ArtHouse Cinema showcases movies every week in a quaint setting, and the Babcock Theatre – built in 1906 to address the high demand for entertainment resulting from the mining boom and an influx of rail travelers – is a unique venue that offers a modern take on a Western treasure.

Visitors to Billings can experience classic and contemporary Hollywood hits at the Babcock Theatre, built in 1906. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

There are many exciting trails in Billings, Montana. One of the most beloved among visitors and locals alike is the Billings Brew Trail. The only walkable craft beverage trail in Montana, the Billings Brew Trail treats hikers to 1.5 miles of custom libations from six breweries, two distilleries and a cider mill. And that’s just the downtown section of the trail.

Nothing goes better with a cool one than some seasonal celebration. As luck would have it, this year marks the 40th anniversary of Billings’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Join us at Montana’s Trailhead on March 17 to celebrate all things Irish. Honor St. Patty as dozens of floats march through historic downtown, and then sample some of the best the Billings Brew Trail has to offer (which may or may not be dyed green for the occasion).

In Billings, the party goes on all year. The Alive After 5 (AA5) outside concert series was started in 2003 by a group of downtown restaurant and property owners. Over the years, the idea grew from five concerts each summer to, at its biggest, 14 shows. In 2023 – to celebrate AA5’s 20th anniversary – there will be another amazing concert series through summer.

2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the Billings St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Watch as dozens of floats march through downtown, and then sample some seasonally dyed libations. PHoto courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

When temperatures drop in Billings, Montana, the atmosphere of the city becomes a lot more chill. And Montana’s largest city beckons visitors to forge a path to some of the coolest experiences in the region.

Hike the walkable 1.5-mile Billings Brew Trail and enjoy a frosty mug or two of craft beer. When you get hungry, the amazing food scene is nearby, with many options including two James Beard Award nominees – Walker’s Grill and The Marble Table – within a short walk of most areas of downtown.

Warm the soul by taking in a performance at the historic Alberta Bair Theater or by discovering iconic art of the American West at the Yellowstone Art Museum. And no visit to Billings is complete without a stop at ZooMontana. This year, the zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland for Holiday Nights, featuring millions of festive, twinkling lights to help families celebrate the winter season.

Winter outdoor enthusiasts can get their hearts racing with snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at Billings’ local parks, and downhill skiing at nearby Red Lodge Mountain.

So, visit Billings, Montana’s Trailhead, this winter season and discover why it is the coolest time of the year.

When temperatures drop, warm your body and your soul in Billings, Montana. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

 

A picture-perfect adventure awaits in Billings, Montana’s Trailhead. Don’t miss these stunning views of the American West:

Swords Rimrock Park
Take in unencumbered views of Billings from atop the ancient sandstone rock formations that hug the historic downtown. The 60-acre park offers unlimited vantage points of the landscape below and blue skies above.

Four Dances Recreation Area
A leisurely hike that begins just outside downtown Billings ends with breathtaking views at Four Dances Recreation Area. Grab a seat at the outlooks along the trail and treat yourself to panoramic scenes of the Yellowstone River, distant rock formations and rolling prairies.

The Beartooth Highway
One of the most majestic roads in North America is a must-see. Visitors can travel the Beartooth Highway as well as Chief Joseph Scenic Byway to cruise through some of the most spectacular byways in the West. Easily accessible via Billings.

Bighorn Canyon
Set your eyes upon every type of Montana terrain at Bighorn Canyon, including forest, mountains, deep canyons, high desert, wetlands and more. Hop aboard a paddleboard for 360-degree views of the canyon from Bighorn Lake or find a tranquil spot ashore to take it all in.

Take in unencumbered views and breath the fresh air in Billings’ Zimmerman Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

 

There’s no better way to explore the spirit of Billings than by forging a path to one of the destination’s spectacular annual events.

Treat your ears to soulful musical performances with events like Symphony in the Park, featuring the Billings Symphony Orchestra and a musical instrument “petting zoo” for the kids. Or get groovy at Magic City Blues, which has welcomed performances by ZZ Top, Steve Miller Band and many more.

The MINT Film Festival allows you to experience the Hollywood lifestyle, including walking the red carpet, watching groundbreaking films, attending after-parties and meeting actors and directors.

Dive into cowboy culture at MontanaFair, which includes just about everything you could imagine: live music, beer, wine, arts and crafts, horticulture, agriculture and, of course, the PRCA Pro Rodeo.

Every year, Billings rumbles to life with Burn the Point, where more than 500 cars from the 1950s and 1960s cruise the streets of Billings followed by live music and dancing. Then, the rumbling takes to two wheels as Billings welcomes motorcyclists taking part in the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Billings is home to soulful music, Hollywood-style film festivals, cowboy culture and more. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.