Tag Archive for: montana

Red Lodge, Montana, nestled beneath the Beartooth Mountains in pristine forest, is the perfect place to slow down and enjoy local hospitality. With less than 2,500 residents, it’s easy to mingle with locals as you wander along the town’s main street, perusing its shops, galleries and restaurants, or explore the nearby Beartooth wilderness. The spectacular Beartooth Highway typically closes for winter, but there are plenty of other things here to draw your attention.

Take in fall colors on a drive along the “Loop Trip” to Fishtail, Absarokee and Joliet, passing ranches with some of the highest mountains in Montana as their backdrops. Wildlife is abundant in this area, both in the wild and at the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary, which houses typical native animals like bison, bears and wolves. Discover the talents of local artists at several fine art galleries, sip a local beer, or discover the great variety of restaurants that showcase the area’s commitment to local produce.

As winter approaches, hit the slopes at Red Lodge Mountain or explore groomed cross-country ski trails at Red Lodge Nordic Center. In March, Red Lodge hosts skijoring races, and its Winter Carnival brings wacky costumes and cardboard racing contraptions to the mountain.

Fall is the perfect time to spot wildlife in a spectacular setting in Montana. Photo courtesy of Merv Coleman

For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.

What does slow travel in Western Montana look like? You could spend the day picking lavender in Lakeside or Florence and learning how to cook and make healing oils with your handpicked bushel of goodness. Or stop into a small town like Bigfork or Hamilton and shop for that unique souvenir. Plan a full-day workshop on plein-air painting with Glacier National Park as your subject; even people who don’t know how to paint will enjoy this relaxing activity and bring home a frame-worthy piece of art. Take an Indigenous cooking class and learn how native plants like elderberry and wild licorice, along with wild game, come together just as they did for the native Blackfeet.

The microbrew industry is more than alive and well in Montana, with 30+ breweries in Western Montana’s Glacier Country alone. Tour Missoula’s finest breweries with a downtown self-guided foot tour. Or, if you are looking for a less strenuous activity, River City Brews Rafting Tours lets you fill up a growler with your favorite brew and enjoy either the Blackfoot or Clark Fork rivers while sipping suds with 12 of your friends, or strangers who will become friends by the end of the tour.

Tour Missoula’s finest breweries on foot or, for a less strenuous afternoon, on the river with a Brews Rafting Tour. Photo courtesy of Glacier Country Tourism

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.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.

  1. Pioneer Scenic Byway. Travel the length of the Pioneer Mountain Range along this quiet, winding highway surrounded by mountains, forests and meadows. Explore the ghost town of Coolidge or stop at the tiny town of Jackson along the way.
  2. Milk River Observation Point. Take a half-mile walk from the parking lot to the top of the hill where the Observation Point is located. This is one of the highest points in northeastern Montana, and it offers expansive views of the confluence of the Missouri River and Milk River, where the Lewis & Clark Expedition traveled.
  3. Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area. Visitors are rewarded with breathtaking scenery, solitude, wildlife and adventures such as hiking, camping and boating.
  4. Two Medicine Lake. One of the quieter locations in Glacier, this lake is surrounded by forest and mountains with abundant hiking trails. Or get out on the water on a canoe or kayak, available for rent, or on an historic boat tour.
  5. Southeast Montana’s landscape changes from dramatic open plains to the rugged eastern badlands to river canyons. You will find a picturesque view everywhere you drive, whether it’s by motorcycle, RV or car.

The Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area rewards visitors with breathtaking scenery, solitude, wildlife and adventures such as hiking, camping and boating. Photo courtesy of the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.

There are certain places that exist in the world that are so beautiful, they almost don’t seem real. One such place: Western Montana. Glacier Country is filled to the brim with amazing scenery and picture-perfect scenes. Here are just a few:

Twilight at Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park
Accessible year-round, this view of Lake McDonald from Apgar is located just inside the west entrance of Glacier National Park.

Missoula from Mount Sentinel
One of the most popular Missoula hikes, the zigzagging trail that leads up to the “M” on Mount Sentinel is an easy hike, with views all along its path.

Kootenai Falls and Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge
Kootenai Falls (between Libby and Troy) from the swinging bridge. This picturesque bridge is suspended over the rushing Kootenai River, presenting the perfect photo op and an unforgettable experience.

The Mission Mountains
As you travel along Highway 93 from Missoula to Polson, you’ll be met by the impressive peaks of the Mission Mountains. A few favorite photo locations for this mountain range are cresting Ravalli Hill just south of St. Ignatius (use the designated scenic pullout) and Ninepipes Lodge in Charlo.

As you travel along Highway 93 from Missoula to Polson, you’ll be met by the impressive peaks of the Mission Mountains. A few favorite photo locations for this mountain range are cresting Ravalli Hill just south of St. Ignatius (use the designated scenic pullout) and Ninepipes Lodge in Charlo. Photo courtesy of Western Montana’s Glacier Country

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

Bearcreek Saloon and Steakhouse, east of Red Lodge, Montana: Where pigs really do fly! Serving up award-winning steaks and more along with a full bar in a comfortable rustic dining room.

Livingston native Chef Sarah Faye creates a refreshing menu of local dishes served in a welcoming atmosphere in downtown Livingston at Faye’s Cafe.  Try the (not your average) Eggs Benedict and huckleberry bacon!

Pine Creek Lodge, located in Paradise Valley between Gardiner and Livingston, has long been known as a gathering place for local bands and great comfort food. Listen to the babbling creek from the outdoor patio and enjoy local beer or a concert under the stars.

The Newberry is a new event venue in downtown Great Falls with full bar and lounge. Featuring local and national acts.

Lewis & Clark Brewery: With a passion for good beer, the Lewis & Clark Brewery built the craft beer scene in Helena, Montana. Grab the local favorite An American Wheat Ale, sit on the patio, and listen to some of the best live music Helena has to offer.

Benny’s Bistro: A historic icon in the community. Experience a farm-to-table-style meal with live jazz in the evenings. Try a Montana-style ranch-to-plate steak with an incredible hand-squeezed lemonade.

Bearcreek Saloon and Steakhouse, east of Red Lodge, Montana: Where pigs really do fly! Serving up award-winning steaks and more along with a full bar in a comfortable rustic dining room. CREDIT Brand MT

For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.

The Montana Folk Festival, held each year in early July, is one of the largest free outdoor music events in the northwestern United States. Over 200 musicians, dancers and craftspeople are showcased, all beneath Butte, Montana’s iconic headframes.

North American Indian Days is held on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning during the second week in July. This four-day event comprises one of the largest gatherings of U.S. and Canadian tribes, celebrating their heritage with dancing, music and ceremony.

The Crow Fair Celebration is held on the Crow Reservation during five days around the third weekend of August. It has one of the largest teepee encampments in the world.

The Red Ants Pants Music Festival is held in late July and benefits local rural communities, supports working family farms and ranches, and helps develop leadership roles for women. It is held in a cow pasture in rural Montana, and past years included headliners such as Taj Mahal, Keb Mo’, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris.

The Miles City Bucking Horse Sale is held during the third weekend each May with lots of rodeo action including bucking horses, horse racing, bull riding and concerts.

The Crow Fair Celebration on the Crow Reservation is home to one of the largest teepee encampments in the world. Photo courtesy of Montana Tourism

For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.

Western Montana’s Glacier Country has several annual signature events that enhance itineraries through the region.

Every February, Whitefish holds its annual Whitefish Winter Carnival and Skijoring World Invitational. Or, if you’re visiting in September, join the fun at the Great Northwest Oktoberfest.

North American Indian Days, held the second week in July over four days in Browning, is the signature celebration of the Blackfeet Nation and hosts Native Americans from every region of the U.S. and Canada. Featured events include a parade, powwow, stick games and horse relay races.

Missoula hosts an annual River City Roots Festival the last weekend in August, bringing together exceptional music, food, libations and more at this two-day free event in the heart of the city.

Delicious Flathead cherries are celebrated with their very own festival: The Flathead Cherry Festival takes place in Polson the last weekend in July on the southern shore of Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the western U.S.

For equestrian lovers, Kalispell plays host to The Event at Rebecca Farm over five days in late July, featuring a horse competition of dressage, cross country and show jumping along with food and a shopping fair. And it’s free!

North American Indian Days is the signature celebration of the Blackfeet Nation; featured events include a parade, powwow, stick games and horse relay races. Photo courtesy of Glacier Country Tourism

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.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.