The State Capitol building in Helena, Montana.

10 Most Beautiful Cities In Montana

Montana is the fourth largest State by area in America and one of the West's most beautiful places. Filled with wide open skies, stunning and diverse natural wonders, and vast areas of wilderness, Montana's geographic splendor is only rivaled by its fascinating history. Indeed the "Big Sky Country" is a veritable place of delight and exploration, perfect for a holiday or perhaps even to live. This article looks at the 10 Most Beautiful Cities in Montana.


Helena, Montana
The State Capitol building in Helena, Montana. Editorial credit: Paul Brady Photography /

Montana's State capital, Helena, is another historic mining town founded in 1864. A hot spot of the Montana Gold Rush in the late 19th century, modern-day Helena continues to be an affluent metropolitan area where rich Victorian-era architecture dots the landscape. With a population of 32,000, Helena is also Montana's sixth most populous city and is located at the base of Mount Helena, where stunning scenery greets visitors and residents alike. In Helena, hot summers and mild winters make spending time outdoors a delight year-round, and visits to the Mount Helena City Park and the Helena National Forest are always welcome. Here, one can enjoy cycling, hiking, and mountain climbing opportunities in a most special natural setting. And a tour of its outstanding historic district is a must, where 19th-century buildings, gold rush artifacts, tasty restaurants, and great souvenir shops can all be found. 


Bozeman, Montana
Aerial view of downtown Bozeman, Montana, in summer.

The seat of Gallatin County, the city of Bozeman, is Montana's fourth largest, with 53,293 inhabitants. It is surrounded by a series of beautiful mountain ranges, including the Bridger, Tobacco Root, and Big Belt Mountains. Bozeman experiences hot summer temperatures and mild winters, which makes it an ideal spot for lovers of the outdoors, where opportunities for hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, and even horseback riding can be enjoyed. Just an 80-minute drive from Yellowstone National Park and the Gallatin National Forest, the town is also an ideal stopover for those looking to explore these great wilderness areas. With an eclectic range of tasty restaurants, great shopping outlets, and welcoming hospitality, Bozeman is truly one of Montana's most charming places to visit. 


Bigfork, Montana
View of a farmhouse in Bigfork from a highway.

Situated at the mouth of the Swan River, which runs some 153 kilometers long, Bigfork is a most charming town that just over 5,000 residents call home. Indeed there are plenty of fun activities to partake in here, including boating, swimming, and hiking. Or perhaps stop by an art gallery or try one's hand at a round of golf; Bigfork is a relaxing place of raw Montana beauty. And, of course, for the movie lover, attending the Bigfork Independent Film Festival in the Fall is a must, where the best of Montana's filmmakers showcase their works. 


Butte, Montana
One of fourteen headframes, nicked named "gallows frames," dot the Butte, Montana, skyline which mark the remnants of mines that made the area.

Butte is Montana's fifth-largest city with a population of just under 35,000 residents. It was first settled in 1864 while the Civil War continued to rage on. Home to one of the largest historic neighborhoods in all of the United States, Butte's Uptown Historic District contains nearly 6,000 buildings of importance! Once a bustling mining town, this legacy continues to shape much of Butte's modern-day character. Numerous structures, museums, statues, and architectural styles of the late 19th century can be observed in the city. Attracting large immigrant groups for the promise of striking it rich, today, the descendants of these pioneers continue to make Butte a rich multicultural city. Visitors can further learn more about this fascinating history at the World Museum of Mining or perhaps take a most charming trolley ride through the historic district and its front-row seat to living history. 


lewiston, Montana
Lewis and Clark's "Decision Point" at the confluence of Marias and Missouri River. Editorial credit: Joseph Sohm /

The seat of Fergus County, Lewistown, lies right at the geographic center of Montana. Like most other State towns, it was founded during the late 19th-century gold rush. Formally established in 1879 by Metis settlers, Lewistown maintains its historic charm with a plethora of old-style buildings, architectural styles, and historical markers throughout Main Street. Visitors and residents can enjoy a comfortable climate here, with warm summers and mild winters, and indeed spending time outdoors is always a treat in Lewistown. Situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, opportunities for hiking, cycling, mountain climbing, fishing, and skiing in the winter make the town and its surrounding area a most tranquil and beautiful locale. 


billings, montana
The scenic settings of Billings, Montana.

Montana's largest city, Billings, is home to a population of just over 117,000 residents and serves as the primary economic hub of the State. Well known for the Rimrocks sandstone formations that cut right through the city, Billings is a scenic urban center where modern life and raw nature come face to face. The mighty Yellowstone River also runs through town, and with vistas of the Bighorn and Beartooth Mountains in the distance, time spent here truly is a visual marvel. The historic downtown of Billings is home to a range of museums, shopping outlets, riverside parks, and tasty eateries that make Billings a wonderful place to explore. With hot summers and mildly cool winters, this "Magic City" is indeed one of Montana's best. 

Fort Benton 

Fort Benton, Montana
Fort Benton Bridge and statue in Fort Benton, Montana.

The oldest continuously inhabited town in Montana, Fort Benton, was first established in 1846. Located right on the western banks of the Missouri River, this town of around 1,500 residents is indeed a charming and comfortable place to explore throughout the year. With its mild winter temperatures and warm summers, being outdoors in Fort Benton is always a delight. Visit the beautiful waterfront area, known as the Fort Benton Historic District, for a real first-hand experience with the allure of nature and Montana Big Sky. 


Polson, Montana
Polson, Montana, on a sunny day.

Polson was incorporated in 1910 and, today is home to a modest population of 5,148 residents in Montana's Lake County. Situated on the shores of Flathead Lake, visitors and residents of Polson can enjoy excellent opportunities to go fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. With the beautiful Mission Mountains providing a stunning frame, Polson is indeed one of Montana's most scenic towns. In addition to its natural surroundings, the town is also known for the richness of its land and crops. Amongst the most popular and abundant fruits to be enjoyed here are cherries, which can be hand-picked at numerous farms during the harvest season.  


Anaconda, Montana
Entrance to a preserve in Anaconda. Editorial credit: Cheri Alguire /

Located right at the foot of the Anaconda Mountain Range, Anaconda is a natural paradise rivaled only by its fascinating history. Take a stroll along its historic downtown, filled with Western-inspired 19th-century architecture, and visit places like the Washoe Theatre or the Club Moderne. And with its comfortably moderate year-round climate, Anaconda is a great place to enjoy cycling, hiking, camping, and even rock climbing in a most serene and beautiful Montana urban center. 


A herd of deer in the field outside Choteau.

Choteau serves as the seat of Teton County and is situated a mere 32 kilometers from the mighty Rocky Mountains and the Flathead National Forest. Adjacent to Egg Mountain, an important paleontological site, tourists can visit the Old Trail Museum, where a variety of dinosaur skeletons and other interactive exhibits inform and fascinate the public. With its hot summer climate, Choteau also offers its residents and visitors wonderful chances to go hiking and cycling, great views of the big Montana sky, and plenty of stunning scenic drives.

Affectionately known as "Big Sky Country," Montana is one of the Western United States' most beautiful places. With its stunning natural beauty, this land of the Wild West is also a land of fascinating history. Whether exploring some of the most beautiful natural settings in America or learning more about its expansionist history, these Montana towns offer visitors some of the very best of Americana. 

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