There is perhaps no prettier state in the US than Montana. With its vast open spaces and natural beauty, Montana is often referred to as "Big Sky Country." It's hard to leave Montana once you are there, and here are towns that are perfect for a weekend getaway.
Livingston is a small picturesque town that has been featured in films like Rancho Deluxe and A River Runs Through It. It is also the first gateway into Yellowstone National Park. Mainstreet winds through classic brick architecture and neon signs that embody the spirit of the Old West.
The town is artistic and eclectic and has quite a few historic buildings and museums to visit, including the Yellowstone Gateway Museum. There is also a plethora of outdoor activities, such as fly fishing and kayaking down the Yellowstone River or visiting Sacajawea Park. One of the more unique hotels is the historic Murray Hotel in the heart of downtown.
Whitefish is a resort town on the edge of Glacier National Park. It is renowned for its gorgeous mountain views and stunning rivers and lakes. Fall is the best time to visit as you will be surrounded by golden aspens and foliage that is incomparable in their beauty.
The town is a haven for skiers and outdoor enthusiasts, but there is plenty to do in town as well. There is dining and shopping downtown, which is reminiscent of Livingston, and there are several guided tours, including a coffee roasting tour. The Grouse Mountain Lodge is the perfect place to stay if you want to be near the famous slopes and also have easy access to restaurants and bars.
Phillipsburg, named after the mining engineer Philip Deidesheimer, and has a population of less than 1,000. Though sparsely populated, the 75 lakes located in this small mining town and the convenience to Yellowstone National Park make it a perfect holiday retreat. There are also quite a few museums, including the Granite County Museum and the Montana Law Enforcement Museum.
For a unique experience, explore the Granite Mine Ghost Town. Discovered in 1872, miners once struck it rich in this mine, and it has been left mostly intact, and visitors can walk around this piece of history and experience what life was like in the rugged terrain in the 19th century. The Kaiser Hotel, with only four rooms, will take you back in time and truly embodies the spirit of this classic boomtown.
Anaconda, in southwestern Montana, is only eight miles north of the Continental Divide. Named after the 585-foot smokestack from the old Anaconda Copper Company, the town offers stunning natural views and easy access to Lost Creek State Park.
Sugar Loaf Lodge and Cabins are gorgeous and offer a true off-the-grid experience with no Wi-Fi available. This is truly a haven for the one seeking outdoor adventures, but there are quaint boutiques and restaurants in the town. The Copper Valley Museum and Art Center is a popular attraction that tells the history of the county seat through exhibits and walking tours.
West Yellowstone is a gateway to the National Park and is in the heart of Yellowstone Geyser country. A quintessential tourist town, there are activities like zip lining, tours to Old Faithful, and tours through Yellowstone Museum.
Explorer Cabins is a fun 50 cabin property with the aesthetics of rural Montana that also has modern amenities. It is within walking distance of Yellowstone National Park and close to the shops and dining. The Grizzly and Wolf Center, along with the Yellowstone Giant Screen Theatre offer educational learning and is a fun way to spend the weekend with family.
Red Lodge is a quaint and scenic town that boasts numerous outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, and kayaking. The Beartooth Scenic Byway is a must-see attraction for a weekend adventure. The 68-mile bypass set on over one million acres of preserved land can be traversed by car or bicycle and offers truly amazing views of the Beartooth Mountains.
After staying a night at the historical Pollard Hotel, A trip to the Carbon County Historical Society and Museum should be on the itinerary. The historic museum attracts a lot of visitors to the exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of this authentic mountain town.
Big Sky is so-called because of the expansive views that seem to go on forever and is at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The town is known for its skiing and snowboarding culture, and a stay at the Big Sky Resort makes for a perfect weekend trip. However, there are plenty of other attractions in this isolated ski town.
This is an outdoor experience like no other where you can hike on the Ousel Falls Trail, take horseback tours via Jake's Horses, or play a round of golf at the Big Sky Golf Club. To wind down, take a stroll through the Town Center, where the classic wooden log buildings boast a modern array of shopping and dining.
Montana is an unforgettable experience that offers some of the best outdoor activities in the US. Be it Yellowstone National Park, fly fishing, or simply taking in the vastness of the mountains and towering pine trees, this is a unique destination for a weekend jaunt. The museums and ghost towns tell the history of this frontier state, while guided tours through the plains and forests give you a glimpse of the natural beauty of Big Sky Country.