1. Bannack State Park
Bannack is well-preserved, beautiful, fascinating and a little eerie. You can take a self-guided tour, or if you hit it at the right time (the third weekend in July), participate in Bannack Days. The Bannack Ghost Walks that take place in October are also entertaining and spooky.
2. Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort
Take your visitors to Paradise, literally. Quinn’s isn’t as well known as popular hot springs like Chico, but with six soaking pools, a tavern and comfortable lodging, it has everything you need for a little getaway.
3. Medicine Rocks State Park
If you live in Eastern Montana, check out Medicine Rocks in Ekalaka for photographs, hiking and wildlife viewing. Teddy Roosevelt once called it “As fantastically beautiful a place as I have ever seen.”
This tiny town of less than 100 residents was one of the first boom towns in the Montana Territory. Take your guests hiking, biking or four wheeling along the trails and you’ll find old gold mines, cabins and beautiful scenery.
Take your visitors to the center of the state “where the mountains meet the plains.” Enjoy a day in a charming little town where you can shop for antiques, eat ice cream at the Bon Ton Soda Fountain and catch a movie at Judith Cinema.
6. Polebridge Mercantile
Warning: If you take out of town guests to Polebridge, they might not want to leave. Enjoy the beautiful outdoor lover’s paradise that is Polbridge with a nature hike, bike ride or river float, then eat your weight in deli sandwiches and fresh pastries from the Polebridge Mercantile.
7. Ringing Rocks
The “mysterious ringing rocks” of Pipestone is a great place to show visitors. Hit them with a hammer and they continue to sing. Be aware that the road to get there is poorly marked, so get good directions.
8. Fairy Lake
Head north from Bozeman up Bridger Canyon Road and over Battle Ridge Pass and you’ll find Fairy Lake, a gorgeous glacial green lake at the base of Sacagawea Peak. Have a picnic, go fishing, swim or hike the easy 1.2 mile trail around the lake’s perimeter.
9. The Western Heritage Center
Teach your guests some state history by paying a visit to the Western Heritage Center in Billings.
10. Painted Rocks Reservoir State Park
Drive up the West Fork of the Bitterroot River to the Painted Rocks Reservoir State Park. On a clear, sunny day, you’ll enjoy one of the most scenic day trips in the state.
11. Red Rocks Lake Wildlife Refuge
This refuge has one of the most naturally diverse areas in the refuge system. You’ll see wetlands, grassland, sagebrush and forested areas. You’ll also see an abundance of wildlife ranging from moose, deer, eagles, owls and trumpeter swans, depending on the season.