1. Go somewhere in the state that you’ve never been before.
This can be a well-known museum or common landmark, or it can be a charming small town you’ve always wanted to see, like Phillipsburg. If you’re low on money or time, choose a place close to home—you’re in Montana, so there’s probably something beautiful to see that’s a two hour drive (or less) away.
2. Go to a state park.
Montana has 44 of them, and they’re beautiful. This is Giant Springs State Park in Great Falls.
3. Find the best ice cream in town.
This might involve a lot of tasting.
4. Go to a festival.
Summer is festival season in Montana. This photo is from the Red Ants Pants Music Festival held in late July outside White Sulphur Springs.
5. Perfect your signature summer recipe.
Do you bake an amazing huckleberry pie? Are you a grill master? Fine tune your skills. Your family (and neighbors, and friends) will thank you.
6. Find the perfect way to celebrate the Fourth of July.
Independence Day is an amazing holiday. Head to the best fireworks show in your area, invite your friends to your family’s cabin for a BBQ, or check out your town’s 4th of July parade (like Livingston‘s, pictured above).
7. Get to know a neighbor.
When the weather warms up, people go outside. Montana is one of the few places left where people are known for talking to their neighbors. If you don’t know some of yours, strike up a conversation.
8. Get in the pool (or lake, or river, or swimming hole).
Go for a swim on one of the hottest days of the year. Even if you just wade for a few minutes, you’ll remember why you loved swimming so much when you were younger.
9. Shop at a Farmers’ Market…
If there are any farmers’ markets in your area, explore them and find out what kind of deals you can get on fresh local food.
10. … and eat some local, seasonal produce.
Montanans are lucky. Our fresh summer lineup includes asparagus, huckleberries, and the best cherries on Earth, among other things.
11. Go to one classic, traditional, “only in Montana” kind of event.
The Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Lewistown. Pioneer Days in Scobey. The Grand Victorian Ball in Virginia City. You’ll have plenty to choose from.
12. Take plenty of pictures.
Summer flies by way too fast. Capture the memories you make with your family and friends.
Whatever you end up doing, enjoy your summer to the fullest.