We can’t speak for other states, but in Montana, many of our small towns are lively places with friendly people, historic sites and beautiful scenery. These are a few of our tiny towns that are always worth stopping to check out.
Of course, there's not much to Polebridge other than The Merc, although 133 people do call it home. But those huckleberry bear claws are reason enough to make a trip, and if you spend an afternoon at the Northern Lights Saloon, you might make a new friend or two.
Pony is a historic gold mining town, and although less than 100 families live there now, the historic downtown area is full of remains of buildings from the 1800s. And, of course, the Pony Bar is livelier than a lot of the local hot spots in our bigger cities.
3. Virginia City
Only about 200 people live in Virginia City, but tourists flock to it all summer long, not only for its history but because it's still undeniably charming.
4. Wolf Creek
Its location on the Missouri River and near Hauser Lake makes Wolf Creek a great base for camping and fly fishing. Make sure to take a drive through the beautiful Wolf Creek Canyon.
This incredibly tiny town (population 84) near Billings is mainly known for the Bear Creek Saloon, a popular place for both steaks and pig races. It's also located near the site of the Smith Mine Disaster, so you can see a bit of local history before betting on your favorite pig.
Rosebud County's Ingomar is where you'll find the historic Jersey Lilly, an old eatery well-known for its steak and beans (and original lack of plumbing, hence the outhouses outside). The original frame school building, the Jersey Lilly, and the Bookman Store are all on the National Registry of Historic Buildings.
Blink and you might miss Loma, a small community near Fort Benton that sits where the Marias River meets the Missouri River. Check out the Earth Science Museum to see the local history and Native American artifacts displayed, then grab a bite to eat at Ma's Loma Cafe.
Located along the Yellowstone River near Chico Hot Springs, Emigrant makes a great little pit stop for tourists and those on their way to explore the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Stop for a meal at the Old Saloon or enjoy some BBQ outdoors at Follow Yer' Nose.
You'll find Noxon in the northwest corner of the state, and while amenities here are small, the natural wonders you'll find make up for it. Known for its huckleberry harvesting and bass fishing, this spot is a little piece of paradise.
Named after a Salish chief and located at the base of the Mission Mountains, Arlee in a tiny little haven for artists and creative types, especially Native Americans. You'll see a few galleries and shops in towns, and nearby you'll find the beautiful Garden of 1,000 Buddhas, which is always worth visiting.