Want to experience the best Montana has to offer? It will likely take an entire lifetime to do that. There’s so much to do and see in the Treasure State, especially when you take different hobbies and tastes into consideration. But if you manage to do these 30 things, you can feel pretty good about your Big Sky bucket list.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Visit Glacier National Park.
It's hard to believe any Montanan could reach adulthood without visiting Glacier, but it happens. This is one place you'll want to prioritize.
2. Visit Yellowstone National Park.
We may share most of Yellowstone with Wyoming, but it's definitely part of a Montanan's rite of passage to see it. Besides, the entrance towns like Gardiner and West Yellowstone are really fun.
3. Hike Missoula’s “M” Trail.
It's a fairly easy path, and you won't find better views of the city anywhere.
4. Check out the Huckleberry Festival held in Trout Creek every August.
Just trust us on this one.
5. Have a meal at Sir Scott’s Oasis Steakhouse in Manhattan.
It may not be the best steak you've ever had (though it should be in the top 5), but you can't top the atmosphere at the legendary steakhouse.
6. Take a summer vacation to Flathead Lake.
Montana has hundreds of beautiful lakes, but there's really something special about Flathead.
7. Visit Bannack State Park.
It's interesting, beautiful, and just plain cool.
8. Explore Virginia City and Nevada City.
Try to go during summer, when costumed characters wander the streets and there are plenty of fun events.
9. See as much of the Dinosaur Trail as possible.
If nothing else, at least make it a point to visit the Museum of the Rockies.
10. Eat some pasties.
11. Experience a good old-fashioned small town Montana 4th of July.
Almost every city and town in Montana celebrates the 4th in style, from parades (this one is from Livingston's) to fireworks displays.
12. Drive across the Fort Peck Dam.
13. Tour Havre Beneath the Streets.
A lot of people visit Havre without ever knowing that an underground tour is available. But exploring the underground city is a great way to learn about the area's history.
14. Visit Butte and learn about our mining history.
Visit the World Museum of Mining, check out the Dumas Brothel Museum and have a meal at the Pekin Noodle Parlor, Montana's oldest restaurant.
15. Go to the Polebridge Mercantile.
Bonus points if you have a huckleberry bear claw.
16. See the Northern Lights.
This is possible in other parts of the world, of course, but can you think of a better place to enjoy them than Big Sky Country?
17. Have an ugly burger from Rod’s Drive Inn in Havre.
In a state filled with mouthwatering burgers, this one still has a reputation as one of the best.
18. Visit the Virgelle Mercantile.
One of our oldest general stores has become a charming antique shop with rooms and cabins available for rent.
19. Head to Wolf Point for the Wadopana Pow Wow in early August.
This celebration is the oldest traditional pow‑wow in Montana. Even if you're not Native American, it's nice to learn more about (and respect) the culture.
20. Find your perfect camping spot.
Whether that means pitching a tent under the stars or hooking up your RV at a campground, finding your ideal way to be close to nature will help you enjoy Montana even more.
21. Wander through the Daly Mansion in Hamilton.
Once the home of Mr. Marcus Daly and his family, this mansion has been purchased and preserved by the state of Montana.
22. Visit Philipsburg. Mine for sapphires.
23. Have a cinnamon roll from Wheat Montana.
This is a bucket list item you'll want to complete many times.
24. Experience the Gates of the Mountains Tour.
Take a boat ride through the Gates of the Mountains, located about 20 miles north of Helena.
25. Spend the night at one of our haunted hotels, like the Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton...
... if you dare.
26. Spend a relaxing weekend at Chico Hot Springs.
27. Visit the Little Big Horn Battlefield.
It's important to learn from our history.
28. Check out the Montana Bail Trail
Every September, the good people of Hobson and Utica gather for "What the Hay," the Montana Bale Trail. The creativity that goes into each display is so impressive.
29. Head to Miles City for the Bucking Horse Sale in May.
It's an experience like no other.
This list is a small fraction of all the beautiful experiences you can have in Montana, but it’s definitely a great start. Here’s some more information on
Havre Beneath the Streets and Montana’s oldest restaurant.