Most people who venture up to Havre agree that it’s an underrated place. Between the delicious burgers at Rod’s Drive Inn, the Triple Dog Brewing Company and the amazing Havre Beneath the Streets tour, you won’t be hungry or bored here.
Libby is close to some gorgeous outdoor recreation options: Kootenai Falls, Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai National Forest, just to name a few. But the city itself is lovely, the people are friendly, and the downtown area has some great restaurants and specialty shops.
3. Big Timber
What’s not to love about Big Timber? The town sits in the valley formed by the junction of the Crazy Mountains and the Absaroka-Beartooth Ranges, an area that is breathtakingly beautiful. Big Timber might not have hundreds of tourist attractions or restaurants, but what they do have—places like the Thirsty Turtle Tavern & Grill—is phenomenal.
Located just 24 miles from the more populated city of Butte, Anaconda has a rich culture and provides quick access to all kinds of Montana adventures. For a fairly small town, you can have a pretty urban experience here. Explore the Old City Hall Copper Village Museum and Art Center, catch a show at the Washoe Theater, have a steak at Barclay II and then relax and unwind at Fairmont Hot Springs.
This little town by the Canadian border stays out of the spotlight, but it’s home to some of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. Annual events like Rendezvous Days tend to draw in the tourists, but it never seems to be too crowded here—and that’s just how locals like it.
6. Cut Bank
Perhaps winter isn’t the best season to visit Cut Bank—the talking penguin statue is there to remind people that it’s allegedly the coldest spot in the nation. But if you don’t mind frigid temperatures or you head that way during summer, you’ll enjoy the views of the Rocky Mountain Front, relaxing guest ranches and fishing spots.
To some, Shelby is a mere pit stop on the long drive to or from Glacier National Park. And while it’s true that this small town doesn’t see a lot of excitement, it’s still a likeable place with a lot to offer. The Prairie Peddler is one of the most unique shops in the area, the Marias Museum of History & Art is surprisingly wonderful (and hosts ice cream socials all summer), and the Frontier Bar & Supper Club a few miles up the road will serve you one of the best steaks of your life.
Located in Big Horn County, this small city of 3,600 people is a peaceful, laid back place. The Big Horn County Historical Museum, Yellowtail Reservoir and 3 Brothers Bistro and Casino will earn this spot a place in your heart.
9. Three Forks
Let’s see… it’s home to the original Wheat Montana, at least one haunted hotel (Sacajawea Hotel), Missouri Headwaters State Park, and local artist Jim Dolan’s Bleu Horses sculptures. In short, Three Forks is awesome.
It may be a mere 20 minutes from the heart of Missoula, but Lolo definitely has its own character. If the alluring Lolo Hot Springs and Lolo Creek Steakhouse don’t win you over, the Lolo Creek Brewing Company definitely will.
Dillon is close to Bannack State Park, so if fascinating history and ghost towns interest you, it makes a great place to rest when you’re not exploring. But allow yourself plenty of time to check out the area. The Beaverhead River is beautiful and the Pioneer Mountain Wilderness Area is pristine. And when you venture into town, eat at Sparky’s Garage, where the decor is as fun as the food.
With a quaint and friendly downtown area, top rated accommodations, delicious places to dine and plenty of city parks, Laurel is truly a great place to visit or live. The fact that it’s close to the Beartooth Wilderness and less than two hours away from Yellowstone doesn’t hurt either.