With rodeos, grizzly bears, ghost towns, hot springs and vistas that will steal your breath away, magic abounds in Montana. If your senses are ready, dive right in with a juicy elk steak or savory bison burger. Both Yellowstone and Glacier National Park lie within Montana's borders, so make sure to pack those hiking boots. Don't miss a visit to Old Faithful (yes, as the name implies, you're guaranteed an eruption or two). Get your endorphins dancing with a cycle through the ultra-scenic Going-to-the-Sun bike route. Kayaking, fishing, hunting, and ice-climbing are also options if bicycles aren't your forte. Top it all off with a slice of homemade huckleberry pie. After all that, you deserve it.
Few places are as upfront about what makes them tick. On winter nights in Bozeman, the top of the tallest downtown building occasionally shines a blue flashing light. A good-will beacon to a ski-crazy town, the light heralds new snow falling 16 miles away at Bridger Bowl Ski Resort.
And the same enthusiasm can be said about Montana in general. With more than 10 popular ski areas spread across the state, some Montanans will tell you that winter is the time to be here. Resorts that sound more like icons of the Old West, such as Showdown, Maverick Mountain and Big Sky have been setting the bar for skiing for ages. Challenging runs, dizzying vertical drops and vistas that lead the eye forever draw riders and skiers from all over the world.
But to be fair, Montana is also about beauty. Gateways to two of North America's most popular parks reside within the state's boundaries. Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast, a birder, a history buff or an avid seeker of Nature's undisturbed beauty, Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks offer unlimited opportunities to fulfill your passion year round.
With thousands of square miles of open range and mountains, Montana is an ideal place to study wildlife. Moose, deer, elk, wolves bison and grizzlies have been making their homes here for centuries. More than 50 protected sanctuaries stretch across the state, from Kootenai Falls in the northwest corner of the state, to the Isaac Homestead in the southeast, offering ideal opportunities for bird watching and wildlife viewing.
Montana's land-locked status doesn't mean there isn't variety in the recreation, either. More than 3,000 named lakes and 40 rivers have made it a veritable blue ribbon capital of fly-fishing. Pristine countryside, clear rushing waters and fish stories that are just about as legendary as Montana's Old West past have cinched its reputation as an ideal destination for weekend getaways.
And when you think you're done experiencing the wildlands, be sure to check out its historic cities. Places like Helena, the capital, Butte, the state's Irish hometown, and Bozeman, the heart of western culture, live up to the state's reputation as "the last best place to live."
In Montana, grizzly bears, hot springs, rodeos and the ghost towns of the past live comfortably beside 21st century city life, and are all part of what makes America's "Big Sky Country" a place to experience.
7000 Beaver Creek Road
300 1st Avenue South