It is always a good idea to get away from the city occasionally and take a little break from its hustle and bustle. And what better place to escape than Montana, home to some of the most picture-perfect towns in the northwestern part of the United States? States like North Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, and South Dakota border Montana. Montana is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, lakes, national parks, and valleys, from the famous Glacier National National Park, to regional favorites like Spring Meadow Lake State Park, and Somers Beach State Park among others. So, for those planning their next vacation to the Treasure State of Montana, uncover 10 picturesque towns waiting to be explored!
Located close to Glacier National Park, Whitefish is quite a popular destination among tourists who like skiing. The town has several enchanting elements, including beautiful mountain ranges, trails and lakes such as Mount Nasukoin, Danny on Memorial Trail, and Red Meadow Lake among others. Whitefish has a closely-knit community, and a very relaxed vibe.
Attending the Whitefish Winter Carnival is a must for tourists visiting during wintertime! This festival is known for its non-stop parties, snow sculptures, and skijoring races. When in town, do not miss great professional performaces at the Whitefish Theater Company or the Whitefish Performing Arts Center.
Ennis is a resort town in Montana with a small population of around 1,000. It is in the center of the prime hunting and fishing territory and therefore attracts many tourists. On the east of the town is the Madison River and Madison Range. The south is home to the Gravelly Range, while the northwest has the Tobacco Root Mountains.
Besides all the outdoor adventure, tourists can also enjoy other activities such as visiting the Willie’s Distillery. Two popular drinks to taste at this small batch distillery are the Honey Moonshine, Bighorn Bourbon, and Montana Moonshine. While touring the Main Street, drop by at the Gravel Bar and Restaurant that offers a mix of traditional and Mexican food.
Choteau is another town in Montana boasting the quintessential small-town vibe. With the Rocky Mountains overlooking it, Choteau welcomes its travelers through the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. This splendid natural terrain runs across millions of acres of land and is known for its wildlife and outdoor adventures. Near the complex, travelers can also visit the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest.
Local diners in Choteau include Copper Creek Coffee, Log Cabin Café, and John Henry’s Restaurant. Those interested in exploring this beautiful little town’s history and culture must spend some time in the Old Trail Museum. Montana has a Jurassic history, which is on display at The Montana Dinosaur Center. This popular town attraction allows tourists to explore the archaeological legacy of the region.
One of the most important facts about Stevensville is that it was Montana’s first stable settlement. The Jesuit missionaries settled the area long before Montana was declared a state in the United States. For tourists, it means getting a chance to view 19th-century homes. One of the most notable spots in the town is the Fort Owen State Park, which was home to the fort and mission. It has the barracks that were initially built in 1841. Tourists also look forward to visiting St. Mary’s Mission to learn everything about the early history of Montana. Those who prefer more outdoor adventure can hike the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge or the Kootenai Creek Trail.
The town of Polson is on Flathead Lake‘s southern shore in northwest Montana. This beautiful town is known for its expansive cherry orchards and also hosts an annual Cherry Festival! Bordering Polson on the south are the Mission Mountains, which serve as a stunning backdrop to the quaint town. Tourists who love animals must make it a point to visit the National Bison Range. Other town attractions include museums like the Polson Flathead Lake Museum and Miracle of America Museum.
In the center of the famous Bitterroot Valley, Hamilton is a beautiful town surrounded by several million acres of forest land. This makes it one of the best destinations in Montana for outdoor adventure. Despite offering many big-city amenities, the old town retains many historic buildings, senior homes, and public buildings (city hall, county court, etc.). Visitors who are not particularly outdoorsy can instead embark on a beer-tasting tour, checking out Bitter Root Brewing, among others, and enjoy the magic of live music. Some festivities visitors must participate in are the Bitterroot Microbrew Fest and Art in the Park (both are organized at the Legion Park).
The town of Anaconda is more than 5,000 feet above sea level, making it a prime destination to explore the surrounding forests, valleys, lakes, and mountains. Travelers can begin their exploration of this picturesque town at the Lost Creek State Park, which boasts breathtaking rock formations and cliffs. Adventure hikers who wish to take it easy should explore the shorter walking trail leading to the beautiful Lost Creek Falls. Anaconda’s Main Street is among the biggest attractions of the town. While walking, travelers can admire the village, which has the Deer Lodge County Courthouse, 1898 Hearst Free Library, and Club Moderne (constructed in 1937).
Only 12 towns across the United States have been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Butte is one of them. This town is the most extensive Historic District in the US and has around 6,000 properties. The best way to explore Butte is to walk around the area and see the beautiful Queen Anne and Victorian-style houses. One of the most popular ones is the Copper King Mansion, which dates back to the 19th century. Butte also allows travelers to tour the Dumas Brothel.
Many tourists visiting Montana are interested in exploring the Yellowstone National Park, which is accessible through the town of West Yellowstone, home to a small population of 1,200. Sandwiched between Wyoming and Montana, this national park is known for highlights like the West Thumb Geyser Basin and the vast Old Faithful Geyser. Other town attractions include the Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo and the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center.
Known for its laidback vibe, Libby is another beautiful Montana town nestled in a stunning mountainous terrain in the northwest corner of the state. The Kootenay River flows through the city, adding even more beauty to this charming town, home to just under 3,000 residents. For outdoor adventurers, hiking in the famous Kootenai National Forest is essential. For those who like more adventure, try backpacking in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Area, which is spread across 94,000 acres.
Also known as the “Big Sky Country,” Montana is a delightful holiday spot with its vast plains, canyons, expansive forests, and prairies. The numerous scenic towns are the gems of Montana that give tourists access to several national parks, forests, and other natural wonders!