Explore Montana: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Discover some of the world’s most breathtaking outdoor scenery on your next vacation in Montana. From snow-capped mountains to cascading waterfalls, there’s something for everyone in this great state. Explore all the attractions, activities, and natural wonders that Montana has to offer with this ultimate travel guide – packed full of insider tips and ideas for family-friendly fun. So grab your map and plan a getaway you won’t soon forget!

Key Takeaways

  • Montana offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including snowmobiling, skiing, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
  • Yellowstone National Park is a must-visit destination in Montana, known for its wildlife and geysers.
  • Montana is home to museums and art galleries, providing opportunities for cultural exploration.
  • Sampling local food and drinks, such as huckleberry bear claws and craft beer, is a must-do experience in Montana.

Things to Do in Montana

You’ll never run out of things to do in Montana! Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure or cultural experiences, Montana has it all. Spend time exploring the majestic Big Sky Country and take in its awe-inspiring landscapes. From snowmobiling and skiing to mountain biking and horseback riding, you can find plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Don’t forget Yellowstone National Park with its incredible array of wildlife and stunning geysers. For a more laid-back experience, visit one of the many museums and art galleries around the state. You can also sample some of Montana’s delicious local food and drinks like huckleberry bear claws or craft beer from Flathead Lake Brewing Company. No matter what your interests are, Montana offers something for everyone!

Where to Stay in Montana

When looking for a place to stay in Montana, you have a variety of options. Hotels and motels are available all around the state, many offering stunning views of the mountainous landscape. Camping is also popular here, with plenty of campgrounds in both public and private settings. Vacation rentals give you more privacy and the chance to experience life as a local.

Hotels & Lodging

Montana offers a variety of hotels and lodging options for travelers looking to explore the state. For budget-minded visitors, there are numerous affordable motels and campgrounds scattered throughout the state. If you’re after something more luxurious, you can stay at one of Montana’s many upscale resorts or lodges. For those seeking an authentic experience, consider booking a room in one of the state’s historic bed & breakfasts.
  • Budget-Friendly: Motels, Campgrounds
  • Luxury: Resorts, Lodges
  • Local: Bed & Breakfasts
No matter which option you choose, Montana has plenty to offer in terms of accommodations for all types of travelers. All provide comfortable rooms with convenient amenities that let you enjoy your stay while exploring everything this great state has to offer.

Camping Options

For an authentic outdoor experience, consider camping in one of Montana’s many beautiful parks and campgrounds. From the snow-capped mountains of Glacier National Park to the rolling plains of Custer Gallatin National Forest, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a novice or experienced camper, the state offers a range of campgrounds with amenities like fire pits and bathrooms. You can even rent cabins or glampers! For those looking for more solitude, there are plenty of remote campsites available as well. With such varied terrain throughout Montana, it’s easy to find a spot that fits your needs and allows you to explore nature in its purest form.

Vacation Rentals

If you’re looking for a home away from home, Montana offers plenty of vacation rental options.
  • Accommodations: From cabins to yurts, there’s something for every taste. Find rental homes in the Flathead Valley, near Glacier National Park, and around Bozeman. Enjoy high-end amenities like hot tubs and fireplaces.
  • Activities: Go fishing or boating in the summer. Take a hike in the mountains or explore forests by horseback. Enjoy skiing and snowshoeing during winter months.
  • Freedom: Large properties let you get away from it all. With no set check-in/check-out times, your schedule is yours to control. Enjoy an adventure that’s tailored to your interests!

Best Time to Visit Montana

Planning a trip to Montana? You’ll want to consider the best time of year to visit based on weather conditions, cost of travel, and outdoor activities. During the summer months from June through August, temperatures in Montana are warm and comfortable, making it ideal for exploring outdoor activities such as hiking or kayaking. However, since this is peak season for tourists, prices may be higher than other times of year. Fall is also a popular time to visit due to its mild temperatures and vibrant fall foliage.

Weather Conditions

You’ll want to be prepared for Montana’s diverse weather conditions. Depending on where and when you visit, you could experience a variety of climates:
  • Winter:
  • Snowy, cold temperatures with strong winds in the northern part of Montana.
  • Warmer temperatures but still a chance of snow in the south.
  • Spring/Fall:
  • Rapidly changing temperatures that can range from hot to cold.
  • Rain or even snow is possible throughout these seasons.
  • Summer:
  • Mostly dry heat with temperatures reaching 90°F (32°C).
  • Some storms and afternoon thunderstorms are common during this time as well.
Pack accordingly to make your trip enjoyable no matter what season you visit!

Cost of Travel

The cost of traveling to Montana can vary depending on the season and type of activities you choose. Generally, flights to major cities like Bozeman, Missoula, and Billings will be your biggest expense. Rental cars are affordable and easily obtainable. Lodging can range from camping in national forests for free to resorts with all the amenities that come with a higher price tag. Most attractions have reasonable admission fees or may even be free of charge. With careful planning, you can find amazing deals that fit your budget and provide freedom from worry about money during your travels!

Outdoor Activities

You can experience the great outdoors in Montana with activities such as skiing, fishing, and hiking. You can find a range of winter sports at ski resorts like Big Sky Resort or Whitefish Mountain Resort. Enjoy a day on the lake by renting a boat or chartering a fishing trip. Hiking trails are abundant throughout the state, including Glacier National Park and Beartooth Mountains.
  • Ski Resorts:
  • Big Sky Resort
  • Whitefish Mountain Resort
  • Fishing:
  • Boat Rentals
  • Charter Fishing Trips
  • Hiking:
  • Glacier National Park
  • Beartooth Mountains

Outdoor Adventure Ideas

Heading to Montana for an outdoor adventure is a great idea! There’s something for everyone in this rugged landscape. From fishing in the rivers and streams, to kayaking on Flathead Lake, and fly-fishing on Rock Creek, there are plenty of ways to get out and explore. Hiking enthusiasts can find trails through Glacier National Park or one of its many wilderness areas. For those looking for more extreme adventures, rock climbing or mountain biking are perfect options. You can even go rafting down the Smith River or take a scenic tour of Yellowstone National Park. Montana provides an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories for years to come!

Must-See Attractions

Visiting Montana offers a wealth of must-see attractions. From scenic drives through the mountains to guided tours of iconic national parks, there are endless opportunities for exploration. Here are some ways to make the most of your visit:
  • Outdoor Activities: Montana’s stunning landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures. Enjoy fly fishing, skiing, kayaking, and other sports that allow you to immerse yourself in nature.
  • Cultural Experiences: Immerse yourself in the rich culture of Montana by visiting its many museums and galleries. Explore historic sites like Fort Benton or take a trip to Native American reservations for unique cultural experiences.
  • Natural Wonders: Montana is home to breathtaking natural wonders. From Glacier National Park to Flathead Lake, there is much to discover. Embark on wildlife safaris, take a hot air balloon ride over Yellowstone National Park, or explore some of the state’s hidden gems.

Restaurants and Nightlife

If you’re looking to experience the best of Montana’s restaurants and nightlife, you won’t be disappointed. From local eateries with iconic dishes to nightclubs and pubs offering a range of experiences, there are plenty of options to explore. Whether you’re looking for a late-night bite or an evening out on the town, Montana offers something for everyone.

Local Eateries

You’ll love trying out the local eateries in Montana! Whether you’re looking for a big city feel, mountain cuisine, or small-town charm, there is something for everyone.
  • Big City Feel:
  • Head to Missoula and check out the eclectic options like Scotty’s Table or Biga Pizza.
  • Spend an evening at Bozeman Brewing Co. and experience some of Montana’s best brews.
  • Take a trip to Billings and visit the classic The Rex Bar & Grill for a taste of classic Americana.
  • Mountain Cuisine:
  • Visit West Yellowstone and enjoy fine dining with stunning views at Wild West Pizzeria & Saloon.
  • Taste some unique flavors from around the world at The Bistro in Whitefish.
  • Stop by Red Lodge Ales in Red Lodge to sample some of their award-winning craft beers.
  • Small Town Charm:
  • Try some good old-fashioned home cooking at Joe’s Place in Butte.
  • Drop by Lolo Hot Springs for a taste of BBQ served up with amazing mountain views.
  • Explore Helena’s historic Downtown District where you can find plenty of casual cafes and bistros like Prickly Pear Cafe & Cantina or Jackie O’ Haras Irish Pub & Restaurant.


Experience Montana’s nightlife with lively bars, nightclubs, and music venues! Bozeman’s Baxter Hotel Bar offers a unique atmosphere and live music every Friday and Saturday night. Butte’s The Celtic Cowboy features rock, country, blues, and jazz bands throughout the week. Billings’ Railyard Brewing hosts open mic nights for local talent while also providing craft beer to wet your whistle. Helena’s Top Hat Lounge is an intimate venue with DJs playing top 40 hits all weekend long. Missoula brings you the popular Monk’s Bar where you can party until late into the night. No matter what kind of music or atmosphere you’re looking for, there is something in Montana that will fit your needs!


Head to Montana’s pubs for a great night out! There are plenty of options, from lively sports bars with TVs showing the latest game, to cozy Irish pubs where you can enjoy traditional pub fare and drinks. Here are some ideas to get your night started:
  • Fun & Games: Shoot pool or darts, sing karaoke, play trivia or board games.
  • Food & Drink: Sample local craft beers, order classic pub food like fish and chips or shepherd’s pie.
  • Atmosphere: Listen to live music, join in on weekly events like open mic nights or quiz competitions.
No matter what your style is, you’ll find something that fits it perfectly when exploring Montana’s pubs.

Shopping Destinations

Montana has plenty of shopping destinations to check out, so don’t miss out! Whether you’re in search of unique souvenirs or designer items, Montana’s retail spots have something for every type of traveler. Head to the historic downtowns of cities like Helena and Missoula for locally owned boutiques offering homegrown craftsmanship and one-of-a-kind finds. Bigger towns such as Great Falls and Bozeman are also renowned for their vibrant shopping scenes featuring all sorts of specialty stores. For those looking for a truly luxurious experience, head to the hip ski resorts in Whitefish or Red Lodge; their high-end outlets offer everything from outdoor apparel to jewelry. Whatever your budget or style, there’s no shortage of good browsing opportunities in Montana.

Transportation Options

For those looking to get around the state, Montana has numerous transportation options available. Whether you seek adventure or convenience, you can find it here.
  • Roads: Car rentals, buses, and scenic drives offer a variety of ways to explore the sights.
  • Airports: Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is one of the busiest in Montana.
  • Railroads: The Empire Builder line offers routes from the Midwest into Glacier National Park.
There are also cycling trails, ATV tours, and other unique ways to traverse this beautiful landscape. No matter what your preference, Montana provides choice and freedom for all types of travelers.

Climate and Weather Considerations

When planning a trip to Montana, it’s important to consider the climate and weather conditions. Temperatures in Montana can range from hot summers to cold winters, with mild temperatures between seasons. Rainfall is usually dry throughout the year, but wetter conditions are possible during various times of the year as well. The severity of weather can vary depending on which season you’re visiting in – seasons such as winter may be more severe than others like summer.

Temperatures: Hot-Cold

It’s no surprise that temperatures in Montana vary greatly depending on the season; it can get quite cold during winter months, but summers are often hot. You’ll want to be prepared for either extreme when planning your visit.
  • Cold Weather: Temperatures in winter can range from 0°F to 30°F, so pack warm layers and a good coat. Don’t forget hats, gloves, snow boots, and a snow shovel if you’re heading into snowy or mountainous areas.
  • Hot Weather: Summertime temps generally stay between 70°F and 90°F; bring light clothing like shorts and t-shirts as well as hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and swimsuits for lake days. Don’t forget insect repellent too!
  • Year Round Essentials: Bring comfortable walking shoes whatever time of year you visit – there’s plenty of exploring to do! Sturdy waterproof footwear is ideal if you plan to get off the beaten path.

Rainfall: Dry-Wet

Now that you know more about the temperatures in Montana, let’s explore the rainfall. Depending on where you go, Montana can be quite dry or quite wet. Generally speaking, the southeastern part of the state is much drier than western Montana. In fact, some areas of eastern Montana get less than 10 inches of rain a year! Conversely, western Montana gets plenty of precipitation – up to 60 inches in some places – throughout the spring and summer months. So if you’re looking for a sunny getaway with not too much rain, head east; but if it’s lush greenery and plenty of moisture you desire, then western Montana is your destination!

Seasons: Mild-Severe

You’ll find that Montana’s climate can range from mild to severe throughout the year. In the springtime, temperatures can reach as high as 85°F yet still dip down into the low 30s and even 20s at night. The summer months tend to stay in the 70-90°F range, although some days may reach 100°F or above. Fall is usually mild but often sees a few snowstorms before winter sets in. Winter averages around 0°F and can see lows of -30°F or below.
  • Enjoyable Seasons:
  • Spring: Mild weather and blooming flowers make for pleasant hikes
  • Summer: Long days filled with sunshine are perfect for exploring outdoors
  • Fall: Crisp air and changing leaves bring out vibrant colors
  • Changeable Weather:
  • Late spring/early summer afternoon thunderstorms are common
  • Early autumn brings snowfall which may last until late October or early November
  • Arctic blasts on occasion create frigid conditions
  • Severe Winters:
  • Subzero temperatures from December through March make outdoor activities limited if not dangerous
  • Blizzards and icy roads make travel hazardous at times

Planning Tips

Before you travel to Montana, it’s important to take some time to plan out your trip. You’ll want to consider the seasons in order to make sure you are prepared for the weather. Make sure to research the best times of year for outdoor activities like hiking and fishing, if that is what you are interested in doing. Additionally, it is a good idea to read up on local customs so that you can be respectful during your stay. A bit of preparation will also help when it comes time to book accommodations and flights. Little things like knowing how far away attractions are from each other, or which airports offer direct flights can save you valuable time and money! Lastly, be sure to look into any special permits or passes that may be required for certain activities or locations; these could cost extra but provide access to great experiences!

Local Events

Checking out what local events are happening in Montana during your stay is a great way to make the most of your trip. Here’s how to maximize the experience:
  • Fairs & Festivals: Check out the annual Western Heritage Days or explore small-town street fairs showcasing local art, food, and more.
  • Cultural Events: Attend powwows, concerts, and plays featuring traditional music and stories.
  • Outdoor Activities: Catch a rodeo for an authentic Western experience or take part in outdoor activities like fishing and camping.
No matter what event you attend, these unique opportunities will let you get a taste of Montana culture and create memories that last a lifetime!

Family-Friendly Activities

Head to Montana for a family vacation that offers plenty of fun and exciting activities! From the Lewis and Clark Caverns to skiing in Big Sky, there’s something here for everyone. Yellowstone National Park is a must-see; take time to explore the geysers, hot springs, and other natural wonders. Float down one of the many rivers in a canoe or kayak–the Flathead River is especially great for kids. Check out some local museums like Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument or visit historic sites like Fort Benton. For thrill-seekers, try mountain biking or zip-lining through Glacier National Park! With so much to do across Montana’s vast landscape, you’re sure to create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Insider Tips and Tricks

If you’re planning a trip to Montana, take advantage of these insider tips and tricks! To make the most of your vacation:
  • Make sure to plan ahead:
  • Research the area before you arrive.
  • Check for any events or local festivals that may be happening during your stay.
  • Book accommodations in advance.
  • Take advantage of discounts:
  • Look for coupons, special offers, and promotions when booking flights or activities.
  • Discounts may also be available through travel agencies or tour operators.
  • Pack appropriately:
  • Bring layers with you as temperatures can vary greatly between day and night.
  • Don’t forget to bring along your camera—Montana is full of amazing sights!

Natural Wonders to Discover

Discovering Montana’s natural wonders is a must-do for any traveler! From sprawling mountain ranges to crystal clear lakes, there are endless opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park are home to some of the most beautiful vistas in America. With towering peaks, lush meadows and majestic wildlife, these parks offer an incredible adventure that you won’t soon forget. The Beartooth Mountains offer stunning views of alpine lakes, wildflower-filled valleys and snow-capped ridges. And with rivers like the Missouri and Bighorn providing exciting rafting adventures, outdoor enthusiasts can find plenty to do in Montana’s wide open spaces. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful hike or an adrenaline-packed excursion, there are natural wonders waiting to be discovered!

Getting Around the State

Getting around Montana is easy with plenty of transportation options available. Whether you take a scenic mountain drive or book a guided tour, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see the state’s stunning scenery.
  • By Car:
  • Rent a car and explore at your own pace.
  • Take one of the many scenic drives that span across Montana.
  • Road trips offer adventure and flexibility to make stops along the way.
  • By Plane:
  • Fly into Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell or one of the other small regional airports located throughout Montana for convenient access to all regions within the state.
  • Air tours provide an incredible view from above – perfect for photography enthusiasts!
  • By Tour:
  • Guided tours allow visitors to relax and enjoy their experience without worrying about directions or rental cars.
  • Take advantage of one-day hikes, wildlife watching, white water rafting, horseback riding, and more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Montana a Safe Place to Travel?

Yes, Montana is generally a safe place to travel. Crime rates are low across the state and law enforcement is vigilant. Visitors can explore with peace of mind, enjoying all the great outdoor activities and attractions Montana has to offer.

What Are the Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Montana?

Montana is a great destination for travelers, boasting popular attractions such as Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Flathead Lake. Enjoy exploring its diverse scenery!

Are There Any Special Discounts or Deals Available for Visiting Montana?

Yes! There are many discounts and deals available for visiting Montana. For example, some hotels offer discounts for extended stays, while others provide discounts for groups. Additionally, there are often special promotions or seasonal packages. Be sure to check out the official travel website for more information.

Are There Any Health and Safety Concerns I Should Be Aware of Before Visiting Montana?

Yes, there are health and safety concerns to be aware of before visiting Montana. Be sure to research the local wildlife, as well as any potential hazards that may exist in certain areas. Make sure to bring appropriate clothing and gear for the climate you’ll be traveling in. Stay informed of weather warnings or advisories during your trip.

Are There Any Special Etiquette Rules I Should Be Aware of Before Visiting Montana?

Be respectful of Montana’s diverse heritage and natural environment. Don’t litter, be aware of wildlife, and respect private property. Dress modestly in public; cowboy hats and boots are welcome! Greet people warmly with a smile or nod. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

What Makes Idaho a Great Travel Destination?

When it comes to exploring Idaho, look no further than the ultimate travel guide. Idaho offers a diverse range of experiences for all types of travelers. From the stunning landscapes of Sawtooth National Recreation Area to the vibrant cultural scene in Boise, there is something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the world-class hiking, skiing, and water sports opportunities this magnificent state has to offer. Idaho truly is a great travel destination that should be on every explorer’s radar.


Now that you’ve explored Montana, it’s time to start planning your trip! With its vast array of outdoor adventures, natural wonders, and family-friendly activities, Montana has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adrenaline rush, there’s no shortage of things to do in the Big Sky State. The best part? With all the insider tips and tricks you’ve learned here, you’ll be able to make the most of your stay in Montana – no matter what time of year it is!

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