Things To Do - 46 min read

75 BEST Things To Do in Montana (Beauty And Fun in Big Sky Country!)

Jillian Marinovic

Jillian Marinovic, Updated October 9, 2022

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The panoramic views and beauty of “Big Sky Country” draws visitors from across the nation to Montana over and over again. Montana is the definition of western culture, with mountains and buffalo in the west and farms and fields in the east. 

With the number of national parks in Montana, you’ll need at least a week to absorb the state’s natural landscapes. From well-known attractions to hidden gems, you’ll want to take note of our extensive must-see places. Make the most of your trip by visiting gardens, mines, historical sites, farms, breweries, and more. 

Montana is sure to satisfy no matter what you choose to include on your vacation to-do list. Follow along to learn the 75 best things to do. 

Contents

1. Museum of the Rockies

Credit: Museum of the Rockies

Map It: 600 W Kagy Blvd, Bozeman, MT 59717 | Phone: (406) 994-2251 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $18 and children 5-17 $12

The Museum of the Rockies is one of the world’s finest research and history museums. Hundreds of dinosaur fossils on display, including a full T-Rex skeleton. 

After exploring the museum’s exhibits, enter the Taylor Planetarium for a breathtaking view of the cosmos. With a 4K digital projector on a 40-foot dome, you will experience our universe in a brilliant display of lights. 

What you’ll need to know: You can make general admission reservations, but reservations are non-refundable. 

2. Yellowstone National Park 

Credit: History

Map It: Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168 | Phone: (307) 344-7381 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Single vehicle seven-day pass $35

A visit to Montana isn’t complete without a trip to Yellowstone Park. It will take you longer than a day to explore the park’s magnificence as it’s bigger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island.

Yellowstone is a natural marvel, with over 300 geysers, 290 waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. You can drive through the grounds at your leisure or choose from thousands of miles of trails to explore. 

What you’ll need to know: If you plant to camp at Yellowstone, you must make a reservation at least a year in advance. 

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Montana

3. Tizer Botanic Gardens and Arboretum 

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: 38 Tizer Lake Rd, Jefferson City, MT 59638 | Phone: (406) 933-8789 | Website | Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $9 and children 5-12 $7 

The beautiful Tizer Botanic Gardens are located in the heart of the Elkhorn Mountains. The garden paths wander through Prickly Pear Creek and feature thousands of plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetables.

Kids love the gnome and fairy gardens, which have mesmerizing upside-down trees. Guests love the serenity of the Buddha Garden, and the intimate setting of the Secret Garden. 

What you’ll need to know: Guests are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at any of the picnic areas. 

4. World Museum of Mining

Credit: Southwest Montana

Map It: 155 Museum Way, Butte, MT 59701 | Phone: (406) 723-7211 | Website | Hours: Monday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $10 and children 5-17 $6

Butte, Montana, is home to what was once the world’s most productive copper mine. The World Museum of Mining was established when the mine shut down in 1963. Visitors can learn the history of Butte and its mining legacy. 

Located on an actual mine yard, visitors can venture into the depths of the Orphan Girl Mine. Additional exhibits include a Sauerkraut Factory, Union Hall, First National Bank, and a saloon.

What you’ll need to know: The museum is mainly outdoors. Prepare for possible heat/ inclement weather. 

Related Read: 50 Most Beautiful Places in the US

5. Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center 

Credit: Yellowstone

Map It: 201 S Canyon St, West Yellowstone, MT 59758 | Phone: (800) 257-2570 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $15 and children 5-12 $10

See grizzlies and wolves up close at this wildlife park in West Yellowstone. Enjoy watching the bears roam for food and play in the ponds, and catch glimpses of wolf packs running. 

You can also learn details about the Yellowstone ecosystem at the River Otter Exhibit. Other attractions include hiding food for bears, bird presentations, bear safety demonstrations, and more. 

What you’ll need to know: Admission is good for two days. 

6. Granite Ghost Town State Park

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: Granite State Park, Philipsburg, MT 59858 | Phone: (406) 287-3541 | Website | Hours: Daylight hours only | Admission Fee: Day use vehicle entry fee $8

What was once a booming mining destination is now an abandoned ghost town. Over $40,000,000 of silver was yielded from Granite’s mine in the late 1800s. 

Visitors can tour the old Miners’ Union Hall, a dance hall, saloon, café, and a company hospital. 

What you’ll need to know: Permits are required for some activities and must be obtained through the park’s website. 

Related Read: 8 Best Ski Resorts in Montana

7. Big Sky Waterpark 

Credit: Big Sky Waterpark 

Map It: 7211 Hwy 2 E, Columbia Falls, MT 59912 | Phone: (406) 892-5025 | Website | Hours: Seasonally 11 a.m. – 6. p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Over 48” $27.99 and under 48” is $22.99

The entire family will enjoy a day at Big Sky Waterpark. The park has a wading pool for little kids and straight slides for older children. There are also giant thrill slides for adults. 

Go for a relaxing ride on the lazy river, or unwind in the hot tub. After drying off, you can play at the 18-hole mini-golf course and challenge the family to bumper cars. 

What you’ll need to know: 
Receive a discount on admission when you show a Glacier National Park entrance receipt. 

8. Montana Science Center

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: 2744 W Main St, Bozeman, MT 59718 | Phone: (406) 522-9087 | Website | Hours: Monday – Saturday 9. a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Admission Fee: Children over 2 and adults $9

Dive into science with hands-on exhibits at the Montana Science Center. The interactive and sensory exhibitions foster curiosity and inspire imagination. A day spent at the center is both educational and fun. 

Visit the STEAMlab to experiment and build. Dig into the Earth’s layers and explore the planets in the Solar System Exhibit. And make sure to view the 125-gallon native Montana fish tank before you leave. 

What you’ll need to know: Check the online calendar for dates and times of special events. 

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Yellowstone National Park

9. Garden of One Thousand Buddhas

Credit: Destination Missola

Map It: 34574 White Coyote Rd, Arlee, MT 59821 | Phone: (406) 726-0555 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is the western hemisphere’s spiritual sanctuary, and just as its name says – the garden contains 1,000 Buddha statues. 

The Garden means to be a place of positive transformation for people of all faiths. Visitors are welcomed to enjoy the quietness of the grounds or to take a guided tour.

What you’ll need to know: Download the visitor’s guide to the garden here.

10. Moss Mansion Historic House Museum 

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 914 Division St, Billings, MT 59101 | Phone: (406) 256-5100 | Website | Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $12 and children 6-18 $8

This 1902 mansion is a three-story, English Renaissance wonder. The Moss Mansion has been transformed into a historical museum and contains 28 rooms. 

Visitors can tour the mansion on their own or take a guided tour. And keep an eye out for ghosts because the Montana Paranormal Research Society has recorded paranormal activity on the grounds.  

What you’ll need to know: Guided tours are $15 and take place Monday through Saturday. No reservation required. 

11. National Bison Range 

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: 58355 Bison Range Rd, Charlo, MT 59824 | Phone: (406) 644-2211 | Website | Hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Admission Fee: $10 per vehicle 

The National Bison Range is one of the oldest refuges in the U.S. It’s home to nearly 500 bison who have 18,500 acres to roam. 

Visitors can drive through in their vehicles or hike on designated walking trails. Besides bison, guests can see elk, deer, antelope, black bears, bighorn sheep, and more. 

What you’ll need to know: Check current weather and road conditions on the National Bison Range Facebook page

12. Copper King Mansion 

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: 219 W Granite St, Butte, MT 59701 | Phone: (406) 782-7580 | Website | Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $20 and children 5-12 $10

You can tour the Copper King Mansion or even stay overnight. The mansion was built for William A. Clark, the principal developer of copper mining in Butte, Montana. 

Step back into the 1880s as you explore this 34-room Victorian wonder. You’ll be amazed at Copper King’s lavishness, with its stained-glass windows, hand-carved woodwork, and a 64-foot ballroom. 

What you’ll need to know: Check the website for current tour times. 

13. Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park  

Credit: Montana State Parks Foundation

Map It: 25 Lewis & Clark Caverns Road, Whitehall, MT 59759 | Phone: (406) 287-3541 | Website | Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Day Entrance Fee $8

Lewis and Clark Caverns is Montana’s first state park, and features the most beautiful limestone cavern in the west. Wander into the underground beauty on a guided tour, or enjoy the self-guided nature trail.  

The caves are electrically lit and lined with precious stones and minerals. Kids and adults will enjoy discovering the caverns’ depth and can learn about the park’s history at the two visitor centers. 

What you’ll need to know: The Classic Cave Tour is moderately difficult and costs $15. The Paradise Tour is easy and costs $15.

14. Livingston Depot Museum 

Credit: US Route 89

Map It: 200 W Park St, Livingston, MT 59047 | Phone: (406) 222-2300 | Website | Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Admission Fee: Varies

The past and present join together at the Livingston Depot Museum. The center is integral to the downtown community and features historical programs and exhibits throughout the year. 

If you visit Montana in July, you can attend the famous Depot Festival of the Arts. A three-decade festival that brings over a hundred of Montana’s finest artists together. 

What you’ll need to know: See the online calendar for special event dates. 

15. Glacier National Park  

Credit: Vogue

Map It: 64 Grinnell Drive, West Glacier, MT 59936 | Phone: (406) 888-7800 | Website Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Seven-day pass for one vehicle $35

Glacier National Park covers one million acres of land and contains 200 sparkling lakes, 25 active glaciers and numerous waterfalls. From hiking to fly fishing and whitewater rafting, there is an adventure for everyone here. 

There are over 734 miles of trails to explore. Visitors can go on guided hikes, bus tours, boat tours, and horseback rides. 

What you’ll need to know: Contact the park’s partnering tour companies to book the experiences you’d like to take. 

16. Wise Wonders Children’s Museum 

Credit: Wise Wonders Children’s Museum 

Map It: 3024 2nd Ave N, Billings, MT 59101 | Phone: (406) 702-1280 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Admission Fee: Ages 1 and up $5

Learn through play at the Wise Wonders Children’s Museum! The museum’s exhibits are STEAM centered and geared to children of all ages. 

Your children can discover how gravity works in the downhill car race or get real-world experience at the mini grocery store. There are enough attractions and activities to keep the family busy all day. 

What you’ll need to know: 
Visit in the morning to avoid the afternoon crowds. 

17. Montana Vortex and House of Mystery

Credit: Daily Inter Lake

Map It: 7800 U.S, Hwy 2 E, Columbia Falls, MT 59912 | Phone: (406) 892-1210 | Website | Hours: 10 a.m.  – 5 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $12 and children 6-12 $8

If you’re looking for an interesting place unlike any other spot in Montana, you’ll want to visit the Montana Vortex and House of Mystery. 

It has been featured on the History Channel for its gravity-defying rooms. You’ll find yourself shrinking and growing from room to room, and you can take pictures to prove it to your friends back home. 

What you’ll need to know: You can take a guided tour at no extra charge. 

18. Roosevelt Arch

Credit: Yellowstone Park

Map It: 2819 US-89, Gardiner, MT 59030 | Phone: (307) 344-7381 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee:Yellowstone Admission is $35 per single vehicle for seven days 

Yellowstone is so expansive that you may not have time to cover every square inch of the park. However, you won’t want to miss the Roosevelt Arch at the park’s north entrance. 

The arch was built in 1903 and dedicated by President Roosevelt. Visitors can see a plaque at the cornerstone where he buried a time capsule. The arch welcomes visitors into the park with its engraved inscription, “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.”

What you’ll need to know: You may encounter crowds since the arch is a very popular spot for tourists to take pictures. 

19. ZooMontana

Credit: Explore Big Sky

Map It: 2100 Shiloh Rd, Billings, MT 59106 | Phone: (406) 652-8100 | Website | Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $11 and children 3-15 $8

ZooMontana is a botanic garden and wildlife sanctuary combined. It’s the perfect choice for a family adventure in Billings. 

Catch sights of two-toed sloths, chinchillas, Amur tigers, and more while strolling through the lush greenery. Check out the children’s playground area and grab a bite to eat in the Zoo’s Café for lunch. 

What you’ll need to know: Check the online calendar for special events like the Medieval Marketplace and Ales for Trails. 

20. Valier’s Rock City

Credit: Montana Standard

Map It: Rock City Rd., MT 59486 | Phone: N/A | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

Rock City is located in Valier along the Two Medicine River. The area is well-known for its enormous sandstone pillars, referred to as hoodoos by the locals. 

You can walk between these giant landmarks like you’re in a maze, or climb on top of the ones that aren’t too tall. Some stand over 20 feet tall and look like stone mushrooms. It’s a mesmerizing spot that’s great for photography. 

What you’ll need to know: Hikers are cautioned to be on alert for grizzly bears and rattlesnakes. 

21. Air Therapy Aviation 

Credit: Air Therapy Aviation 

Map It: 518 Aero Ln., Bigfork, MT 59911 | Phone: (406) 249-7257 | Website Hours: Book by appointment | Admission Fee: Varies

Take to the open skies at Air Therapy Aviation in Bigfork. With an experienced guide, you will get to soar on a Special Light Sport Aircraft above the Flathead Valley. 

There’s no thrill quite like an open cockpit flight. Whether you’re a fearless adventurer or a scaredy cat, the flight crews at Air Therapy will cater to your needs. 

What you’ll need to know: Visitors must be at least 8 years old to fly. 

22. Splash Montana 

Credit: KPAX

Map It: 3001 Bancroft St, Missoula, MT 59801 | Phone: (406) 542-9283 | Website | Hours: 11 a.m.  – 7:30 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $8 and children 2-17 $5.75

Splash Montana is Missoula’s newest water park and a popular destination during the summer. Bring the whole family to enjoy all of the slides. 

From the lazy river to the giant, winding slides, there are many ways to cool off at the park. 

What you’ll need to know: Open seasonally from June through August. 

23. American Computer and Robotics Museum 

Credit: Silly America

Map It: 2023 Stadium Dr #1a, Bozeman, MT 59715 | Phone: (406) 582-1288 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $8.50 and children 10-17 $5

Legendary Harvard scientists Edward Wilson called the American Computer and Robotics Museum “the best museum in the world.” Visitors can learn about the Information Age through detailed exhibits. 

The exhibits span 4,000 years of history, from cuneiform tablets to personal computers. Exhibitions     include Cracking Enigma, Artificial Intelligence, and the Space Race. 

What you’ll need to know: 

24. Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge 

Credit: Uprooted Traveler

Map It: Kootenai River Rd, Libby, MT 59923 | Phone: (406) 295-4693 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

The Falls Swinging Bridge was originally built in Kootenai National Forest to help access forest fires across the Kootenai River. 

The bridge is raised 2,100 feet in the air and offers a striking view of the Kootenai gorge and forest. 

What you’ll need to know: Check the Kootenai National Forest website for alerts and closures prior to visiting. 

25. Montana Museum of Art & Culture

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: Performing Arts and Radio Center, Missoula, MT 59812 | Phone: (406) 243-2019 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 6 p.m. | Admission Fee: Suggested donation of $5

No museum captures the spirit of the American West like the Montana Museum of Art & Culture. The museum has been operating for 125 years and has the oldest and largest art collection in the Rocky Mountain area. 

Located on the beautiful campus of the University of Montana, the museum presents both exhibitions and educational programs. Visiting the museum will immerse you into Montana’s rich cultural history. 

What you’ll need to know: Hours may vary based on university closures. 

26. Ptarmigan Tunnel

Credit: Into Travel

Map It: 64 Grinnell Drive, West Glacier, MT 59936 | Phone: (406) 888-7800 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Included with Glacier National Park Admission 

Ptarmigan Tunnel is one of Glacier National Park’s most wonderful features. The trail is rated as strenuous, bur the views at the trail’s end are unparalleled for those who can handle the challenge.

At the tunnel’s south entrance, hikers will have stunning views of Ptarmigan Lake and the U-shaped valley carved by glaciers. Once you walk through the tunnel, you can see Crosley Ridge, Elizabeth Lake, and Natoas Peak. 

What you’ll need to know: Trails sometimes close due to increased bear activity.

27. Montana State Capitol

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 1301 E 6th Ave, Helena, MT 59601 | Phone: (406) 444-4789 | Website | Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. & Saturday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $5 and $1 per child 

Montana’s State Capitol sits on 10 acres of land and overlooks the Prickly Pear Valley. The granite building looks impressive with its copper dome and liberty statue.

Visitors can tour the building and observe the different rooms and artifacts. Many of Charles M. Russell’s paintings hang in the Capitol, including the famous “Lewis and Clark Meeting Indians at Ross’ Hole.”

What you’ll need to know: Download a self-guided tour brochure online to bring on your visit. 

28. Ousel Falls Park 

Credit: Tripadvisor

Map It: Ousel Falls Rd., Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730 | Phone: (406) 993-2112 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

Ousel Falls is a shorter and easier trail compared to most in Montana. The trail runs alongside the Gallatin River and includes three walking bridges before hikers reach the falls. 

There are three viewing spots where hikers can take in the waterfall’s beauty. Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit and towel to take a dip in the pool at the waterfall’s base. 

What you’ll need to know: The closest parking is the lot at Ousel Falls Trailhead.

29. Makoshika State Park 

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 1301 Snyder St, Glendive, MT 59330 | Phone: (406) 377-6256 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Day use entrance with one vehicle $8

Dozens of dinosaur fossils have been recovered at Makoshika State Park, including triceratops and tyrannosaurus rex remains. You can see them on display at the visitor center. 

Park activities include archery, disc golf, nature trails, bike riding, and more. There is also a campground if you want to sleep closer to nature. 

What you’ll need to know: Check the park’s online calendar for special programs and events. 

30. Canyon Creek Charcoal Kilns 

Credit: Silver Bow Club

Map It: Divide, MT 59727 | Phone: N/A | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free       

The Canyon Creek Charcoal Kilns are a unique sight to see right outside of Melrose. Huge kilns decorate the countryside. They were used to turn trees into charcoal, which fueled the smelter in the Glendale mines. 

There are 23 brick domes still standing, and visitors can read the signs along the trails to learn more. 

What you’ll need to know: There are no services or restrooms at the site. 

31. Dan Walt Gardens

Credit: Visit: Montana

Map It: 720 Washington St, Billings, MT 59101 | Phone: (406) 248-4003 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $7 and children 12 and under are free

The Dan Walt Gardens are gorgeous with an extensive selection of perennials. You can see irises bloom in the summer, and hibiscus in September. 

There is also a Memorial Rose Garden where visitors can purchase a rose in memory of a loved one. 

What you’ll need to know: Check the website calendar if you plan to visit on a weekend. The Garden is often booked for weddings throughout the year. 

32. Custer Battlefield Trading Post 

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: 347 US-212, Crow Agency, MT 59022 | Phone: (406) 638-2270 | Website | Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

The Custer Battlefield Museum and Trading Post is located at the former site of Sitting Bull’s camp. Visitors can see more than several significant historical locations including where the Battle of the Bighorn was fought. 

What you’ll need to know: Don’t miss the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

33. C.M. Russell Museum 

Credit: Great Falls Tribune

Map It: 400 13th St N, Great Falls, MT 59401 | Phone: (406) 727-8787 | Website | Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $14 and students $4

The C.M. Russell Museum is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. The museum has the most complete collection of Charles Russell’s works, with over 2,000 paintings on site. 

Russell’s home and log art studio is right next to the museum. The log studio was built in 1903 out of red cedar telephone poles. Russell’s things remain untouched and his studio is set up as if he would be painting soon. 

What you’ll need to know: The morning is the best time to visit to avoid afternoon crowds. 

34. Phillips County Museum and H.G. Robinson House

Credit: Montana Missouri River County

Map It: 431 Highway 2 East, Malta, MT 59538 | Phone: (406) 654-1037 | Website | Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Admission Fee:

The Phillips County Museum is located on the Lewis and Clark Trail in Missouri River Country. Visit “Elvis the Dinosaur,” one of the most complete skeletons ever found.

Learn about Kid Curry and his Wild Bunch. They were some of the last outlaws to rob a train in the west. Other exhibits include mining, Native Americans, ranching, and homestead items.

What you’ll need to know: 
Guided tours are available by request.

35. Nevada City Old Town Museum and Music Hall 

Credit: State of Montana

Map It: 300 West Wallace Street, Virginia City, MT 59755 | Phone: (406) 843-5247 | Website | Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $12 and children 4-11 $10

The Nevada City Old Town Museum and Music Hall is an outdoor museum that captures the excitement of the Gold Rush era. There are 100 buildings from the late 1800s, including shops, saloons, homes, and barns. 

The museum has the most extensive collection of Old West artifacts, with several music machines that were built in the early 1900s. Step away from your fast-paced life for a day and enjoy learning about the simplicity of Montana’s past. 

What you’ll need to know: Living history interpreters are on-site on the weekends and you can see how life was lived in the 1860s from their reenactments.

36. Missoula Smokejumper Visitor Center 

Credit: Natl. Smokejumpers Association

Map It: 5765 W Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59808 | Phone: (406) 329-4934 | Website | Hours: Thursday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

The largest smokejumper base in the U.S. is located in Missoula, Montana. The base contains a visitor center open to the public for tours. It allows visitors the opportunity to learn the significance of this job. 

The tour includes a look at a Smokejumper aircraft, the Smokejumper loft, the National Smokejumper Memorial, and the gift shop. 

What you’ll need to know: There are six tour times daily and the tour takes about 45 minutes to complete. 

37. Montana Natural History Center

Credit: Montana Natural History Center

Map It: 120 Hickory St # A, Missoula, MT 59801 | Phone: (406) 327-0405 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $4 and children 4-18 $1 

The Montana Natural History Center is a fun, hands-on museum for the entire family. There are displays on local and regional ecology, ecosystems, flora and fauna. 

Children will love the Kids’ Discovery Room, and teens can experiment in the Naturalist Lab. Venture outdoors in the evening to enjoy the Nature Adventure Garden. 

What you’ll need to know: Check the website for dates and times of adult programs and kids’ afternoons. 

38. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument 

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: I-90 Frontage Rd, Crow Agency, MT 59022 | Phone: (406) 638-2621 | Website | Hours: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: $25 per vehicle

This monument memorializes where the Battle of the Little Bighorn took place. View the memorial that honors the 263 fallen men who lost their lives in battle. 

Next to the monument is the Custer National Cemetery. The cemetery includes interments from abandoned military posts, the world wars, and the Korean and Vietnam wars.  

What you’ll need to know: Check the online calendar for a list of entrance fee-free dates.  

39. Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium 

Credit: Montana Public Radio

Map It: 120 Hickory St Suite A, Missoula, MT 59801 | Phone: (406) 317-1211 | Website | Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

The brand-new location of the Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium recently opened, and it’s a must-see for tourists! The new facility is dedicated to igniting guests’ curiosity about the world around them. 

See butterflies, insects, and creepy crawlies up close in a dozen exhibits. And you can even try some edible bugs at the special “Bug Appetit.” 

What you’ll need to know: Save time by pre-purchasing your tickets online. 

40. Going-to-the-Sun-Road

Credit: National Park Service

Map It: 50-mile scenic road in Glacier National Park | Phone: N/A | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Included with park entry fee 

Going-to-the-Sun-Road is known as the United States’ most scenic drive. It’s the main road through Glacier National Park and a great way to explore the park with little effort. 

At 50 miles long, it takes around 2 hours to complete the drive. The road is a marvel as it passes through all of the park’s various terrain. You can wind through mountain passageways, drive alongside glacial lakes, and weave through dense forests. 

What you’ll need to know: Reservations must be made to drive the road during the summer months. 

41. Montana Audubon Conservation Education Center 

Credit: All Events In

Map It: 324 Fuller Ave # N5, Helena, MT 59601 | Phone: (406) 443-3949 | Website | Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Admission Fee: Suggested donation of $5 per person 

The Montana Audubon Center offers programs for all ages to learn about conserving endangered species and ecosystems. The center is located in the beautiful heart of the Yellowstone River Basin. 

Visiting the center will allow you to spend the day exploring the world of birds and nature in Billings.

What you’ll need to know: Check the center’s online calendar for program times. 

42. Miracle of America Museum 

Credit: Miracle of America Museum

Map It: 36094 Memory Ln, Polson, MT 59860 | Phone: (406) 883-6804 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $10 and children 2-12 $5

Many refer to the Miracle of America as the “Smithsonian of the West.” The museum has a dozen buildings that showcase a massive collection of American artifacts. 

There’s an extensive collection of American military equipment, including tanks you can climb in. You can see over 500 firearms, over 70 vintage cars and motorcycles, agricultural and western items, and more.  


What you’ll need to know: 
This is a great place to stop on the way to Glacier National Park. 

43. Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary 

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: 615 2nd St E, Red Lodge, MT 59068 | Phone: (406) 446-1133 | Website | Hours: Wednesday – Monday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $10 and children 4-12 $4

The Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect stop before entering Yellowstone. The sanctuary is home to many animals that are unable to be released. 

The sanctuary’s team loves to provides family with the opportunity to see and connect with animals. There are 15 species to see, including bison, black bears, red foxes, wolves, and more. 

What you’ll need to know: The best time to visit is in the morning when the animals are most active. 

44. Pictograph Cave State Park 

Credit: Outside Bozeman

Map It: 3401 Coburn Rd, Billings, MT 59101 | Phone: (406) 254-7342 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

The caves at Pictograph Cave State Park are decorated with drawings and murals that are over 10,000 years old. It provides visitors with aa glimpse into the lives of Montana’s first settlers.

Three different alcoves make up the cave section. You can take a trail directly from the visitor center to the caves. The visit generally takes people an hour to complete. 

What you’ll need to know: The trails are short and though the visit won’t take long, it’s still worth seeing. 

45. Museum of the Upper Missouri

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: 20th St, Fort Benton, MT 59442 | Phone: (406) 622-5316 | Website | Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Admission Fee: N/A

Learn all about the history of Fort Benton and the Upper Missouri from the year 1800 to 1900. Fort Benton was once known as the “toughest town” in the west. 

Exhibits feature the town’s role as a military fort, trading post, and the head of steamboat navigation. Visitors can walk across the steamboat levee and imagine what life was like as people settled into the new frontier. 

What you’ll need to know: Reservations for tours are encouraged but not required.

46. Havre Beneath the Streets 

Credit: Havre Beneath the Streets

Map It: 120 3rd Ave, Havre, MT 59501 | Phone: (406) 265-8888 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $17 and children 6-12 $9

Havre Beneath the Streets is a one-of-a-kind underground tour. In 1904, a massive fire destroyed most of the town. Businesses moved their shops and services underground until the city could be rebuilt. 

Explore the underground town that includes a saloon, laundromat, restaurant, and even an opium den. 

What you’ll need to know: Visitors can choose between a guided tour or browsing the site on their own. 

47. Big Hole National Battlefield 

Credit: Southwest Montana

Map It: 16425 MT-43, Wisdom, MT 59761 | Phone: (406) 689-3155 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

The Big Hole National Battlefield memorializes the people who fought and died in 1877. Military forces attacked 750 Nez Perce on August 9th

Upon arrival, guests watch a short film in the visitor’s center on the battle. Interpretive trails lead visitors to the Battlefield, the Nez Perce Camp, and the Howitzer Capture site. 

What you’ll need to know: Ranger-led tours are available at no extra cost. 

48. Reef Indoor Water Park 

Credit: Youtube

Map It: 1801 Majestic Ln, Billings, MT 59102 | Phone: (406) 839-9283 | Website Hours: Wednesday – Friday 4 – 8 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Admission Fee: Over 48” $18 and under 48” $16

Visit the largest indoor waterpark in Montana at Reef Indoor Water Park in Billings. Enjoy the thrill of the Tropical Twister or the Barracuda Blaster, both three stories high. 

Kids will love the activity pool, equipped with basketball hoops, a water playground, and a lily pad crossing. Parents will enjoy relaxing in the massive hot tub that fits up to 25 people. 

What you’ll need to know: Visitors must bring their own towels. 

49. Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 420 Barrett St, Dillon, MT 59725 | Phone: (406) 683-3900 | Website | Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is the largest forest in Montana, covering 3.32 million acres. It crosses eight counties. The park offers breathtaking views and a multitude of recreational activities. 

You can trek the wilderness in Anaconda-Pintler or drive the famous Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway. From fly fishing to snowmobiling and skiing in the winter, there’s no shortage of outdoor fun for park guests. 

What you’ll need to know: View a map of the forest online prior to your visit to help plan your activities. 

50. O’Fallon Historical Museum 

Credit: O’Fallon Historical Museum

Map It: 723 S Main St, Baker, MT 59313 | Phone: (406) 778-3265 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m.  – 4 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

You’ll love the free, educational opportunity the O’Fallon Historical Museum offers its visitors. The museum is housed in Fallon County’s former jail, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 

There are a total of six buildings to browse, and you can’t miss the mounting of the famous Steer Montana. Steer Montana was the largest steer in the world, and won many prizes at fairs throughout the country. 

He weighed 3,980 pounds and stood 5’11” tall. Upon his death, he was mounted and sold to the museum for $5,000. 

What you’ll need to know: Reservations are encouraged but not required. 

51. Charlie Russell Chew Choo Dinner Train

Credit: Youtube

Map It: Hanover Rd, Lewistown, MT 59457 | Phone: (406) 535-5436 | Website | Hours: Varies by event | Admission Fee: Varies 

Experience the beauty of Montana’s natural landscapes on the Charlie Russel Dinner Train. This four-and-a-half-hour ride includes an entire course dinner and live music. 

The train travels over three trestles and through the Hoosac Tunnel to Montana’s prairie lands. Tickets are available for ten general trains and three specialty trains run during holidays. 

What you’ll need to know: Trains board at the Hanover Boarding Station. Allow yourself plenty of driving time to ensure you can board. 

52. Harlowton Milwaukee Depot Museum 

Credit: Harlowton Milwaukee Depot Museum

Map It: 307 Central Ave S, Harlowton, MT 59036 | Phone: (406) 632-4443 | Website Hours: Friday – Monday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

The Museum was built in 1908. The Harlowton Milwaukee Depot was a “Standard Class A Passenger Station,” used by the Milwaukee Road. 

The depot went out of use in 1961 and remained abandoned until 1980. The depot was then converted into a railroad museum for the public to enjoy. 

What you’ll need to know: Reserve a special tour of the museum when it’s closed by calling the number listed above. 

53. Bannack State Park 

Credit: Tripadvisor

Map It: 721 Bannack Rd, Dillon, MT 59725 | Phone: (406) 834-3413 | Website | Hours: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Day use entrance with one vehicle $8

The first major gold strike in Montana happened on the lands of Bannack State Park in 1862. There are 30 campground sites. 

There are dozens of hiking trails and picnic areas. And in the winter, the park sets up an ice-skating rink.

What you’ll need to know: Check out Bannack’s ghost town that still has over 50 buildings standing. 

54. Montana Zipline Adventures 

Credit: The Montana Standard

Map It: 467 Swissmont Drive, Anaconda, MT 59711 | Phone: (406) 560-3115 | Website | Hours: 8 a.m. -8 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Varies

Go on a thrilling adventure, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced at Montana Zipline Adventures. Located right outside Anaconda, visitors will be immersed in the Pintler’s Wilderness beauty.

This course is Montana’s longest zipline at 9,300 feet. The course features seven zip lines and takes about an hour and a half to complete. 

What you’ll need to know: You must be in the parking lot, ready to go, 20 minutes before your tour time. 

55. Gates of the Mountains Wilderness 

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: Helena, MT 59602 | Phone: (406) 449-5201 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

The Gates of the Mountains Wilderness Area covers 28,465 acres of Montana’s countryside. This area is one of the most widely recognized landmarks of the Lewis and Clark expedition. 

There are 53 miles of trails in this wilderness area to explore. 

What you’ll need to know: Click here for a list of the wilderness’s rules and regulations. 

Credit: A Carousel for Missoula 

Map It: 101 Carousel Dr, Missoula, MT 59802 | Phone: (406) 549-8382 | Website | Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Rides are $2 for ages 12+ and $1 for children under 11. 

A Carousel for Missoula is the first fully hand-carved carousel in the United States. Hundreds of volunteers came together to turn this dream into reality. 

The carousel features 38 horses and two chariots. There is also a gift shop where you can buy carousel merchandise, toys, games, and local Montana-made items.

What you’ll need to know: Guests with disabilities are welcome to ride the carousel for free. 

57. Custer-Gallatin National Forest 

Credit: USDA Forest Service

Map It: Nye, MT 59061 | Phone: (406) 888-7800 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

The Custer-Gallatin National Forest has over 3 million acres and is critical to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 

The park offers incredible views and numerous activities, like hiking, boating, horseback riding, and swimming. 

What you’ll need to know: If you don’t have time to visit the park, you can drive through to see the beautiful vistas. 

58. Holt Stage Hideaway 

Credit: Holt Stage Hideaway

Map It: 2053 Holt Stage Rd, Kalispell, MT 59901 | Phone: (406) 270-1258 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Admission Fee: Children under 8 $9 

Bill and Ramona Holt created a private museum to house the Cowboys and Indians memorabilia they have collected over the years.

There’s cowboy equipment, saddles, and items from the Nez Perce.

What you’ll need to know: The museum is open by appointment only.

59. Cathedral St. Helena

Map It: 530 N Ewing St, Helena, MT 59601 | Phone: (406) 442-5825 | Website | Hours: 6:30 a.m.  – 6:30 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

Cathedral St. Helena is a sight to see, with its incredible gothic architecture. Bishop John Carroll modeled the cathedral after the Votive Church of Sacred Heart in Austria. 

All of the cathedral’s windows are made of stained glass, and the altars are made of white marble. All of the pews and woodwork are hand-carved, and genuine gold leaf decorates the sanctuary.

What you’ll need to know: Self-guided tours are not allowed during mass times. Check the mass schedule times on the cathedral’s website. 

60. Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust 

Credit: Red Lodge Area Community Foundation

Map It: 124 Broadway Ave N, Red Lodge, MT 59068 | Phone: (406) 860-5910 | Website | Hours: Saturday 10 a.m. – 4. p.m. | Admission Fee: Donations encouraged 

Reserve your spot to ride down the scenic Beartooth Highway on a 1937 Model 706 Yellowstone Park Bus. The trip typically takes four to five hours and several stops are made along the way. 

You can bring a lunch and picnic along the way. It’s a wonderful way to see Montana’s mountains. 

What you’ll need to know: Visit the website or call the foundation’s number to make your reservation.

61. Western Heritage Center

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: 2822 Montana Ave, Billings, MT 59101 | Phone: (406) 256-6809 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $5 and children under 12 $1

The Western Heritage Center is an interactive, engaging museum that young children and adults will enjoy. The exhibits and programs tell the history of life in the Yellowstone River Valley. 

Attractions include guided walking tours, shows by regional artists, and educational lectures. 

What you’ll need to know: 
Exhibit information is located on the online events calendar. 

Credit: Red Lodge Area Community Foundation

Map It: 11 8th St W, Red Lodge, MT 59068 | Phone: (406) 446-1370 | Website | Hours: Thursday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday – Monday 12 – 4 p.m. | Admission Fee: Varies 

The Carbon County Art Guild & Depot Gallery works hard to bring the Red Lodge community together through monthly programs and special events. 

From rotating exhibitions to music performances and craft fairs, tourists can enjoy art in action at the depot. 

What you’ll need to know: See the events calendar online to plan what you want to see and do. 

63. Montana Candy Emporium 

Credit: Montana Candy Emporium 

Map It: 7 Broadway Ave S, Red Lodge, MT 59068 | Phone: (406) 446-1119 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back into a 1950s candy shop at the Montana Candy Emporium. There are rows and rows of nostalgic old-time candies that you can’t get anywhere else. 

Check out the glass cases full of handmade delights, like fudge. Besides sweets, you can check out a collection of antique bicycles and toys on display around the shop. 

What you’ll need to know: Make sure to buy extras of your favorite candies to take home. 

64. Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company 

Credit: Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company

Map It: 1445 Broadway Ave N, Red Lodge, MT 59068 | Phone: (406) 446-4607 | Website | Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

If you want a fresh beer created from start to finish in Montana, stop by Red Lodge Ales. On a company tour, learn about Red Lodge’s ingredients and their energy-efficient, green brewing practices. 

Before you leave, stop at Sam’s Tap Room to enjoy delicious food and beer on tap. It’s a popular gathering spot for locals, and tourists like to gather on the expansive patios to enjoy the scenery. 

What you’ll need to know: Check the website for special event dates and times. 

65. Missoula Memorial Rose Garden

Credit: Tripadvisor

Map It: 800 Brooks St, Missoula, MT 59801 | Phone: (406) 552-6000 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

The Memorial Rose Garden Park honors the Missoula causalities of World War II. Over 650 rose bushes were planted in 1946 and still bloom today. 

Visitors can observe the garden’s plaque that lists the fallen soldiers’ names. The park contains grandifloras, hybrid teas, and mini rose bushes. It is a beautiful sight and tribute you won’t want to miss. 

What you’ll need to know: Sign up here to get updates on the park’s programs and to be entered into monthly drawings for prizes. 

66. Artemis Acres Guest Ranch 

Credit: Tripadvisor 

Map It: 610 Patrick Creek Rd, Kalispell, MT 59901 | Phone: (406) 755-3723 | Website | Hours: By appointment | Admission Fee: One-hour horse ride $65

Spend a day in the real big country of Montana at Artemis Acres Guest Ranch. With over 88 acres of land, the ranch offers hiking, camping, horseback riding, and more. 

Right in the heart of Flathead Valley, you can follow a guide on horseback to the tops of Swan Mountain or out to Flathead Lake. Enjoy a traditional western fare meal for dinner, and if you feel like staying longer, spend the night in the cozy guest house. 

What you’ll need to know: Check-in 30 minutes before your scheduled horse ride for paperwork, helmet fitting, and a quick intro lesson. 

67. Old Montana Prison & Auto Museum Complex 

Credit: Visit Montana

Map It: 1104 Main St, Deer Lodge, MT 59722 | Phone: (406) 846-3111 | Website | Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $18 and children 7-15 $10

The Old Montana Prison is not just one museum, but five! The building houses the old prison, Powell County Museum, Frontier Montana Museum, Montana Auto Museum, and Yesterday’s Playthings. 

Walk through abandoned cell blocks and see the concrete walls that go down four feet deep to keep convicts from escaping through tunnels. 

What you’ll need to know: Access restricted parts of the prison on a special ghost tour from July through Halloween. 

68. ROW Adventures 

Credit: ROW Adventures

Map It: 62 Lynch Ranch Ln, Superior, MT 59872 | Phone: (800) 451-6034 | Website | Hours: Varies | Admission Fee: Varies per person 

Go on a whitewater rafting adventure with ROW Adventures on the Clark Fork or Upper Missouri River. The Clark Fork is an exciting place to spend the day. It flows through a roadless canyon and is perfect for a getaway. 

Even more well-known is the Missouri River. It flows through mountainous canyons. Besides a one-day rafting trip, ROW Adventures also offers three to five-day canoe trips through the White Cliffs. 

What you’ll need to know: Minimum age to participate is 7 years old. 

69. Montana Blue Jewel Mine

Credit: Tripadvisor

Map It: 5582 Four Cee’s Rd, Helena, MT 59602 | Phone: (406) 437-8605 | Website | Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: 6 screened 5-gallon buckets $100

The Montana Blue Jewel Mine is the best sapphire mining experience in Montana. The site is right above the Missouri River at the base of the Little Belt Mountains. 

Visitors are welcome to unearth their treasure. All the mining equipment is on-site and ready for you to use. Who knows, you may strike lucky and find an 8-carat sapphire. 

What you’ll need to know: Must call to make reservations in order to visit. 

70. Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness

Credit: Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness

Map It: 4920 US-12, Helena, MT 59601 | Phone: (406) 443-5777 | Website | Hours: 8 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Varies 

Broadwater Hot Springs is the only place in Montana where you can relax in a geothermal mineral hot spring while looking at mountain views. 

With five different pools and hot tubs, guests can find the perfect spot to soak and escape reality. The pools are impeccably kept and are open year-round.  

What you’ll need to know: Each pool is kept at a different temperature and has its own rules.  

71. Gray Wolf Peak Casino

Credit: Explore Mt360

Map It: 20750 US-93, Missoula, MT 59808 | Phone: (406) 726-3778 | Website | Hours: 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

The Gray Wolf Peak Casino guarantees the best gaming experience in Montana. There are over 300 slot machines and table games for adults to enjoy.

Located on the Flathead Indian Reservation, visitors can enjoy gaming and dining, with views of the Rocky Mountain and Flathead Lake.

What you’ll need to know: There are no hotel accommodations on the grounds.

72. Original Governor’s Mansion 

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 304 N Ewing St, Helena, MT 59601 | Phone: (406) 444-2694 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 4 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

In 1913, Montana acquired this mansion for the state’s governor to reside in. Since then, it has been home to nine governors and their families. Tourists can now visit the preserved building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The three-story building looks like something out of a film. It has 20 rooms and a two-story carriage house. It’s a fun piece of history to see and explore!

What you’ll need to know: Tours take place at 12, 1, 2, and 3 p.m.

73. Holter Museum of Art 

Credit: Holter Museum of Art 

Map It: 12 E Lawrence St, Helena, MT 59601 | Phone: (406) 442-6400 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

The Holter Museum of Art is in its 35th year of putting historical and contemporary works on display for locals and tourists to enjoy. 

The museum has over 17,000-square-feet to explore, with five exhibition galleries, and 20 rotating exhibits. You’ll love visiting this premier cultural center and seeing the power art plays in the Helena community. 

What you’ll need to know: Sign-up for the museum’s monthly newsletter to learn about current exhibitions. 

74. Missoula County Fairgrounds

Credit: Missoula County Fairgrounds

Map It: 1101 South Ave W, Missoula, MT 59801 | Phone: (406) 721-3247 | Website | Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Admission Fee: Varies

The Missoula County Fairgrounds hosts many family-friendly events throughout the year. From camp-outs to the annual Western Montana Fair in August, make sure to visit for an event while in town. 

The Fairgrounds is also home to the Glacier Ice Rink. Catch local hockey and curling games, or get onto the rink yourself during a public skating session. 

What you’ll need to know: Building tours are available during the week by appointment only. 

75. Far West Boat Tours

Credit: Tripadvisor

Map It: 7007 U.S. 93 S, Lakeside, MT 59922 | Phone: (406) 844-2628 | Website | Hours: By appointment only | Admission Fee: Adults $30 and children 6-10 $10

The captain and crew of the “Far West” invite guests aboard the largest tour boat in Montana for a relaxing and educational tour. For an hour and 45 minutes, you can enjoy the picturesque sights of Flathead Lake. 

Visit Harbor Grille at the Far West marina for a delicious meal before you set sail. And if you prefer a more intimate experience, private charters are available for booking. 

What you’ll need to know: Reservations are encouraged and can be made online. 

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