Montana is known as Big Sky Country, and it does have vast prairies. Despite diverse topography, including mountains, river valleys, and glaciers, about 60% of Montana is flat. It’s a great place to visit national parks and breathe fresh air. Experience a bit of the real West here. See the site of Custer’s Last Stand at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Billings. Between Kalispell and Missoula in Polson is the slightly odd collection at the Miracle of America Museum. It contains everything from the walking-plow to walking on the moon, according to its website. Bozeman’s Museum of the Rockies, one of the highlights of the Montana State University campus, has dinosaur exhibits, early Native American art, and even laser planetarium shows.
Glacier National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the premiere parks in the USA. It offers visitors rocky peaks, waterfalls, diverse and intact ecosystems, and glimpses of that gorgeous sky we’ve all heard about. You can hike the Iceberg Lake Trail and take in astonishing scenery. Yellowstone is legendary too, known for animal life including grizzlies, wolves, and bison, plus geysers, valleys, and more. Visit Mammoth Hot Springs and take a warm dip, even in the winter, when it’s the one location in the park accessible by auto.
Montana food makes one think of game, burgers, eggs, cowboy coffee, and beans. It’s actually way more diverse than that. From wine and tea to entrees and pastries, sustainability is a big priority these days. In Bozeman, you can kick back with a drink and have a leisurely lunch or dinner made of local organic products, or get a simple and quick bite of authentic Mexican food made with TLC. There’s also a place there that offers a weekly superfood special that highlights seasonal, nutritious ingredients. Billings has Thai food, Missoula has vegan pizza, and Kalispell has wheat-free baked goods. Grab some vegan Vietnamese at Whitefish’s Farmer’s Market. For a good time, head to a place in Bozeman that offers a house-made veggie burger, kale salad, and tofu soba stirfry plus the largest selection of regional microbrews in the Northern Rockies. There’s nothing quite like vegging out, then getting a little hopped up.