Bozeman, Montana is a playground for thrill seekers, beer drinkers, and nature buffs. If you’re looking to cash in on some PTO or just wanting to sneak away for a long weekend, allow us to sell you on the best of the wild west that is Bozeman and why it’s worth every mile. (WARNING: Pictures contain excessive adventure and may lead to wanderlust.)
WHERE TO STAY
Now, before you even think about the skiing, hiking, and craft beer, you’re going to need a place to rest that pretty head of yours. Let’s set the tone with this reclaimed timber carriage house studio called Mary May’s. Imagine waking up in a contemporary studio, throwing open the french doors, and having breakfast on your porch overlooking 50-acres of rolling green. You grab the complimentary cruiser bikes, pedal past eagles, and elk, and cool off in one of three ponds afterward. Don’t forget your pole for some night fishing on Cottonwood Creek! Then hop in your car head downtown, check out the ski resorts, and explore Yellowstone. It’s easy to see now why Mary May’s was voted “Best Airbnb Property” of 2015 by Outside Magazine.
These bed and breakfast beauties caught our attention too!
WHERE TO PLAY
Now that we have an idea of where you are staying for your trip, it’s time to drop your bags and play. Break out your snow gear and get ready to shred some serious powder on some of the best slopes in the country, like Bridger Bowl and Big Sky. Whether you’re crossing-country/downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or snow ball fighting, you are sure to find groomed and (wild) ungroomed trails to keep you entertained. Anyone for dog sledding?
For those of you adventurers who don’t dig the snow scene, summer in Bozeman is anything but quiet. Fishing and floating is a must on the Gallatin River, hunters can take their best shot at bull elk, and rough riders can tear up some terrain on ATVs. You name it. Montana has it.
Fun Fact: Many Montana counties are considered “frontier counties” with an average population 6 or fewer per square mile. Talk about vacating your life.
WHERE TO EXPLORE
In 1872, Yellowstone National Park became the first national park in the nation, and it’s your moral imperative to visit it. Also plan accordingly for the season you choose to visit, especially during winter. (Here are tips and tricks to entering and exploring the park safely.) Yellowstone offers plenty of geothermal activity from Old Faithful to Mammoth Hot Springs to water features like Crystal, Upper, and Lower Falls. Lower Falls is the tallest waterfall in Yellowstone AND is twice the size of Niagara Falls. Yikes. The 3,500 square miles of Yellowstone is home to hundreds of species including packs of wolves, elk, bison, and bears.
Helpful hint: Montana has the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states. Use extreme precaution when camping, and do not approach wildlife. No grizzly selfie is worth the risk.
When you’re ready for something a bit more tame, discover historic downtown Bozeman where you can breathe in fresh mountain air while shopping for souvenirs or dig in to some local grub. On that subject, let’s move to food.
WHERE TO EAT
A good breakfast is the foundation of a good day, and your day is going to be epic if you start at The Nova Cafe. Located in the heart of downtown Bozeman, Nova has been serving up the “Best Breakfast in Bozeman” since 2007. Try any of their “benedictions” with homemade hollandaise sauce or a house special. You can’t miss. Locals say their food is so good that “you’ll wanna lick the skillet.” We know you want to, but don’t embarrass your party. You’ve got mountains to climb today.
For lunch, treat yourself at the oldest restaurant in Bozeman, The Western Cafe. Walk inside to find low-key folks reading the newspaper over homemade biscuits and gravy surrounding wildlife wall art and historic photos of Bozeman.
When you get back from all your adventures, go grab dinner in the form of wood fired pizza and homemade pasta over at Blackbird Kitchen. Feeling extra fancy? Head to Copper Whiskey Bar & Grill where cast iron chicken, steak, lobster sliders and roughly 125 whiskeys await you. (You’re on vacation, so go ahead and order the whiskey that’s old enough to order its own whiskey. You deserve it.)
WHERE TO DRINK
After hiking up and down Yellowstone, exploring caverns, and hitting the slope, you deserve a good craft beer, or three. Get ready to drink your way down the Bozeman Beer Trail.
Asking us to pick a favorite of the four craft breweries is impossible: Bozeman Brewing Company, Outlaw Brewing, Bridger Brewing, and 406 Brewing Company are all rock stars and masters of their craft… beers.
Now all that’s left to do is order some new snowshoes and make sure you have a dog sitter lined up. Beers, bears, and Bozeman awaits! To any of our readers who have already experienced Bozeman, please let us know what we may have missed so folks going don’t miss out on any Montana-musts!