Defined by its untamed landscapes, the state of Montana feels like the American frontier. From its Rocky Mountain peaks to its Great Plains grasslands that dance in the wind, the state is dubbed “Big Sky Country” due to its abundance of natural playgrounds: fly fishing streams — Madison River, Yellowstone River, and the Gallatin River; ski resorts — Big Sky Resort, Bridger Bowl Ski Area, and Whitefish Mountain Resort; and national parks — Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, to name a few. To get your Mountain West wanderlust brewing, read our official guide to Montana below.
Fans of the popular TV series Yellowstone should know that Paradise Valley is the land where Montana rancher John Dutton — played by actor Kevin Kostner — fights to protect this scenic river valley. Flanked by the Absoroka and Gallatin Mountain Ranges, the area beholds diverse wildlife, top-notch fly fishing streams, and breathtaking scenery.
Where to Stay: Sage Lodge
Sage Lodge is a 50-key luxurious mountain lodge that imbues a cozy alpine home feel with its in-room stone fireplaces and dark wood furnishings. Just a 35-minute drive from Yellowstone National Park, guests can spend the day exploring the park via the lodge’s guided wildlife tours. Later, they can segue into dinner, snuggled up next to an outdoor firepit at the Fireside Room.
Deemed one of the fastest-growing cities in America, Bozeman is turning heads as one of the best places to live in the country. Stroll Main Street of Downtown Bozeman for chic boutiques such as Meridian and EVRGREEN Clothing, refined restaurants like Blackbird, and authentic Western bars such as Plonk and Crystal Bar. Unlimited outdoor adventures await with the Gallatin Valley just around the corner.
Where to Stay: Kimpton Armory Hotel
The Kimpton Armory Hotel is Bozeman’s landmark boutique hotel with two buzzy nightlife spots: Sky Shed is a glass-enclosed rooftop bar boasting panoramic Montana views accompanied by cocktails; then, Tune Up is its swanky basement lounge.
Host to the expansive Big Sky Resort, this Montana locale is a luxe mountain resort town set amongst Montana’s rugged Gallatin National Forest. Big Sky’s Mountain Village hosts a handful of boutiques and casual dining spots — we recommend Westward Social for a bite to eat.
Where to Stay: Lone Mountain Ranch
With a lodging history spanning over 100 years in Big Sky, Lone Mountain Ranch is a time capsule stay into the early days of Mountain West hospitality. Cast iron fireplaces, plaid-patterned window shades, and log wood walls decorate the 30 individual log cabins, making them cozy to the core.
Reminiscent of the “Wild West,” Livingston is a town that takes us back in time. Old Western bars, coffee shops, and breweries line this small city neighboring the Yellowstone River. By day, head to the Chico Hot Springs for a refreshing dip in the resort’s natural hot springs. By night, listen to music beneath the pines at Pine Creek Lodge; rumor has it, famed guitarist John Mayer lives in the area and frequents this exact venue.
Where to stay: Under Canvas North Yellowstone – Paradise Valley
Debuting in June 2023, Under Canvas North Yellowstone – Paradise Valley is the glamping resort’s newest flagship with 50 luxe-tented camps making us ache for summer to come sooner.
Popular amongst sybaritic mountain-goers, Whitefish is one of Montana’s premiere alpine resort towns for several reasons. Views of jagged snow-capped mountain peaks at Whitefish Mountain Resort backdrop the shops and eateries that line downtown’s Central Avenue. With close proximity to Glacier National Park and the picturesque Flathead Lake, this town offers the full western experience.
Where to stay: Après Whitefish
Après Whitefish is the town’s newly renovated boutique hotel bringing a modern flare to Whitefish. The 40 guestrooms sport alpine-modern interiors (think forest green-tiled bathrooms, pine wood headboards, and plush blankets) that evoke a cozy mountain lodge feel.
Near Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, Missoula is a historical American West city enriched with Montana’s natural beauty. Similar to Bozeman’s up-and-coming vibe, Missoula’s Downtown features trendy boutiques such as APORTA Shop and Cloth & Crown, high-end restaurants like Scotty’s Table, and upscale cocktail breweries, including Montgomery Distillery Tasting Room.
Where to Stay: The Wren
The Wren is Missoula’s newest boutique hotel, conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Missoula. Design-wise, the 73 guestrooms are dressed in modern interiors with pale wood ceilings, white furnishings, and custom artwork from local artists, adding a personal touch to each space.
Other articles you may like: