What to do in Missoula, MT

Google put together a list of the Top Google Searches for 2015 in the Travel & Leisure Genre. I was interested in learning about what people search for in my travel professional world.  There were some unexpected searches in the top 10 for the USA, and many I knew the answers to, but I especially wanted to answer the question:

What to do in Missoula, MT?

What to do in Missoula, MT

Photo by David Restivo, NPS licensed Creative Commons Attribution

Missoula Montana mountains, trees

I finally had my chance to visit Missoula, Montana in 2016 with the Glacier Country Tourism Commission and I am excited to tell you about this fun little town!

Indian Statue, Montana

Here are a few of the options I had for my itinerary from the tourism board. Can you guess which ones I chose?


-Morning yoga

-Tour of Missoula Art Museum

-Check out Montgomery Distillery

-Cocktails at Plonk

-Dinner at Blue Canyon Restaurant

-Tour of Bernice’s Bakery/Le Petit (both are amazing bakeries)

-Cooking class at Good Food Store

-Visit The University of Montana and learn about their culinary school and farm-to-college program


I had always wanted to go to Montan and this was my chance!

MissoulaIt is home to the University of Montana (#8 of the best college towns in America!), but it’s also the place where you can visit the great outdoors – skiing/snowboarding in the winter and horseback riding and fly fishing in the summer. Missoula is located along the confluence of the Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Blackfoot rivers!

Missoula is located along the confluence of the Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Blackfoot rivers!

What to do in Missoula, MT

Creative Commons Image

What to do in Missoula, MT?

I started my morning on day one doing yoga, I know, I know… “but you are on vacation.”  Well, honestly it was the best way to start my day at this cool, funky place called Downtown Dance Collective.  Now it is not just any old yoga studio, but instead is the amazing dream of a local Phoenix girl Heather Adams, who loved to dance and wanted to create something special.  Well that she did! Honestly, I loved the place and was so happy I went.  Hopefully the photos will show what an amazing place it is!

Downtown Dance Collective, Missoula, Montana

Downtown Dance Collective

Visit a Museum!

From yoga, after a quick shower and change, I went with the group to tour the Missoula Art Museum.

Missoula Art Museum, cowboy painting

Missoula Art Museum, cowboy painting

Missoula Art Museum, Horse painting

It is quite fabulous and I can whole-heartedly recommend it. You will see everything from Rembrandt to Warhol as well as contemporary art relevant to the state. While I was there, they had an exhibit of John Buck’s works of art, whom is widely known for his wooden and three-dimensional sculptures.

Missoula Art Museum, MAM, Montana

Check out the Food and Drink Scene!

Cocktails at Montgomery Distillery

Cocktails at Montgomery Distillery

No wonder this little town promotes the hashtag: #SmallTownBigEats!  Their hip and trendy food and spirit scene is quite amazing! From cocktails at Montgomery Distillery, as well as dinner and cocktails at Plonk. I loved both of these places.

Plonk Restaurant, Missoula, Montana

Missoula, Montana; Plonk Restaurant, steak, food

Dinner at Blue Canyon Restaurant

Missoula, Montana; Plonk Restaurant, steak, food

What to do in Missoula, MT?

Now I didn’t do any of these, but I heard you could:

Go to the Movies! 

Missoula is home to variety of film festivals.

Visit a Ghost Town!

Not exactly in Missoula, but 57 minutes driving from there is a real live ghost town called Garnet that is remnants of the gold mining days of the late 1800’s!

Go Skiing/Snowboarding!

One can go to Snowbowl in Missoula, where the trails are 2600 vertical feet up to the top! They say that crowds are rare and the prices are good! I will be doing this, so I will let you know how it goes!

Go Fishing!

Remember the movie A River Runs Through It, starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt? The fly fishing was done in Montana near this area.

 Go Skating!

They have one of the finest skate parks in the country:  Mobash Skate Park, where the boarders apparently LOVE it! It has ramps, benches and big bowls for these daredevils.

Go Shopping!

Just like any hip town in America, Missoula has got the latest trendy shops

Here are the top 10 Google searches for the USA in Travel:

What to pack for Cancun? Flip flops and beach wear are a must, as it is hot!  Here are some things to do in Cancun when you get there:

Where is Disneyland? Anaheim, California

What airport is ORD? Chicago, Il, but wish it was called CHI!

When is whale watching season in San Diego? According to the Birch Aquarium in San Diego, gray whales may be seen traveling together during peak migration season, which is Mid December to April. Blue Whales are mid June to September. I have never been, but did visit Balboa Park on one of my visits to San Diego.

What is a boutique hotel? It is small, strives to be one of a kind, it has a spirited vibe or quirky touch. It may be a designer hotel or have a focus on a subject. It can also be the smaller, more intimate brand of a larger hotel chain. I love staying in boutique hotels!

What to do in St. Louis? I have no idea, as I have never been, but my guess would be to see the Gateway Arch (just a guess)!

What to do in Missoula, MT?  This post! I will return and put the real answer in when I return from here.

What to do in Louisiana? Will write this post this year, was just there last month visiting New Orleans.

What to do in Albuquerque? Will write this post this year, was just there last week on my way to Santa Fe.

Where is Yellowstone National Park? It is located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho (it is on the #bucketlist). It is home to “Old Faithful”.


Disclosure: My trip to Missoula, Montana was provided by Glacier County Tourism.

*Featured Image: Clark River, Missoula, Montana – Photo: Wesley Fryer, used under Creative Commons

Recommended Reading

Tall Tales: Dog Sledding Montana

The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana

A Bluebird Day at Yellowstone National Park

Big Sky Country: Dine & Vine

A Road Trip to Yellowstone National Park, Montana



  1. Kerwin December 19, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Way cool. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit Missoula as well sometime soon.

    “real live ghost…” cleve writing Cacinda :-).

    Incidentally, to respond to your ORD answer/question, “Wish it was CHI?”

    It actually is kind of :-). “CHI” is what’s called the city code. Similar to “NYC” New York City, NY and “LON” for London, United Kingdom to name two. So if you enter “CHI” into a search box on an airline’s web site you will get results for ORD (Chicago-O’Hare) and MDW (Chicago-Midway), the other commercial airport in Chicago, if they server both airports of course. Southwest dominates at Midway.

    But as a traveller, all you have to enter is Chicago and the auto suggest boxes will give you usually three suggestions:
    Chicago, IL (All Airports)
    Chicago-O’Hare, IL (ORD)
    Chicago-Midway, IL (MDW)

    Then you choose the one you wish.


    • Cacinda Maloney December 19, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      You rock Kerwin! Thanks for the heads up on CHI versus ORD!

  2. Rob Bignell December 23, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    No trip to Missoula would be complete with =out a drive to Glacier National Park. Melting glaciers feed several lakes across the park, including Avalanche Lake. Start on the Trail of the Cedars then turn off onto the Avalanche Lake Trail. The 4.7-miles round trip (505-foot gain) trail heads to Avalanche Lake, where 200-plus-foot waterfalls from Sperry Glacier fill the valley with its turquoise waters.

    Rob Bignell
    Author, “Best Sights to See at America’s National Parks”

    • Cacinda Maloney December 23, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Great to know! I will be out there in a few months and excited about it!

  3. Stephen January 14, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    And don’t forget the excellent farmers markets, and a fantastic dinner in downtown at The Silk Road!

    • Cacinda Maloney January 18, 2016 at 6:39 am

      I have not been yet, but going next week and will be adding in/taking away from this list! Thanks for the tips!

Comments are closed.