Sure, Missoula, Montana is one of those college towns you hear about, but in a way, this town is different. Located along the Fork River in Western Montana, it is known as the “hub of five valleys” since it is near the convergence of five mountain ranges. But more than that, this town is about that land beyond the town – all those protected open spaces it calls home. Missoula is also known for its blue-ribbon trout fishing which was made very well known by the movie “A River Runs Through It“, which just so happened to be filmed here. The outdoor recreational opportunities in Missoula are limitless.
People live here because they want to live here, they choose to live here. They love the great outdoors and this is a place that gives it to them. Gives them the ability to hike, bike, ski, hunt, fish, backpack, or camp. You name it, they have it here, and there are plenty of them around doing it.
Things to do in Missoula, Montana
I finally had my chance to visit Missoula, Montana with the Glacier Country Tourism Commission and I am excited to tell you about this fun little town!
University of Montana
Missoula – It 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, hiking, hunting, and fly fishing in the summer. Missoula is located along the confluence of the Clark Fork, Bitterroot, and Blackfoot Rivers!
The Downtown Dance Collective
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 certainly did! Honestly, I loved the place and was so happy I went. Hopefully, the photos will show what an amazing place it is! You can easily decide to take a class or call her up for a special one-on-one lesson like I had.
Visit a Real Live 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 1800s!
Recommended Reading about Montana
Visit an Art Museum!
From yoga, after a quick shower and change, I went with the group to tour the Missoula Art Museum.
It is quite fabulous and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. You will see everything from Rembrandt to Warhol as well as contemporary art relevant to the state of Montana. While I was there, they had an exhibit of John Buck’s works of art, who is widely known for his wooden and three-dimensional sculptures as seen below. It was a whole lot of fun to visit, so be sure and add this to your things to do in Missoula, Montana.
Check out the Food and Drink Scene!
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.
Go to the Movies!
Missoula is home to a variety of film festivals.
Visit the Elk Country Visitors Center
It is here at Elk Country Visitors Center that you can explore their viewing trails, 4-d theater, and interactive exhibits.
Skiing/Snowboarding in Missoula!
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!
Remember the movie A River Runs Through It, starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt? The fly fishing was done in Montana near this area.
Ice Skating in a Skate Park!
They have one of the finest skate parks in the country: Mobash Skate Park, where the borders apparently LOVE it! It has ramps, benches, and big bowls for these daredevils.
Go Shopping in Trendy Shops in Missoula!
Just like any hip town in America, Missoula Montana has got the latest trendy shops!
So since I didn’t get around to doing all these things, I guess I just have to go back!!
Where to stay:
Recommended Reading about Montana
Here are a few options for fun things to do in Missoula, according to the tourism board:
-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.
Disclosure: As is common in the travel industry, I was provided with compensation for the purpose of review by Glacier County Tourism. While it has not influenced my review, PointsandTravel.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.