Montana, the Big Sky State, is known more for its wide-open spaces than its towns, but there are plenty of Montana cities and smaller towns that are worth a visit. Some of these Montana cities provide a good starting point for expeditions into the mountains or to explore the rivers of the state, while some of these Montana cities are attractions of their own. Here are a few Montana cities that are great places to go.
- Missoula. Home to the University of Montana, Missoula conveniently has one of the state's airports, making it an easy destination (though you'll have to fly through Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, or Denver) and mixes the benefits of a college town—indie movie theater, plenty of good live music, great bars and restaurants, a very green culture—with the feel of the Wild West. Cross the Clark Fork River to take a look at the beautiful campus, or just hang out in downtown, and you'll be sure to have a good time in this, one of the most unique Montana cities.
- Big Fork. The small town of Big Fork, nestled in the mountains above the beautiful Flathead Lake, is an arts enclave full of galleries and theaters. In few places can one see a Shakespeare play, eat a dinner of well-prepared lake trout, and still walk down to the shore of one of the largest natural lakes in the United States. It's an expensive place to live, but an affordable visit, and one of the most tremendous Montana cities for visitors.
- Red Lodge. Red Lodge is a small town, homey in its feel, next to one of the best unknown ski resorts in Montana, which shares its name. If you want to ski away from the crowds in somewhere that feels more like home than a resort, this is one of the Montana cities for you.
- Kalispell. Like Red Lodge, Kalispell is a quiet hamlet, but it is still one of the Montana cities most deserving of a visit because of what it is near, and that is the majesty of Glacier National Park. Kalispell is the perfect place to stay to visit Montana's second-most-famous (behind Yellowstone) but arguably most impressive national park, home of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, the country's first mountain road, leading up to a splendid view of the continental divide.
There are plenty of other Montana cities worth a visit, but keep the above in mind when planning a trip to the Big Sky State. You won't regret it.