Photograph by Mark Miller Photos, Photolibrary / Getty Images

 

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The Hotel Baxter is a landmark in the historic district of Bozeman, Montana.

Photograph by Mark Miller Photos, Photolibrary / Getty Images

 

Everything to Know About Bozeman

Here's how to plan the best possible trip to this Montana gem.

Bozeman is rapidly moving on from the rural community vibe it used to wear and becoming a trendy place to live. Today, it is the fastest growing city in Montana and home to a variety of people—university students, ranching families, and also people who have recently moved here attracted by the city’s laid-back ambience. Though, some locals grumble that those moving here to live the Montana lifestyle instead try to change it to wherever they came from.

When to Go

Bozeman is a year-round destination depending on your plans. Winter is good for skiing, snowboarding, or snowmobiling. Spring is the most beautiful season because the valley is carpeted in green and wildflowers are in bloom, and the mountains are usually still snow-capped. It can be rainy though so it's probably not the best time for outdoor activities. Summer is hot and is great for outdoor activities, especially hiking and having fun on the lakes and rivers. Fall is colorful as the aspens turn yellow and the weather is at its most pleasant during this season.

Celebrate

The Sweet Pea Festival takes place every summer as it has since 1978. It is a celebration of the arts, drawing about 15,000 people. There are many different events happening in the summer, ranging from weekly farmers markets, Music on Main, lots of rodeos, art walks celebrating local artists, and the Headwaters Country Jam in nearby Three Forks. Automobile enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the Cruisin’ on Main Annual Car Show. The free car show attracts collectors from all over the state who come to celebrate their classic cars, motorcycles, and trucks.

What to Eat

The bison burger is a Bozeman delight, as is a juicy local Montana beefsteak. Make sure to stop at one or more of the local breweries for a pint. Huckleberry drinks at the distilleries are also quite tasty.

Souvenir to Take Home

Béquet caramels and Elle's Belles cookies, both Bozeman originals, make good edible souvenirs, as does anything with huckleberry. Coffees from local coffee roasters—Rockford, Treeline, or Ghost Town—allow you to wake up to a taste of Bozeman every morning. Main Street has many galleries where one can pick up a piece of pottery, a photograph, or a painting. Cactus Records is always sure to have something fun and unique, while Montana Gift Corral offers Montana-made gifts.

Sustainable Travel

Pack it in, pack it out. If recreating outdoors, pick up trash and leave it clean for the wildlife and the next person who wants to see it looking just as pristine. Bozeman also has numerous local businesses and dealing with them is a good way to boost the city’s economy.

Instagram-Worthy View

Hyalite Reservoir, Palisade, and Grotto Falls are easy hikes with eye-pleasing waterfalls at the end. The “M” Trail, named after the landmark M created by Montana State University Students in 1915, at the mouth of the Bridger Canyon offers a nice view of the town.