Oh Montana! I spent 18 years of my life growing up here and returned "home" a few times in college before my family moved to the Midwest. Since the move, I have visited a few more times and always love coming back to such a beautiful place.
I grew up in the country about 20 miles outside of Bozeman and attended school in the small town of Manhattan (population 1000). I have been all over the state but am most familiar with the southern part of Montana which in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful parts of the state!
Montana is full of cute little towns, wide open spaces, gorgeous mountain views, good people, beautiful scenery, and simple living. There is so much history and so many well preserved places that you can still visit (Virginia City, Bannock, the Govenor's Mansion, battlefields etc). I am so thankful for my Montana years and all that we got to see and explore. I love coming back to visit some of my favorite places!
Some of my favorite places in Montana:
West Yellowstone/Yellowstone National Park: Technically Yellowstone National Park is in Wyoming, but it's so close and such a fun place to visit! I'll do a separate post on YNP soon because it is full of so much, but trust me West Yellowstone and YNP are great places to visit. West Yellowstone is a super cute little town at one enterance of the park. We love the West Yellowstone visitor information center and IMAX Theatre (cute gift shop, IMAX etc located together), the Playmill Theatre, and walking down Canyon Street to pop into all the cute shops.
Hiking Palisade Falls: One of our favorite hikes growing up (and one we've taken as adults too) was the hike to Palisade Falls. It's very easy (actually paved most of the way) and the waterfall is so pretty! We have had fun as kids and adults walking around on the rocks and standing under the waterfall. My brothers and husband even hiked around and up to the top.
Clydehurst Christian Ranch: I've been a camper and have spent several weeks (over a few summers) working here too. And both have been awesome! We try to come every few years for family camp, and it is seriously the most relaxing week ever! We hike, nap, attend chapel, ride horses, play games, eat yummy food, stay up way to late, and so much more! We don't have to cook or clean, and we even have the option to have our kids babysat (by amazing camp counselors!) throughout the day! It really is the perfect vacation for everyone in the family!!
Favorite food places:
MacKenzie River Pizza (various locations throughout MT)
Sir Scott's Oasis Steakhouse (Manhattan)
Bar 3 Bar-B-Q
Favorite place to stay:
This by far our favorite place out of anywhere we have ever stayed...ever! There are a few locations throughout Montana and if there is one near you, check it out! The rooms are so comfortable, the courtyard is amazing (a pool and numerous hot tubs), and the continental breakfast is soooo good. My only complaint is that there aren't locations throughout the United States :)
These pictures don't even come close to doing Montana's beauty justice, but they are all I had (from years ago.) Trust me though, it is such a beautiful and peaceful place! Until next time MONTANA!!!!!!