Great Escapes: Our guide to Missoula, MT

Planning a getaway? Check out Missoula, MT, a mountain getaway rich with outdoor adventures, scenic views, and a quaint downtown.

A scene of mountains amid a blue sky

Head to the Big Sky State for an outdoor adventure in Missoula, MT.

Photo by ATXtoday

ATXtoday City Editor London here. 👋 I go to Missoula pretty regularly to visit my family who lives there, and I can confirm that whether it’s winter, summer, spring, or fall, there’s plenty to do in this picturesque mountain town.

Why go?

  • First, the nature. Missoula is nestled in between mountains and bordered on all sides by forests, hiking trails, and rushing rivers. Try skiing in the area, taking a rafting trip, or hiking through the 22 miles of trails that run through the city itself. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, Missoula is also known for river surfing during the summer months.
  • This small city is also known for its summer festivals, like the Big Sky Documentary Film Festivalwhich screens 100+ films and attracts ~10,000 visitors annually — and the River City Roots Music Festival.
  • Wondering what to do in between wilderness excursions? Check out this guide to shopping downtown, which is home to several vintage shops and small businesses. Pro tip: If you’re a book lover, I make it a point to stop at Shakespeare & Co. every time I’m in Missoula.
  • You’ll probably be wanting to try some good food while you’re in Missoula. We suggest 1889 Steakhouse, Tagliare Delicatessen, and Bar Plata.
A rushing river next to tall trees

Missoula is surrounded by 60,000 acres of wilderness, but there are plenty of hiking trails within the city as well.

Photo by ATXtoday

Act like a local:

  • Food: The butter flight at 1889 Steakhouse is a must-try, in my opinion. You also won’t want to sleep on The Camino, a Mexican style restaurant that’s known for their goat and lamb dishes.
  • Drink: Don’t let the name fool youPlonk is a go-to spot for an elegant, balanced cocktail downtown.
  • Outdoors: For a view, take a 1.2 mile trek up Mount Sentinel to the ‘M’ or follow the Blodgett Canyon Overlook Trail to a roaring waterfall.
  • Listen: Despite the city’s smaller size and remote location, Missoula’s stages see big name artists, with upcoming concerts including The Avett Brothers in July and Kane Brown in May.
  • Explore: Missoula’s history is almost as enthralling as its natural beauty. Take a walking tour of downtown, which is home to several 1800s-era buildings, or visit the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula.
  • Learn: Before white settlers arrived in this region of Montana, several Native American communities called it home. Read up on their legacy and history in the area.

Where to stay:

A photo of a kitchen with a window that has mountain views

Take in mountainous scenery at this downtown Missoula Airbnb.

Photo courtesy Airbnb.

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