Montana Travels Continued// Livingston, Bozeman, Missoula, Bigfork, and Paradise
“Montana should come with a surgeon general warning that it's addictive. The sky is big and blue, and the air is always fresh and crisp and scented with pine. There's a frontier spirit, but also a calmness, beauty in the landscape that slows your pulse.”
― Robin Bielman
Have some time today to catch up on some travel diaries from the month long moto trek northwest. I absolutely love sharing these with you all.
We had just had a fantastic night in Pray Montana at the lovely Chico Springs and needed to explore the rest of the breath taking Montana to work our way to Idaho and then Seattle. I was pretty in awe at this point of the trip having just experienced Yellowstone and Beartooth Highway.
Livingston is a city and the county seat of Park County, Montana, United States. Livingston is located in southwestern Montana, on the Yellowstone River, north of Yellowstone National Park.
Going to list my picks for each city for your travels!!!
The City of Livingston offers a tremendous array of activities. Entertainment, educational and outdoor activities can be found throughout the city, most of which are within walking distance. The Livingston area was a favorite hunting ground for many Native American tribes with the surrounding bluffs frequently used as buffalo jumps. The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the area crossing the Yellowstone in July of 1806. After the railroad was cut through the west, Livingston became a burgeoning city. By the turn of the Twentieth century, when President Ulysses Grant established Yellowstone as the countries first national park, more than 10,000 tourists per week flooded the community on their way to the park. Many generations of railroaders, gunslingers and movie stars have called Livingston home, adding to its diversity.
There is more to do in and around Livingston than can fit on a page: fly fishing, hiking, rafting, hunting, bicycling, museums, fine restaurants, art galleries, live theater, live music, and events in every month of the year. Here are some local links:
- Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce - Up-to-date calendar of events, links to local businesses.
- Livingston Gallery Association - Links to most local galleries.
- Dan Bailey's Fly Shop - Famous trout fishing reports, equipment, guidance. Adjacent to the hotel.
- Bear Paw Outfitters - Professionally guided hunts, fishing tours, horseback riding, and more.
- Black Otter Guide Service - Big game hunting, rock hunting, horseback riding, and more.
- Montana River Trips - Resources and information on floating Montana's rivers.
- Livingston Museums
- Fish Hawk Outfitting - Guiding service.
Explore the adorable historic downtown too...
Pinky's Cafe - Do get the pancakes.
Whiskey Creek Saloon -- Need I say more?!
Murray Hotel -- High-end, storied hotel with classic quarters, a restaurant & a coffee shop, plus a rooftop deck.
Bozeman is a city in southern Montana, in the Rocky Mountains. Downtown, Montana State University’s Museum of the Rockies traces the area’s history and mounts special exhibitions.
Downtown Bozeman is the cutest little area filled with restaurants, shops, museums, and nightlife. Loved breathing in all the fresh mountain air while enjoying the downtown amenities.
I really wish I had more time here but you must must must go to these two places...
Feed Cafe: From the creators of the Nova Cafe, feed cafe offers a fresh array of delicious breakfast and lunch items. Order at the counter and enjoy your meal in the comfy, farm-chic atmosphere or take it to go knowing that you’re nourished and ready for whatever life throws at you next. Feed cafe desires to enrich the lives of its guests, employees and community. They have picnic blankets too if you want to have your brekkie or lunch outside on the lawn. We loved it!!! Delish coffee, fresh juices, amazing sweet treats, and lunch was just divine. They also have excellent toasts on house made bread....
Tart: Such a great store to grab some souvenirs and gifts! Got the cutest tea towel. And ring.
This is where things really clicked for me--like wow..I can actually envision myself living here one day in Montana.
I met the loveliest couple here from the Bay Area at Feed Cafe .. and it was so refreshing to hear someone complain about SF ( my fave US city ) and the crazy real estate prices and traffic .. and how they just come to Montana every summer to breathe . She looked at me and knew the big high country out here had stolen my heart. When I asked her how she knew she said I looked like her the first time she experienced Montana 6 years ago. It reminded me also of a convo I had with a Florida native yesterday in a Montana cafe and he said as much as he loves Florida 10 months out of the year .. for two he needed cooler temps so the mountains in Montana were unbeatable . And that no matter where you live in this world .. it can't be perfect 24/7 ... so you live to chase the weather . And then I started thinking about the couple I met in Red Lodge who were also on a bike . The man worked over time every winter in Ohio where he lives so he could get two weeks off instead of one for vacation to ride with his wife because it was their dream and Montana was a place they never could even describe because it's so beautiful . I love the places I see but I love the strangers I meet along the way too . We all have a story . I have discovered so much of myself on this trip .. i mean today I had 6 long hours on a bike to be with my thoughts . Liz Gilbert went to Bali to find herself and I am just glad I didn't have to travel that far . To all the weather chasers out there .. to all the dreamers ... keep on! And Montana ... man .. I love you ! ❤️
So now we continued on to Missoula to stay over night. It was getting pretty late and we were getting pretty tired. I had so little time here. But highly recommend you float the river, especially if it's a summer trip. Missoula is hot..partly why I just wanted to stay indoors too....
Do enjoy :
Big Dipper Ice Cream - Celebrated, walk-up joint with picnic table seating, offering homemade ice cream scoops & shakes.
El Cazador Mexican Food- Great downtown location! Everything was incredibly fresh and tasty.
The Wilma -We missed a great band here by two days but took a peak and Whoa...I would love to see a show here.
So our next destination after Missoula was Paradise..only about an hour or so from Missoula if you take the major highway. But we opted to do the scenic route by Flathead Lake making this a good 5 to 6 hour trek. It was rated one of the prettiest drives in Montana so you didn't have to twist our arms. And it turns out Montana isn’t just mountains and plains. Flathead Lake, located in northwestern Montana, is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Many would argue it’s also one of the most beautiful, thanks to its deep blue hue and the surrounding Rocky Mountains. It also close to the ritzy mountain towns of Kalispell and Whitefish.Highly recommend you experience all the scenery of Flathead Lake by doing a drive around it. Start in Bigfork on the northeast edge of the lake and head south along Highway 35 to loop the lake before heading north along US-93 to have lunch or dinner. Be sure to stop at a local fruit stand during your drive and try the famous Flathead Cherries. Blossoming cherry trees blanket the Eastern shores in spring. From mid to late summer fruit stands dot the roadsides offering fresh sweet cherries first and then apples and huckleberries as the season progresses. Stop at any of 12 state parks along the shore to swim or fish and enjoy the incredible beauty you find there. From the art galleries of Bigfork to wine tasting at The Mission Mountain Winery, your options are many. You will find this scenic drive a lovely day well spent.
We had the loveliest lunch and brewskies at Flathead Lake Brewing Co. over looking the beautiful water.
And at last we have reached our final destination in The Big Sky Country.
Please check out the lovely Quinn's Hot Springs Resort.
Quinn’s Hot Springs offers cabins for everyone. Standard cabins feature comfortable beds and living areas. Luxury cabins feature high-end amenities and custom log beds. Stay in cabins tucked next to the mountain, or choose a cabin with a porch swing overlooking the Clark Fork River. Either way, you’ll be just steps from hot springs pools and delicious meals. Quinn’s Hot Springs features 6 pools filled with chemical-free hot springs water. The mineral content of the water offers excellent health benefits and relaxation. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Montana outdoors, you’ll soak your cares away in no time. Make a reservation at The Harwood House too on the property. We had such a romantic wonderful meal with stellar service. This place was such a gem!!! And the best thing was not having to get back on that bike to do anything.
Montana..you truly are something!! Keep traveling along as I take you through Idaho and Washington next as we work our way down the PCH.
What are your fave Montana Moments?!!! I am seriously considering real estate here so fill me in.