Missoula Montana

Missoula Montana
Missoula Montana

Missoula Montana rests in a deep valley in the state's beautiful western highlands. Here, the Clark Fork River joins the Blackfoot and Bitterroot Rivers, and as such, fishing and river running are top Missoula travel pursuits. You'll also find Missoula to be an excellent destination for biking, among other things, and you'll find the country's largest cycling organization here. Anyone who takes their biking seriously will want to add a visit to the downtown headquarters of the Adventure Cycling Association to their list of things to do in Missoula. Not only can you snap some photos at this legendary locale, but you can also get tips on area trails, not to mention some free ice cream. Missoula travel reveals many different delights to those who engage in it, and if you're looking for a good place to base your next Montana getaway, the Garden City is calling.

Missoula Montana is called the Garden City because the winters here are more mild than they are in the rest of the state. That doesn't mean that the winters are exactly warm here. If you come during the colder season, you can still add skiing to your list of things to do in Missoula. It's a bit of a drive to places like the Discovery Basin Ski Area and the Big Mountain Ski Resort if you are looking for an abundance of slopes, but if you don't mind smaller ski areas, Snowbowl and Lost Trail are a little easier to reach. While skiing is the top Missoula travel pursuit in the wintertime, the warmer months bring on a number of recreational prospects. Local guides can get you out on the local rivers if you are interested in doing some white water rafting. Fly-fishing, which is very popular in Montana, can be enjoyed on the rivers in and around Missoula, and other renowned fishing areas can easily be reached in three hours or less.

Fishing is just one form of hunting, and other animal species that can be hunted on a Missoula vacation include elk, big horn sheep, antelope, and deer. If you prefer to simply observe the wildlife, that's always an option too. You're bound to see plenty of native animals while hiking in the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area and the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness Area, both of which are easily reached from town. Surrounding Missoula Montana is the Lolo National Forest, and you can bet that the 1,800 miles of hiking trails that this forested area has to offer are popular with visitors and locals alike. Missoula attractions aren't just limited to the outdoors, however, and you should have no problem keeping busy downtown. The mostly contemporary art exhibits at the Missoula Art Museum can figure on your cultural Missoula travel itinerary, and the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula is an excellent place to learn about Missoula County life in earlier times. The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, features no less than thirteen different historic structures.

You can learn a little bit about both American and Montana history while enjoying the great outdoors at the same time on your Missoula vacation, as guided tours that cover landmarks that pertain to the famed Lewis and Clark Trail can easily be arranged. Before entering into Idaho, Lewis and Clark followed along the Lolo Trail, and you can follow in their footsteps. Hiking along parts of the trail just one way to enjoy these adventures, however. Biking, white water rafting, and canoeing can be integrated into your tour as well. Getting back to the more cultural side of things, Missoula is home to the main University of Montana campus, so you can always look into catching a school play, musical, or something similar.

Including a local festival in your Missoula travel plans is just one more idea should you be trying to broaden your list of things to do. The International Wildlife Film Festival, which is the largest film festival of its kind in the world, is held in May. Like trips to most cities and towns in Montana, a Missoula vacation offers an array of attractions that should satisfy everyone in your travel group. There's even old buildings around town that can keep architectural buffs busy for hours. Book a few nights at one of the Missoula hotels during your next Montana vacation, and come see just how much one of the more liberal cities in the state has to offer its visitors.

Top image: ipeters61 (flickr)
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