If you are looking for the best things to do in Montana, you are in for a treat!
The Treasure State is comprised of rugged mountains, beautiful lakes, and roaring rivers that cut through the wild landscape.
Also known as Big Sky Country, Montana is one of the best places to experience nature in the United States. You will find many of the best state and national parks waiting to be explored.
Along with sweeping vistas, you will love the historic sites, cute small towns, and lively cities full of art galleries and museums.
You cannot go wrong with a trip to Montana, and you will soon see why!
This list of the best Montana attractions is a great jumping-off point for writing your itinerary, but the state holds many hidden gems as well.
Let’s dive into what to do in Montana!
15 Things to Do in Montana: The Ultimate Bucket List
Hike in Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is probably one of the first things you think of when you imagine Montana.
The mountains cut a pretty silhouette against the open sky while glacial lakes shine at their base. Keep an eye out for mountain goats and grizzly bears.
One of the top attractions in this park is the 50-mile-long Going-to-the-Sun Road. This scenic drive crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass and reaches an elevation of 6,646 feet.
This road is one of the best places to see wildlife plus there are many great overlooks. Check for road closures before heading out.
Glacier is also one of the best places for hiking in Montana. There are over 700 miles of trails of varying lengths and difficulties.
Other activities include fishing, boating, biking, and camping. There are also great ranger-led programs.
If you pick only one of the best places to visit in Montana, make it Glacier National Park!
It is one of the best national parks in Montana.
Visit the Museum of the Rockies
One of the best things to do in Bozeman, MT, is to visit the Museum of the Rockies. Anyone interested in natural history will love this Montana museum.
You will know you have arrived when you see the bronze sculpture of Big Mike the Tyrannosaurus rex.
Inside, there are many interesting exhibits. You will learn about dinosaurs, the Native Americans of the Northern Plains, early settlers, geology, animals, and more.
Outside, the Living History Farm is a replica of a late-1800s homestead. You will be able to explore the Tinsley House, a blacksmith shop, the outbuildings, and the gardens.
Check out the Taylor Planetarium for an epic show of the universe.
The museum also has many rotating exhibits so you can see something new every time you visit.
Don’t miss out on exploring the best restaurants in Bozeman.
Ski at Big Sky Resort
Montana is a great ski destination and there are many ski resorts throughout the state.
The Big Sky Resort in Big Sky has some of the best slopes for both skiers and snowboarders.
If you are a beginner, you can take lessons. Otherwise, gear up, and hit the 5,850 acres of skiable terrain for some fun in the mountains.
If you visit in the warmer months, you can still ride the ski lift for great views. Mountain biking, golf, zipping, and hiking are other fun Montana activities here.
At the base of Lone Mountain, you can find the Mountain Village with hotels, restaurants, shops, and a spa.
This is one of the best things to do during winter in Montana!
Honor the Fallen at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
The Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer’s Last Stand, took place in June during the Great Sioux War of 1876.
Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer led his troops against the Nations of the Plains, including Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull.
The two-day battle ended with a Native American victory and approximately 300-400 casualties, including Custer.
Today, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Crow Agency is a memorial to the tragic event.
When you visit, you can stop by the museum, see the 7th Cavalry Monument and Indian Memorial, explore the Custer National Cemetery, and walk the Deep Ravine Trail.
Explore the World Museum of Mining
The World Museum of Mining is one of the most unique things to do in Butte, MT.
As one of the best attractions in Montana, this museum really brings history to life and guarantees a great time for the whole family.
You will feel as if you have stepped back to the 1800s as you explore the Orphan Girl Mine Yard, which has many original structures and equipment.
There is also a recreation of an old mining town. Hell Roarin’ Gulch has period-accurate buildings full of artifacts.
There are even some original historic buildings, including churches and a schoolhouse.
The best part of this museum is the 1.5-hour Underground Mine Tour. You will learn all about the mine as a guide leads you 100 feet into the tunnels.
Go Fly Fishing in the Blackfoot River
If you are looking for things to do in Missoula, consider fly fishing the Blackfoot River.
This area is one of the best places for fly fishing in the country and was made famous by the 1992 movie A River Runs Through It.
Whether you are a seasoned angler or only a beginner, this beautiful river is a great place to cast a line. You’ll have the chance to reel in brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout.
If you are a beginner or don’t have gear, you can book a fishing guide to take you to all the best spots.
This river is also popular for rafting and tubing in the summer. Arrive early for the best chance of catching some fish.
Discover the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas
The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is certainly one of the most unique things to do in Montana.
Located in Lake County on the Flathead Indian Reservation, this peaceful attraction is surrounded by mountains and offers a slice of serenity.
The garden was founded by Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche a member of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism.
Construction began in 2000 and has yet to be finished. The area is beautifully decorated with Buddhist symbolism and plants.
As a plus, this is a free activity in Montana!
Kayak at Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. Spending time on the water here is one of the best things to do in Kalispell.
This pretty, clear lake is perfect for swimming, kayaking, boating, or fishing. There are plenty of hiking trails and campgrounds too.
If you are looking for a nature adventure, you can explore Wild Horse Island.
Accessible only by boat, this undeveloped island has an interesting history. It was once used by the Kootenai people to store their horses and keep them from being stolen.
Today a few descendants of these horses still remain. Other wildlife you might see include bighorn sheep, mule deer, and bald eagles. You should also be bear aware.
There is no camping on the island, but it is a wonderful place to spend a day hiking, bird watching, or swimming at one of the beaches.
This lake is one of the best things to do in Montana with kids! You’ll make great memories.
Stroll Cute Downtown West Yellowstone
The darling town of West Yellowstone is the gateway to Yellowstone National Park, which is mostly located just over the border in Wyoming.
Before entering the national park, you should take time to walk around downtown.
There are many restaurants, cafes, and shops housed in cute, log buildings.
Other things to do in West Yellowstone include the Playmill Theatre, Yellowstone Zipline Adventure Park, the Museum of the Yellowstone, and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.
Visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is one of the best things to do in Great Falls and is the perfect Montana activity for history buffs.
This informative museum is dedicated to the cross-country journey of Lewis and Clark and how it impacted American history.
There are many great exhibits with dioramas, paintings, and an assortment of artifacts. There is also a theatre that plays documentaries.
Outside, you will find a scenic nature trail with views of the river.
Tour the Montana State Capitol
There are many great things to do in Helena and a visit to the Montana State Capitol is one of the best!
This grand building was constructed in 1902 out of sandstone and granite. Sitting on a 10-acre lawn, it is beautiful inside and out.
You are welcome to visit any day of the week for a self-guided tour of the inside. During the summer, guided tours are available as well.
Admire the beautiful architecture as well as many paintings, photographs, and sculptures.
This is one of the best Montana tourist attractions that you shouldn’t miss out on!
Soaking In Hot Springs Is One Of The Best Things To Do In Montana
Montana is known for its many hot springs. If you are looking for one of the most relaxing Montana vacation spots, there are many to choose from.
A lot of the commercial hot springs are set up similarly to swimming pools except with steaming, natural, mineral water.
The water temperatures vary by location, usually ranging from 59 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. You will easily be able to soak your aches away.
Many of the hot spring resorts also include luxury amenities like spas, saunas, live music, restaurants, and more.
Some of the best hot springs in Montana include Chico Hot Springs, Quinn’s Hot Spring Resort, Norris Hot Springs, and Elkhorn Hot Springs.
Step Back in Time at Pictograph Cave State Park
Pictograph Cave State Park is one of the best state parks in Montana for anyone interested in nature or history.
The three main caves here were once home to prehistoric hunters who left behind artifacts such as stone tools and weapons.
They also left their mark by painting the cave walls with over 100 fascinating pictographs. The oldest drawing is over 2,000 years old!
These cave paintings are some of the best things to see in Montana!
As you walk the 0.74-mile trail to the caves, there are many interpretative displays that explain the natural features, plants, and animals of the area.
Don’t forget to check out the visitor’s center too.
One Of The Best Things To Do In Montana Is To Marvel At The Moss Mansion
Architecture and history lovers will want to stop by the grand Moss Mansion Museum in Billings, MT.
This red brick, English Renaissance home was built in 1903 for Preston Boyd Moss and his family. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Come tour on your own or with a guide to see the beautiful interior. You will find original fixtures and furniture as well as family letters and documents.
Other cool features include technology that was innovative at the time it was installed, such as heated indoor plumping, an electric bell system for the servants, and a rotary telephone.
This is one of the best things to do in Billings!
There are also fun Montana events the whole family will love including murder mystery dinners, a recreation of the board game Clue, and events for Halloween and Christmas.
Learning at the Western Heritage Center Is One Of The Best Things To Do In Montana
Another of the best things to do in Billings is the Western Heritage Center.
This museum is housed in the historic 1901 Parmly Billings Memorial Library. Its castle-like, Richardsonian Romanesque architecture will draw you in, but you will stay for the many historical exhibits.
The artifacts, photographs, and videos tell the story of Native American tribes, frontiersmen, and early settlers.
The Center also offers a number of different historic walking tours of the town and hosts guest speakers during the High Noon Lecture Series.
Packing List When Searching For Things To Do In Montana
If you will be traveling, either by plane or by car to Montana, here are some tips on how to pack lightly.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when searching for things to do in Montana.
It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID-blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
You can place it under your clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
This configuration comes with enough credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery.
This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast!
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking photos during Montana attractions.
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for hiking and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
When filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the charcoal filter ensures fresh clean water whenever you fill the Bobble.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car.
Then this collapsible silicone foldable water bottle would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc… No matter the time of day or evening.
This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great.
It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.
If you have not yet added Montana to your travel bucket list, now is the time!
There are so many amazing places to see in Montana from mountains and lakes to small towns and cities. Montana truly holds something for everyone no matter your interests!
Ski slopes, hiking trails, museums, shopping opportunities, and more activities in Montana are waiting for you to enjoy!
There are also many great events in Montana to check out!