Bozeman in 1864, John Bozeman led a wagon train over Bozeman Pass into the Gallatin Valley, where his friends W. J. Beall and D. E. Rouse staked out the town site for the city of Bozeman. It is considered one of the most diverse small towns in the Rocky Mountains, with a mix of ranchers, artists, professors, ski enthusiasts and entrepreneurs drawn here by Montana’s world-class outdoor recreation.
Billings was established in 1882 with the coming of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Today it is a major shipping center for cattle and other agricultural products and is Montana’s largest city. Known as Montana’s Trailhead, it has access to the Beartooth Mountains, the Yellowstone River and local trails.
Missoula is nestled in the heart of the northern Rockies in the western part of the state. Home to the country’s largest smokejumper base, the historic downtown features classic early-century buildings and unique galleries, shops and restaurants. All three are excellent year-round bases to explore Montana.
Butte is a melting pot of ethnicities and culture that shape it to this day. From all corners of the world, immigrants came to this tough mining town, created distinct neighborhoods, and brought with them the cultural heritage of their native countries of Ireland, Wales, China, Croatia, Italy, Serbia, Lebanon, England, Canada, and Finland. Butte’s very placement near the crest of the Continental Divide is unique. The sheer elevation of nearly 6,000 feet makes the journey to the city a challenge. The terrain of the city is a dichotomy between “the flats,” a stretch of even terrain that spreads south, and Uptown Butte, the face of the city that saw the most growth in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Montana‘s vast farmland provides ample area for wheat and hops production and is home to 53 breweries, the most per capita in the country. Experience a walking brewery tour in historic downtown Billings where six breweries and one distillery are within walking distance of each other. Or tour the Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula and try seasonal varieties. Taste samples of brews such as Mountain Man Stout, Pigs Ass Porter or Coldsmoke throughout the state at many local craft breweries, each with their own special brews and character.