10 Best Famous To Hidden Museums In Montana (2023)
The first impression of Montana is of its unspoiled nature and beautiful wilderness. Though simultaneously, the Big Sky State also has an adventure past and centuries of history. This history today is well preserved inside the Montana museums all around the State. There are over 200 tourism acclaimed museums in Montana, some world-known while some still in their hidden and secluded form.
Museums in Montana are all about History, Art, Culture, and Heritage. Along with that, the State also boosts in some impressive galleries that exhibit the past and present of science and technology. Upon visiting one of these Montana Museums, you can learn about the Jurassic era, unearth the past’s richness, or admire the art and artifacts. Here is the list of the 10 most popular and must-visit museums in Montana that will give you a tour of the State’s past and present.
10 Best Famous To Hidden Museums In Montana
So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
1. Montana State Capitol
The Montana State Capitol isn’t dedicatedly a museum but a functional state legislature. However, this extensive architectural building holds a lot of elements that museums are known for. Located in the city of Helena, the Montana State Capitol is a century-old building that has overlooked the Big Sky State for the longest. Upon touring the facility from inside, visitors can observe pieces of statehood art and paintings. The inside tours also allow visiting the Capitol Rotunda and the Old Law Library. When done from inside, the Greek architecture of this building and other architectural detailing awaits the way for impressing your eyes. Tours inside the building operate throughout the year except on National and Festive holidays. Weekdays offer more operating hours than the weekend.
2. Montana Historical Society and the Charles M. Russell Gallery
What makes Montana Historical Society hard to miss is its proximity to the State Capitol building in Helena. Celebrating the rich heritage of Montana, the Historical Society invites history buffs. Inside the society, there are multiple galleries, and the most popular amongst them is the Charles M. Russell Gallery. Spread over 70,000-square foot space, the gallery contains more than 13000 objects from the 18th century till today. Inside the gallery, there are pictures, paintings, sculptures, period clothing, and other forms of artifacts. Here, the collection is a mix of artist Charlie Russell’s work and American Indian artifacts. There is another C. M. Russell Museum in the city of Great Falls as well.
3. Museum of Rockies
Museum of Rockies is a vast space and one of Montana’s best museums to explore. It is located in Bozeman and is famous for housing one of the world’s largest collections of dinosaurs archaeological remains. Upon your arrival inside, you will see a 15 feet tall picturesque model of Tyrannosaurus rexes. The Museum speaks about history, paleontology, and archaeology from small to significant aspects. Touring here feels no less than traveling back into time inside the Jurassic world. Here, visitors can peek into history and see dinosaur eggs, their babies, Tyrannosaurus rexes, Triceratops, and more brought downs from the Mesozoic Cenozoic eras. The display at the Museum of Rockies also has rhinos, mammoths, and Borophagus. From kids to adults, everyone enjoys their experience of being here.
4. World Museum of Mining
Suppose you want to experience how the mining life in the 19th century looked like then do visit the World Museum of Mining. The Museum is located in Butter and functions to preserve and present the heritage and legacy of Mining. It is primarily an outdoor spread with an actual mining ground and even a world underground (Mining caves). Besides that, nearly 50 buildings are exhibiting 66 permanent exhibits and countless artifacts. Visitors can choose from a general admission tour and an underground mining tour. On the former tour, visitors get to see the Orphan Girl Mine Yard from above. However, visitors can navigate 100 feet down to the Orphan Girl Mine in the latter one. World Museum of Mining operates daily and is also famous for its paranormal activities (Speculated). Guests can bring their own device to find out the truth of spooky adventures.
5. The Yellowstone Art Museum
The Yellowstone Art Museum was once the Yellowstone County Jail. It is located in downtown Billings and is Montana’s most significant contemporary art museum. Their collection initially started with a small number, but it is growing over 7,400 modern and historical art pieces today. The Museum aims to collect artistic samples from artists who either lived in Montana or are still a resident of the State. Some of the notable collections here include water paintings, oil paintings, and murals. Along with observing the still art, visitors at Yellowstone Art Museum also offer several art and craft programs. Regardless of your artistic talent or age, you can enroll here to learn the skill or simply have some fun. The Museum operates from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.
6. The American Computer and Robotics Museum
The American Computer and Robotics Museum aim to preserve and present the history of computing, communications, artificial intelligence, and robotics. It is located in Bozeman and has been operating for over two decades now. This one-of-a-kind place focuses upon letting the visitors explore the past, present, and future of information technology. Inside the Museum, several permanent exhibits are on display, ranging roughly from 1860 B.C.E. until today. There is a Babylonian cuneiform tablet from 1860 and 1837 B.C.E., the earliest known geared mechanism, a replica of the Antikythera Mechanism, and more. Upon walking here, visitors can also find historical books, documents, and artifacts along with a vast collection of early office technologies. For someone who is interested in technology, there isn’t a better place than ACRM to visit in Montana. The Museum operates from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.
7. The Miracle of America Museum
The Miracle of America Museum is another year-round tourism destination that deals in preserving the artifacts of American history. The collection here is basically antique cars, sculptures, wooden boats, agricultural artifacts, and a wide variety. Inside the Museum, there are galleries including Militaria, Petroliana, Bicycles, Agriculture, Firearms, and Village Business. The Miracle of America Museum operates daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Regular admissions here cost $10 per person; for kids under 12, it is $5 per person, whereas, for kids, two years entry is free. Considering how extensive the Museum is, it takes nearly 2 to 3 hours to explore it daily. For kids, families, and individuals, it is definitely a great place to visit.
8. Holter Museum of Art
The Holter Museum of Art is free to explore Museum in Helena. It is basically a cultural hub that organizes art exhibits on regional, State, national, and international levels. The permanent collection here features a variety of artifacts in the form of paintings and sculptures from past and modern days. Whenever here, do not miss the ceramics collection and the room full of trees and birds. However, the USP of Holter Museum is its rotating exhibits and the annual art events. Throughout the year, the museum host some or other program or workshop that lure visitors of all age group. Some of the famous events here include fall art walks, artists’ speaker series, and family trivia nights. For art lovers, a visit to Holter is definitely worth an hour. The Museum operates from Tuesday through Sunday 10 am to 5:30 pm and from 12 pm till 4 pm on Sunday.
9. The Moss Mansion Museum
The Moss Mansion Museum is an architectural wonder in Billings and a turn-of-the-century home. It was built in 1903 by architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh and today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Upon visiting the Moss Mansion from inside, visitors get a glimpse of the lives of the Moss family and their contribution towards Billings city. Of the entire mansion, the first three floors are accessible. Visitors can either go on a self-guided tour or opt for an hour-long guided tour. In the basement from where the tour begins, there is also a small gift shop that is worth visiting. Even though there isn’t any extensive collection like other Montana museums, it is definitely a must-visit place for someone who loves touring an old mansion. On a clear day, visitors also prefer spending some time on the well-manicured green garden outside.
10. The Conrad Mansion Museum
The Conrad Mansion Museum is a 26-room mansion that offers education and information about the Conrad Family’s history. Conrad Family has a vital role in extending manifest destiny into the Big Sky Country. They settled, helped others settle, worked as successful cattlemen, basically contributed a lot to the development of Montana. The mansion sits on three landscaped acres. Surrounding the building, there are dry stone fences, extensive ever-blooming perennial beds, six large annual flower beds, and several other features that add to its beauty. From the outdoor perspective, the best time to visit here is during summers when the gardens are at their full bloom.
However, the Museum operates year-round for both self-guided and Docent-led tours. Walking here is like roaming inside a castle, and thus a visit to Conrad Mission is a must.