9 Top-Rated Places To Visit In Billings, Montana (2022)
Billings is the largest city in Montana, located in the south-central part of the state. Though it is already a leading metropolitan, its inviting environment and warm residents make it even more appealing to visit. Still, the city is far from being crowded and has more of a town-like vibe than of a metropolitan. On its north, Billings flaunts trails winding along the sandstone cliffs. It allows access to rugged and wild scenery and Billing’s famous Rimrocks. Besides that, it also serves as a gateway to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Pictograph Caves State Park, and Yellowstone National Park.
Alongside that, the epicenter of Billings lies in its thriving and quaint downtown. It is where everything from famous Billing events to the monthly and annual festivals takes place. And while you walk a little further, there lie several tourist attractions including Museums and Galleries. Not just that, but the streets of Billings also ring its history via heritage centers and historical landmarks. In short, no matter what your interests are, Billings has it all in and around its boundaries. For more insights, continue reading our choicest picks for popular tourist attractions to visit in Billings.
9 Top-Rated Places To Visit In Billings, Montana
We hope it will help you build your following vacation itinerary to Billings.
1. The Moss Mansion Museum
Moss Mansion is a luxurious 1920 home now turned into a museum. This imposing red-story building was once home to Preston B. Moss and his family. This architecture is a marvel by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh and a part of the National Register of Historic Places. There are 3 stories, 28 rooms, a beautiful attached glass solarium, and a small exterior inside the mansion. Visitors from Billings and across Montana visit here. All the things you may observe include hand-painted ceilings and walls, Persian carpets, high-quality wood paneling, Moss family objects, marble fireplace, walls threaded with gold, and other artifacts.
The Moss Mansion operates throughout the year for self-paced and guided tours. The timing goes from 12 pm to 3 pm. If timings are in your favor, you may also get to attend some of the various festivals organized at the place.
2. The Yellowstone Art Museum
The Yellowstone Art Museum is located in downtown Billings. The facility collects highlights and presents artwork from the northern plains and Rocky Mountain region. Today, the museum is housed inside the former Yellowstone County Jail and is home to a permanent collection of over 7,300 works. Besides that, it has regular rotating exhibits that present something new every month or so. For exploring the museum, visitors can either choose for a self-paced tour or join several programs organized here.
Some of the popular events at Yellowstone Art Museum include YAM Free Days, an annual Art Auction, and Yoga at the Yam. Or every month during the first Friday, the museum authorities also organize live entertainment all through the evening. Besides that, the museum stores artifacts at Visible Vault that aren’t on display. The best part is it too is open for exploration.
3. Pictograph Cave State Park
Pictograph Cave State Park is a 14-minute drive towards the southwest of Billings. Spread over 23 acres, it protects and preserves three caves filled with archaeological wonder. Inside the caves, one can observe Pictographs which are 200 to 2000 years old. The oldest of them is a turtle pictograph which is dated nearly 2100 years old (radiocarbon). In addition, you can spot pictographs of warriors, riffles, animals, all of them documenting Native American life. Earlier, archaeologists also found over 20,000 animal remains from these caves ranging from birds to large mammals.
Pictograph Cave State Park is also home to the a-mile-long interpretive trail that connects all the caves together. At the entrance of every single cave, Plaques and other educational resources are available. Even though the pictographs are visible from naked eyes, visitors are advised to bring binoculars for a better experience. The park is available for day use and is also famous for its picnic facility.
4. The Yellowstone County Museum
Yellowstone County Museum is a tourist attraction in Billings, located inside the Logan international airport. The idea of this facility focuses upon preserving and presenting the history of Yellowstone Valley. Spread over 5000 square feet, it is home to pioneer wagons, rare firearms, mining, transportation, music, and other artifacts from Montana’s early settlement. What makes it a famous and frequently visited museum in Billings is its proximity to the international airport.
Some of Yellowstone County Museum highlights include the Ghost Dance exhibit, the Plains Indian art, and the Montana prehistory. While entry to the museum is free, donations are highly appreciated.
5. The Rimrocks
Rimrocks are long walls of sandstone cliffs and the most prominent geological feature in the city. If you miss observing and exploring them, your visit to Billings will stay incomplete. What you see today as the downtown Billings was a seashore of the Western Interior Seaway about eighty million years ago. However, Rimrocks are still present in Billings, basically on the northern edge of the town. The credit for the presence of Rimrocks goes to millions of years; sand and sediments were depositions on the shore. These Sandstone walls are so massive that they are clearly visible above the skyline of the city.
If you want to observe Rimrocks from close, there are plenty of good options. The Zimmerman Park on the northwest side of town offers access to the top of them. Or the Swords Park and Phipps Park offer more trails towards the north section of Rimrocks. Access from here will also grant you great views of the Beartooth Mountains and more of Yellowstone Valley. Though be mindful as all of the trails leading to Rimrocks are slightly strenuous and require some prior hiking experience.
6. DanWalt Gardens
DanWalt Gardens, though, is kind of hidden but still a top-rated place to visit in Billings. The gardens are on the southeast Billings and are famous as a wedding venue. Though they also operate for regular public visiting, ideally from April through October. Ideally, it is the blooming season when you will find DanWalt full of annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees. Besides that, the more prominent ones are multicolored hardy hibiscus and species of roses and succulents.
You can observe thousands of brightly colored annuals and hanging baskets throughout the garden. All they have are beautiful flowers resting all the way towards the ground. A particular section here named the Memorial Rose Garden also allows visitors to plant a rose in memories of their loved ones. It is also an excellent place for photography or simply spending a peaceful day.
ZooMontana is a botanical and geological garden encompassing land of 70-acre in Billings. It is also the only Zoo and botanical park in Montana. Inside the Zoo, there are almost 100 animals from 58 species. Every single being here is either rescued or adopted since they cannot continue a healthy life in the wild. That is why the Zoo isn’t about the number of animals, but the quality of living here. Instead of cages, the authorities have created ravines, cliffs, and other natural barriers. This setting allows animals to feel at home and not like they are restricted in cells. Though for human viewing, animals are separated with a safety barrier in between.
ZooMontana is divided into sections: the Barn, Asian Region, North America Region, and Discovery Center. A Canyon Creek and several winding trails rush through the zoo landscape, adding to its serene and scenic feel. The Zoo operates throughout the week from 10 am to 2 pm. An entry here will cost somewhere between 4.95 to $7.95.
8. Western Heritage Center
Located in the Billings Historic District, the Western Heritage Center is housed inside the historic 1901 former Billings Library. Its aim is to preserve and present the history of Northern High Plains and Yellowstone River Valley. The museum hosts a vast collection of 35,000 artifacts, including documents and pictures. Besides that, it also presents a rotating exhibit featuring biology research, wildlife, and indigenous cultural artifacts. Visitors can also attend numerous community programs and historic walking tours organized at the facility.
Western Heritage Center operates guided tours and also allows for self-paced tours. The facility runs from early March through late December. The timing goes from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Besides the indoor displays, the old sandstone building quarried out of stones from the rimrocks too is impressive to observe.
9. Downtown Billings
Downtown Billings is a cultural hub offering unique shopping and eating opportunities. It is home to famous Billing Museums as well as the Alberta Bair Theater, a historic landmark. With heavy growth already on display, it is still growing as a popular downtown in the entire Yellowstone Valley. From shopping for the branded to shopping within a budget, here is all of that present. Besides that, it also has some of the best restaurants serving local Billing food as well the international cuisine.
Downtown Billings is also popular for its thriving nightlife. Every Thursday in the summer, it hosts a weekly Alive After 5 street fair celebration featuring live music, comedy, and more performance. Events like St. Patrick’s Day Parade, ArtWalk Downtown, and HarvestFest too begin here. Billings farmer’s market is also one popular draw into the downtown region. No matter whether you are a local or a visitor, the downtown region is where you must visit at least once.