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10 Top-Rated Small Towns And Villages For Tourism In Montana (2024)

Though only a little over a million call Montana their home, the State still boosts in various Metro cities, Villages, and Towns. The scenic small towns in Montana are pocketed across all directions, inviting experiences different from the first. These towns and villages not only lead to incredible tourist attractions, but they themselves are a destination on their own. Some lead towards the discovery of landscapes and nature, some talk about history, some infuses smell of culture, while others have the most heart-warming residents.

Every little town, village and community in Montana have an identity of its own. They are so different from one another yet so connecting that being at one of them feels like home. And the best part is, travelling to one of Montana towns or villages doesn’t ask for a handsome budget. Instead, if your planning is right, you can make out an entire holiday here within small expenses.

10 Top-Rated Small Towns And Villages For Tourism In Montana

So why wait? Come with us and plan your next Montana vacation in one of its towns or village. Here you go.

1. Bannack

Bannack is a small town that is popular as Montana’s ghost town. When the last inhabitants left Bannack in 1970, it left abundant and became one of the many US ghost towns. This beautifully preserved historic town invites visitors who want to go back into the time of the gold rush, the 19th and 20th centuries. The main street here has more than 50 wooden historical structures which are open for self-paced or guided tours. Bannack boosts options like hiking, biking, fishing, wildlife watching, and camping for outdoor activities. Visitors who visit here during October can participate in Spine-tingling Ghost Walks. Or visit during July’s third weekend and enjoy the Bannack Days event. If you are done with the usual vacation, Bannack is definitely one fine place for you to visit.

2. Anaconda

Anaconda is a charming little town on the Southwest of Montana. Once a mining town, it today is known for its surrounding wilderness mountain landscapes that are to be seen right from the town’s main streets. The most visited place here is Georgetown Lake, a shimmering water body known for its beauty and adventure both. Besides that, Anaconda has no shortage of picturesque vistas, be it the cliffs and dramatic rock formations, forests and valleys, or the streets and trails. All you need for an ultra-fun and engaging time is good walking shoes, a hat for sun protection, and Anaconda has enough to provide. Here, other notable features include Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Washoe Theatre, Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park, and the historic Smelter Stack.

3. Choteau

Located within Teton County, Choteau is one of the most important paleontological sites in the world. This Montana town was a significant dinosaur breeding region during the Cretaceous period. Being a prominent part of dinosaur history, Choteau preserves and present several impressive founds. Enthusiasts who look forward to paleontological fun can visit the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center and the Old Trail Museum. For more options and varieties, there are several outdoor recreation options as well. You can explore the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, spend some time at the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex or, during winters, head towards the Teton Ski Pass area.

4. Livingston

A lively mountain town, Livingston is by far the best small town to visit in Montana. What makes Livingston a prominent name in Montana’s itinerary is it being the northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Even though the glamorous Yellowstone often overshadow Livingston, the town still is everything you would want without the crowd. There are endless opportunities for activities like hiking, swimming, mountain biking, climbing, backpacking, skiing, dogsledding, snowmobiling, wildlife watching and camping. Travellers can visit Livingston Depot Center, Yellowstone Gateway Museum, Fly Fishing Discovery Center, and other historic buildings for indoor fun. The best part about Livingston is that fun here is assured without the high prices for lodging and dining.

5. Fort Benton

Where history comes alive, the town of Fort Benton is also knowns as the Birthplace of Montana. It is located in the central part of the State, at the banks of the Missouri River. From historical landmarks to museums and the abundance of nature, there is so much to see, visit and explore here. On the Upper Missouri River, visitors can go for fishing, boating and other water-based fun. This stunning water body attracts visitors also for its splendid views and the tranquillity around. For more fun, visitors can visit the Museum of Upper Missouri and the Museum of the Northern Great Plains. If you are into museums, the unique and fascinating exhibits will definitely keep you captive for a long. The town has so much to offer for history buffs as well.

6. Whitefish

Whitefish is another town/ village in Montana, though it is the one with luxurious vibes. The town is within proximity to the near Glacier National Park and is a year-round tourism destination. Summers makes it good a hiking, biking and backpacking place. During winters, Whitefish transforms into a prime skiing and snowboarding destination. Winters here also host carnivals, festivals, events, musical concerts and other engaging programs. The growing popularity of Whitefish has also given a boost to the art and culture of the town. From still art centres (galleries) to performing art (karaoke and more), options here are truly endless. Before going back, do not miss the breathtaking scenery and the world-class eateries in Whitefish.

7. Stevensville

A village in Montana, Stevensville, saw the first settlement in the State. Forty-eight years before Montana actually became a state, Stevensville was settled by Jesuit missionaries. Even today, while you walk through the streets here, you may observe a few examples of 19th-century houses. Or you can visit the St. Mary’s Mission and Fort Owen State Park dedicatedly for looking back into the history. The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is one great place for someone who loves spending time outdoors. Or for extended options, Stevensville has two breweries, the Wildwood Brewery and Blacksmith Brewing Company. If you happen to be older than the legal drinking age, these places should be on your itinerary.

8. Butte

One of the only (one-of-its-kind) 12 towns in the United States, Butte is recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For someone who is interested in mining history, this is the place to go. As you will walk through the streets here, you will observe some excellent living examples of Victorian and Queen Anne style architecture. One of the common buildings here is the late 19th century Copper King Mansion. Other notables in the town include the World Museum of Mining, the 19th century Dumas Brothel and the MBMG Mineral Museum. If you visit Butte during the Montana Folk Festival, you will find all types of music, art, and food to enjoy.

9. Augusta

Augusta is a tiny town, census-designated place and an unincorporated community in Montana. In the midst of spectacular scenery, no more than 340 residents reside. It is the last “cow town” in the west, which means the main industry here is cattle-wrangling. Except for this place, you won’t be able to live into such an old west culture anywhere else. The town is a gateway to the immense Bob Marshall Wilderness as well as the Scapegoat Wilderness. However, before entering the wilderness, one can spend a day of peace and relaxation in the town of Augusta itself. Even though there isn’t much to do in the city, for someone who is looking for a laid-back weekend, Augusta is definitely their destination.

10. Columbia Falls

A totally unspoiled town, Columbia Falls is a tiny gem of Montana. It is basically a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and a getaway to Flathead Lake, Columbia Falls and Glacier National Park. Visitors enjoy ziplining, snowmobiling, white water rafting, skiing, etc. Or, for a path different from the usual, one can visit Montana Vortex and House of Mystery. It is a crooked shack sitting in the centre of the smallest and most dynamic vortex. There is nothing mysterious here, but the unique optical illusions and the groundskeeper make things look magical. If you are looking for a quick fun holiday in Montana, Columbia Falls is the right choice for you.

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