Missoula is a popular destination for visitors all over the country. Less than three hours from Glacier National Park and a short drive from Flathead Lake, it is more than just a place to stop through. A lively downtown, thriving art and music scene, easy access to miles of trails and wonderful community make Missoula a perfect destination for travelers of all walks of life.
We love our city and wanted to share a few of our favorite local stops with you. This is our travel guide of sorts - though there are many more places to explore! Come visit soon!
1. Grab brunch or lunch at Burn St. Bistro.
Located in a quiet neighborhood on the north side of town, Burn St Bistro features comfort food with a creative spin. You'll find delicious options like the Scott Sandwich - a candied bacon BLT - in their wide variety of sandwiches, soups, salads and burger. Their menu changes seasonally and incorporates meat, dairy and produce from local vendors.
2. Hike the M Trail.
Located on Mount Sentinel and above the University of Montana, the M has been a Missoula landmark for over 110 years. In 1908, the Forestry Club forged a zigzag trail up the mountain, and students carried up stones to share the symbol of the University of Montana. It's a steep 3/4 mile hike up, but worth it for the views of Missoula!
3. Shop the Farmer's Market
Missoula has not one, but two farmer's markets! The Missoula Farmer's Market, located downtown, runs from May - October on Saturdays and Tuesday evenings. The Clark Fork Market, located near Caras Park, is open every Saturday morning during the summer. Both markets are bursting with local produce from flowers to veggies. You'll also find vendors selling local honey, baked goods, hot food, kombucha and more!
4. Try Missoula's Best BBQ.
The Notorious PIG has received lots of coverage for its delicious BBQ, including being selected as one of the Food Network's Top Places to Eat. All the hype doesn't even come close to describing the delectable first bite of their pulled pork (topped with homemade sauce) or infamous burnt-ends. (You have to try them).
5. Watch surfers at Brennan's Wave.
You might think surfing is limited to a city on a coast. But, Missoula has its own brand of river surfing on a man-made wave on the Clark Fork River. Brennan's Wave was named for Brennan Guth, a Missoula native and world-class kyaker who died paddling in Chile. Most late-spring and summer days, you'll find at least one or two brave souls testing their luck on the giant rapid.
6. Take a walk up Waterworks Hill.
For another incredible view of the city and surrounding mountains, hike up Waterworks Hill on the north end of town. From the top, you can see all of Missoula, the top of Lolo Peak to the south and into the extensive Rattlesnake Wilderness Area to the north.
7. Get a scoop at Sweet Peaks Ice Cream.
Combining Montana favorites from huckleberries to local honey with delicious homemade ice cream, you won't want to miss this Missoula hotspot. Their menu features fun, Montana-themed flavors like Bear Scat and Mountain Mint. You'll want to try them all!
Have you visited Missoula? Tell us what your favorite spot was in the comments below!