Big Sky Country Tour | Best Western Hotels & Resorts

  

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Big Sky Country Tour

Explore Wild & Scenic Central Montana

Where big sky meets prairie and mountain, central Montana hosts countless outdoor attractions to explore and enjoy.

Havre

A railroad town with panoramic views of open plains. Havre has a lively historic downtown thanks to its history and the nearby Montana State University Northern.

Must Sees
Beneath the Streets: Journey underground for a glimpse back 100 years into Havre’s history. Tour the Sporting Eagle Saloon, an opium den, and even an old Chinese Laundry. This historic tour is a real eye-opener.

Bear Paw Mountains: Originally formed by volcanic activity some 50 million years ago, Bear Paw’s beauty has been years in the making. Hike over the grassy hills below the mountains or fish in Beaver Creek.

Local’s Guide
Sounds on the Square: Every Wednesday night during the summer, Havre hosts a free concert series. Pack a picnic and bring the whole family for a night of music and fun.

Shelby

Sitting on the “Montana Hi-Line” where the 15 meets the 2, Shelby is a lively little town with plenty to do. Here you’ll find a quaint downtown set to the backdrop of the Sweet Grass Hills, blocks of mom-and-pop shops, and plenty of surrounding outdoor activities.

Must Sees
Sweet Grass Hills: Three distinct buttes and endless rolling hills stretch into the horizon. The unspoiled grass prairies are home to some of the state’s most beautiful scenic drives. You can also find trails on the public land to experience the Hills up close.

Marias Valley Golf Course: It can be hard to find quality golf at an affordable price. Marias Valley offers the best of both worlds. Gorgeous fairways hug the Marias River and wind through ancient cottonwood trees. Golfers of all skill levels will love this one-of-a-kind course. Schedule a tee time at

Marias Museum of History & Art: Marias Museum has a little of everything, dinosaur bones, old toys, Native American artifacts, a railroad exhibit… you name it, it’s probably here. What makes this museum extra special? It’s free! 1129 1st St. N, Shelby, Mt 59474, (406) 424-2551.

Local’s Guide
The Griddle: Don’t be fooled by the humble exterior. The Griddle is a breakfast lover’s paradise. It is the very definition of hearty home cooking. Heavenly chicken fried steak, pancakes, it’s all here.

Helena

Montana’s capital city, the “Queen City of the Rockies,” the #1 town for Geocaching in America, the list of titles goes on. Spectacular 19th-century mansions dot Helena, standing as a symbol of its gold rush past. Come experience its rich history and culture, beautiful architecture, and lots of outdoor activities.

Must Sees
St. Helena Cathedral: This magnificent cathedral was modeled after the Votivkirche in Vienna, Austria. The detail in its walls, towers, and stained glass windows will leave you in awe.

Montana State Capitol: Another incredible building in Helena, the State Capitol is a fun place to explore. Hour long guided tours are offered that teach you about the building’s history, art, and architecture. Apart from its immaculate interior, the Capitol’s grounds are meticulously well kept and are perfect for a morning walk.

Mount Helena: The park’s peak stands at an impressive 1,300 feet above the Last Chance Gulch Mall. Hike one of the many scenic trails to the top like the “1906 Trail” that follows limestone cliffs all the way to the summit. Scope out other trails by visiting

Missouri River: The Missouri River has one of the highest trout populations in the west, making it a prime fishing spot. Along its 200 miles you’ll find lakes, dams, and endless natural features worth exploring.

Local’s Guide
Last Chance Tours: Want to see the best of Helena in one sitting? Hop on a Last Chance Tour train and relax as it takes you on a guided tour through the mansion district, St. Helena’s Cathedral, the State Capitol and more.

Butte

“The Richest Hill On Earth” – Relive the glory days as you walk by Butte’s vintage signs, Victorian architecture, touring trolleys, and historic buildings. This town doesn’t just embrace its gold rush past, it shows it off.

Must Sees
Berkeley Pit: Upon entering Butte, you’ll be greeted by an enormous open-pit mine cut into the hillside. The massive hole is now filled with a 1,000-foot deep toxic lake that serves as a reminder of the busy mining days. From the overlook you can get the best view and learn the history behind the millions of tons of ore once taken from the hillside.

Butte Trolley Tours: An almost two-hour narrated tour of the city that gives you the best glimpse into Butte’s bustling past. Pass by the Copper King Mansion, Victorian neighborhoods, Old Chinatown, The World Museum of Mining, and more as you are entertained with the folklore of the various sights.

Our Lady of the Rockies: A 90-foot statue of the Virgin Mary sits atop the hillside overlooking Butte. The impressive monument stands as a tribute to women around the world, especially mothers. Catch a bus from downtown that will take you to the top of the hill so you can see it up close.

The World Museum of Mining: One of the few museums in the world that is actually located on a mine yard. Explore the 50 exhibit buildings to find well preserved artifacts and stories from one of the world’s most productive copper mines of all time. For the full experience, put on a hard hat and venture into the deep on the underground tour.

Local’s Guide
Uptown Café: When the restaurant’s motto is “Civilized dining in the Wild, Wild West”, you know you’re in for a treat. Expect sophisticated dishes like Hoisin Glazed Ribs, Scallops Provencal, and phenomenal desserts like the Pecan Ball with Hot Fudge or their famous Crème brûlée. The menu is as rich as the town’s history.

Dillon

Dillon boasts some of the best outdoor recreation in the area. Blue-ribbon fly-fishing, scenic trails through national forests, world class hunting, cross country skiing, and much more. Dillon is all about getting outside and enjoying nature.

Must Sees
Bannack State Park: Started as a mining settlement back in 1862, the little town is the site of Montana’s first major gold discovery. Today, you can walk the deserted streets and relive the Old West. The beautifully preserved community is a great way for the family to interact with history.

Beaverhead River: Hailed as one of the premier fishing spots in the state, the Beaverhead River produces some of the largest trout in Montana. Cast a line from the shore or float down the river and let your fly trail.

Pioneer Mountain Wilderness Area: Hunting, fishing, hiking, cross country skiing, it can all be done in the Pioneer Mountain Wilderness. Be ready to see the likes of bear, elk, antelope, mule deer, goats, and all sorts of wildlife.

Local’s Guide
Beaverhead County Museum: See award winning exhibits like “Birds of Beaverhead County”, mammoth fossils, an amazing miniature railroad, an old schoolhouse, and more.

Bozeman

An all-season tourist destination, Bozeman has everything from perfect powder at the Bridger Bowl Ski Area during the winter to the thrilling whitewater of Gallatin River in the summer. With its small mountain town vibe and big outdoor offerings, there’s enough here to fill your entire trip.

Must Sees
Bridger Bowl: 2,000 acres of pristine powder and world-class runs. Bridger is what helped earn Bozeman recognition as the “#1 ski town in the USA” by Powder Magazine’s Poll. Being only 10 minutes outside of town, you could ski all morning and be back in downtown by the afternoon. If you’re visiting in the winter, this mountain playground is an absolute must.

Museum of the Rockies: Home to one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils and research in the world. Blast through the cosmos as you lay back and gaze up at the planetarium. Let the kids learn more about Yellowstone National Park at the Children’s Discovery Center. Or enjoy the simpler times with the home cooking and gardens of the Living History Farm. Get your tickets at

Gallatin Canyon: Drive along the river through Gallatin Canyon and see Bison grazing on the banks and eagles soaring overhead. Hike through endless wildflowers during spring on the Indian Ridge and Stormcastle Trailheads. If you’re looking for high adventure, white water raft the Gallatin River.

Local’s Guide
Palisade Falls: Start with a lunch at the Palisade Falls picnic area and then head out on the trail just feet away. The trail is surrounded by beautiful Spruce and Fir trees. But the climax of your journey comes once you reach the 80 foot waterfall cascading down the volcanic cliffs.

West Yellowstone

The Big Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone is every outdoor enthusiast’s dream destination. It’s just steps away from the park and boasts big game wildlife, snow sports, and more.

Must Sees
Yellowstone National Park: Drive into the gates of Yellowstone and you’ll be greeted not only by park rangers, but herds of bison, elk, wolves, grizzlies, and all sorts of curious wildlife. The exquisite mountain landscape can take days to explore, so give yourself adequate time to see all that this famous park has to offer.

Did you know that most of the park sits on a slumbering giant volcano? That’s why there are more hot springs and geysers here than anywhere else on the planet. Watch the iconic Old Faithful Geyser live up to its name as it erupts almost every 91 minutes. Be wowed by Mother Nature with visits to Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, the Boiling River, the Grand Prismatic Spring, and Norris Geyser Basin.

Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center: Get up close with massive Grizzly Bears and Gray Wolves in their natural habitat. The Discovery Center is a great way to learn about these incredible animals and to appreciate the wildlife within Yellowstone.

Local’s Guide
Playmill Theater: With 50 years of the “Finest in Family Entertainment” under its belt, the Playmill is a cozy live theater that combines quality entertainment with family values. Get there early so the kids can meet the actors before the show.