Hamilton, in western Montana, is located in a valley at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Marcus Daly, an Irish immigrant, bought his Bitterroot Stock Farm in 1889 and liked the idea of having a town nearby - the future town of Hamilton! Surrounded by farms, ranches and orchards, the city of Hamilton is known as the dominant trade area. Hamilton has a small-town feel, with a population of 4,728. Local restaurants and shopping are plentiful in Hamilton’s downtown. Hamilton also has the great outdoors right in its backyard; the Bitterroot River flows through town, the Bitterroot Mountains rise to the west of town and the Sapphire Mountains rise to the east of town. Make a trip to western Montana and see what makes this small town a great destination!
Nestled at the base of the Sapphire Mountains, along the border between Idaho and Montana, sits the town of Stevensville. It is the first permanent settlement in the Montana, established in 1841 by Jesuit missionaries; forty-eight years later, Montana would officially become a state. The current population is 1,944, but don’t let this little town fool you – there are plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy! Popular outdoor activities around Hamilton include: fishing, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, snowshoeing and skiing. Or head in town and visit any of the downtown shops and restaurants. Your trip to western Montana is not complete without a visit to this friendly town!
This breathtaking lake is located about 45 minutes south of Hamilton. Complete with a beach, hiking trails and a boat launch, Lake Como has so much to offer! Spend some time relaxing by fishing or biking the trails. If you only have time for a quick trip, take advantage of the picnic area and beach and enjoy the view! If you prefer to relax on your boat, the water level is suitable for boating June through August. Be sure to stop by Lake Como on your summer vacation to Hamilton!
The 3,000-acre Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is the prime location for viewing Canadian geese, beavers, Northern flying squirrels, eagles, painted turtles and marmots. There are also 33 species of birds at the refuge! The refuge was designated in 1964 for habitats for migratory birds. This beautiful refuge is just a short drive away from Stevensville and offers 2.5 miles of walking trails and a nine-hole golf course. Go and visit the breathe-taking scenery!
If you enjoy bake sales, arts, crafts and farmers’ markets, this event is just for you! The McIntosh Apple Day is called the "Biggest Bake Sale Under the Big Sky". Held on the first Saturday in October, the McIntosh Apple Day offers food and produce from local farmers and bakers! Signature treats include: apple pies, caramel apples, apple butter and BBQ pork with apple chutney. The event also features live entertainment, a raffle and silent auction! Check out this event for a true fall experience.
The Scarecrow Festival is an annual fall event in downtown Stevensville. Many scarecrows, created by business and families, line the walking path toward the river and downtown. The scarecrows are decorated with themes anywhere from scary to amusing. Viewers can cast votes for their favorites, and contestants are eligible to win prizes. Other activities also take place during this fun festival, including wagon rides and a pumpkin carving contest. You’re sure to leave the Scarecrow Festival in the Halloween spirit!
This award-winning restaurant has been in business for nearly 30 years! Nap’s Grill has won the award for “Best Burger in Montana” and is even on the “Top 50 Burgers in the Nation”. Nap’s Grill also serves a variety of food such as steak, chicken, salads and sandwiches. After a day shopping, you can relax and unwind in their lounge and enjoy beer, bourbon, scotch, cocktail or wine. They also offer tastings from local distilleries. Stop by and see for yourself just what makes Nap’s Grill’s burgers the best in the Big Sky Country!
After a day of exploring the outdoors or shopping downtown, be sure to stop by Mission Bistro to have a glass of wine and unwind! Their French-inspired cuisine is sure to satisfy your taste buds! They offer seafood, steak, bison, soup and veggie burgers, along with a variety of dessert options. Have a craving for some local brews? They also serve Big Creek Coffee Roasters coffee and beer from local brewers: Blacksmith Brewing Company and Wildwood Brewery. Stop in and see all that this sibling-ran restaurant has to offer!