Missoula, Montana is located along the Clark Fork River in the western part of the state. It is often called the “hub of five valleys” due to its location at the convergence of no less than five mountain ranges. The city was first settled in 1858 as a trading post that provided supplies to western settlers passing through. A fort was later established there, which protected the settlers and stabilized the economy in Missoula. The local lumber industry grew and thrived with the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and the city was chosen in 1893 as the site for the state’s first university.
Today, Missoula is the second largest city in Montana, with a population of over 74,000. It is home to the University of Montana Grizzlies, as well as two large hospitals. The city has over 400 acres of parkland, 22 miles of trails, and nearly 5,000 aces of conserved open-space. With the Clark Fork River running through the city, Missoula is a popular white-water rafting and fly-fishing destination. It is also a great spot for golfing, skiing and cycling enthusiasts. With plenty of shops, museums, theatres, breweries and festivals; there is truly something for everyone to enjoy in Missoula!
This beautiful Carousel, located in Caras Park in Missoula, was the brainchild of a local cabinetmaker. He wanted to give the community of Missoula a hand-crafted treasure to enjoy for years to come, and with the help of local volunteers, the Carousel opened to the public in 1995. Today, the Carousel and its 38 ponies are open daily and can even be rented for private events. You won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind attraction when in Missoula!
In early February, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival takes place at the Historic Wilma Theatre in Missoula. The festival showcases over 100 of the best documentary films from around the world and attracts over 10,000 people, including many of the filmmakers themselves. Film buffs won’t want to miss this exciting event!
This chef-owned café is a jewel of a restaurant serving regional cuisine with a country French accent. Located inside a historic warehouse, Pearl Café offers specialty dishes like bison with huckleberry zinfandel sauce, duck with dried cherries, and beef tenderloin with port and Roquefort. Fresh fish dishes change daily, and local products are used whenever possible. Soups, salads, appetizers and house-made bread round out the menu, and there’s a delicious variety of desserts to choose from. The Pearl Café is a great way to finish your day exploring Missoula!
No matter what your age or phase of life you are in, there is something to do in and around Missoula. Great restaurants, parks, arts scene and shows. Fantastic music venues with a new Amphitheatre in the Blackfoot Canyon as well as University of Montana sports and a minor league baseball team. It is tough to beat for outdoor recreations as we have 3 rivers converging into the valley and great big-game hunting in any direction. Tons of trails for hiking and close to 3 different downhill ski hills. AND of course an almost unlimited number of options for breweries and tap houses!