Greetings from Montana! I’m writing this from Bozeman, a mid-size city located in southwest Montana, about 80 miles from Yellowstone National Park. While this city has a lot to offer, this area is probably most well-known for its attractions nearby. To the southeast is the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The other main entrance is near Jackson, WY. About 50 miles from Bozeman is also Big Sky, one of the largest ski resorts in the west. I haven’t skied here yet, but I hope to in the future! This post is going to cover the city of Bozeman itself and provide the perfect Bozeman, Montana travel guide!
Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Yellowstone Country, the local tourism board for the Bozeman/Gallatin area. Yellowstone Country was kind enough to host me during my stay in Bozeman and sponsor my content for this portion of my Montana adventure. As always, all opinions here are my own.
How To Get To Bozeman
There are a number of ways to get to Bozeman easily. The first is by car, which is the most popular option for people continuing their journey from the Yellowstone area. The second most popular way is by plane. There’s a small airport located right outside of Bozeman. Most people fly into here to access Big Sky and the national parks.
Pro-tip: Bozeman has a fairly small downtown, so the city is very walkable. However, if you’re looking to do a hike outside of the city or hit up Big Sky, you’ll definitely want to rent a car. Downtown Bozeman is about 15 minutes away from the airport.
Where To Stay In Bozeman
There are a number of accommodation options in Bozeman for all budgets, including swanky hotels like The Lark and backpacker hostels like the Treasure State Hostel. I stayed the Element, a mid-range hotel located right downtown. This place has a gym, pool, and great location one block over from the main street.
Where To Eat In Bozeman
For being a fairly small town (of <100,000 people), Bozeman has a wide variety of restaurants in its downtown. Located all within walking distance of one another, you’ll find sushi, burgers, Thai, Italian, and more. I ate at quite a few places over the course of the two days I spent here, including:
The Co-Op: Consider this place your go-to for sandwiches, salads, snacks, drinks, and fresh produce. The Co-Op also serves made-to-order wraps and paninis. This was perfect for grabbing a quick bite to eat before a hike.
Backcountry Burger: The best burger joint in town! Here you’ll find juicy burgers made with local beef and the most delicious onion rings you’ll ever have. Don’t eat meat? Try their wedge salad!
Nova Café: Great spot for breakfast to grab coffee and a freshly baked pastry.
The Squire: Attached to the Element Hotel, this swanky restaurant is a must! They have an indoor dining room, outdoor patio, and a hip bar area. I tried the risotto and brussel sprouts here and loved it!
Where To Drink In Bozeman
This category deserves its own section because going out to drinks in Bozeman is a must! Here are two places I recommend checking out for après ski or happy hour:
Mountains Walking Brewery: This place can’t be missed downtown. Look for the giant silver silos in the back and you’ll find it. I highly recommend trying some local beer before leaving the Bozeman, Montana area.
Lockhorn Cider House: I don’t love beer, so this place was it! They have 10+ flavors of cider made in house, ranging from unique tastes like raspberry to honey. I recommend trying 4 and ordering a flight!
What To Do In Bozeman
Now for the fun part – what to do during your time in Bozeman! As I’ve mentioned a few times now, most people just pass through Bozeman on their way to Yellowstone or Big Sky, but don’t overlook this charming, western city. Here are some highlights for Bozeman!
The first activity I recommend doing in Bozeman once you get all settled is to go for a stroll down the main street! Here you’ll find over 100 small businesses, all owned and operated by locals! My favorite shop was the Montana Gift Corral, the perfect place to buy a souvenir. I got a Montana tee and ornament here. Be sure to check out an antique store as well. There are quite a few in the area.
Bozeman Sculpture Park
The sculpture park is located right past the public library in Bozeman! This place is great because it’s outdoors and entirely free. Most people were biking on the path here, but it was also enjoyable to walk and check out all the sculptures in the area.
College M Trail
If you don’t have a car in Bozeman you’ll need to Uber to this trailhead, which is located about 10 minutes outside of the city. This trail is one of the best hikes in the area! Marked by a giant “M” on the mountainside, this trail brings you up a series of windy (and steep!) switchbacks to the top of the M and provides an incredible view of the Gallatin valley below. There are two ways to reach the M, one path takes only 0.5 miles to the top while the other takes 1.5 miles. Note that the 0.5-mile trail is extremely steep. Even the 1.5-mile loop had me dying, although that was definitely mostly due to the altitude!
If you’re not used to the high altitude, it can definitely affect you by making you feel light-headed, out of breath, and even nauseous. Unfortunately, the only cure for this is time to allow your body to adjust. Exercise only exasperates these symptoms, so maybe wait a few days before hiking out west. I made the mistake of hiking on day two and definitely didn’t feel the best after.
Bozeman Hot Springs
The last must-do activity on this Bozeman, Montana travel guide is the Bozeman Hot Springs! Located about 15 minutes from the downtown, the hot springs are a series of indoor/outdoor pools, naturally heated by springs nearby. I imagine these hot springs are heaven on earth during the cold winter months (especially after a long ski day), but I still enjoyed them after my hike!
Pro-tip: It costs $17 for adults to enter. This fee covers entry into every pool on site, plus a complimentary towel!
And that wraps up my Bozeman, Montana travel guide! Hopefully this post provides you with all the information you need as you prepare for your adventure to Montana. I really loved this city and know you all will too. Thank you again to Yellowstone Country for working with me!
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So much to do! I think I’d love to spend a few days here before or after Yellowstone and see the hot springs, the hiking, and the Sculpture Park. Especially the Sculpture Park. What a neat place!
We travelled across the mid west USA but missed many of the stops we wanted to do. It looks like we should put Bozeman Montana on the plan for a stop on our next trip. We would certainly want to stop overnight so we could try both the brewery and cider house. We do love outdoor sculpture parks so would be sure to check out the one in Bozeman. But a relaxing stop in the hot springs might top the list.
Bozeman looks like a beautiful place to visit, especially if you love to be in the middle of nature. That food doesn’t look half bad either!
A good friend just got back and it sounded fabulous. Now Bozeman sounds even better!
Thanks for the run-down! I didn’t know about the hot springs, I’d love to do that especially. Folks often ask me for tips on things to do in Bozeman because my work involves some other areas of Montana, but I’m actually not that familiar with Bozeman, so this helps to be a bit more in-the-know.
Bozeman looks like such a fun place to visit! I’d love to see the sculpture park! The food at The Squire looks delicious too! I hope I get to visit one day! Thanks for the great guide!
Hi Cris! Yes, I highly recommend. It was very unique! Yellowstone is awesome.
I hope you make it back! I enjoyed all of these things, but especially the cidery and hot springs!
It was a wonderful escape for a few days, Krista!
It’s so awesome!
I’m so glad I could provide some insight, Claire! Montana is so beautiful.
You’re so welcome Hannah! I hope you get to visit one day!
I love all of the hot springs this area has to offer! Thanks for sharing!
Of course! I do too – they’re such a hidden gem 🙂