Bozeman, Montana

Photo: Visit Bozeman
Photo: Visit Bozeman

Do you love visiting Flagstaff, Boulder, and Asheville? Delicious restaurants, cool coffee shops, and hip hotels are downtown. Gorgeous scenery surrounds the small cities. While all your favorite outdoor activities—hiking, biking, rafting, and skiing—are easily accessible. If you keep returning because they seem to have the best of both worlds, it’s time to add Bozeman to your list.

Montana’s fourth-largest city is beautiful. Main Street is lined with low brick buildings. Rolling green hills surround the city—Native Americans called the area the “Valley of the Flowers” when they passed through. Pine forests and the snow-capped Bridger and Gallatin Ranges are in the distance. While Yellowstone National Park isn’t very far away.

Bozeman was established in 1864 by farmers and cowboys. Montana State University was built as an agricultural college in the late 19th century. Today, outdoor enthusiasts call the city home. Spend the morning at the Museum of the Rockies, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It features Native American art and dinosaur fossils. Pick your outdoor activity for the afternoon. Cross-country ski the 10 miles between Bozeman Creek and Mystic Lake. Downhill ski on the fluffy powder at Bridger Bowl Ski Area. Or hike the M Trail for an amazing view of the city.

After you get your heart rate pumping, soak in the pools and the sauna at the Bozeman Hot Springs, which is heated by the same geothermal activity as Yellowstone. Browse the funky shops and the trendy boutiques on Main Street. Don’t miss the handmade chocolates at La Châtelaine Chocolat Co. Eat baked Cambozola (a soft German cheese) and rare bison tenderloins at John Bozeman’s Bistro. Then go to Plonk for a dessert board—it includes homemade cookies, truffles, and crème brûlée—and an after-dinner drink. You consider ending the evening at the bars in the nearby Barmuda Triangle, but opt to stay at classier Plonk for another sage margarita. Cheers to the coolest city in Montana.

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