Downtown Missoula offers many incredible things to see and experience while taking a break from the hiking trails. Most of the time, when you think of this part of Montana, you associate this town with outdoor adventures of hiking, biking, rafting, or rock climbing. While you are here though, time spent downtown in the heart of the city is a great way to fully immerse yourself in one of the largest cities in the state. The majestic Clark Fork River runs rights through the center and is a great reminder of the wilderness that surrounds this city. Here there are unique shops, restaurants, cafes, art galleries, and events that make up the cultural center of Western Montana.
Let our mountainside retreat be your perfect getaway this spring! At our Missoula bed and breakfast, you are within minutes of downtown Missoula and everything it has to offer. Our Montana inn is a tranquil escape with a bird’s eye view of the Bitterroot River and the valley below. Private rooms compliment and reflect the rustic beauty of the forested surroundings. We have 20 acres of registered wildlife habitat that opens up onto state and federally protected land. You feel as if you have your own private mountain cabin. If you want the perfect getaway to Missoula this spring, book your stay with us today! Continue reading →
Learn about Missoula, Montana’s nature from three local places. First, step into Elk Country at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Elk Country Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is more than just a museum; it’s an experience that reveals the beauty, diversity and importance of elk country across North America. They are open year-round and admission is FREE!
Opening and securing public access is a key component of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s mission. Since 1984, the foundation has opened, secured or improved public access to more than 911,000 acres of elk habitat across the country for hunters, hikers, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation continually seeks ways to enhance hunter opportunity by working with landowners, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, state agencies, and conservation partner groups. Their public access tools include land projects, easements, land exchanges and contributions.
Next, find out about smokejumpers. They are highly trained specialists who parachute into remote areas of national forest to fight the spread of wildfires. The nation’s largest training base for smokejumpers is located right here in Missoula. The remodeled (1992) visitor center at the depot offers updated displays, dioramas, and videos related to suppressing fires.
Guided tours are given of the parachute loft and training facilities. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 8:30 am to 5 pm. The tour lasts about forty-five minutes to an hour. The minimum time to visit the depot without a tour is twenty minutes. Admission is free, but they accept donations.
The Smokejumper Center is located at 5765 West Broadway Street in Missoula, Montana. Take the Airway Boulevard Exit and follow the signs to eh Smokejumper Base located a half-mile west of the airport.
Next, you can visit the Montana Natural History Center. Their mission is to promote and cultivate the appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of nature through education. Founded in 1991, MNHC was the brainchild of a group of educators who were involved in various efforts to educate both kids and adults about the natural history of western Montana, and who decided to unite those efforts into one environmental education organization.
The Montana Natural History Center was originally housed on the University of Montana campus, then moved to Fort Missoula, and at last has a permanent home at 120 Hickory Street, near McCormick Park in the heart of Missoula.
The Montana Natural History Center provides nature education programming for people of all ages through summer camps, kids’ activities, Visiting Naturalist in the Schools, Master Naturalist certification courses and Field Days, evening lectures, Field Notes on Montana Public Radio, Center Visits, and more. They welcome visitors to stop by and learn a lot about Montana’s natural history!
Guests of Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Missoula are conveniently located to all three fun, educational places. Hosts Brady and Elaine prepare a fresh, delicious gourmet breakfast each morning.
Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery (pictured above) has been growing wine grapes in the Rattlesnake Valley since 1998 and making wine since 2003. By using solar power as well as locally grown fruit and grapes, they have shown a commitment to making unique wine styles in a sustainable manner. All of their wines are certified organic with no added sulfites and “Made in Montana.” Their tasting room, located at 4175 Rattlesnake Drive, is open November-March on Saturdays from 4-9pm and April-October: on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 4-9 pm. Call 406-549-8703.
The Missoula Winery, located at 5646 W Harrier in Missoula, features two signature wines: their Soul Red (a lovely blend of Grenache and Tempranillo, a well rounded wine for all occasions) and their Missoula White (a wonderfully fruity white wine on the drier side, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc). They host unforgettable events and even have a wine club. Call 406-830-3296.
Wanting to eat in a soothing wine bar atmosphere? Some local Missoula restaurants can recommend the perfect meal to match the perfect bottle of wine:
At Red Bird, located at 11 N. Higgins Avenue Suite #100, you can either partake in the full dining experience with their fine dining section, or you can stick to something light at their wine bar. If you choose the bar, don’t miss out on the delicious fondue – cheese or chocolate. Their restaurant hours are Tues-Sat from 5:00-9 ish and wine bar hours are Mon-Sat from 5:00-10 ish. Contact: 406-549-2906.
New to Missoula, Plonk Wine, located at 322 N. Higgins Avenue, offers a great selection of fine wines as well as a full bar menu. For a lighter portion of food, try the chef’s cheese board with your drinks. It comes with a variety of cheeses and fresh bread. Their restaurant hours are Sun-Mon. from 4 pm to close and Tues.-Sat. 11:30 am to close. Every night they serve food until midnight. Contact: 406-926-1791.
If you just want to buy some local wines and you want to know where the best selections are, try some of these local Missoula spots:
Missoula Farmers Markets boast much more than absolutely delicious and fresh local food. Not only that, there are four local markets to choose from!
The Clark Fork Market is located under the Higgins Bridge, in the Riverside Parking Lot, just east of Caras Park in Downtown Missoula. Their hours are Saturdays, 8am until 1pm from the first Saturday in May through the fourth Saturday in October — rain or shine! There is ample FREE parking adjacent to the market at the parking structure on the corner of Front St. and Pattee St. and on the upper and lower levels of the Bank Street Parking Structure (the Millennium Building).
The Missoula Farmers Market is known as “the original farmers market” since patrons have been supporting local farmers and vendors since 1972. The were a finalist in the 2015 Best of Missoula Contest for three categories: “Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners,” “Best Place For People Watching,” and “Best Fresh Produce.”
Market opens with fresh local produce, flowers, baked goods and coffee provided by over 100 local vendors. Located in Circle Square at the north end of Higgins Avenue in Downtown Missoula. They are open 8:30 am to 12:30 pm on Saturdays from mid-May to mid-October as well as 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm on Tuesdays from July through early September.
Savor eating foods at the peak of their flavor, ripeness and nutrition
Enjoy buying plants that are raised by the people who sell them
Feel good about supporting our local economy and Montana’s local producers
The Missoula Saturday Market is known as “the people’s market.” Dozens of craftspeople showcase their photography, jewelry, clothing, soap, glass art,and various other hand-made items.
They are open from 9 am to 1 pm from the second Saturday in May through the last Saturday of September. They are located on East Pine Street in Downtown Missoula.
The Orchard Homes Farmers Market is a small farmers’ market who provides vegetables, fruits, baked goods, farm-fresh eggs, jewelry, jams & jellies, and a variety of other crafts.
Almost all of the vendors are from the Orchard Home area which means the produce was all grown within 1 mile of the market! Now, that’s fresh! They love their customers and love getting to known them personally throughout the season….making the “know your farmer” motto real life for all our customers!
They are located in the parking lot of the Orchard Homes Country Life Club (at 2537 S. 3rd Street West) which is just about 100 yards southwest of Wheat Montana Deli. They are open from 4:30 pm to 7 pm every Thursday from mid-June until October.
Adventure Cycling Association has over 48,000 members worldwide. Their Headquarters is located at 150 E. Pine St., in Missoula, Montana. Their office hours are Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time, and during the summer months, they open on select weekends.
Missoula is located at the northern end of the Bitterroot Valley, which offers lots of great bicycling opportunities, including a 50-mile bike path paralleling the Bitterroot Mountains.
Adventure Cycling Association is located in a character-filled, historic downtown area, surrounded by a variety of restaurants, seasonal markets, coffee shops, retail stores, and the University of Montana. The city also has an extensive parks, trails, and open space system.
Missoula is on a number of Adventure Cycling’s mapped routes and is visited by hundreds of bicycle travelers each year. Some are riding coast to coast across America, others are on shorter trips to destinations such as Glacier National Park or the mountains of British Columbia.
Still others are on camper-van family vacations or trekking to Missoula for work, and take the opportunity to visit the place many people consider the bicycle-travel mecca.
Visitors to Adventure Cycling receive a hearty welcome, a cold beverage, an ice cream treat, and a Polaroid photo taken of them that goes up on our seasonal wall of fame. They can also enjoy kicking back in their Cyclists’ Lounge, which is full of bicycle-related reading material, including information on local rides, and offers free internet access.
Occasionally, they share a barbecue with group rides, such as their own TransAm tour, and Push America, a group of college students who ride cross country each year to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities.
The Adventure Cycling Association inspires and empowers people to travel by bicycle:
Provide the premier tools and inspiration for people to travel by bicycle
Expand and integrate bike-travel networks for North America
Create the best possible conditions for bicycle travel
Sustain and improve Adventure Cycling Association
The Adventure Cycling Association publications:
Adventure Cyclist (the top United States bicycle magazine)
Cyclosource (bicycle touring gear)
Bike Bits (free email newsletter with more than 50,000 subscribers)
The Adventure Cycling Association Tours:
Inn to inn
Educational bicycle tours
As a nonprofit tour operator, all proceeds go back into program support
Current Projects of The Adventure Cycling Association:
Coordinating the emerging U.S. Bicycle Route System
Advocating nationally for better bike-travel conditions
Adventure Cycling was founded as Bikecentennial, a 4,250-mile TransAmerican bicycle ride in the summer of 1976, with over 4,100 participants.
Their 40th anniversary will include The Montana Bicycle Celebration, July 15 – 17, 2016 in Missoula, Montana and will bring together bike travelers from all over the world.
On the same weekend, Tour of Montana will host professional bike races, an expo, and a Gran Fondo.
Adventure Cycling’s Bikecentennial Projects:
Archival project with Story Corps to preserve the fulfilling and transformative memories of Bikecentennial cyclists and other bike adventurers
Bikecentennial reunions and parties
Book about TransAmerican Trail co-authored by Greg Siple (co-founder of Adventure Cycling) and Mac McCoy (longtime Adventure Cycling staff member)
Online project that will recognize forty bicyclists who have made significant contributions to the bike travel community
Organized bike rides to showcase Missoula’s trail system (including the completed fifty-mile Bitterroot Trail south of Missoula)
Retro-themed jerseys and merchandise available in the Cyclosource store throughout 2016
Special bike giveaways
Two new annual events, set to kick off in 2016, will inspire a bike travel movement throughout North America. National Bike Travel Weekend, June 3 – 5, 2016, will motivate bike travelers from all over North America to go on bike overnights through a festive online community.
Adventure Cycling will provide do-it-yourself resources and an interactive map that will connect bike travelers during what will be the most prolific weekend of bike travel in North America.
Bike to Your National Park Day on September 24, 2016 will celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial, National Public Lands Day and Adventure Cycling’s 40th anniversary by promoting bike travel to and within national parks, state parks, and other recreational areas.
In honor of the 40th anniversary, in 2016, Adventure Cycling will offer extra TransAmerica Trail tours and other special epic tours, including on Bicycle Route 66, the Underground Railroad and the Great Divide. Sign-ups will be available on the Adventure Cycling website in the summer of 2015.
For those who cannot attend Adventure Cycling’s events or tours and want to plan their own reunion or ride, Adventure Cycling will provide online tools and resources to help plan Do-It-Yourself Reunions and Celebrations throughout 2016.
Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfastwelcomes cyclists. The benefits of biking include better health (increased physical activity) as well as a better environment (no use of fuel).
Let hosts Brady and Elaine start each morning right with a delicious hearty breakfast. Bicyclists can return each evening for a restful night’s sleep in one of our luxurious guest rooms.
According to Thrasher Magazine, Missoula has “one of the top five skate parks in the country.” However, MoBASH skatepark did not begin on an engineer’s desk or even in a City Hall meeting room. It started with three close friends who built wooden ramps underneath a local Missoula bridge.
Since Missoula had no areas designated for recreational skateboarding, Chris Bacon, Andy Kemmis, and Ross Peterson decided to build their own skate park. Eventually, these three friends were kicked out of their makeshift skate park, but fortunately, their story caught the eye of Missoula Parks and Recreation Department Director Donna Gaukler.
In 2000, Gaukler met with the three friends to discuss options available to create a recreational skating area. By 2003, the Missoula City Council approved plans for a skatepark. With plans finally approved, there still was plenty of work left to do. Bacon, Kemmis, and Peterson began fundraising.
Over the next three years, their project received a lot of support. The support came not only from within the Missoula community, but across the country. The future skatepark received donations from famous people like Jeff Ament, the bassist for Pearl Jam, and the legendary world-famous skateboarder Tony Hawk. A number of local establishments and private donors contributed funds.
When a local Missoula family donated the final $100,000 needed to complete the skatepark and purchased the naming rights–MoBASH is an acronym using letters from the names of the family members. The skate park was finished by September of 2006, when Tony Hawk’s production company put on a free event to commemorate MoBASH’s completion. Over ten thousand people attended the event, making it the largest grand opening of any facility in Missoula history at that time.
Since MoBASH has been complete, the three friends have started the Montana Skatepark Association which aims to help other Montana communities create new skateparks and recreational opportunities. This fifteen thousand square foot park is situated just across the Orange Street Bridge from downtown Missoula.
Built by Grindline, the MoBASH Skatepark has a separate street complete with granite ledges and a huge bank wall separating it from the bowls. The tranny section is massive with everything from mellow to cradle to gnarly. For the purist, there is the kidney bowl complete with death box and love seat.
This park is a must skate for all Montanans and visitors alike. Skateboarders must wear helmets, but pads are optional. MoBASH Skatepark is open daily in McCormick Park in downtown Missoula at 600 Cregg Lane, Missoula, MT 59801. For more information, phone 721-PARK.
Enjoy a refreshing drink while sitting in the garden
Listen to the Old Player Piano
Watch wild birds and hummingbirds
Take in views of the scenic mountains, valley, and waterfall
Game of billiards in the lodge’s recreation room
Play horseshoes or have a picnic in private area outside
Stay inside and watch a movie on the wide screen
Remember Paul McCartney will make his first ever appearance in Missoula, Montana when the “Out There” tour rolls into Washington-Grizzly Stadium on August 5, 2014. We love MisSOULa and our guests do, too! There is nothing like the Blue Mountain B&B experience!
Did you know that Missoula, Montana is the perfect place to visit? Especially when you become a guest at Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast. You will enjoy spectacular views of the stunning Bitterroot River, encompassing mountains, and beautiful valley below. Our comfortable and elegant B&B offers a relaxing mountain retreat to our guests.
Conveniently close to the peaceful and scenic Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast, the International Heart Institute of Montana brings together a recognized team of cardiologists, heart surgeons, nurses and researchers to perform advanced cardiac procedures and to search for new and improved ways to treat heart disease. Founded in 1995, IHI involves physicians and staff of St. Patrick Hospital and The University of Montana in Missoula. They are one of the Top 50 Heart Hospitals in our country.
With your doctor’s approval, you can take good care of your heart by walking, biking, or hiking the historic Lewis and Clark trail. Travelers’ Rest State Park and the Lolo Trail are only four miles from our door. Blue Mountain’s Bed and Breakfast offers privacy to our guests as well as a window to Montana’s many native birds, chipmunks and wildlife in their own natural habitat. Walk our grounds to see our delightful garden and take in our gorgeous panoramic view of the mountains, valleys, and waterfalls.
Innkeepers Brady and Elaine know a lot about the history of the area. In fact, family stories related to the settling of the West include a great, grand uncle who was one of the first tour guides in Yellowstone Park. They share their family’s history with informative and entertaining displays and albums at their bed and breakfast.
Elaine is a certified tour guide who can provide you with a personal camp-side Montana Trails and Tales “tour” (with advanced reservations). While relaxing in either the forested picnic area or the Lodge, enjoy a personal storytelling hour as she introduces you to the fascinating oral history of the area through story and song. Whether you are vacationing, taking a business trip, or visiting the Heart Institute, make your heart happy by booking a reservation today!
Ten Spoon crafts organic Montana wines not far from our Missoula inn. Try their award-winning wines at local restaurants, wine sellers and the tasting room at their Missoula winery.
Over 20 years ago, Connie Poten and Andy Sponseller worked with friends, family and volunteers to turn a rocky patch of 4.5 acres into the lovely Missoula, MT vineyard and winery it is today. Ten Spoon crafts award-winning, sulfite-free wines, many of which are made with estate grown grapes. Despite Montana’s short growing season, the long daylight hours of the north allow them to successfully cultivate primarily French-American varietals: Frontenac, St. Pepin, LaCrosse, Marechal Foch, Leon Millot, St. Croix and Swenson Red.
Ten Spoon is also dedicated to preserving the environment and supporting small farms. The land was originally purchased to save it from development. Since then, the rocky slope has been transformed into a healthy open space for wildlife and the vineyard irrigation system is solar-powered. The fruit and grapes not grown on-site are all purchased from family farms in Montana, Oregon and California. And right along Ten Spoon’s driveway, there’s a small lavender farm called Rocky Mountain Lavender, which they actively promote on their website.
Experience Ten Spoon’s vineyard and wines for yourself! Their tasting room and winery at 4175 Rattlesnake Drive in Missoula is open Thursday-Saturday, 5-9 pm. There’s also live music every Friday and Saturday. Enjoy scenic and comfortable seating both indoors and out. In addition to their wine flights, antipasto plates are available for purchase. You’re also welcome to bring your own food to enjoy with the wine. For more information, call (406) 549-8703 or visit TenSpoon.com.
Conveniently, Ten Spoon is only 11 miles from our peaceful Missoula accommodations! It’s a perfect outing during your stay with us. You can buy a bottle or two (or a case or two!) and take it back to enjoy in your luxurious Montana B&B guest room.
Visit the fascinating Zoological Museum at the University of Montana the next time you're at our Missoula Bed and Breakfast.
Many people aren’t aware that one of the largest zoological collections representing the Northern Rocky Mountains is right here in Missoula. The Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum at The University of Montana is home to more than 24,000 specimens of vertebrates. It is definitely worth a look.
The museum began over 100 years ago, in the 1890s, and contains collections that date from the 1860s to the present. There are Skins and Skulls collections, collections of Complete Skeletons, Tanned Hides, Specimens in Alcohol and Mounted Specimens.
Exhibits include An Ornithological Perspective, which highlights the vast ornithological collections housed in the museum. Off-campus collections include several Bull Elk at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in Missoula, and the Hornaday – Smithsonian Bison Exhibit in Fort Benton, Montana.
It may not be for everybody, but if you’re interested in this sort of thing, you won’t find a better collection in Montana.
Check it out the next time you’re staying at our Missoula Bed and Breakfast, or make a special trip to town to see it. It is located on the second floor of the Health Sciences Building. For additional information, please see Zoological Museum.