Missoula music lovers often visit four popular local performance venues. The Missoula, Montana music scene is thriving! The Wilma has anchored the Missoula cultural and entertainment aspect for almost 100 years. Constructed in 1921 as a vaudeville house, The Wilma has been utilized as a movie house for the majority of its history. In the 1980s, The Wilma began to once again host live entertainment.
In March of 2015, The Wilma was acquired by new ownership. The new owners, Nick and Robin Chehota, immediately commenced work on a major renovation and restoration of the historic theater, investing in entirely new infrastructure, renovated stage, modern catering operation, first class entertainer accommodations and one of the best sound systems in the Western United States. As a result of the remodel, The Wilma has become a state of the art facility within a spectacular historic building.
Where possible, Checota left some of the key elements original to the Wilma, including the massive Art Deco chandeliers hanging above the balcony. An artist also touched up the ornate French murals lining the walls, and many of the trimmings have been repainted in a gold-gray color palette that’s characteristic of early 20th century theaters, Checota says.
The Wilma theater’s main room has been redone with a gray-gold color scheme, wooden tiered flooring and a raised stage.
The vintage Art Deco-style light fixtures are some of the remaining elements original to the 94-year-old theater. Both photos courtesy the Missoula Independent.
The new owner is particularly proud of the improvements that most visitors to the Wilma might not be able to see but will certainly hear, including a new sound system and acoustic enhancements. Sound-absorption panels are hidden in the walls to help reduce echoes, which were a relic of the pre-amplified days when theaters were designed to throw actors’ voices as far as possible.
“It’s going to be cool, it’s going to attract bands,” Checota says in an interview with Kattie Whittle from Missoula Independent. “There’s a buzz already. I hear from agents, people are talking about what we’re doing.”
The Wilma hosts a free sneak peak event with music from Lil’ Smokies and The Whizpops! on Friday, Oct. 2, followed by its sold-out grand reopening with My Morning Jacket on Oct. 5.
The owners of the Wilma also own the Top Hat Lounge, a 550 capacity room, one block from The Wilma. This longtime watering hole turned Missoula concert mecca is a great place to find awesome music. With state of the art sound and stage equipment, patrons can find food, drinks, and even a dance floor to help them enjoy a variety of shows. It is a downtown hot spot where many local bands often play.
Big Sky Brewing has long been considered a perfect combination of beer and music. This outdoor ampitheater hosts everyone from Michael Franti to The Decemberists. They often give the proceeds of concert beer sales to local Missoula charities. Their 2015 Summertime Concert series was a big success.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Adams Center located on the University of Montana‘s campus right here in Missoula. Famous performers like Miranda Lambert and Paul McCartney have performed here. This is the perfect place to enjoy big names with thousands of your closest friends! Friday Oct. 9, the Adams Center hosts the Newsboys starting at 7 pm.Hosts Elaine and Brady Anderson-West welcome you to Missoula and their B&B guests experience scenic mountain views at their Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast. Their peaceful property borders the Bitterroot River and is next to the Lewis and Clark walking trail. Music lovers have a variety of performance venues when they visit Missoula.
The Missoula Insectarium first opened its doors to the public on June 25, 2015. It is located in downtown Missoula at 218 E. Front Street on the second floor. It costs $4 for guests (ages 4 and older) to take a tour. They are open Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 am to 5 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. You can contact them at 406-317-1211.
Reporter Lindsay Brawner, from ABC Fox Montana Local News, interviewed The Missoula Insectarium Founder and Director Jen Marangelo (see the video below). The Director said they would like for people to gain a better appreciation for the vital role that insects play. Their goal is to educate the public about the fascinating lives of these important creatures through exhibits and educational programs in a family friendly environment.
Wonder how they get their insects? Many insects come from ordering them online or by trading with other insectariums. Other insectariums in the United States include:
The Audobon Insectarium in New Orleans, Louisiana
The Bayer Crop Science Insectarium found inside the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina
The Insectarium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Insect Zoo found at the SanFrancisco Zoo in California
The Monsanto Insectarium at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri
The Missoula Insectarium is here for the community, both adults and kids, as well as here as a tourist destination. Insectarian Educational Director Carolyn Wiley runs the classroom aspect. She often witnesses the transformation of students who are initially reluctant to touch the insects who leave as fans. The Missoula Insectarium will provide programs and field trips for school groups, homeschoolers, and other organized groups.
Butterfly houses and insect zoos have proven to be enormously popular with the public wherever they appear and are used to generate increased visitation and revenue for many zoos, museums and other non-profit organizations. Director Jen Marangelo’s next dream is to create a greenhouse filled with butterflies that is large enough for people to walk through and see them. They will receive captive-bred butterflies (actually the chrysalides) from breeders around the world (primarily Central and South America).
In June of 2010 the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium completed a custom-designed business feasibility study to determine if their vision for an insect education facility in Missoula, MT could be viable. Guided by the positive results of the feasibility analysis, their vision for this facility includes:
A 2,000 square foot tropical butterfly house
A viewing area to watch the final stage of metamorphosis and see adult butterflies emerge from their chrysalides
An insect zoo and hands-on exhibits that teach children and adults about invertebrate biology, ecology and conservation
A classroom for school groups, community programs and special events
An outdoor pollinator garden and insect-themed playground
As a unique resource for our local community, schools, and visitors to Montana, the Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium will provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the fascinating lives of insects and butterflies. By taking advantage of the ever-increasing popularity of these exhibits and by providing a state-of-the-art facility, The Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium will be an educational and recreational resource for the local community as well as visitors to the Missoula area. ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB
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.
Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast has majestic views, inviting hospitality, luxury accommodations, and gourmet breakfasts. It can be even sweeter! The following is a list of candy and chocolate shops in Missoula, Montana and within driving distance. Chocolate connoisseurs and candy lovers can fall in love with our area’s delectable dessert delicacies!
11380 Hwy 93 S Lolo, MT 59847 Phone number (406) 926-1269
The Sweets Barn carries award winning chocolates, teas and gourmet foods made fresh locally. They also offer nostalgic penny candy that line the walls inside, where people can help themselves to mix and match their favorite candy.
109 E. Broadway Philipsburg, MT 59858 (888) 793-3896
Office Hours: 10am – 5pm September 1st through May 31st 10am – 6pm June 1st through August 31st CLOSED ON SATURDAYS
(a day trip from our B&B but so worth it and so well known!)
The Sweet Palace started making candy in 1934. In 1998, a candy store for all Montanans and guests opened. Visitors from all over the United States and from over 50 countries visit a Sweet Palace shop every year. The aroma of freshly made candies arouses your senses and the elegance of the Victorian décor will take you back to another century. Be sure to join them while they create nostalgic, sumptuous sweets for gifting or indulging. There are over 1,000 sweet selections!
755 Main St or 129 N Higgins, Stevensville, Montana 59870
The most amazing, mouth-watering, delectable chocolate with Recipes Born & Raised in Montana! 100-year old family recipe. Hand-dipped, special top secret recipes, and made with grace, integrity, and a great deal of Montana wisdom! Wholesale, Retail, Corporate Gifts, Special Events, Restaurants
Brady and Elaine invite you to become guests at their magnificent bed and breakfast. Enjoy a luxury getaway in a beautiful and scenic Montana hideaway.
Time is precious and is meant to be enjoyed with loved ones. Bring your sweetheart to savor some peaceful and relaxing time together. Remember these sweet places to savor divine chocolate and taste delicious candy!
Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast is thankful for all the outdoor winter fun that Missoula, Montana and our surrounding area offers our guests. From downhill skiing to cross-country skiing, from ice fishing to ice skating, and snowmobiling to snowshoeing.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly ski destination, check out Discovery Ski Area, or “Disco” to locals. It has a variety of terrain, with plenty of beginner and intermediate slopes, as well as some highly-technical runs on the backside. It’s about a 90-minute drive from Missoula in Philipsburg, Montana. 180 Discovery Basin Road 406-563-2184
Lookout Pass Ski Trails are open 6 days a week in January & February, Wednesdays through Mondays. Closed on Tuesdays. Lifts operate 9-4PM PST on weekdays and 8:30-4PM on weekends. There are nine un-groomed trails that make a total of 7.3 miles down into the basin. The Lookout Pass Alpine Skiing Area is right next to the cross-country ski trails and snowmobiling opportunities. These trails are not groomed.
Average Annual Snowfall: 400 inches
* Terrain: 540 acres with 34 named runs
and prime powder glades:
* Lifts: 3 double chairs and 1 triple chair
* Vertical Drop: 1,150’
* Base Elevation: 4,500
* Summit Elevation: 5,650
* Longest Run: 1.5 miles
Pattee Canyon Recreation Area, a 3,200-acre recreation area on the on the east side of Missoula, is a popular getaway for locals and visitors. The extensive, 27 miles of system trails is open year-round to non-motorized use and available to hikers, mountain bikers, joggers, and the trails are groomed for cross country skiers. These recreation area trails and roads connect the University of Montana and the Clark Fork River areas.
Few communities enjoy a place quite like the 60,000-acre Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness just north of Missoula. Montana’s premier urban wilderness blends the best of both wilderness and civilization. Rest assured that, despite its name, there have been no verified sightings of rattlesnakes in this area. You will, however, find ample opportunities to view many other wildlife species, including beaver, deer, elk, mountain goats and black bear.
A well-developed trail network in the Rattlesnake’s lower reaches gives you a variety of options for day trips – or you can pack overnight gear and venture farther into the high-country wilderness. You can camp anywhere beyond a three-mile radius from the Rattlesnake’s main trailhead, known as the “South Zone” (off Sawmill Gulch Road just west of Rattlesnake Drive).
When snow conditions permit, the main Rattlesnake and side drainages are readily accessible to cross-country skiers. Missoula Nordic Ski Club offers some grooming of the Rattlesnake Recreation Area from the main trailhead to Franklin Bridge.
Seeley Creek Nordic Ski Trails are a series of linked ski trails. Their trails consistently receive rave reviews and regular use from skiers living within a 150-mile radius, while their races and other events bring many users from greater distances. There is a trail or a loop for skiers of all levels and abilities, from hard-core racers to families looking to experience some healthy outdoor activity in the fresh winter air of western Montana.
Ice fishing is a great way to get outside during the cold winter months. Just make sure to bundle up to keep yourself warm while you’re out on the ice.
Half way between Kalispell and Missoula (roughly a 120 mile distance), Flathead Lake is the largest natural body of fresh water west of the Mississippi River. Although the lake seldom freezes over entirely, most of the bays will freeze thick enough to support ice fishing activity. Expect to find lake & whitefish trout, yellow perch & cutthroat trout.
Georgetown Lake is a popular ice fishing location near Anaconda, MT (90 miles from Missoula, or an hour and 40 minutes by car) that has easy access, and only a short distance from the Discovery Basin Ski Area. The most common fish caught are salmon, rainbow & brook trout.
Seeley Swan Lake is among the many numerous lakes present in the Seeley Swan Valley are the highly popular Salmon, Holland Placid Lakes that are an easy day trip from Missoula. Expect to find bull trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon & northern pike.
Ice skating in Missoula is almost always accompanied by a roaring bonfire somewhere close to the ice rink. Warm your fingers and lift your spirit enough to get back into the cold gliding bliss of skating.
Located at the fairgrounds, Glacier Ice Rink has both an indoor and outdoor rink. With reasonable rates on rentals and public skating available daily from September through May, the whole family will have fun gliding around the large arena.
Another option for ice skating is in the Rattlesnake Area, at Pineview Park. Since 1975 the Rattlesnake Hockey Assocation has been flooding a portion of the park for winter skating. Hours vary due to the weather, and you’ll need to bring your own skates.
Missoula is at the epicenter of several great mountains for skiing and snowboarding. Did you know Missoula has its very own ski area? The Snowbowl is located just 20 minutes from downtown Missoula. The Snowbowl’s terrain is comprised of 2,600 vertical feet and just over 900 acres. The Snowbowl isn’t the only area that is just a short drive from Missoula. Discovery Ski Area, Blacktail Mountain, Lookout Pass and Lost Trail Powder Mountain are all trips that you can do in a day.
Starting at either Lolo Hot Springs or at Lolo Pass 7 miles west, snowmobilers can conduct their own modern-day explorations, crossing 250 miles of groomed, connecting trails in the Lolo and Clearwater National Forest. Snowmobiling in Missoula is fast, fun and addictive. Snowmobile rentals are available at Lolo Hot Springs. A full range of visitor services, including snowmobile rentals, sales, and service are available in Missoula.
Snowshoeing in Missoula is truly an adventure. With the ability to set out in any direction and find unmistakable views and a winter wonderland, is what makes snowshoeing here great. After a day of fun in the snow and ice, Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast guests can relax at a local restaurant and retreat to their rooms for more togetherness. Each morning Innkeepers Brady and Elaine prepare a fabulous gourmet breakfast for their guests. Are you ready for some Missoula winter fun?
University of Montana football games attract many fans and spectators. Starting with the next game, all of their games for the rest of this season will be televised. However, there is nothing like being there in person to witness the action and excitement. Get your Griz Football Tickets soon!
There are 6 home games during this 2014 Football Season Schedule:
September 6 vs. Central Washington
September 13 vs. South Dakota
September 27 vs. Northern Colorado
October 18 vs. U of California-Davis
November 1 vs. Sacramento State
November 22 vs. Montana State
It all builds up until the final game against their archrival Montana State. Whether you are University of Montana fan (or a fan of one of the competing college football teams the Grizzlies play against this season) visitors are in for a real treat when they attend a live, heart-pounding, and thrilling football game along with the cheering crowd at the University of Montana in Missoula.
It just so happens that Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast is located in Missoula, Montana. We have breathtaking views of mountains as well as the Bitterroot River. Our peaceful property is just steps away from the historic Lewis and Clark trail.
We are far out enough to enjoy the calm and quiet of the nature outside our beautiful bed and breakfast, but conveniently close to the University of Montana. Guests will enjoy a complimentary full (and delicious) breakfast. A recent comment on Trip Advisor said that, “Brady sure knows how to cook!”
Innkeepers Brady and Elaine love extending their friendly hospitality to their guests. In fact, Elaine and Brady cannot imagine missing out on the joy of entertaining guests. They wish everyone could visit them–just not all at the same time! They are dedicated to giving their guests the best bed and breakfast experience possible.
Follow Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast on Twitter and like them on Facebook! They even have a Pinterest board courtesy Bed and Breakfast Blogging. Brady and Elaine look forward to their guests coming to stay at Blue Mountain and hope guests will also enjoy one of the Grizzlie football games this fall season! No matter who any of us roots for, we can all shout, “GO TEAM!”