Missoula: A Vibrant Town and Outdoor Adventures

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ESSENTIALS

Population: 69,000 (approx.)
Language: English
Currency: US Dollar

DOWNTIME

With numerous outdoor activities and a variety of restaurants and nightlife, Missoula offers something for everyone.


Missoula, named among the Best Towns in America by Outside Magazine, is Northwest Montana’s biggest city. This city of 80,000, home to The University of Montana, is young and forward thinking, a center of technology, music, and contemporary culture. As Outside put it, Missoula is “a place where people who could live anywhere they choose to live.”

Once the bottom of an ancient glacial lake, the flat and walkable land is surrounded by steep hills on all sides. The Clark Fork River, which bisects the town, is full of opportunities for recreation—there’s good fishing, boating, and even surfing. Come winter, ski the Montana Snowbowl or hop in the car for a day trip to the bigger ski resorts in Whitefish or Bozeman. The Bitterroot Range, named after Montana’s state flower, runs past Missoula to the west and provides a playground for hikers, climbers, and other wilderness enthusiasts.

Outdoor pursuits don’t require a long drive but instead may be found on the edge of town. This includes mountain biking in the Rattlesnake Wilderness, riverfront walks, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and road biking. A short hike behind the University can be found at the base of Mount Sentinel where, after 11 switchbacks, the “M,” a landmark since 1908, appears and one can enjoy the view of the valley.

A regional destination for boutique shopping and dining, Missoula draws people from all around the state and beyond. There are three distinct shopping districts, and enough restaurants, cafes, and breweries to keep any foodie entertained.

Pride and eclectic culture are expressed during all sorts of community gatherings, events, and festivals. Rich in the arts, Missoula offers local and world-class theater, film festivals, ballet, and opera.

The nearby Bitterroot National Forest, with a 1.6 million acre forest, is a popular place for hiking, camping, mountain bikingm and hunting. The stunning Bitterroot River runs through the valley and is an ideal place for fishing or picnicking. Winter offers snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, and downhill skiing nearby. Sightseeing is a year-round activity here. It’s an outdoor lover’s paradise.

Missoula is home to people who share a passion for Montana’s beauty and the adventures this land has to offer.

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