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  • February 25, 2020 4 min read

    Nested amidst national forests, wide-open plains, and craggy mountains, Bozeman, Montana, defies convention. These days the town’s rural, rustic roots combine with contemporary art, boutique shopping, and cutting-edge restaurants. Thanks to the combined draw of world-class outdoor recreation and postcard-worthy scenery, Bozeman has become a hotspot for anyone who loves the outdoors. It’s common to see dirty cowboy boots nestled next to a pair of strappy high heels at the local bar. This unique Montana town has become a melting pot for those seeking an experience out of the ordinary.

    Regardless of your personality or travel preferences, Bozeman offers something that will tempt your palate. Are you an aggressive mountain biker looking to crush trails before downing a pint with your friends? Bozeman has that covered. Looking for a relaxed spa getaway with refined, award-winning cuisine in a quiet setting? Done. Here are a few suggestions for passionate travelers whose pathway takes them to bustling Bozeman.

    If You Like the Outdoors

    Coming to Bozeman for an adrenaline rush? The town is a veritable outdoor playground. You can spend long summer days hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, trail running, rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing...the list is seemingly endless. In the winter, head to nearby Bridger or Big Sky Resorts for skiing and snowboarding, or take the scenic route on cross-country skis and snowshoes for a bit of quiet exploration (and a workout). Summer or winter, you’ll find the après scene compelling—Bozeman residents work hard and play harder, and you’ll find no shortage of friends with whom to swap tales. Montana Ale Works is just one of the local favorites for a relaxing drink after a day on the trails.

    If You Like Foodie Tours

    There's plenty of great food to sample in Bozeman. Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

    Bozeman’s culinary scene is booming, and a day can easily be spent winding through downtown, shopping, and sampling local cuisine. Start with breakfast at the Nova Café, grab a midday coffee at local hub Wild Joe’s Coffee, stop for a burger and sweet potato fries at Burger Bob’s for lunch, meander to Plonk for dinner and wine, then finish the day at the Chocolate Moose for locally made Wilcoxson’s ice cream. Be sure to make a stop at award-winning Bequet Caramels in nearby Four Corners—their chocolate sea salt caramel is a perpetual favorite.

    If You're an Art Lover

    The West has long been synonymous with art. From the days of Charles Russell, artists have sought to immortalize the scenery, wildlife, and people of the Rockies. Bozeman keeps that heritage alive and well. Downtown Bozeman is home to Art Walks the second Friday of every month, June through September, and a Winter Art Walk in December. Local artists present their work in the area galleries, offering the perfect opportunity to connect with the people behind the work. Even when there’s no Art Walk, grab a coffee and take a lazy afternoon to stroll from gallery to gallery. Whether your tastes run from contemporary to classic, Bozeman’s art scene will sure to please.

    If You Like Cocktails and Craft Beer

    Bozeman in known for its locally made beer and spirits. Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

    For those who love craft beer and cocktails, Bozeman features a wide variety of options. Start your tour at Bozeman Spirits to sample its huckleberry vodka, then wind your way to Plonk for a globally inspired appetizer and a GFC (Great F’ing Cocktail), a local favorite. Looking for a rustic, true Montana experience? Head to the "Barmuda Triangle," a corner where three bars—The Scoop, The Molly Brown and the Haufbrau—reside, drawing in their fair share of Montana State University college kids and local outdoor enthusiasts.

    If You Like Exploring Like a Local

    Want to spend the weekend like a local? Head downtown—vibrant, downtown Bozeman is the heart of the community, and the best way to settle in is to sit down at a breakfast place (Main Street Overeasy is a local favorite) and just people-watch. Bozeman-ites rely on their own feet for transportation quite a bit; don’t be afraid to walk around and just take in the fresh mountain air. After breakfast, head into the mountains for a bit of recreation—skiing, hiking, or fly-fishing is almost mandatory—then come back into town in time for dinner at Montana Ale Works (order the off-menu parmesan fries) and then a relaxed evening drink at the Rocking R Bar. You’ll find locals quite friendly, and they’re happy share their recommendations for your next outdoor adventure.

    If You're Looking for a Relaxed Romantic Getaway

    The boutique Lark Hotel is in the heart of Bozeman. Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

    Want to spend a bit of quality one-on-one time with your special someone? Stay the night at Bozeman’s Lark Hotel. The boutique inn is right downtown and offers cute rooms and an outdoor fire pit. Book a couple’s massage at the Loft Salon, then catch an early dinner and drinks at Open Range, an urban bar/restaurant featuring exceptional steaks. After that? A romantic evening hike up nearby Peets Hill to watch the sun set over the town provides the perfect ending to the perfect day.

    Whatever draws you to Bozeman, and whether you have a day or two days, you’ll find it easy to find adventures that suit your needs. Thanks to a diverse, lively population and a growing economy, this mountain town offers all the adventure you’d expect from Big Sky Country with the amenities of a larger community. Pack your bags, bring your friends, and plan for an eventful weekend in Bozeman.

    Written by Jess McGlothlin for RootsRated in partnership with Bozeman Tourism and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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