The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Missoula, Montana

A. J. Samuels

Missoula is quickly becoming one of the best places to live in the U.S., and visitors to this city just north of the Rockies will not be disappointed. A college town with a thriving art scene and popular craft breweries, Missoula is also home to a plethora of outdoor adventure. Here are our picks of the top things to do and see in this incredible city.

Sunset over the Clark River in Missoula, Montana

Rent a Bike

With 20 miles of bikes lanes, Missoula is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S. Bike trails outside of the city are also numerous, including the Riverfront Trail, which follows the Clark Fork River through the heart of the city. Free bike rentals are even available at the Currents Aquatic Center, encouraging locals and tourists to see Missoula on two wheels. For the more adventurous bikers, Missoula offers incredible mountain biking, including 75 miles of trails at Rattlesnake National Recreation Area.

Scape Goat Pale Ale

Take a Brewery Tour

With an impressive number of craft breweries, considering its 69,000 residents, Missoula’s beer has been recognized throughout the country. Montana Brewery Tours offers a Missoula Hop-On tour that includes stops at 3 breweries, tastings, and guides by local brew-masters. For a self-guided tour, be sure to visit the wildly popular Big Sky Brewing Company and the Kettle House Brewing Company. In the downtown area, try a pub-crawl with friends: a great way to see the city and sample beer offerings. Local favorites Flathead Lake, Tamarack Brewery, and Draught Works are all within walking distance. Missoula Hop-On Tour Meets at 411 W Front Street, Missoula, MT, USA +406 544 6864 Big Sky Brewing Co, 5417 Trumpeter Way, Missoula, MT, USA +406 549 2777 Tap Room Hours: Monday-Friday: 11am to 6:30pm, Saturdays: 11:00am to 6:00pm (Tours: Tuesdays and Fridays at 3:00pm) Kettle House Brewing Company: 2 Locations in Missoula +406 728 1660 Flathead Lake Brewing Company Pubhouse, 424 N. Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT, USA+406 542 3847 Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 3:00pm to 12:00am, Friday and Saturday: 11:00am to 2:00am Tamarack Brewing Company, 231 W. Front St., Missoula, MT, USA +406 830 3113 Hours: Open Daily From 11:00am to 12:00am Draught Works Brewery, 915 Toole Ave., Missoula, MT, USA +406 541 1592 Hours: Open Daily From 12:00pm to 9:00pm

Stop at a Sweet Shop

Visit two local favorites to experience the best goodies Missoula has to offer. A must-have in the morning for the city’s best coffee and pastries, Le Petit Outre Bakery is also known for fresh artisan bread and pizza dough. It is a great place to post-up on a cold day, with a warm interior and the smell of fresh-baked goodies. For a post-dinner sweet-tooth craving, visit Big Dipper Ice Cream. With lines out the door on summer nights, Big Dipper’s homemade varieties include Huckleberry, a Montana speciality, and white-mint Oreo. Dedicated ice cream lovers are even known to track the Big Dipper Ice Cream truck, which makes rounds throughout the city. Le Petit Outre, 129 S. 4th St. W., Missoula, MT, USA +406 543 3311 Hours: Monday-Friday: 7:00am to 6:00pm, Saturday-Sunday: 8:00am to 4:00pm Big Dipper Ice Cream, 631 S. Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT, USA +406 543 5722 Hours: Open daily from 12:00pm to 10:00pm

See Live Music

As the second largest city in Montana and home to 15,000 college students, Missoula is host to some of the most popular bands on tour. Groups such as My Morning Jacket and Cash Cash can be seen at The Wilma, Missoula’s premier music venue. As Montana’s cultural center, Missoula also includes smaller music venues, including a summer music series at Snowbowl and Big Sky Brewing, and local band performances at the Top Hat Lounge. Most nights at the Top Hat feature free concerts or a cheap ticket available at the door, making it a great place to enjoy a pint, have a gourmet burger and discover a new band. The Wilma, 131 S. Higgins Ave., Missoula, MT, USA +406 543 3432 Top Hat Lounge, 134 W. Front St., Missoula, MT, USA +406 728 9865 Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 11:30am to 10:00pm, Thursday-Saturday: 11:30am to 2am

University of Montana with Mount Sentinel in the background

Eat at Masala Food Cart

Missoula’s artisanal spirit has spread to its restaurants, with local eats you may not expect to find in Montana. Chef and restaurateur Theo Smith brings a taste of India to Missoula with his Masala food cart. Originally open during the summer and spring, providing residents with curry favorites such as chicken tikka masala and lamb rogan josh, Masala’s popularity has led to plans for a brick-and-mortar location opening in the fall of 2015. In the meantime, the food cart can by found parked at community events in Missoula. See Masala’s Facebook page for their current location. +406 370 9407

1. Visit Caras Park


Located at Missoula’s city center, at the banks of the Clark Fork River, Caras Park is host to community events throughout the year. Downton ToNight is a festival that hosts food trucks and local musicians every Thursday during the summer. With an active art scene in Missoula, Caras Park also hosts First Night Missoula, a performing arts festival held annually on New Year’s Eve. Regardless of the time of year, Caras Park is perfect for an introduction to the city and a picturesque view of the Clark Fork River. Caras Park, Missoula, MT, USA Luke Reppe

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article