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9 Best Things To Do In Missoula

9 Best Things To Do In Missoula
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Updated: 8/24/2022 | Best Things to Do in Missoula

Situated between the Rocky Mountains and the flourishing wilderness of Western Montana, Missoula is a scenic “Garden City” that is famous for its natural beauty.

Between the nature trails, hot springs, adventure sports, art galleries, distilleries, live theater, and more, the only thing you’ll find lacking in Missoula is enough time to indulge in all that it has to offer.

If you’re planning a fun getaway to Missoula soon, then don’t forget to put these 9 activities on your bucket list to ensure a memorable time.

#1 Visit An Art Gallery Or Museum

If you’re an art or history connoisseur, then you will fall in love with Missoula for the numerous art galleries and museums it boasts. 

Fort Missoula Museum is a notable military museum in the area that is replete with a rich history. Featuring rotating exhibits and fun activities throughout the year, the experience is a perfect blend of fun and educational.

The Missoula Art Museum prides itself on its collection of Contemporary American Indian Art, eight expansive galleries, and one-of-a-kind art exhibits. Adjacent to it is the Missoula Art Park, a sculpture park that features seasonal installations and is a must-visit.

#2 Ski And Snowboard At Montana Snowbowl

The Montana Snowbowl is a popular winter destination that is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Located just northwest of Missoula, this ski resort is the perfect place for some downhill adventure amidst the snow-coated slopes.

If you’re visiting in summer, then the mountain is an excellent spot for hiking, biking, or riding the zip-line over the vast canyon. Interestingly, the Snowbowl also serves as a romantic wedding destination during the warmer months.

#3Watch Live Music & Theater Performances

Live music and theater are an integral part of Missoula’s festive culture. From dance concerts and musicals to comedies and drama, Missoula’s performance art scene is an experience you cannot miss.

The Wilma is a century-old historic venue for the biggest cultural events in Missoula and the hub of live entertainment. With an eight-story tall exterior and cozily lit interiors, The Wilma stands tall in the heart of Missoula and is representative of the things Missoulians truly value—art, music, and good times.

#4 Drive Through The Garnet Ghost Town

The Garnet Ghost Town was once a flourishing gold-mining town that fell on hard times during World War I until it was eventually abandoned and became what it is today—a haunting homage to history that has stood the test of time.

The town is surprisingly well-preserved for having been abandoned well over eight decades ago but the roads are jarring, to say the least, and are best traversed using rental car facilities for a smoother experience.

#5 Take A Ride On A Carousel For Missoula

With hand-carved ponies, chariots, dragons, and gargoyles, A Carousel for Missoula is a volunteer-built amusement park that attracts individuals and families looking for some old-style fun and magic.

Adjacent to it is the Dragon Hollow Playground, a dreamy little space that’s accommodating to children with disabilities just like A Carousel for Missoula so not a single soul feels left out. If you’ve got kids, then this is a place you have to visit.

University of Montana Campus Drive Missoula Montana

University of Montana

#6 Go Wine Tasting

Whether you’re a wine aficionado with an appreciation for the process of winemaking or a novice with a simple love for wines, the Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery should be at the top of your list of places to visit.

All four of their wines are made from sustainably-grown grapes from the Rattlesnake Valley and have a rich and sublime flavor that will leave you with a warm feeling in your belly and a content smile. Nothing short of paradise!

Alberton Orchards is another must-see. Enjoy sampling from their vineyard, and while you’re there, view the bison range and snack on farm-to-table fruits from the orchard. It’s a fresh and decadent afternoon excursion!

#7 Cool Off At The Splash Montana Waterpark

Featuring a trio of huge three-story waterslides and a lazy river float way among others, the Splash Montana Waterpark is perfect for a refreshingly fun and exciting time during the warm summer months in Missoula.

Splash around the pools and float on the lazy river or play with the floating structures. The Splash Montana promises a grand time with your family. It’s spacious and has strict safety and hygiene protocols in place so you can have some peace of mind and relax in case you go there with little kids.

#8 Explore The Rattlesnake National Recreation Area

The Rattlesnake National Recreation Area is a large expanse full of rugged mountains, glacial lakes, lush meadows and densely-packed forest slopes. It’s a four-mile drive north of Missoula and a popular recreation spot.

The recreation area is separated from the wilderness area and is perfect for sightseeing local wildlife and flora and indulging in activities like hiking, fishing, biking, and horseback riding. The wilderness area, on the other hand, is more for exploring the clear mountain lakes, creeks, and the rolling meadows.

#9 Fly Fish For Trout At Rock Creek

A trip to Missoula isn’t complete without fly-fishing.

Missoula is widely famous for its blue-ribbon trout fishing, so it would be a downer if you don’t indulge in this local activity. A popular spot is Rock Creek, one of the blue-ribbon trout streams, which is brimming with a wide variety of trout such as rainbows, cutthroats, and bulls.

Embrace the Missoulian Spirit

Missoula is a vibrant hotspot of history, art, music, and nature. A place where the thrill of adventure and the solemnity of art go hand-in-hand and the streets vibrate with energy.

It’s one of the top cities to visit in Montana for a fun, rejuvenating time exploring nature and enjoying the small-town charm. So we hope you make the best of your trip and tick off as many activities from your bucket list as possible!

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