At this point in my travels, I’ve less wooed by the big cities and more drawn to small town charm with a commitment to all things local. A town with character and attitude. A town like Missoula.
During my Ultimate Montana Trip with Jade, Kent and Canaan, Spencer and Tia this past summer, we kicked off our week-long exploration in the quaint college town. I had visited once before, but it was raining and SVV was sick, so my exploration was tempered by the circumstances. This time, we made the most of our 48 hours—and the glorious weather that greeted us.
We started with a pedal tour of the downtown area with Thirst Gear, during which we made stops at a couple bars and other local icons, like Big Dipper.
That night, we had dinner at Scotty’s Table, a bistro that utilizes all fresh, seasonal produce and meat sourced from western Montana farmers and growers, which would set the bar pretty high for the remaining week of dining that was upon us.
Next, we refueled at the cutesy, split-level Catalyst Cafe & Espresso Bar before setting out to see the sights.
We needed our energy, after all, with the bountiful shopping Missoula would prove to offer. Let’s just say, I bought not one, not two, but three dresses at the downtown boutiques! (I’m sure no one is surprised. And don’t tell SVV. It will be our little secret.)
Weighed down with shopping bags, I moseyed on over to the People’s Market, which runs from May through September and is full of handmade crafts and the like.
Then on down to the other end of town where the Farmers’ Market takes place each Saturday through October. I have to say, we definitely weren’t lacking for things to do in Missoula on a sunny Saturday!
To counteract all the booze we drank, we had a hearty dinner of ribeye and baked potatoes beneath taxidermied woodland creatures at Lolo Creek Steakhouse that night in nearby Lolo.
I think what I so love about Montana—and, more specifically, Glacier Country—is that, urban experiences aside, it offers a little bit of everything: skiing, hiking, culinary adventures, one of the biggest national parks in the country, quaint lakeside resorts, and charming college towns like Missoula that just ooze local flavor.