Photo Friday: Philipsburg, Montana

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Our route through Montana changed entirely once we encountered the flooding in the eastern part of the state, then wound our way through Yellowstone, down to Jackson and back up to Montana via Idaho only for the rain to follow our every twist and turn. Big Sky was out, Bozeman was too far to backtrack, Ennis was an unexpectedly delightful stop, but where to go from here? Enter: Tia to the rescue! She told us to go to Philipsburg, so go to Philipsburg we did.

Tia and I have been long-time Twitter friends, plus she’s helped me immensely with information for print stories in the past—and we finally got to meet, too, (twice!) when I was up in Glacier County—and as it just so happens, she also works for Glacier County Tourism. Talk about the perfect person to Tweet with you when you’re in a pinch in her home state.

But why Philipsburg, you ask? Well, Tia just threw out those three magic words, “the Sweet Palace,” and that’s all it took for me to leave I-90 and detour along the Anaconda-Pintler Scenic Route to make sure we got to “see” Philipsburg. And by “see Philipsburg,” I clearly mean eat my way through the minute town.

Here’s the thing: I’m usually not wild about candy stores. While I love to go in and browse on occasion, they’re usually heavier on the candy than they are on the chocolate, and the latter excites me far more than the former. I lived right next to Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York for a stint and managed to pass it every most days without so much as a second glance.

But this place! This place was two stories and had 1,024 different kind of candies. How could I not indulge?

And it wasn’t even that pricey either. I walked out with a bounty of two mixed bags and a small box of hand-crafted chocolates and it only set me back $15 (which still sounds like a lot, but compared to most candy stores? peanuts).

It was the closest I might ever come to being a cast member in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

After I rolled myself out of the Sweet Palace, I was so stuffed from fudge (complimentary at checkout!) and salted caramels that I didn’t even have the stomach capacity for an ice cream at Doe Brothers. Instead, I opted for coffee. But that’s OK, because there was hardly a meal that passed where I didn’t have a Wilcoxson’s huckleberry ice cream sandwich for dessert. Those little 99-cent delights kept me going for a good half of our trip.

There were candy-colored houses and plenty of coffee shops. There were trinket stores and gourmet food emporiums and all the cutesy storefronts you want out of such a town. Alas, it was Sunday night when we arrived—we put the pedal to the medal to make it to the Sweet Palace an hour before it closed—but most everything else in town was shuttered. So we peered in windows and vowed to come back one day.

There was even a resident circus monkey on one corner. OK, maybe not technically a monkey, but she did perform on command for a large group of tourists. They were all giving her high fives and asking her to do her polar bear and overall impressed that a six-pound dog could be so well trained (little do they know…heh).

So next time you’re in western Montana, follow suit and detour yourself! You may not find a circus dog, but I’m pretty sure the Sweet Palace isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

*****

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COMMENTS
  • July 15, 2011

    lovely story and great photographs, thanks. I’m also thinking about there being an Ennis in Montana, and that name likely coming from an Irish person missing the Ennis in County Clare…

  • July 15, 2011

    Thanks for the virtual cavities!

  • July 15, 2011

    Speaking of unrealized dreams…

  • July 15, 2011

    I’ve been obsessed with Montana ever since my first college cross country race there (in the fall, this so cal girl LOVED the beautiful leaves, but racing in the altitude was a different story!), and have longed to go back ever since my college running days were over. And this candy shop, might just be calling my name!!

    • July 15, 2011
      Kristin

      Oh man. Racing in the altitude, I can’t even imagine. Scott and I would get so winded just from walking up the stairs–and I think I’m in fairly good shape!

  • July 15, 2011

    Love how you find the out of the way spots and take us all there with your great photos! We just spent some time in a candy store that looked almost exactly like that. But, like you said, not enough chocolate.

    • July 15, 2011
      Kristin

      Thank you, Jessica! I’m so glad someone else gets how sad it is when a candy store has a low chocolate supply 😉

  • July 15, 2011

    Aw, I hate that you missed Big Sky, but Philipsburg sounds like an awesome, ahem, sweet place!

    • July 15, 2011
      Kristin

      Me, too, but we checked and so much stuff was closed until mid-June, plus with the weather, there wouldn’t have been a lot to do. BUT, we’re contemplating visiting during ski season, so there’s that.

  • July 15, 2011
    Jen

    My children wouldn’t know what to do with themselves in that candy store. They would want to buy one of everything!

    • July 15, 2011
      Kristin

      Your children and I most definitely should NOT travel together. I’m an enabler and would encourage that action!

  • July 15, 2011

    what lovely photos – such COLORS!! i got sugar shock just from reading, LOL!

  • July 15, 2011

    Mmmmm, salted caramels. I had at LEAST 12 of those after stopping at The Sweet Palace! Love this post!

    xox

    • July 15, 2011
      Kristin

      I think I only bought five and then was seriously regretting that decision when they were all gone by the time we reached Missoula.

  • July 15, 2011

    Gorgeous skies you had for photographs!

    • July 15, 2011
      Kristin

      One of the few afternoons the rain let up long enough for me to take some pictures =)

  • July 15, 2011

    There isn’t a single thing I dislike about this post. 1,024 different kind of candies? Yes, please. You’ve convinced me to go see Montana now 😉

    • July 15, 2011
      Kristin

      My kind of girl! I’ll go with you. I’m craving those handmade chocolates and sea salt caramels something awful!

  • July 15, 2011

    I loved this post – it looks like an incredible candy store – I don’t get up to Montana often, er ever, but when I do, this will be on the list!

    Thanks for sharing!

    ~Becca

  • July 16, 2011

    What a quaint little town… I love Montana! I am glad that in my visits there I never knew about this store or I would weigh approx. twice my current weight.

  • July 16, 2011

    I would have detoured for that too! You have one of my favorites in your bag – the Brach’s Jelly Nougat – love them!

  • July 19, 2011

    We’re going to have to mark this one on the map! I’m not sure when we’ll be back through Montana, but my husband would never forgive me if we were and I didn’t stop here.

  • July 22, 2011

    Drooling over here just thinking about all that candy and the SODA FOUNTAIN, omg.

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  • December 16, 2016

    we’ll be back through Montana

  • March 3, 2017

    great post thanks for sharing

  • March 6, 2017

    wow really great post

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