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7 Fantastic Things To Do In Bozeman, Montana

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I am so excited about this post! We've been to 46 states while spending over a year and a half road-tripping across the USA.  We've visited countless towns and cities, but our favorite remains Bozeman, Montana.

I'm thrilled to share the magic of that place in today's guide. We've visited Bozeman three times, spending four days in the town. We loved the relaxed atmosphere and the unique balance of the distinctly Western flair combined with a college community's upbeat, fun vibe.

Though we have not seen everything, there was always plenty to do. Based on our experience and online research, this list is a wishlist as much as it is a testimonial.

Yes, we intend to go back to Bozeman! I will update this post when we do. I hope you'll find it helpful as well!

These are our top 7 picks of things to do while you're in Bozeman, Montana:

  1. Museum of the Rockies
  2. Downtown Bozeman
  3. Gallatin History Museum
  4. Montana Science Center
  5. Montana Grizzly Encounter
  6. Hiking in the Gallatin Canyon area
  7. The Extreme History Project

Plus, an update on our former #7 from this list: The American Computers & Robotics Museum

Keep reading to learn more valuable details about making the most of your trip to Bozeman.

Why You Should Visit Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman is located in southwestern Montana, in the Rocky Mountains. It's a beautiful city in both the summer and winter months. Enjoy the summer's cool, sunny mountain-crisp weather and the snow-capped mountain sights in the winter.

Because of its elevation, the temperatures may vary significantly from daytime to nighttime.

Are you starting to plan your vacation? Are you looking for a quick getaway? Look no further than Bozeman, Montana. John M. Bozeman first established this city in 1864.

The pioneer and frontiersman helped establish the Bozeman Trail into the gold fields of the southwestern Montana territory. It's no wonder the city was named after this man.

The city is full of beauty and opportunity. No matter which way you turn, you'll encounter something truly inspiring. Bask in the small-town feeling and the ever-welcoming Bozeman residents. The city is even home to Montana State University.

When you visit Bozeman, you'll get a taste of why this city is called "the most livable city." It's even named one of the most rapidly growing cities in the United States. Get a taste of what this city is all about. In this post, we'll discuss some of the best things to do in Bozeman, Montana.

There is an abundance of amenities and things to do around the area. You'll never be left wanting more. The vibe of the city is very laid back. It's full of people and cultures of all varieties, making it a crossroads city.

Planning a longer trip in the U.S.? Explore our 5 sample itineraries for a memorable 2-week journey.

7 Fantastic Things To Do In Bozeman, Montana

Probably unsurprisingly, Bozeman is home to many amazing outdoor adventure opportunities and culturally rich activities. The town has something for everyone.

1. Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies is an amazing, globally recognized research and history museum. It is best known for its vast collection of dinosaur fossils, including an entirely mounted T Rex skeleton! The exhibits change, with features from around the world and the region.

The museum houses regional and natural history exhibits, planetarium shows, educational lectures, programs and camps, benefit events, and a museum store. We spent half a day exploring this museum during our first time in Bozeman in 2011.

Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman MT

When we were there, a living history section was located in a nearby simulated working pioneer farm. We had a great time visiting the homesteaders, watching them prepare and have dinner, and hearing about their lives.

Living history museum in bozeman

When we returned in 2015, we hurried back to the museum but didn't have enough time. We were even in more of a rush when driving through Bozeman in 2019 en route to Alaska. But we'll be back!

Opening hours vary by day. Members and children under 5 enjoy free entrance.

For more tips on road-tripping across the USA, check out our guide with 37 must-know road-trip hacks.

2. Downtown Bozeman

Downtown Bozeman offers a wide range of cultural experiences. The area offers fine and casual dining, art galleries, retail shops, outdoor sporting goods stores, and more. Visitors can also enjoy outdoor farmers markets and music festivals.

Check out the local calendar for festivals and other downtown events.

Bozeman main street

We loved strolling along Bozeman's main street on foot. It felt safe and relaxed.

Lots of sculptures and interesting features. Like this bench -

Bozeman bench

See more on Downtown Bozeman's website. 

If you want more Montana adventures, check out these 16 Awesome Things To Do In Great Falls, Montana.

3. Gallatin History Museum

The Gallatin History Museum exists to preserve, promote, and foster the region's history around Bozeman. The museum provides visitors with an intriguing glimpse into the area's past.

Permanent exhibits include jail cells and hanging gallows, Big Horn Gun, a lifesize Pioneer Cabin, and others about agriculture, music, women, and the jail's history.

The museum's hours vary daily and are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Admission fees vary per age group.

See more on the Gallatin History Museum's website.

4. Montana Science Center

The Montana Science Center was founded in 2001 as the local children's museum and has since evolved and grown into the center it is today. The museum has all kinds of hands-on exhibits, camps, and other educational programs. They aim to provide children with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) learning experiences.

Admission prices are $9 for ages two and up and free for members. Opening hours vary.

See more on the Montana Science Center's website.

5. Montana Grizzly Encounter

Your trip to Montana can't be complete without a grizzly bear encounter. The Montana Grizzly Bear Encounter is a grizzly bear rescue and sanctuary that was founded in 2004.

In the sanctuary, the bears enjoy a spacious area to roam and live their lives. As guests, you can encounter these bears up close and learn about these incredible creatures.

Hours vary based on the season. Admission prices vary per age group. Check out their season passes, too.

See more on the Montana Grizzly Encounter's website.

6. Hiking in the Gallatin Canyon Area

Many hiking trails around the Gallatin Canyon area range from easy to more difficult. Find a trail that fits your personal needs and preferences.

Palisade Falls is a 1.2 round-trip hiking trail located just south of Bozeman. Enjoy the gorgeous views along the trail, including a massive cataract that falls 80 feet off a vertical rock wall.

It's a relatively easy hike that takes approximately 30 minutes. We hiked this trail, reached the falls, and recommend it.

Hiking Palisade Falls

Lava Lake (Cascade Creek) Trail is a 5.5-mile out-and-back trail featuring a gorgeous lake along the path. The total elevation gain is 1,620 feet, considered a moderate-level trail.

Drinking Horse Mountain Trail is a 2.2-mile round-trip trail rated easy to moderate. The hiking duration is about 1 hour. At the top of the trail, take in the beautiful views of the Bridger mountain range and Gallatin Valley.

Story Hills Trail is a 3-mile round trip hike rated an easy trail. It will take between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete the loop. You'll enjoy views of the city and the valley.

Tip: If you're in the area and visiting Yellowstone, try driving through the Gallatin Road, aka US Highway 191, to West Yellowstone. It's a fantastic scenic road.

And while exploring the outdoors, don't miss the opportunity to visit Quake Lake, a fascinating site near Yellowstone.

Before heading out to the Gallatin Canyon for amazing hikes, ensure you're well-equipped. Check out these top picks for hiking boots and outdoor gear on Amazon:

Ensure a comfortable hike in Gallatin Canyon with a sturdy pair of hiking boots.

Carry all your essentials comfortably with a well-designed hiking backpack.

7. The Extreme History Project

The Extreme History Project in Bozeman, Montana, offers a unique and engaging way to explore the region's rich history. This organization is dedicated to bringing history to the public in dynamic and relevant ways.

They offer a variety of programs and events, including historic walking tours, lecture series, workshops, and an online book club. Their efforts focus on unearthing the past at the crossroads of cultures, making history accessible and interesting to a wide audience.

Their online book club and podcast, "The Dirt on the Past," further extend their educational outreach, allowing people to engage with history from anywhere.

The organization's commitment to preserving and promoting history is evident in its diverse and thought-provoking programs, making them a must-visit for anyone interested in Bozeman, Montana's historical and cultural heritage.

Why You Should Visit: The Extreme History Project in Bozeman, Montana, is not just a journey through the city's past; it explores the stories and events that have shaped the region.

This organization offers a unique perspective on history, making it accessible and engaging for all ages. Whether you're a history buff or just curious about Bozeman's past, their tours and programs provide an insightful and enjoyable experience.

Update On The American Computers & Robotics Museum (Formerly On Our List Of Things To Do In Bozeman, Montana)

The American Computers & Robotics Museum exists to inspire people of all ages to discover the past and imagine the future of the Information Age. There are thought-provoking exhibits with innovative storytelling.

The exhibits span over 4,000 years of computer history and innovation. This is a small museum we did check out for a bit (geeks that we are).

Computers Museum

The museum is closed on Mondays and select holidays, so check the website before going. Admission is free for kids nine and under and varies based on other age groups.

Update:

While the American Computers & Robotics Museum once stood as a beacon of technological history in Bozeman, it has since transitioned to a new phase.

The museum's extensive collection, celebrating the evolution of computing and robotics, has found a new home at the San Diego State University Library.

Though the physical museum in Bozeman has closed, its legacy continues. The museum now operates as the San Diego Computer Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focusing on web-based exhibits.

These online resources offer a fascinating glimpse into computing and robotics, making them accessible to a broader audience.

For tech enthusiasts visiting Bozeman, the museum's spirit lives on digitally. You can dive into the rich history of computing and explore groundbreaking inventions from your device.

This virtual experience allows you to uncover the stories behind the machines that have shaped our modern world, all at your fingertips.

See more on the American Computers & Robotics Museum's website.

Where To Stay In Bozeman, Montana

Considering all the fun activities to participate in and around Bozeman, Montana, you're probably now wondering what the best places to stay are. Check out these great options:

RSVP Hotel

This hotel exudes complete modern luxury. It's a unique boutique hotel located in Midtown Bozeman. You'll enjoy upscale service and amenities, with each room's furnishings sourced from Italy, France, and even locals in Bozeman. It's picture-perfect and oh-so-cozy.

Plan your stay now at booking.com.

MountainView Lodge & Suites

This hotel is located at the base of the Bridger Mountains, based at the city's heart. When you stay here, know you'll receive exceptional service, clean rooms, great amenities, and a family-friendly atmosphere.

Plan your stay now at booking.com.

In the comment section below, let us know which activities you enjoy when you visit Bozeman, Montana!

Enjoyed this post? Use the images below to Pin it on Pinterest and share the adventure!

Gallatin River in Montana with Pine Trees and Mountains on the Background, 7 Fantastic Things To Do In Bozeman, Montana

Downtown Street of Bozeman, Montana, 7 Fantastic Things To Do In Bozeman, Montana

 
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One comment

  1. Bozeman is a Darling little town to explore. Cute shops and nice places to eat. I loved Gallatain Valley, and the Gallatain river. So beautiful!

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