Bozeman is a university town in Gallatin County, Montana that has become a popular western Rocky Mountain vacation destination. Not only is the town just a short drive from impressive nature attractions including Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman is also a thriving center of arts, culture and recreation. No matter what time of year, visitors will find a picturesque backdrop to a myriad of activities and entertainment opportunities.
Enjoy the great outdoors while hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, hunting, fishing or exploring the backcountry of southwestern Montana. Notice a giant “M” emblazoned on the mountainside northeast of Bozeman? The letter stands for Montana State University, but it’s more than just a school emblem. The M trail is one of the most popular hikes near town. The three-mile loop will take you past a variety of terrain, from chokecherry bushes to rocky outcrops to wildflower-carpeted hillsides. If these views of Gallatin Valley aren’t enough, or if the hike seems too easy, you can follow the trail for another three hours to Mount Baldy, one of the peaks of Bridger Range. Take a peek into the streams leading to Yellowstone National Park; you’ll find miles of blue-ribbon trout. It’s what makes fly-fishing in the Gallatin, Jefferson, Madison, Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers so accessible and convenient. The rivers are also prime floating ground. The Madison River, in particular, is a local favorite for its slow-paced stretches of water.
Once you make it into town, you’ll find venues that feature world-class collections to timeless performers. Immerse yourself in the arts by attending a symphony orchestra concert, opera, theatre or ballet performance. Or peruse the extensive paleontology collection at the Museum of the Rockies. See what makes the one-of-a-kind shops on Bozeman’s historic Main Street so special, or time your visit to the historic downtown area to coincide with the free, Thursday evening summer music concerts. For more arts and culture, drop by the Emerson Center, where you’ll find workshops, reasonably priced films, art exhibits and more.
If you’re planning a vacation to Bozeman, you definitely must stop by the world’s first national park. From geysers to forests to wildlife galore, Yellowstone brims with the thrill of the natural world. The park is about 90 miles south of Bozeman, about an hour and forty minutes’ drive. It’s not a bad idea to set aside an entire day or two for the recreational opportunities Yellowstone has to offer. Montana’s first state park, the Lewis and Clark Caverns, is also near by. First discovered in 1941, the caverns have since become a touring ground for the limestone formations that were formed over millions of years. The Bozeman Fish Technology Center, dedicated to preserving regional aquatic species, is also a great place to spend the day hiking, picnicking and viewing wildlife. Bozeman Beach, a part of the East Gallatin Recreation Area Park, more so a lake where visitors can kayak, paddle board or simply rest on shore. After a strenuous day of outdoor activities, unwind at one of the many hot springs in southwest Montana. The Bozeman Hot Springs have indoor and outdoor pools, as well as saunas and steam rooms. You could also check out Yellowstone’s most popular natural hot springs – don’t be deterred by the fact that it’s called Boiling River. Other options include Norris Hot Springs, 36 miles away in Madison River Valley; Boulder Hot Springs, 82 miles away but listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and Chico Hot Springs, a part-spa, part dude ranch located 48 miles from Bozeman.
They say every room comes with a view in Bozeman, whether you’re nesting at a bed and breakfast in the woods or a cabin on wide open grounds. Rent a room in a country-style custom home surrounded acres of land. Book a lodge by the river for easy access to waterside recreation. Indulge in a soothing soak each evening by staying at a hot springs resort. Wake each morning to the sun peeping through forest cover by camping out in the woods. Stay at a vacation condo if you prefer a fully equipped apartment-style setting. Check out the local hotels and motels in the area, where brand name and local establishments extend Montanan hospitality. For accommodations that boast the “best of the West,” head for the ranches, where wagon rides, cookouts, and team building activities come as part of the package.
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is eight miles northwest of Bozeman. The airport has several ground transportation options including taxis, private shuttles and scheduled bus services to various areas around Yellowstone. In terms of ground transportation within and around the city, Skyline provides year-round service between Bozeman and Big Sky on the Link Express route. Streamline buses also travel from Bozeman to outlying areas including Belgrade, Four Corners, Livingston and Bridger Bowl. It’s also possible to rent a car, at the airport or in town. Both Uber and taxi services are also available in Bozeman.
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