What to Do + Where to Eat and Sleep in Big Timber, MT
Here at Travel Montana Now, we are quite fond of Big Timber, MT! It’s the main town close to our family cabin on the Boulder River and we often stop there for last-minute gas, supplies, or for a post-cabin meal or drink. We have to drive through it to get back to the I-90 from the rural road our cabin is off of.
Big Timber is a friendly, welcoming town that’s right off I-90 between Bozeman and Billings.
Read More: Best Day Trips from Bozeman, MT
One of my favorite memories of Big Timber is when we were coming back from the cabin and didn’t realize it was Sweet Grass Fest, a fun local festival that happens each summer.
The main roads were blocked off for a parade so we found a parking spot and spontaneously joined in the fun. The kids loved all the candy thrown at their feet and us adults just enjoyed the small town festival vibe we had stumbled upon.
Even if you’re not there on a festival day, there are so many fun and interesting things to do in Big Timber. Read on for our top tips on enjoying a visit to Big Timber.
Do a Downtown Big Timber Walking Tour
Start at Lions Park and walk along McLeod Street (the town’s Main Street) toward downtown. There are some cute houses along the first couple of blocks and then you’ll be in the center of town.
Big Timber Toys
If you have kids you can bribe them away from the awesome playground at Lions Club Park by saying you’ll stop by Big Timber Toys on the way. (Or do this walking tour backward and end at Lions Club Park – more on this park below under the “Outdoor Things to Do in Big Timber” section.)
Big Timber Carnegie Library
Right after you pass Big Timber Toys, you’ll see Big Timber Carnegie Library across the street. This library is over 100 years old and features a neoclassical design common for Carnegie libraries built in the early 1900s.
Two Rivers Gallery
Next stop at Two Rivers Gallery to see some local art. It was started by a group of local artists who wanted a place where Montana artists could display their work. It’s a non-profit art gallery open to visitors. Two Rivers Art Gallery has local art on display and for sale including paintings, pottery, photography, sculptures, jewelry, and even furniture.
Gusts of Big Timber
A couple of doors down from Two Rivers Gallery is a clothing store that focuses on local apparel and western wear. Check out the collection of cowboy boots and hats plus cool t-shirts that are designed and printed in-house.
Across the street on the same block as Gusts of Big Timber and Two Rivers Gallery is Cinnabar Creek, a cool clothing and gift shop. Stop in here for some locally-inspired souvenirs.
This is a great mercantile-style gift shop. It’s the place to head in Big Timber for unique Montana-themed souvenirs. There are also housewares, textiles, and candles that don’t proclaim Montana on them but still capture the essence of the Big Sky State.
Big Timber Bakery
If you’re not ready for a full meal yet, but are in the mood for a snack on your Big Timber walking tour, stop in Big Timber Bakery. It’s on the block right before Main Street meets up with 1st Avenue.
You’ll find lots of yummy fresh baked pastries inside plus some sandwich wraps for a more filling snack (or meal).
Craft Beer Tasting in Big Timber
At the end of McLeod Street, turn right to continue your downtown Big Timber walking tour along 1st Avenue. Just down a block, you’ll see Crazy Peak Brewing Company on your left. This is a great place to stop for a beer flight or a pint of your favorite type of brew.
Crazy Peak’s brews are served up courtesy of Circle T Taproom (they’re basically the same place). I love the outdoor space for summer days. And inside there’s even a play area for kids.
Local Meats in Big Timber
Before you leave 1st Street, check out Pioneer Meats / Meats of Montana, located right across the street from Crazy Peak Brewing Co. Pioneer Meats is a well-known, family-owned meat processor in Montana.
Inside its Meats of Montana store in Big Timber, you can get cuts of game or pre-packaged meat sticks and bratwursts.
Address: 209 East 1st Ave.
—> Read More: 10 Best Small Towns in Montana
Outdoor Recreation Near Big Timber
Being close to the Gallatin-Custer Gallatin National Forest and the Boulder River means there are plenty of outdoor activities to engage in around Big Timber. Here are some of our top picks to do outdoors while in Big Timber.
Lions Club Park
You can really get a sense of Big Timber’s strong community at Lions Club Park on the southeast end of McLeod Street. Lions Club Park is home to an expansive playground, gazebo, and outdoor community pool.
It’s an especially great spot for families with kids thanks to the very large playground with wooden tunnels and ramps that feel like a castle fort.
Day passes are available for the community pool, which is open seasonally.
Lions Club Park also has some historic markers and statues so be sure to walk around the whole park to see it all.
Natural Bridge Near Big Timber
A short drive outside of town is the Natural Bridge in Gallatin-Custer National Forest. This is a cool bridge to see to better understand the power of river water. Plus, the surrounding scenery is just gorgeous.
You arrive at the parking lot for the Natural Bridge (which has a public restroom, FYI) and make your way down a riverside trail. In just a few minutes, you’ll come to various lookout points for the Natural Bridge if you stick to the northwest side of the river.
You can also do the more rugged trail to the southeast of the river, which has some excellent views and even a trail leading down to the water’s edge. I don’t recommend this with young kids since there are steep cliff drops and the river rapids are fast and can be dangerous.
Fly Fishing Near Big Timber
We love fly fishing on the Boulder River near our cabin. If you don’t know the prime fishing spots, you’re in luck because Big Timber Fly Fishing Outfitter offers gear and tours to nearby hot spots.
In addition to the big excursions, Big Timber Fly Fishing Outfitter offers a 3-hour intro to fly fishing experiences.
Overland Golf Course
The Overland Golf Course may be on the smaller side, but it’s well maintained and has great rates. If you love to golf, head there to for a small town golfing experience.
The Overland Golf Course technically isn’t an 18-hole course. However, thanks to having two separate 9-hole tees, it can feel like an 18-hole course if you play both.
Where to Eat in Big Timber, MT
Here are a few of the top places to eat in Big Timber.
Big Timber Bar
This is an iconic bar and restaurant in Big Timber that serves up pub-style food and stiff drinks. It’s located right on Main Street and is loved by locals and visitors alike.
This is a happening place in the small town of Big Timber, located right on the corner of McLeod and 1st Ave.
With appetizer and entree names like cowboy corn nuggets, grizzly burger, and Montana Slinger BBQ Sammie, you’re in for a unique, locally-inspired meal at Thirsty Turtle.
This place technically isn’t in Big Timber, it’s in the neighboring tiny town of Greycliff. But Greycliff is kind of in the middle of nowhere and at just under 15 miles from Big Timber, it’s making this list of places to eat in Big Timber. Plus, it’s just a really cool spot!
The Greycliff Mill just opened a few years ago. The new owners completely renovated the old mill building – which still houses an operating grain mill. That grain mill is used to make fresh bagels and bread. You can get sandwiches on either one, plus some yummy milkshakes.
The Fort in Big Timber
In a hurry, but hungry? Head to the Fort before leaving Big Timber. The Fort is a gas station, convenience store, and gift shop on the northeast edge of town. It has an excellent grab-and-go food section.
If they have the paper bag lunches while you’re there, it’s a great deal. It comes with a satisfying sandwich, chips, candy bar and a water bottle for a low price.
Where to Stay in Big Timber, MT
Big Timber is a lovely place to stay as an alternative to busier Bozeman and Billings. It’s just 30 minutes from Livingston. From there, you’re even a short drive down to Yellowstone National Park through Paradise Valley.
Of course, you also may just want to explore around Big Timber and the Boulder River, too, and there’s nothing wrong with that in this cute Montana town!
The Grand Hotel & Restaurant
Centrally located on Main Street in downtown Big Timber is our top pick for where to stay in the town: the Grand Hotel and Restaurant. This is a historic B&B-style hotel that is on the National Registrar of Historic Places. It also has great reviews.
The rooms are well appointed and you’re within walking distance to all the sites on our above Big Timber walking tour – perfect!
Big Timber/Greycliff KOA
If you prefer camping or RVing, look into reserving a spot at the Big Timber / Greycliff KOA. The main office is located right off McLeod Street in downtown Big Timber.
The KOA has cute little cabins you can rent, some with ensuite bathrooms and some without (you’ll use a shared bathroom facility). Or you can rent a site with RV hookups and bring your own traveling accommodation. Big Timber / Greycliff KOA takes RVs up to 110 feet. Tent sites are also available.
Super 8 Big Timber
If you’re just looking for a standard hotel during your stay, check out the Super 8 by Wyndham in Big Timber. It’s comfortable, convenient, and affordable.