A Local’s Guide to Visiting Bozeman: All the Things You Can’t Miss Doing and Seeing
We are fortunate that one of our Travel Montana Now team members, Jackie, calls lives in Bozeman. She is sharing the top things to do in Bozeman whether you’re planning a whole vacation around the city or just want to know what to pick to see and do when driving through it on a Montana road trip.
Ski Resorts Close to Bozeman
Bozeman is one of the best places to go in Montana if you’re looking to do some skiing while in town.
The preeminent ski resort in Montana is Big Sky Resort and it is located just 30 miles south of Bozeman. Big Sky Resort is a massive place to ski, from the towering peaks of the runs to the breathtaking views you can see from the chairlift down across the Paradise Valley below.
Big Sky Resort is also home to a cute little village where you can do some craft brewery tastings or grab a bite to eat.
Bridger Bowl is a local favorite for those who live in Bozeman. It doesn’t have the international clout quite like Big Sky Resort does, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent place to hit the slopes.
At Bridger Bowl you’ll find fewer crowds and runs that are tailor made for both skiers and snowboarders.
Bozeman Hot Springs
Montana is home to many relaxing hot springs, one of which is Bozeman hot springs. The pools of the facility are warmed by natural hot springs and has been in operation for over a century. While there used to be just one pool, today you’ll find twelve, all heated to various degrees that range between 59 to 106 degrees.
Bozeman hot springs is a family-friendly place that’s also a great spot to go after a day of skiing or snowboarding.
Downhill skiing isn’t all there is to do in Bozeman when it comes to outdoor pursuits. There are also great recreation areas in the region, one of which is found at Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area.
Located a short 25-minute drive south of Boston, Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area is home to a myriad of trails that are perfect for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter and amazing by foot or mountain bike in the summer months.
Museum of the Rockies
One of the best museums in Montana and by far one of the best dinosaur museums in the world is Museum of the Rockies, located right within the Bozeman city limits.
At Museum of the Rockies, you’ll find incredible dinosaur fossils including a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and a Triceratops skeleton, plus plenty of dinosaur bones and other things left over from the Cretaceous period, many of which were found right in Montana.
In addition to dinosaur bones there is an exhibit on Native American culture and history in Montana as also an exhibit on the original western frontier history of the state.
This museum is so terrific that we have an entire post dedicated to it. Click here to read our comprehensive guide to visiting the museum of the Rockies in Bozeman.
Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture
The Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture, typically referred to as just “the Emerson,” is located in a historic building in downtown Bozeman and aims to bring the community together through art and cultural exhibits as well as a number of activities.
Visitors can walk through the three onsite exhibits or even partake in a class, such as art or yoga.
Bozeman Breweries & Distilleries
Montana is rapidly gaining traction in the international brewing community and it’s easy to get a taste of the craft brewery scene while in Bozeman. Here’s a short list of the most acclaimed breweries in Bozeman that you should check out if you are a beer lover:
- MAP Brewing Company (Top Pick for Atmosphere!)
- Mountains Walking Brewery and Pub (Top Pick for Beer!)
- Bozeman Brewing Company (locally known as the Bozone and the oldest craft brewery in Bozeman)
- Union Hall Brewery
- Bridger Brewing (Has great ginger beer, gluten free beer, and awesome pizza)
- White Dog Brewing Company
And why stop at craft beer? You can also check out a couple of the craft distilleries in Bozeman such as Wildrye Distilling and Bozeman Spirits Distillery.
An up and coming neighborhood in Bozeman that intermixes new business with historic architecture. You’ll find several eateries, a distillery, a Patagonia shop and a few other shopping boutiques alongside local architecture, real estate, yoga, and other businesses.
The Cannery is located just a mile and a half from Main Street, where bustling downtown Bozeman lies.
Bozeman is known for all of the outdoor activity surrounding it, but it also has a fun city scene in its downtown area, especially for foodies. Head to downtown Bozeman and you’ll find a stretch of delicious eateries and rocking bars, some of which have live music.
Downtown Bozeman is also home to some interesting art galleries.
Day Trip to Yellowstone National Park
Last, but certainly not least, a stay in Bozeman puts you in driving distance for a day trip (or longer) to Yellowstone National Park. It’s about the same distance (roughly 90 minute drive) to both the north entrance in Gardiner and the west entrance in West Yellowstone, though it’s a bit faster to Gardiner.
Side note: Remember that in winter, the only entrance open to Yellowstone National Park is the north one in Gardiner.
Bozeman’s Annual Sweet Pea Festival
Jackie has one more tip for your time in Bozeman, If you’re there in summer, one of the top things to do inBozeman is attend the Sweet Pea Festival.
The Sweet Pea Festival is a 3-day arts festival that features Shakespeare performances, a parade, live music, family-friendly activities, dance troupes, art workshops, and a beer and wine garden.