The epic sunsets are just one of the reasons you'll fall in love with Montana

There are so many reasons to love in Montana. If you’ve never been or are are dreaming about going back to Montana (or call it home and want some validation!), here are 10 reasons you’ll fall in love with Montana.

1. Montana: the Big Sky Country

Red sunset over fields in Central Montana, south of Choteau
Red sunset south of Choteau, MT

No, we don’t mean Big Sky ski resort (though you may love that too). When it comes to loving the “Big Sky” of Montana, that’s referring to the sky itself. The lack of skyscrapers and development combined with the grandeur of mountains and river valleys means the sky just seems a bit larger in Montana. 

Read More: List of the Best Places to experience the “Big Sky” in Montana

2. Wide, Open Spaces

Wide, open spaces in the ranch land of Montana

Yes, it really is like a 90s country song in Montana. There are vast swatches of land in Montana where you’ll drive for hours and barely see any signs of civilization. 

Read More: Our Favorite Scenic Drives in Montana

3. Ranch Life

Experiencing the ranch way of life on a cattle drive in Montana.
Cattle drive excursion with Triple Creek Ranch

Stay at a dude ranch in Montana to completely immerse yourself in the “live off the land” culture of Montana. 

You’ll quickly fall in love with this way of life and Montana still embodies it. 

Read More: The Best Dude Ranch Vacations in Montana

4. Quaint Small Towns 

Hamilton, a small town in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana
Hamilton, MT

If you adore small towns, you’ll quickly fall in love with Montana and its charming small towns. Montana has a wide range of small towns, from mountain valley towns near the entrances to national parks to farming-centric towns on the east side of Montana. 

Read More: Here are 30 small towns in Montana to add to your bucket list.

Read More: We’ve also narrowed the list down to our top 10 favorite small towns in Montana here.

5. Fun Cities

Butte, Montana historic downtown
Butte, MT

Montana isn’t just open spaces and tiny towns. You’ll also fall in love with the state’s “big” cities. We put that in quotes because even the biggest cities in Montana are small compared to cities in most other states.

Montana’s biggest city is Billings and the population is still under 120,000 at last count. 

Even though these cities are on the smaller side, they pack a lot of action. Visit downtown Bozeman for trendy bars and boutiques, experience the river life in Missoula, walk along the urban creek flowing through the outdoor walking mall in Helena, tour historic buildings in Butte and Kalispell, and top it off with a brewery walking tour in Billings

Read More: Find All Our City Guides Here

6. History Galore 

Old General Store in Virginia City, Montana
Old General Store in Virginia City, MT

You might be surprised just how much history is waiting to be discovered…dating back to the prehistoric age!

The history is vast and diverse, from dinosaur fossil excavations in Glendive; to the golden age of river travel and trade in Fort Benton; and onto the past mining riches of Butte, Virginia City, and other ghost towns.

Montana is a must-see state to visit for anyone interested in history and learning how the Wild West was settled. 

7. National Parks

You can learn more about the geological and ecological history of Montana at the impressive national parks that reside within its borders: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park

Glacier is a towering mountain wonderland of awe-inspiring proportions and epic hikes.

Yellowstone will astound you with its geothermal properties including erupting volcanoes and bubbling, gurgling molten mud.

And both parks are teeming with wildlife and scenic views. 

Read More: Find All Our Montana National Park Articles Here

8. Burgeoning Food and Drink Scene 

Steak and potato gratin entree with asparagus at Chico Hot Springs Resort in Montana
Steak and potato gratin entree in the dining room at Chico Hot Springs Resort

Montana has quietly been making a culinary name for itself. Many restaurants focus on local ingredients, sourcing from Montana farms and ranches.

In addition, award-winning breweries and distilleries are popping up all over the state. There’s even a winery and small vineyard in Miles City

Read More: Top 10 Foods to Try in Montana

9. Crowd-Free Skiing

Top of the mountain at Red Lodge Ski Resort.
Red Lodge Mountain

Montana’s ski resorts are blissfully devoid of people. Even the biggest resorts like Big Sky and Whitefish get nowhere near the people at comparable places in Utah, Colorado, and California. Yet the powder and amenities are still world-class in Montana, making it a great place for a ski vacation.

To really feel like you have the powder to yourself, head to one of the small ski mountains in Montana that mostly attract locals, such as Red Lodge, Showdown, or Bridger Bowl. 

Read More: Guide to Montana’s Ski Resorts

10. Friendly Locals

mermaid swimming behind glass
Even the mermaids are friendly in Montana! (Taken at the Sip n Dip Lounge)

Those who call Montana home are a friendly, chatty bunch. Don’t be surprised if someone starts chatting with you in line at the supermarket or offers a helping hand unexpectedly. The locals are one of our favorite parts of Montana – and not just because we’re related to many of them, ha! 

But we do ask that you stay on the good side of locals by being a responsible visitor. Leave no trace, don’t try to pet the bison or other animals (why does this need to be said, but every year we are reminded that it does!), and don’t forget that bear spray

Read More: How to Recreate Responsibly in Montana

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