Many visitors to Bozeman arrive with plans to visit Yellowstone or go skiing at Big Sky – but The Egypt of Montana (or Bozangeles, as locals lovingly call it) offers so much more than that! Founded in 1864, Bozeman, MT, has grown into a vibrant city full of culture, history, and adventure. You’ll find everything from a delicious food and drink scene and shopping to nationally acclaimed museums here.
So…are you ready to step off the beaten path to explore the best Bozeman, MT, has to offer? Here are eighteen experiences locals love and you don’t want to miss during your visit:
Stroll and Sample Downtown Bozeman
Downtown Bozeman is a gorgeous mix of historic architecture and fresh ideas. Taking a stroll down Main Street is a treat for the eyes. You’ll find an eclectic mix of 19th Century buildings housing restaurants, boutiques, and storefronts juxtaposed with Art Deco facades and modern elements.
Downtown Bozeman is the heart of the city’s dining, shopping, and cultural activities. Definitely swing by the historic Hotel Baxter for luxurious dining at Ted’s Montana Grill, or grab a pint at Copper Whiskey Bar and Grill for a more casual fare. Looking for more entertainment? Check out the Armory Music Hall for a concert, Last Best Comedy for some laughs, or visit one of Downtown’s many art galleries.
Camp and Play at Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area
Skip the crowds of tourists at Yellowstone or Big Sky and explore the beautiful wilderness of the Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area! A short 30-minute drive from Bozeman will have you surrounded by lush evergreen trees and all the outdoor adventure you could need.
In the summer month, Hyalite offers the perfect space for hiking, biking, fishing, and camping. A popular destination for many visitors is the crashing waters of Palisade Falls – an 80ft high tower of tumbling waters. Come winter, Hyalite offers ice climbing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, skiing, and cold-weather activities.
Discover Dinos and More at the Museum of the Rockies
You may be surprised that Bozeman is home to an extension of Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian Museum! The Museum of the Rockies is a nationally acclaimed institution featuring exhibits spanning topics from Yellowstone to a Living History Farm. It’s one of the best things to do in Bozeman for anyone who loves diving into culture and history.
The museum features several permanent exhibits, including the Siebel Dinosaur Complex, one of the world’s largest collections of North American dinosaurs. The Museum of the Rockies also houses visiting exhibitions throughout the year – past exhibits have featured DaVinci, Marvel comics, and cultural exhibits on the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe indigenous to the area.
Relax at the Bozeman Hot Springs
Need a day of R&R? Head over to the Bozeman Hot Springs! Visitors have used the natural hot springs to relax for hundreds of years. Today, the Bozeman Hot Springs offers twelve pools of varying temperatures – including a 57-degree pool perfect for the kids.
You can visit Bozeman Hot Springs year-round; the venue has indoor and outdoor pools. Hot tip (pun intended) – Visit the hot springs on Thursday or Sunday, and you’ll enjoy your soak alongside live music.
Sip Around Bozeman at Local Breweries
Wondering what to do in Bozeman on a warm summer evening? Or maybe you want to taste some local specialties? If that’s the case, Bozeman’s local breweries are calling your name.
Bozeman has a thriving brewery scene. Hit up the Bozeman Brewing Historic District to check out three breweries. Swing by the oldest brewery in Bozeman – Bozeman Brewing Company – to taste their classic Bozone Amber or Gallatin Pale Ale. From there, head to Mountains Walking Brewery or New Hokkaido.
Hungry? You can grab some fantastic pizza and beer at Bridger Brewing or Nordic Brew Works. Or, check out the college vibe at MAP Brewing. Last but not least, make sure to check out Outlaw Brewing and Bunkhouse Brewing for delicious IPAs and Pilsners.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Local Treats
Visitors with a sweet tooth will find plenty of things to do in Bozeman, MT. The city is home to culinary confections that will satisfy any treat craving. Not sure where to start? First and foremost, visit France at La Chatelaine Chocolat Co. for real French chocolates made by Parisian-trained chefs. Honestly, everything in the shop is to die for.
Craving classic Americana treats? Head to The Chocolate Moose, where you’ll find a vintage soda fountain, handmade toffee, and much more! You’ll find more fantastic treats of the caramel variety at Béquet Confections.
Looking for ice cream? Look no further than the homemade, frozen confections at Sweet Peaks Icecream. Are cupcakes or cookies calling your name? Check out the delicious wares at the Wild Crumb bakery (try the huckleberry scone!) or Cupcake Mountain (the buttercream frosting is delish!)
Escape the City at Burke Park
Visiting Burke Park is one of the most underrated things to do in Bozeman, MT. Sure, at first glance Burke Park is just another park, but this 41-acre retreat is full of surprises.
You may hear locals refer to Burke Park as “Peet’s Hill,” a reference to the land’s original owner, Earl Peets. The park offers biking and walking trails and is dog-friendly. In the spring and summer, a seasonal creek adds to the music of wild bird cries and the whispers of grass blowing in the wind. But the number one reason to visit Burke Park isn’t the trails – it’s the views.
Burke Park offers panoramic views of the Bozeman skyline. You can see the Montana State University Campus, Downtown Bozeman, and the mountains from the top of Peet’s Hill from the grassy hilltop! Locals know Burke Park is the place to be if you want a stunning sunrise or sunset view.
Go Wild at Montana Grizzly Encounters
At Montana Grizzly Encounters, visitors can see majestic grizzlies in their natural habitat. Montana Grizzly Encounters is a sanctuary dedicated to protecting bears unable to survive in the wild due to human exposure or natural causes. Their mission is to give the bears a place to call home while educating visitors on grizzly bears.
You’ll want to bring some walking or hiking shoes for your visit to MGE. The experience takes you strolling along tree-lined trails that line the bears’ enclosures. You’ll take in the sights and sounds of Montana’s natural beauty as you meet Lucy, Bella, Jake, and their other furry friends who call the sanctuary home.
Have a Thrilling Water Adventure on the Gallatin River
The glittering waters of the Gallatin River beckon to anyone looking for an outdoor water adventure. The river offers choice fishing opportunities with abundant brown trout, rainbow trout, and mountain whitefish swimming in its waters.
The Gallatin is also popular for white water rafting. The famed “Mad Mile” is a challenging stretch of Class IV white water sure to thrill even the most seasoned rafter. But the river is also a great place to just chill – in the warmer months, you can take in the gorgeous Gallatin River Canyon while kayaking and river tubing.
Your Bozeman, MT Adventure Awaits!
The city is calling – no matter your interests, Bozeman has something for you. Find more inspiration for your Bozeman visit here.