Exploring Downtowns in Montana’s Yellowstone Country
One of the unexpected yet charming aspects of Montana’s Yellowstone Country is the lovely downtowns. Many of them are entirely walkable and full of interesting boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, sporting goods stores, and more. If you’re visiting, set aside some time for browsing – you’ll be surprised at the quality, craftsmanship, and uniqueness of the goods and services lining these little streets. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites, but they all have a quaintness worth exploring.
Located at the West entrance to Yellowstone, this bustling little town contains Western art and memorabilia, The Playmill Theatre, family-friendly restaurants, and some killer ice cream stores. There are many guides, outfitters, and snowmobile, bike, and Nordic ski rentals. Don’t miss the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, a wildlife sanctuary home to bears, wolves, birds of prey, and river otters.
Big Sky Town Center is the hub of shopping, dining, and entertainment in Big Sky. Peruse the blocks, and you’ll find The Playmill Theatre, boutiques, artist’s studio galleries, and outstanding restaurants. Len Park, located in the heart of Town Center, is home to Music in the Mountains, the Farmer’s Market, and other community events. A new mixed-use pedestrian trail will make it even easier to get there!
The most expansive in our region, Downtown Bozeman is full of exciting restaurants and retail stores, art galleries, and five venues for live music, theater, and other cultural events: ELM, Ellen Theatre, Rialto, Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture, and Willson Auditorium. Check the schedules because they are updated weekly, and the national and regional talent gracing these stages is fantastic. And, if you’re in the mood for some laughs, Last Best Comedy is Montana’s only comedy club, and it’s right downtown!
The retail scene in Livingston is the most eclectic in Montana, and the restaurants are so good it’s hard to pick! There are record shops, a plant store, thrift and vintage shops, bookstores, art galleries, and a top-notch community bakery. When you think you’ve seen it all, round another corner, you’ll find another gem.
If you’re visiting the North side of Yellowstone, you’ll love exploring Gardiner for a place to eat, rest, and shop. Yellowstone Forever, the official non-profit for Yellowstone National Park, has its headquarters in Gardiner. Stop in to learn more about Yellowstone before you go!
An authentic mountain town tucked up between gorgeous peaks, Red Lodge also hosts several fantastic dining options, unique boutiques, and many community events. If you happen to be visiting while one is going on, jump in on the fun – you’ll experience some genuine Montana hospitality!
For more information on the downtowns in Montana’s Yellowstone Country, visit our Communities page.