10 Fun Things to Do in Bozeman, Montana

Main Street in Bozeman, Montana, USA
Danita Delimont / Getty Images

With mountains on all sides, Bozeman provides visitors with year-round recreation, from the exciting adventure of snowmobiling or river rafting to the quieter nature experiences found in fly fishing and snowshoeing. The region's history is showcased in several venues. Bozeman, located 80 miles from the Gardiner entrance, is also a popular gateway to Yellowstone National Park. The city offers much to do in its bustling downtown, but for nature-lovers, there is even more beauty to be found in the surrounding natural landscapes that make up the beautiful state of Montana.

01 of 10

Downtown Bozeman

An aerial view of Main Street in downtown Bozeman, Montana in Fall.

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The best way to dive into the Bozeman lifestyle is to take a stroll downtown. This busy district is the heart of the city, where people shop, eat, and gather for live events like concerts and car shows. One place you shouldn't pass by is the Bozeman Spirits Distillery, where you can try the brand's latest productions of whiskey, vodka, rum, and gin—all of which are made on-site. After a few sips, you can shop for a pair of Montana-made cowboy boots and other fun souvenirs at Head West. Downtown is also where you'll want to spend most of your meals so make sure to dine at restaurants like Black Bird Kitchen and Open Range MT.

222 E Main St #302, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA
Phone +1 406-586-4008
02 of 10

Take a Shuttle to Yellowstone National Park

Elevated view of Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Ignacio Palacios / Getty Images

From the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), it's possible to take a shuttle directly to the national park, more specifically the Mammoth Hot Springs hotel. However, the shuttle only runs during the winter season between December and early March and leaves once per day at 1:45. p.m. It's about a two-hour drive to complete the 93 miles to Yellowstone National Park, but it's worth it if you'd rather not rent a car.

The main national attraction when traveling through this incredible part of the U.S., Yellowstone is full of stunning colors, hundreds of geysers, canyons, and a lot of bison. It's a great place for hiking and hot spring-soaking.

850 Gallatin Field Rd, Belgrade, MT 59714, USA
Phone +1 406-388-8321
03 of 10

Hike to Palisades Falls

Palisade Falls in the Gallatin National Forest Montana

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Making for a perfect day trip into nature, the Palisades Falls Trailhead is about 20 miles south of Bozeman and can be driven to in under an hour. The trail is short, only 1.2 miles round-trip, and very easy. It's also open for mountain biking, trail running, and cross-country skiing. Most of it is paved, which makes it somewhat accessible for stroller and wheelchair users, except for a few steps. At the end of the trail, your reward is an 80-foot high waterfall, which is especially nice to visit during sunset.

Palisades Falls, Montana 59047, USA
04 of 10

Visit the Museum of the Rockies

Museum of the Rockies
600 W Kagy Blvd, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
Phone +1 406-994-2251

The Museum of the Rockies features both the natural and the human history of the Rocky Mountain region. You'll find the Museum's extensive dinosaur fossil collection fascinating; the quality of the interpretation adds significantly to the educational experience. Other exhibits at the Museum of the Rockies cover Montana's human history, including Native Americans, mining history, and transportation.

The "Explore Yellowstone" exhibit in the Martin Children's Discovery Center introduces little ones to the animals, geology, and outdoor recreation opportunities to be found in Yellowstone National Park. A planetarium, living history farm, and traveling exhibits are other fun things to check out while at the Museum of the Rockies.

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05 of 10

Visit a Hot Springs Resort

Chico Hot Springs Resort
81123 Gallatin Rd, Bozeman, MT 59718-9096, USA
Phone +1 406-586-6492

Wherever there's a source of hot mineral waters, a multi-service resort facility is sure to pop up. There are two such hot spring resorts in the Bozeman area. At Bozeman Hot Springs, you'll find mineral water pools ranging from hot to cool, along with a variety of health, spa, and fitness services and facilities.

Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa, located south of Livingston in Montana's Paradise Valley, is a destination resort. In addition to hot pools for swimming and soaking, the resort offers a range of historic and modern lodgings, fine and casual dining, a saloon, a full-service day spa, and a special event space. You'll also have access to outdoor activities, including horse riding, river rafting, and dog sledding.

06 of 10

Ski the Mountains Near Bozeman

USA, Montana, Whitefish, skier on slope
Tetra Images - Noah Clayton / Getty Images

Bozeman is close to mountain resorts offering downhill skiing and much more. Just 16 miles north of Bozeman, Bridger Bowl offers hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in summer and skiing and snowboarding in winter, whereas neighboring Big Sky Resort has scenic lift rides, a zipline, disc golf, and all the snow sports.

A few miles west of Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin's on-mountain fun includes mountain biking, horseback riding, and yoga in summer. Winter brings skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, sledding, and more.

07 of 10

Fly Fish on the Gallatin River

Yellowstone River near Livingston Montana
435 E Main St, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA
Phone +1 406-522-9854

With the Gallatin River running right through town, and the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers (along with smaller streams) within a short drive, Bozeman is very popular with fly fishers. Fly shops, guides, and outfitters abound. Many local lodges also provide packages and services specifically tailored to fly fishers. Try Montana Angler for a guide service that can arrange everything from a single-day excursion to a multi-day trip with lodging. 

08 of 10

Snowmobile in Bozeman's Surrounding Mountains

Extreme snowmobile racing
CliqueImages / Getty Images

The Bozeman area has a lot to offer to snowmobile enthusiasts, including abundant snow and many guides and outfitters. The surrounding mountains and forests provide amazing terrain. Here are some of the more popular snowmobile trails near Bozeman: Big Sky Snowmobile Trail, 120 miles of trail located between Bozeman and West Yellowstone, Gallatin National Forest, 84 miles of groomed trails, including the popular Buck Creek Ridge, and Two Top National Recreation Snowmobile Trail, which runs from West Yellowstone into Idaho.  

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09 of 10

Experience One of Bozeman's Unique Festivals

Grandfather With Granddaughter Sitting On Chair At Observation Point Against Cloudy Sky During Sunset
Derek Feniger / EyeEm / Getty Images

The Bozeman community hosts many special events and festivals each year. One of the best is August's Sweet Pea Festival, held in Lindley Park. This includes all the live entertainment and decadent food you expect as well as arts and crafts booths, an art show, theatre, and dance, and a flower show. The festival schedule includes a parade, ball, and children's run. In October, the Bridger Raptor Festival is a free festival that celebrates the annual migration of Golden Eagles with wildlife films, nature walks, talks, and educational programs.

10 of 10

Discover Pioneer Life at the Gallatin Pioneer Museum

Dovetail Construction
317 W Main St, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA
Phone +1 406-522-8122

This local museum focuses on the history of early settlement in Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley, with some information covering more modern times. Exhibits feature agriculture, music, law enforcement, and the annual Sweet Pea Festival.

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10 Fun Things to Do in Bozeman, Montana