The Last Best Place. Really.

Thanks for BlogTrotting over to Big Sky Country and Bozeman, Montana!

We have a lot to see.

e today, so let’s get started early. Let’s start the day with a cup of Yellowstone Coffee while we watch the sun rise over the Bridger Mountains.

 

Every August, hardy runners compete in the 20+ mile run across the top of the Bridger Mountains. I am not kidding. I am also not one of them.
I have to drop the kids off at school before we head down to Main Street where I’ll show you around. Ride along, you never know what we might see.

 

That blurry bump on the right is a bald eagle my 12-year-old spotted on the way to school

A lot of places probably look the same as when the Lewis and Clark expedition passed through here in 1805.

 

Once the prospectors discovered gold nearby in the 1860s, the town began to grow as industrious and hardy folks came west via the Bozeman Trail.

This is historic downtown Bozeman where 49 buildings are on the National Historic Register.

 

Many of the current buildings were constructed over 100 years ago.

 

Main Street in 1905

This hip city center is an eclectic mix of art galleries, fine dining and chic one-of-a-kind shops. At the Pioneer Museum, which is housed in the old jail, visitors can learn about Bozeman’s colorful history. On top of the art deco inspired Baxter Hotel, you’ll notice a blue light.

 

Talk about a blue light special

Locals know when that light is flashing, grab your skis and head north to Bridger Bowl Ski Area, because fresh powder is falling.

But Bozeman is more than a quaint downtown, it’s a year-round, outdoor lover’s paradise.

So let’s take advantage of Bozeman’s Main Street to the Mountains trail system on the way to our next stop.

 

 

There are over 50 miles of trails as part of the Main Street to Mountains system

While downtown is historic, our next stop is where the Old West meets the really Old West. Like when dinosaurs roamed what is now Montana. This is the Museum of the Rockies which features dinosaur exhibits you won’t find anywhere else, like the world’s largest T-Rex skull.

 

T-Rex replica, Big Mike, greets visitors

Getting tired? Good because I’ve got a lot more to show you.

But it never hurts to stop for an early lunch, so let’s head to one of my favorite spots. On the way, we’ll drive through the campus of Montana State University but we’ll have to watch out for the ducks.

 

 

The duck pond has been a popular spot on campus for all ages since 1915

 

Welcome to Cafe Zydeco where you’ll find some of the best jambalaya this side of New Orleans. On the weekend, you can try a beignet that’s so good you’d think you were at Café du Monde. After a spicy lunch, let’s stop for some chocolates at La Chatelaine which feels like a shop on the Rue Cler in Paris.

 

Their hand-crafted confections are beautiful and so artfully displayed, they’re almost too gorgeous to eat.

Almost.

Now that we’re fortified with truffles, let’s head 16 miles north to Bridger Bowl Ski Area for some of the best powder in the west.

 

In fact, Bridger Bowl made Budget Travel’s list of best ski areas. At $46 for a full-day pass, I couldn’t agree more.

 

Bozemanites love their snow.

 

But don’t forget, we actually have spring, summer and fall here too (just not that much of them).

 

 

If you’d stop by in summer, we could go whitewater rafting on the Gallatin River then stop off for some world-class fly fishing. If we had more time, we’d visit Yellowstone National Park, which is just 90 miles south of Bozeman.

I hope you can see why we think it’s The Last Best Place. I’m glad you could stop by to visit my little home on the range.

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