Things to Do in Missoula, Montana: National Parks, Tourist Attractions and Recreation in Missoula

If you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation destination, Missoula is a great choice. The city lies between five mountain ranges – a paradise for hikers and bikers. Let’s explore the best things to do in Missoula, from outdoor activities to art galleries!

things to do in missoula

Why Is Missoula Worth Visiting?

Missoula is a city of approximately 70,000 people in the western part of Montana, which is known for its vast wilderness areas and outdoor activities. Missoula is situated on the Clark Fork River and is the second-largest city in the state (the largest is Billings).

The location of Missoula makes it an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts to visit. There are many attractions nearby that are worth exploring, such as Lolo National Forest and Glacier National Park. These parks will give you an opportunity to see some of Montana’s most beautiful landscapes and wildlife species such as mountain goats and grizzly bears.

In addition, the city is home to the University of Montana, which gives it a college town feel. It also means that history buffs can enjoy attractions such as the Montana Museum of Art & Culture. So, what are the best things to do in Missoula? Read on to find out!

Outdoor Things to Do in Missoula

As mentioned before, outdoor enthusiasts will love Missoula thanks to its proximity to several national parks. Lolo National Forest is located just outside the city and offers plenty of hiking and biking trails. The Bitterroot Valley, which runs along the western edge of Missoula, is also worth exploring. This valley is home to many ranches and farms as well as the Bitterroot River, which is a popular spot for trout fishing.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is headquartered in Missoula and is a great place to see elk mounts and learn about these animals. The visitor center also holds events for children and for the whole family. If you’re looking for even more outdoor things to do in Missoula, consider visiting one of the city parks.

  • Big Sky Park is a great place to take a walk or have a picnic, and it also has an equestrian trail.
  • Fort Missoula Regional Park is another option, and it’s perfect for those who want to go camping or try their hand at archery. It’s also home to the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula.
  • Maclay Flat Nature Trail is a short but scenic trail that takes you through a forested wetland.
  • Mount Jumbo is a popular spot for hiking and has several trails of varying difficulty levels.
  • Mount Sentinel is another beautiful hike, with a trail that takes you to “M” Point, which offers stunning views of the city.
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There are also several golf courses in Missoula if you’re looking to hit the links, such as Larchmont Golf Course and University of Montana Golf Course. We’ll cover more places to visit for sports enthusiasts later.

Attractions in Downtown Missoula – History, Art and Science

Downtown Missoula is home to many of the city’s attractions, including the Montana Museum of Art & Culture. This museum is located on the University of Montana campus and houses a collection of American Indian artifacts as well as paintings by famous Montana artists.

If you’re interested in science, be sure to visit the spectrUM Discovery Area. This hands-on museum is great for kids and adults alike and has exhibits on topics such as space, the human body, and dinosaurs.

For a taste of local history, stop by the Missoula Art Museum. This museum is located in an old brick building and features rotating exhibitions of art from Montana artists. There are also several art galleries nearby, such as Dana Gallery, Relic Gallery and Murphy-Jubb Fine Arts.

Last but not least, Wilma Theater is a popular spot for live music and entertainment. This theater hosts a variety of shows, including plays, musicals and comedy shows.

Things to Do in Missoula with Kids

There are plenty of things to do in Missoula for families. The Splash Montana water park is a great place to cool off on a hot day, and it has slides, a lazy river and a children’s play area. The Currents Aquatics Center is another option for those looking to take a dip.

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If you’re not looking to get wet, Westside Lanes & Fun Center is a great place to go bowling or play laser tag. Another attraction for kids is A Carousel for Missoula at Caras Park, near the Higgins Bridge. This carousel has hand-painted animals and is a great place to take a break from sightseeing.

Missoula County Fairgrounds is the perfect place to take kids. The fairgrounds host a variety of events throughout the year, such as the Western Montana Fair. Enjoy reasonably-priced rides, snacks, and games. For the youngest, Dragon Hollow Playground is a must. This playground has a castle, slides, and swings, and is located on Carousel Drive.

Sports in Missoula – Football, Baseball and More

Missoula is home to the University of Montana Grizzlies, and fans of college football will enjoy watching a game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The stadium also hosts several other events throughout the year, such as concerts and monster truck rallies.

The Missoula PaddleHeads baseball team plays at Ogren Park at Allegiance Field. The season runs from June to September, and tickets are affordable. That’s all there is to watch, but if you want to partake in some sports action, Missoula has you covered there too. You can go hiking, biking, fishing, golfing and much more in Missoula. There are also several ski resorts nearby if you’re looking to hit the slopes.

Eating and Drinking in Missoula – Breweries and Restaurants

There are several breweries in Missoula, such as Kettlehouse Brewing Company and Big Sky Brewing Company. If you prefer wine, visit one of the wineries in the area, such as Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery.

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For a bite to eat, there are plenty of great restaurants in Missoula. If you’re looking for some hearty comfort food, stop by the Notorious P.I.G. BBQ. For something a little lighter, visit the Oxford Cafe. And if you want a taste of the local cuisine, be sure to try huckleberry pie!

Enjoy Your Day Trip or Longer Stay at Missoula!

No matter what you’re looking for, there are lots of things to do in Missoula. From hiking and biking to museums and art galleries, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city. So whether you’re just passing through or planning a longer stay, be sure to add Missoula to your list of places to visit.


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