I was only able to spend a short amount of time in Bozeman compared to Missoula, but I still enjoyed my day in the city, exploring the small downtown area, fitting in a craft brewery, and taking in another side of Montana.
Bozeman is the 4th largest city in Montana at just over 40,000 people. The city is located in Gallatin County, about an hour from Big Sky Resort and an hour and a half from Yellowstone National Park. Bozeman is also the home to Montana State University.
We drove from 320 Guest Ranch, just south of Big Sky Resort, and arrived in town in the afternoon, a tad exhausted from our recent travels around Montana and the fast pace we had kept up for the past six days. We weren’t in the best mood when we arrived in Bozeman, but our spirits soon lifted once we started interacting with locals and walking around the city.
We saw a large sign for a brewery so we stopped in there first – not realizing we had accidentally walked into the distillery side of the building, the brewery wouldn’t be open for another hour or two.
The man behind the bar was so friendly when we walked in that we stayed and chatted about life in Bozeman for a good 10 minutes or so, even though we weren’t interested in buying any spirits. And that’s exactly what I love about Montana – that attitude of pure friendliness.
We left the distillery behind and continued walking up and down Main Street in Bozeman, taking in the historic storefronts and the fresh mountain air. We passed by the co-op and came across a men’s fashion store which Kendall wanted to take a look into. And my favorite part about the store, they offered us a free sample of local craft beer while we were browsing the merchandise. Um, how cool is that!?
We soon made our way back to the now open brewery and found it to be called White Dog. They had decent beer, I liked the majority of the sample tray we bought, with the exception of one or two beers that were average. They had great branding at least, which really does go a long way in the craft beer scene to make a brewery stand out.
On our way back to the car, we passed by Lark, a funky hotel in Bozeman that I had been wanting to stay at since I first started planning my trip to Montana, if only my timing in the city had been better. I’ve heard great things about the accommodation, and I have my mind set on making a stop in next time I’m in town to explore their uniquely designed rooms and incredibly friendly staff.
When I first started writing this post, I was going to research all there is to do around Bozeman and give you a full guide to the city. However, I know it’s a place I’ll be back to sometime in the near future and I wanted to save that post for when I actually get to experience the wonderful world of Bozeman first-hand.
In all honesty, we didn’t get up to all that much in the city. We took our time in the downtown area and enjoyed every minute of it. I think after such a whirlwind time in the rest of Montana it was refreshing to just relax and take in the state’s culture at its best. There’s a slower pace that exists in Big Sky Country and we were finally matching that pace in a parallel way.
We came to the city in slightly heavy moods and left with a lighter mindset – Montana has a way of doing that to you. I’m looking forward to returning to Bozeman and getting lost in Southwest Montana as a whole next time I’m in the state.
Although seemingly small on the outside, I believe Bozeman to be a place that will surprise you with its personality and beauty time and time again.
Have you ever been drawn to a city that you didn’t spend much time in? What’s your favorite picture of Bozeman?
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