Montana's cultural landscape is on par with its natural one. Between the state's two national parks, discover some of the West's most captivating museums. Western Montana's Glacier Country and Montana's Yellowstone Country are teeming with arts and history hot spots-from the fastest-growing contemporary art museum in the intermountain West and one of the world's largest and most famous collections of dinosaur fossils, to museums housing unique treasures like a 7.5-foot sturgeon and one of the world's first personal computers.
We've curated park-to-park tours of Montana's many impressive and important museums, offering a cultural experience that history buffs, art aficionados, and anyone in between will treasure. View the work of renowned artists, and some of the most fascinating exhibits of historical artifacts providing glimpses into the Old West, railroad days, pioneer settlements, American Indian heritage, and our national parks-to name a handful.
Between stops, enjoy the charming small towns that make up the heart and soul of the region, featuring warm western welcomes, historic downtowns, local shops and art galleries, theater and live music, exceptionally good food and 40+ breweries and distilleries throughout the region.
A museum featuring two exhibit buildings, an oil worker's house, oil derrick, historic schoolhouse and caboose, and a living-history replica homestead where you can experience an overnight adventure.
107 Old Kevin Highway
A unique, 12-sided log building—plus multiple historic structures and a Shay steam locomotive—housing artifacts from Libby’s rich past including settlement, mining and logging.
34067 U.S. Highway 2
An 1866 chapel, gift shop, museum, art gallery and the cabins of Chief Victor and Father Ravalli, representing the first church in the Pacific Northwest and the first pioneer settlement in Montana.
315 Charlos St.
Twenty historic structures on 32 park-like acres, plus three indoor galleries interpreting the area’s fascinating history from the Indian Wars to the African American 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps to a WWII internment camp.
3400 Captain Rawn Way
A turn-of-the-century Carnegie Library building exhibiting nationally renowned and emerging artists as well as Glacier National Park art and culture and a hands-on Discovery Gallery for kids.
302 Second Ave. E.
A private cowboy and American Indian museum (open by appointment only) including a large carriage collection and a rodeo series bronze collection; located on the famous Lolo/Nez Perce Trail used by Lewis and Clark.
6800 U.S. Highway 12 W.
Exhibits on the history and importance of Hungry Horse Dam—the 10th highest in the U.S.—as well as interactive exhibits on the area and free tours of the dam’s crest.
Off U.S. Highway 2; follow the signs
A small-town museum with historic artifacts and photographs of homesteader life in Hot Springs, including the life and times of Montana cowgirl Fay Hanes.
110 Hot Springs Road
Guided tours and interactive exhibits about the intricacies of dams, hydropower and its relation to fish, wildlife and communities.
17877 State Highway 37
A Lewis and Clark/Nez Perce interpretive center—echoing the log architecture of historic Forest Service ranger stations—plus a gift shop, trails, and complimentary hot chocolate, tea, or coffee.
44000 U.S. Highway 12
A recreation area with overlooks featuring breathtaking Flathead Valley vistas and a visitor center with park wildlife and forest ecology.
300 Lone Pine Road
A recreation area with trails, an overlook, and interpretive display of the cultural heritage of the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers.
1353 Deer Creek Road
Yellowstone National Park
A historic district featuring 35 Army-era structures from the first development of administrative and concession facilities in Yellowstone National Park.
2 Barracks St.
A historic jail turned western heritage museum featuring relics of American Indian tribes, a model of Fort Ellis, period fashions, guns and other artifacts, including jail cells and hanging gallows.
317 W. Main St.
A 98-acre black-tailed prairie dog conservation and viewing area giving visitors a glimpse of these highly entertaining little critters as they dash from hole to hole and sound their “chirpy” alarms. Interpretive displays tell the tale of what Lewis & Clark referred to as “barking squirrels.”
Old U.S. Highway 10
A nonprofit wildlife park and educational facility featuring live grizzly bears and gray wolves, as well as otter and raptor exhibits and a naturalist cabin.
201 S. Canyon St.
A quaint museum featuring American Indian art and artifacts, Lewis and Clark memorabilia, a fascinating barbed wire collection, and exhibits on area commerce generated from fur traders, railroads, mining and agriculture.
202 S. Main St.
The homestead and once-working ranch of Augustus Franklin Crail depicting early settler life and offering guided and self-guided tours.
2110 Spotted Elk
A historic ranger station reflecting the early years of the U.S. Forest Service and the conservation movement.
Custer Gallatin National Forest 5242 U.S. Highway 89 S.
A fly-fishing museum representing the culture and history of fly-fishing as well as environmental and public-policy issues around the sport.
5237 U.S. Highway 89 S., Suite 11
Before you set out on your Montana museum tour, be sure to map out your trip and plan ahead. Some museums in the region are open seasonally and have limited hours, and a few are only open by appointment. Plan your time by getting a feel in advance for how long a self-guided or guided tour of each museum might be, and research ahead for fees—some museums offer free admission, others charge a fee, while others encourage a donation.
Check each region for more information:
Another great resource for history tour planning, the Montana Historical Society documents all the buildings in Montana that have been placed on the National Register of Historic places.
Lodging is part of the adventure, and Montana's western hospitality is second to none. From authentic guest ranches and mountain resorts to quaint bed-and-breakfasts and historic downtown hotels, there’s a stay that sums up your idyllic Montana getaway.
Montana is well-versed in the art of food and drink. Our top-notch culinary scene is on display throughout the region, where local chefs dish up creative genius no matter your taste. Our drinks are spot on, too, with breweries, distilleries, wineries and cideries crafting up works of fine art. You'll also find a number of historic, western bars in the region, brimming with authentic Montana character.