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Museums IN MONTANA

Donnie Sexton

EXPLORE THE ART, HISTORY AND CULTURE
OF THE WEST AT MONTANA'S BEST MUSEUMS

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 Yellowstone Country Montana 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.

Glacier Country and Yellowstone Country
  • Western Montana's Glacier Country
  • Yellowstone Country Montana
  • Mineral County Museum

    Superior A collection of engaging exhibits, artifacts and documents on mining, logging and U.S. Forest Service activities in Mineral County.
    301 Second Ave. E.
    406.822.3543

  • Miracle of America Museum

    Polson A one-of-a-kind museum known for its quirky and remarkably vast collection—over 100,000 objects—of artifacts, from automobiles, helicopters and UFOs to a blacksmith shop and barbed wire collection.
    36094 Memory Lane
    406.883.6804
    Website

  • Missoula Art Museum

    Missoula A free, contemporary art museum located in the heart of Missoula's historic downtown dedicated to works by contemporary Montana artists, plus changing exhibits of national and international art.
    335 N. Pattee
    406.728.0447
    Website

  • Missoula Insectarium

    Missoula A butterfly house and insectarium showcasing live arthropods, an animal encounter cart and programs geared toward all ages.
    Coming soon to the Missoula Fairgrounds
    406.317.1211
    Website

  • Missoula Smokejumper Visitor Center

    Missoula A working smokejumper facility with free tours dedicated to behind-the scenes glimpses of smokejumper life, plus smokejumper history and education on fire management including jump gear, parachutes, cargo and aircraft.
    5765 W. Broadway St.
    406.329.4934
    Website

  • Montana Museum of Art & Culture

    Missoula A museum on the University of Montana campus with rotating exhibits from an 11,000 piece collection including Rembrandt and Warhol.
    PAR-TV Building, University of Montana
    406.243.2019
    Website

  • Montana Museum of Work History

    Missoula A museum celebrating the innovation and work ethic that led to survival and prosperity in Montana with exhibits including antique firearms, steam and gas engines, automobiles, tools and logging and mining equipment.
    7655 Highway 10 W.
    406.728.7020
    Website

  • Montana Natural History Center

    Missoula A museum, art gallery and programming “connecting people with nature” by encompassing the flora, fauna and natural history of Western Montana.
    120 Hickory St., Suite A
    406.327.0405
    Website

  • Museum of Mountain Flying

    Missoula A collection of the region’s mountain-flying history, including vintage aircraft, memorabilia, artifacts, photographs, diaries, motion-picture footage, recordings and published material.
    East end of Missoula Airport
    406.721.3644
    Website

  • Museum of the Plains Indian

    Browning A look at the history of Plains Indian art and way of life through exhibits of clothing, horse gears, weaponry, baby carriers and toys. Contemporary American Indian arts and crafts available for purchase.
    19 Museum Loop
    406.338.2230
    Website

  • National Bison Range

    Moiese An 18,500-acre wildlife refuge home to 350 bison—plus elk, deer and bears—including a visitor center and self-guided scenic drive.
    58355 Bison Range Road
    406.644.2211
    Website

  • National Museum of Forest Service History

    Missoula A fire lookout tower, memorial tree grove and bungalow ranger station with historical artifacts dedicated to preserving the history of the U.S. Forest Service, from ski area development to smokejumpers, paratroopers and conservationists.
    6305 U.S. Highway 10 W.
    406.541.6374
    Website

  • Jardine Ghost Town

    Jardine The historic Jardine Mining Company camp with numerous miner cabins and mining remains.


    Website

  • Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden

    Big Timber A beautiful garden featuring interpretive displays and native Montana plants collected by Lewis and Clark during their historic expedition between 1805 and 1806.
    2 S. Frontage Road
    406.932.5126
    Website

  • Little Bear School House Museum

    Gallatin Gateway A historic one-room schoolhouse with period memorabilia and an antique merry-go-round.
    76200 Gallatin Road
    406.580.6228
    Website

  • Living History Farm at Museum of the Rockies

    Bozeman A homesteader days living history farm with costumed interpreters offering a glimpse of the past through cooking over a wood-burning stove, tending to the heirloom garden, and forging iron in the blacksmith’s shop.
    600 W. Kagy Blvd.
    406.994.2251
    Website

  • Livingston Depot Center

    Livingston The original Northern Pacific Railroad depot and launching point for travel to Yellowstone National Park now featuring Livingston history including railroad and early settler life.
    200 W. Park St.
    406.222.2300
    Website

  • Madison Buffalo Jump State Park

    Three Forks A historic spot where American Indians stampeded vast herds of bison off a massive half-moon limestone cliff offering impressive views of the Madison River Valley. Archeologists have located the tipi rings, and buffalo bones remain buried at the base of the cliff.
    6990 Buffalo Jump Road
    406.285.3610
    Website

  • Missouri Headwaters State Park

    Three Forks The confluence of the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin rivers—where Lewis and Clark stayed in 1805—featuring cultural and natural history, river play, fishing, biking, hiking, bicycling and interpretive programs.
    1585 Trident Road
    406.285.3610
    Website

  • Montana Science Center

    Bozeman A children's museum and science center with hands-on exhibits and exploratory play, including A Bug’s World, STEAM lab, a native fish pond, Rigamajig large-scale building kit, a wind tunnel, a gravity vortex and more.
    2740 W. Main St.
    406.522.9087
    Website

Plan your trip

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

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 + DINING

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.

For more on lodging, visit glaciermt.com/stay and visityellowstonecountry.com/places-to-stay.

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.

For more on where to dine and drink, visit glaciermt.com/eat and visityellowstonecountry.com/food-and-drink.

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