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 visitor center and historic working ranger station dedicated to the history of Northern Rockies firefighting, pack animals and backcountry work.
20325 Remount Road
A museum, gift shop and nature trail dedicated to the history and culture of the Flathead Nation and early Montana, including Plains Indians, homesteaders, cowboys, the fur trade and Black-Robe missionaries.
69316 U.S. Highway 93
The historic Central School building featuring exhibits of the Flathead Valley, American Indian culture, and the timber industry.
124 Second Ave. E.
A 100-year old former jail offering a variety of Sanders County history—dam construction, 1910 fires, Civilian Conservation Corps camps—through historical artifacts, images and maps, a period kitchen and gift shop.
109 S. Madison St.
A natural history collection featuring bird and mammal specimens viewable around the University of Montana campus.
Health Sciences Bldg., Room 212, University of Montana
A Flathead area museum on homesteader life and work on the Flathead Reservation, plus the Flathead Lake Monster, Allard Stagecoach, Rudolph the famous Highland Steer and antique fire engines.
708 Main St.
A repository for unique and rare collections from American Indian heritage and Ravalli County—Montana’s first European settlement.
205 Bedford St.
A state-of-the-art visitor center featuring trophy elk mounts, wildlife conservation films and fun, interactive wildlife exhibits, plus a gift shop and walking trail.
5705 Grant Creek Road
The historic Montana home of the U.S. Army since 1877 with exhibits and programs covering U.S. military history from the Revolutionary War to the present-day War on Terror.
Building T-316, 2795 General Foster Ave., Fort Missoula
The Double Arrow Ranch barn featuring collections on historical Montana life and events. Exhibits include historic wagons, a Blackfoot Indian lodge, a cabin, a dugout canoe and a Lewis and Clark botanical garden.
2920 State Highway 83
A photographic exhibit depicting the early history of skiing in the Flathead Valley, including a Hall of Fame honoring local ski legends, a reproduction of the Hellroaring Ski Cabin and rare video footage of early Montana skiing.
725 Wisconsin Ave.
An 1890's Catholic church with 58 original paintings on the walls and ceiling by Brother Joseph Carignano, plus a log home—which was the original Sisters' residence—a museum and a gift shop with mission and American Indian artifacts.
300 Bear Track Ave.
Downtown Livingston's first and only hotel, featuring modern amenities and décor that nods to its Old West beginnings.
201 W. Park St.
A museum preserving the rich history, art and culture of Stillwater County and the Beartooths with exhibits such as a general store, a soldier’s uniform and his dogsled, and a replica of a pioneer kitchen complete with a cast iron stove.
440 E. Fifth Ave. N.
A Smithsonian affiliate museum home to the largest collection of dinosaur fossils in North America. Rotating exhibits combine history, science, art, nature and more. The museum includes a planetarium, Children’s Discovery Center and living-history farm.
600 W. Kagy Blvd.
A museum dedicated to telling the story of travel to and through Yellowstone National Park with exhibits on stagecoaches, roads, trains, cars and buses, airplanes and winter travel.
104 Yellowstone Ave.
A hiking trail, Natural Bridge Falls waterfall, high stone cliffs and a natural sandstone arch with informational signs and a picnic area.
25 miles south of Big Timber on U.S. Highway 298
A legendary, historic hotel in the heart of downtown Red Lodge that has seen the likes of William Jennings Bryan, copper kings William and Marcus Daly, Buffalo Bill Cody and Calamity Jane.
2 Broadway Ave. N.
The iconic, triumphal arch at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner.
2819 U.S. Highway 89
A Historic Hotels of America destination with rich history and modern amenities—originally built as a rest stop for passengers and train crews—located at the headwaters of the Missouri River where Sacajawea was reunited with her brother and brokered safe passage for explorers.
5 N. Main St.
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.