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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
  • St. Ignatius Mission

    St. Ignatius 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.
    406.745.2768
    Website

  • Stevensville Historical Museum

    Stevensville A museum depicting the history of the first permanent European settlement in Montana and traditional homeland of the Salish Indians.
    517 Main St.
    406.777.1007
    Website

  • Stonehenge Air Museum

    Fortine The home of more than two dozen vintage aircraft—including the world’s only airworthy Mk 47 Seafire—several aircraft engines, aircraft models and aviation art.
    Call for address + to make an appointment
    406.882.4714
    Website

  • Stumptown Historical Society and Whitefish Museum

    Whitefish A historic Whitefish Railway Depot restored to preserve the history of Whitefish and the Flathead Valley through railroad and community artifacts.
    500 Depot St.
    406.862.0067
    Website

  • Swan Valley Museum

    Condon A museum preserving the heritage of the Swan Valley with exhibits including a homesteader school room, kitchen and bedroom, artifacts from historic lodges, a Forest Service section and homesteader records and maps.
    6774 State Highway 83 N.
    406.754.2745
    Website

  • Tobacco Valley Historical Village

    Eureka A unique collection of historic buildings and artifacts from the Tobacco Valley area, including a school, church, library, general store, fire tower, railroad depot, caboose and several log cabins.
    4 Dewey Ave.
    406.297.7654
    Website

  • Travelers' Rest State Park Visitor's Center and Museum

    Lolo The only archaeologically verified campsite of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the U.S. offering a fascinating look at expedition replicas, Salish culture, American Indian crafts, and a frontier Main Street.
    6717 U.S. Highway 12 W.
    406.273.4253
    Website

  • Victor Heritage Museum

    Victor The Old Victor Depot Building, preserving and interpreting the rich history of American Indians, frontier life, early religion, schools, mining and railroads in the Victor area.
    125 Blake St.
    406.642.3997
    Website

  • Smith Mine Historic District

    Belfry A historic district of old, corrugated steel buildings depicting the worst coal mining accident in Montana’s history.
    2 miles west of Bearcreek on State Highway 308

    Website

  • The Grand Hotel & Restaurant

    Big Timber A historic hotel on the Yellowstone River with fully-restored, turn-of-the-century room décor, an 1890’s saloon and noteworthy cuisine.
    139 McLeod St.
    406.932.4459
    Website

  • Tippet Rise Art Center

    Fishtail A unique arts center featuring classical chamber music, recitals and large-scale, outdoor sculptures against a Beartooth Mountain backdrop.
    96 S. Grove Creek Road
    406.328.7820
    Website

  • Yellowstone Gateway Museum of Park County

    Livingston Over 50,000 objects, photos and books exhibiting the early days in the first gateway town to Yellowstone National Park including American Indian culture, Lewis and Clark, a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, a fleet of transportation vehicles, and children’s activities.
    118 W. Chinook
    406.222.4184
    Website

  • Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center

    Gardiner Public tours of one of the largest collections of cultural and natural history in the National Park Service, from pre-history through the present, including obsidian points and a historic vehicle collection.
    20 Old Yellowstone Trail
    307.344.2662
    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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