UNDERRATED. The 50,000 person town of Bozeman, Montana was truly a distinct highlight on our trip. Clean, progressive, modern, Bozeman has a plethora of new living opportunities nestled near their quaint, but not too small, downtown, with MANY coffee shops and restaurants. Cool stores too. The abundance of nature within a 1 hour drive was surreal. So much so, that I would consider moving to Montana...truly. We fell in love with BZMT.
WHAT TO DO :
1. Hike Palisade Falls
There are hundreds of hikes with an hour's drive. We chose to drive 30 min to Palisade Falls. The drive from downtown is almost immediately amazing, and offers a changing topography unlike anything we’d seen before. The hike is fairly simple, only 2.5 miles round trip to a truly breathtaking view. Along the way, pull off where the river sits peacefully between two mountain ranges. We also headed to Big Sky to hike. More on that below.
2. Hike Ousel Falls
Known for its snowboarding and skiing, Big Sky also has incredibly cool downtown area with local shop and eateries. It offers a bevy of hikes to satisfy almost all outdoors enthusiasts. We hiked Ousel Falls, and had a spectacular time with Hannah's cousin Jeff and his wife, Taylor. We even met a fellow Alabama alum who took a picture of the 4 of us! Roll Tide! We are eager to go back to Big Sky and to learn to ski. Maybe this winter!
3. Downtown Bozeman / Big Sky
Talk about growth. This charming downtown is growing, and in all of the right ways! More of what people flock too: good coffee, local eateries and stores, and accessible amenities. And less (banks, corporate institutions and chains) of what people like to avoid. The endearing aesthetic of downtown made it worth going back to.
COFFEE & FOOD
Bozeman has an amazing coffee and food scene. There were not enough days to get around to all of the coffee shops and restaurants--but we did find some stand outs among the pack.
1. Treeline Coffee Roasters
Hannah’s favorite coffee place on our journey. Excellent coffee in a cool environment, the roastery lab was a part of the facility itself ensuring the freshest coffee one could contrive. Two locations, of course we went to both, and both have distinctive elements that make you want to hang out.
2. Ghost Town Coffee Roasters
One of my personal favorites, Ghost Town is a new establishment that sits a mile or so from downtown. Spacious place that would be excellent for work. Quality Cold Brew! (As for the photo below...I'm sorry I'm so cool.)
3. Gallatin Riverhouse Grill
Views on views on views. Maybe the best views we’ve ever had from a restaurant. AND--the food was superb. None of us wanted to leave. A great place to stay and hangout, take in live music, mountains, streams, pure beauty.
4. On Fifth (Downtown Bozeman)
A local, Portuguese restaurant that is similar to a Chipotle but, in Hannah’s words, “WAY better and more flavorful!” Choose your own meat, base (rice, noodles, lettuce, greens etc) and add vegetables and sauces accordingly. Right downtown with a small amount of outdoor seating too. Perfect for people watching.
5. Roost Fried Chicken
Seriously, I can’t BELIEVE this place is in Montana. Top 5 fried chicken this southern boy has ever had. Could not believe the glorious portion and deliciousness of this meal. So many options to choose from (chicken based options, that is). We’d recommend going for lunch, as there will certainly be a wait at dinner time.
5. Sweet Peaks Ice Cream
Our resident ice cream enthusiast, Taylor, recommended this fine establishment on our last night in montana. She did not lead us astray. This local ice cream maker specializes in many things, but especially the Huckleberry ice cream, a popular flavor and fruit in Montana.
We love you, Montana. Special shout out to our gracious hosts, Jeff and Taylor, who served as our tour guides of greater Bozeman and who were incredible company.
Until next time...(Spoiler alert : Minneapolis, MN!)
-Ty and Han