Escape the mundane and travel south of the border for award-winning microbreweries, tiki bars with mermaids, live music in the mountains, and shopping in Central Montana!
Just south of Canada and hidden in the mountains is the stunning region of Central Montana – an area that though comprised of small Montana towns still promises a whole lot of escape-worthy fun…if you know where to look, that is. From concerts at The Newberry to covert underground tours of long-ago brothels, Central Montana’s best kept secret is not its landscape, but rather all that lies within. If you’re looking for the perfect weekend escape (within driving distance), check out these Top 10 Must-Do Experiences in Central Montana.
1. Watch Mermaids Swim
Voted the #1 bar in the world by GQ magazine in 2003 and one of the top tiki bars by USA Today, the Sip ‘n Dip Lounge in Great Falls is a Montana legend. I mean where else can you watch mermaids swim while listening to live music and sipping on the best blue drink you’ve ever had?! The answer is nowhere. Mark our words – a trip to the Sip ‘n Dip is a memory worth making!
2. Get Loud at The Newberry
You know that feeling of just needing a night out on the town? A concert at The Newberry will fill that impulse and so much more! With a full bar, modern vibe, and stellar lineup year-round, The Newberry is the place to be at on any weekend night. Just be sure to get your concert tickets ahead of time.
3. Tour a Distillery/Brewery
Here’s the thing about Central Montana, they are very serious about their craft drinks. And by serious, we’re talking home to not just one, but several award-winning breweries and distilleries. Wherever your getaway takes you, a local IPA, Ale, or smooth whiskey is never far behind. And trust us when we say that going on a behind-the-scenes tour definitely ups the cool factor.
4. Savor a Steak at Beef N Bone
When in Montana, do as Montanans do. In other words, indulge in the best steak of your life! With a few classic steakhouses located throughout Central Montana, you really can’t go wrong, but we recommend a local favorite – Beef N Bone. Oh, and go ahead and order the Missouri Breaks as an appetizer while you’re at it.
5. Go Beneath the Streets
You may have hiked through the mountains, but you haven’t experienced Montana until you’ve ventured underground. And, we don’t mean the mines. In the early 1900s, a small fire destroyed Havre (a Central Montana town), forcing business owners to move underground. The result? Saloons, Honkey-Tonks, restaurants, and bordellos that still remain intact today! No, they’re not in business, but the Havre Beneath the Streets Tour will certainly make you feel like they are.
6. Soak in a Natural Hot Spring
We’ll be honest, hot springs aren’t for everyone. But if we had to guess, they’re definitely for you! Think outdoor hot tub on a cool autumn day, drink in hand, mountains in the background, laughing with your closest friends. Come to think of it, hot springs ARE for everyone and they’re a definite vibe come nighttime in Central Montana.
7. Unwind at a Cocktail Lounge
If you’re looking to start (or end) the night with a little class, then head over to Enbar – a moody cocktail lounge in the heart of downtown Great Falls featuring gourmet food, handcrafted drinks, fine wine, and an atmosphere that will inspire any cocktail enthusiast. And with any luck (or planning), you’ll be in town for one of their special pairing and tasting nights. Which, yes, is totally worth it!
8. Discover The Cowboy Artist
If you’re new to the art world or venturing to Central Montana for the first time, it’s likely you’ve yet to experience the all-encompassing, mesmerizing beauty of a Charlie Russell masterpiece. But, not for long! Deemed the “original cowboy artist,” Charlie Russell is one of the most well-known western artists in the world – yes, the world. And much of his artwork (along with his home and studio) is on display in Central Montana at the nationally acclaimed C.M. Russell Museum.
9. Kick Back at the Farmer’s Market
If evenings are meant for fun times out, then Saturday mornings are meant for chill walks at the local Farmer’s Market. Even if you’re not the “Farmer’s Market type,” starting the morning off slow, chatting with the locals, grabbing an espresso, and sampling Montana-made products (hello, huckleberry everything), will go a long way for anyone’s soul and mind.
10. Shop Down Main Street
Which Main Street? Any of them, really! That’s the beauty of Central Montana – no matter what small town you go exploring in, a Main Street or Central Avenue is just around the corner with some of the coolest high-end boutiques, jewelry shops, outdoor stores, art galleries, and western wear around. When in doubt, head downtown…and plan to be there all afternoon.
Looking to get the most out of your Central Montana experience? Head over to centralmontana.com and start planning your long, weekend escape today!