21 Things to do in Missoula this Summer

Farmer’s Market

Missoula Farmer's Market

It just wouldn’t be a Summer in Missoula, MT without the Farmer’s Market.  Drive, bike, or take the bus downtown and walk around Caras Park to get fresh vegetables, hand-squeezed lemonade, delicious food, and so much more!  While you are enjoying the Farmer’s Market make sure to walk over to Brennan’s Wave to watch the kayakers and surfers do their thing.

For information on days and times you can visit their website:

Missoula Farmer’s Market

 

Raft the Gorge

 Raft the Gorge

Although not technically in Missoula, rafting the Alberton Gorge is definitely a must on the to do list this summer.  Take a few friends, or a small group, find your favorite raft guide and hit the water!

 

Float the Clark Fork

Float the Clark Fork

Of course floating the Clark Fork made the list!  Grab a paddle board, tube, kayak, or raft and get in the water!

 

River City Roots Festival

 River City Roots Festival

End your summer right by attending River City Roots Festival on August 28 and 29 in downtown Missoula.  River City Roots Festival is two days of great food and drinks, live music, activities for the family, and even a 4-mile fun run!

For more information on the River City Roots Festival you can visit their website:

River City Roots Festival

 

Big Sky Brewing Company’s 21st Anniversary

 Big Sky Brewing Company

That’s right! Big Sky Brewing Company has been a fixture in the Missoula community for 21 years!  To celebrate, Big Sky Brewing Company will be hosting their Anniversary party in downtown Missoula at Caras Park on Friday, June 17th from 4pm – 6pm.  There will be 21 world class beers to choose from along with live music, street performers, food, and fun!  The event is free but they will be charging for beer.  What’s better?  100% of the money made from the sale of beer will help a Missoula non-profit group connect the public trail systems around the city.  How could this not be on your Missoula Summer to-do list?

 

Love Boat

 Love Boat

Whether you are a professional kayaker or you are just starting out Love Boat is something that everyone needs to experience.  Every Tuesday night a group of kayakers (from beginners to professionals) go paddling.  It is a great time to connect with others, learn new skills, and just enjoy the Missoula summer.  Never kayaked before? Not a problem.  Stop in at LB Snow and get yourself set up with some gear!

 

Go on a run!

 Missoula Dirty Dash

Typically, I would not suggest running as a fun thing that you have to do this summer.  But, with all of the fun runs in Missoula?  Go on a run!  This summer you can pick from runs like the Insane Inflatable 5k, Missoula Ultimate Wine Run, The Peak Triathlon, The Dirty Dash, and so many more.

To see a full list of runs in Missoula this summer visit:

Running in the USA – Missoula

 

Take a Bike Trolley Tour

 Thirst Gear Bike Trolley Tour

We have all seen Thirst Gear’s Bike Trolley Tour going around downtown Missoula.  This is summertime in Missoula, MT so why wouldn’t you want to go on a 3-hour pub crawl on a bike trolley with a group of people?

To get more information or book your bike trolley tour visit:

Thirst Gear

 

First Friday

 First Friday

Enjoy Missoula’s downtown on the first Friday of each month for the First Friday Art & Food walk.

 

Garden of One Thousand Buddhas

 Garden of One Thousand Buddhas

Serene, beautiful, and located less than an hour outside of Missoula.  The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is open from dawn til dusk every day and anyone that has visited will tell you it belongs on the list of things to do this summer.

For more information you can visit:

Ewam Buddha Garden

 

Find a favorite hiking spot

 Go on a hike

I know, I know.  It is Missoula so everyone pretty much has their favorite hiking spot already, right?  Well, get out of your comfort zone and find a new one!

 

Explore Rattlesnake Recreation Area

 Rattlesnake Recreation Area

It is all in the title.  Go explore the Rattlesnake Recreation Area and enjoy the beautiful views that Western Montana has to offer.  It is located in Lolo National Forest and is less than an hour drive from Missoula.

 

Mountain bike at SnowBowl

 Mountain Bike at Snowbowl

Mix it up and go mountain biking at SnowBowl!  This mountain is not just for skiing and in the summertime it offers amazing views.  It is definitely a must on the to-do list.

  

Catch an Osprey Game

 Osprey Mascot

Who doesn’t like to grab a hot dog and a beer and catch a baseball game in the summer?  Go support your local Ospreys this summer!

For the schedule you can visit:

Missoula Osprey Schedule 

 

Garden City BrewFest

Garden City Brewfest 

Garden City Brewfest is another item that earned its spot on the list.  End the Missoula Craft Beer Week (April 29 – May 6) right by going to Garden City Brewfest on Saturday, May 7.

For more information on times and pricing you can visit:

Garden City Brewfest – Missoula Downtown

 

Big Sky Brewing Company’s Summer Concert Series

 Concert Series

Big Sky Brewing Company made the list a second time!  Bring a blanket and enjoy the nice weather as you see the amazing artists perform.  Shows are also all ages so how do you beat that?

For more information on featured artists and tickets visit:

Big Sky Brewing Company’s Concert Series

  

Swim at Nimrod Warm Springs

 Nimrod Warm Springs

Did you know there is an underwater cave near Missoula?  This item on the to-do list is, perhaps, the furthest from Missoula but it is an underwater cave!  You can actually swim under the cave and pop out at the other side so of course it is a must.

  

Folf at Blue Mountain, Pattee Canyon, or SnowBowl

Folf Missoula 

Instead of folfing at a typical park this summer change it up and folf at Blue Mountain, Pattee Canyon, or SnowBowl.  Enjoy the amazing views and the great Summer weather.  Even better?  Blue Mountain and Pattee Canyon are dog-friendly.

 

Drink some wine and paint with friends

 Painting with a Twist

This new trend is catching on everywhere and Missoula is no exception.  Grab some friends and paint a picture the right way (holding a glass of wine).

To see upcoming events or schedule a time visit:

Painting With A Twist – Missoula

 

Take a cooking class

 Taste Buds Kitchen

For those of you who do not like spending your entire Summer outdoors take a cooking class at Taste Buds Kitchen.  Although Taste Buds does cater to kids during the day, by night it turns into an adult BYOB kitchen.

For more information you can visit:

Taste Buds Kitchen – Missoula

 

Paddle Board at Seeley Lake

 Seeley Lake

If you want a relaxing day in the outdoors there is nothing more relaxing than paddle boarding.  What better place to paddle board than the beautiful Seeley Lake?

 

 

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9 reasons why Portland and Missoula are the same city

kpw

Portland, OR and Missoula, MT have many similarities. From the craft breweries, bike craze, Birkenstocks, outdoors-men, organic foods, diverse restaurants.. Portland Oregon and Missoula Montana have a lot in common. Here are ten reasons, and counting, why these two cities are so similar, and what makes them such great places to live.

Craft Breweries:

brewery

Portland and Missoula are listed in the top ten cities for beer drinkers. Portland beats out Missoula at 3rd place to Missoula’s 8th, but that recognition alone shows how much both cities love beer. There are nearly ten breweries in Missoula alone and Portland has 58 within the city limits.

Biking & Pedestrians:

bikes pdx

Bikers always win in Portland. There are these green bike boxes downtown that allow bikes to wait in-front of cars while at a stop light. If you work downtown, chances are you bike to work and are well familiar with the many bikers all over the roads. In Missoula, there are many bikers as well thanks to the large selection of bike paths in the city, and downtown you can find elevated sidewalks only for biker use.

Organic Foods:

good food store

The Good Food Store, Missoula Fresh Market, Natural Grocers.. Missoula has many options for organic and natural foods and like Portland boasts farmers markets throughout the summer and fall seasons.

City/state pride:

 

MT roots

Montana roots gear is extremely popular in Montana, and in Missoula. Locals sport this clothing to show how much they love this state. Much like Portlander’s and Oregonians wearing the ironic “put a bird on it” shirts and their willingness to show their love for their hometown.

Hiking, Biking, Skiing:

hiking missoula

Missoula is home to great hiking, biking, and skiing trails. You don’t have to go far to see the incredible places this city has to show you. There isn’t a time when there arent people exploring and hiking the “M trail” about the UM campus. Portlanders need to travel a bit further for hiking or skiing, but they are still favored weekend activities. There are also parks within the city, like Forest Park, where you can spend a whole day exploring and enjoying nature.

Spectacular food:

 

pok pok

In Portland, you could eat your way through the city with any kind of food you are looking for. There are incredible and unique restaurants all over the city, not to forget the food carts around downtown that have their own unique food scenes. Missoula has great choices for food as well. Being a college town, you can find great burgers, pizza, and brunch.

A river runs through it:

rowers river

Portland has the Willamette river. Missoula has the Clark Fork. Both rivers run through the middle of the city and are used for recreation. Dragon boats, kayaks, and rowers can be seen on the Willamette, especially during the summer months. A favorite summer time activity of Missoula is floating down the Clark Fork on inter-tubes. The Clark Fork is smaller than the Willamette and makes it easier for fishing and walking along it.

The weather:

snow-Missoula

It snows in Missoula, and it rains in Portland. Both cities are often covered by gloomy gray clouds and have very temperamental and changing weather. While Missoula is well equipped for snow, Portland tends to shut down for less than two inches of snow. Even in April, the mountains around Missoula are covered with a light dusting of snow.

Sports teams:

griz game

Griz games are huge in Missoula. Timbers soccer games are huge in Portland. Portland and Missoula both have huge support for their sports teams and if thousands of screaming fans doesn’t show this I don’t know what does.

PORTLAND, OR - MAY 2: The Timbers Army wave flags at the start of the second half at JELD-WEN Field on May 2, 2013. (Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers)

 

Portland and Missoula are both incredible cities. Living in Missoula reminds me so much of Portland, which is home for me, has been incredible. These are two cities that are great to live and work in.

Written by; Kelsey McCauley – native Portlander

You Know You’re From A Big Family When…

I’m not really sure what it is like to have a “normal” sized family, and for that I am thankful. I’ve grown up with too many aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, great aunts, great-great aunts to count. Growing up in a big family is really wonderful for some reasons, and not so wonderful for other reasons, but it’s all about how you look at it. Here are seventeen things everyone with a big family will understand:

best family ever

ONE: There is no such thing as a small gathering
Oh it’s your birthday?! Once all 65 family members arrive, it’s time to celebrate!

TWO: There’s no difference between your first cousin and your fifth cousin
You know you have 12 first cousins, but you’re not really sure which 12 of the family members labeled “cousin” are those ones. You have so many cousins, and your family is so inclusive and there are so many family members at the gathering that you wonder to yourself, “Am I really even related to this person?”

THREE: Your cousins are your best friends
You met your best friends the day you met your family. Those cousins that you’re always forced to hang out with, you fight with, and you sometimes get annoyed with are actually your favorite people on Earth, and you’re so thankful they’re related to you so that they are forced to be your best friends forever.

FOUR: You know just when to head to the kitchen so you beat the line for dinner
You know exactly which family member is in charge of the last step for the family meal. When you see them walk into the kitchen you strategically place yourself so that when they yell, “Dinner is served!” You can be first to jump in line. With a big family, you don’t want to take your chances being polite, there might not be any food left when you reach the front of the line in an hour!

FIVE: Saying goodbye takes forever
You have to start saying goodbye an hour before you actually want to leave to make sure you have time to say a proper goodbye to all. Often times you forget who you’ve already said goodbye to and end up doing your rounds more than once.

SIX: Gossip
I know, no one likes to admit it, but we all gossip. There’s no such thing as keeping a secret when you have a big family. Gossip spreads like wildfire. If you have some news, you better share with everyone before your mom tells her sisters and her sisters tell your cousins and your cousins tell… You know what I’m talking about.

SEVEN: The kids table
You’re in your 20s but you’re still sitting at the kids table. Yes, you are an adult but there still isn’t room at their table for you. Now your family had to create the “little kids” table for the generation behind you.

EIGHT: Family vacations
Family vacations are a lot of fun and there’s always someone willing to go on whatever adventure you want to go on. But with that big of a group it’s almost impossible to get everyone out the door. You spend more time trying to get everyone on the same page, than you do enjoying your vacation.

NINE: When you hear family picture you run
Taking a nice family picture with that many people is impossible. There are always a few family members missing that will need to be photoshopped in anyway, so you wonder if you can just be added to that list. Someone is bound to have their eyes closed, or not be ready for the photo. But once you do get that perfect picture you all post it as your Facebook cover photo and are happy to have a great photo of your favorite people.

TEN: You’re always shocked when someone’s significant other can actually handle the crazy
Or, the opposite, you cannot understand when they don’t embrace every minute of “family time”.

ELEVEN: You have rehearsed the answers to the questions you will be asked by everyone before gatherings.
Yes, I’m still single. No, I don’t know what I am doing when I graduate. You know exactly what questions you are going to be asked so you prepare. You almost want to just make an announcement when you arrive to avoid the repetition, yet, you ask the same type of questions to everyone else. And everyone is asking because they truly care, so you feel bad if you give a half-assed answer.

TWELVE: Members of the family start to move away and it’s almost impossible to always be together
Every gathering you hope that everyone will be there, but it is so rare that you can have all of your favorite people in the same room at once. You are even that person who has to miss out on the parties now, and you long to be with your family more frequently.

THIRTEEN: You have mastered taking over an entire restaurant… Or even small town.
As soon as you walk into a restaurant everyone knows you are there, and you won’t let them forget it for a second. Thankfully, you have those uncles with the great tricks and jokes that never fail to get the entire restaurant to participate in the family party.

FOURTEEN: The Holidays are never ending
Christmas eve eve, Christmas eve, Christmas, day after Christmas, day after the day after Christmas. You find any and every reason to get together. Some family members try to act like they hate it, but hey, they still show up so you know they secretly love it.

FIFTEEN: You don’t know how your grandparents do it
Your grandparents have seen and heard it all. They have had to put up with all of this craziness for many years and yet they still seem to be sane. You don’t know how they remember every little thing about each member of the family. Your grandparents have so much love to go around, and you want to be just like them when you grow up.

SIXTEEN: You’ve had a lot of really great times and really bad times.
Like any family, in a big family you have some great times together and then you have some really hard times. Your family is who you want to celebrate life’s accomplishments with, and they’re the only people who know just how to comfort you in a hard time. The highs are extremely high with a big family. The lows are a little less low when you have such a big family because you have so many people supporting you.

SEVENTEEN: You secretly wish there was a family gathering 365 days a year
At the end of the day, you miss your family when you’re not with them. You wish you could see all of them everyday.
I wouldn’t trade my big family for anything. I am so thankful I have grown up with all of my crazy, hilarious, and loving family members!IMG_6476

This blog post was written by Anne Hagerty. 

Lace Up: Anyone Can Be A Runner

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 2.51.02 PM The amount of times I have heard “I’m not a runner” or “I’m not built like a runner, therefore I can’t run” has really started to piss me off and honestly, whoever I walked by this weekend saying these things, thank you for the inspiration to prove you all wrong.

I’ll start by being completely candid, I am a bit biased to the whole physical activity hoorah. I grew up playing competitive soccer up until the day I left for college. I mean, yes, it’s a lot of running and disciplined conditioning, but I never had to run longer than 3-4 miles at a time in those 15 years of playing. I should also add that each of those miles had to be in 7 minutes or less (the struggle was totally real).

Once college started, all concepts of physical activity went out the window and I was now struggling to run 1 mile, on a Sunday, while trying not to gag over the smell of Captain Morgan and Fireball seeping through my pores. Cool.

Freshman year ended and those attractive 15 pounds needed to go (this isn’t where running saved my life, I just got cut off of my campus meal plan when I moved out of the dorms). Exercise became important again and I was back in shape but I still couldn’t run more than 2 agonizing miles, maybe 3 on a good day.

IMG_8584Come Junior year I accepted an offer for an internship in Seattle and decided I should find things to do that would let me see the city in a unique way. This is where running made my life great. I signed up for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Seattle, by myself. Turns out I wasn’t alone, a few of my friends had already signed up and planned on taking a road trip to run as well. Training became fun as we increased our distance by one mile each Sunday and spent the majority of our runs singing and talking in very breathy sentences. Come race day, 13.1 miles never seemed so doable.

To make a long story longer, I caught the running bug. Since my first half in Seattle, I have completed two more half marathons, improving my time each time.

The point of this was to show that anyone can lace up some shoes and hit the pavement. I can’t lie like some Pinterest post and say it’s as easy as that. Running is an investment in your time, your body, and your wallet. Ugly running shoes changed the way I felt about running. YOU MUST INVEST IN UGLY RUNNING SHOES. My GPS watch complimented my competitive drive by keeping my pace (so that I wasn’t trying to run 7 minute miles for 13.1 miles straight) and my running belt was crucial for holding my phone, keys and ID. Looking the part makes performing the part so much easier.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 3.15.13 PMI’m not saying go sign up for five half marathons or to start out running 9 miles at a time. I challenge every one of you to start by going outside (weather is a horrible argument), plug in some pump-up tunes or grab a friend to distract you, and start off slow. If 1 mile is all you’ve got, then it’s one more mile than those sitting on the couch. Happy Running 🙂

*Serious about it? Comment below for more tips and help on joining a world wide community.