Breweries in Missoula are gaining national acclaim for excellence and unique tastes, and if you have ever tried their brews this isn’t surprising. From the Bayern Brewery to Highlander Brewery, Huckleberry Als to the finest chocolate stout.
If someone had come from the future four years ago and told me that I would be living in Montana in my early twenties I wouldn’t have believed them.
As someone who grew up
in the heart of a major metropolitan area less than 20 minutes walking from the
beach I’m the last person that anyone would have expected to move to Missoula.
However, with the
incentive of a good scholarship, snowboarding and fly fishing I found myself
drawn to this little mountain town.
Although moving to Missoula hasn’t been without its challenges, through trial and error over the last 3 years, I’ve managed to learn a few things about the place that I now call home.
If you’re from any other state than Montana you will get poked fun at.
Especially if you’re a Californian.
It is completely possible experience all the seasons in a 24 hour period—learn how to dress accordingly or you will get sick.
Where I grew up the most
layers I ever needed were a winter and summer hoodie. Most of the time
they were the same hoodie.
Winter weather is not bad until it there’s wind or the temperature is in the single digits.
Learn and embrace that 40 degrees is t-shirt weather.
Ice is real and you will fall on it in the wintertime no matter how much you penguin walk.
It builds character.
Everyone knows each other. Get over it.
Despite it’s significant geographic size, it’s a small state. While there are a fair amount of out of state students there are a ton more locals and most of the time they already know each other. It’s a pretty small town and even smaller school. Tread carefully.
The food will take getting used to
Salt and pepper will be the most spice that you see. And although the number of places where you can get a bomb burger or pizza is uncountable the best Mexican food here is still Taco Bell.
The most you will ever dress up will be a nice t-shirt and cowboy boots
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:
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
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
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:
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?
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!
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:
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:
Enjoy Missoula’s downtown on the first Friday of each month for the First Friday Art & Food walk.
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.
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 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.