In today’s day in age, any experience (for the most part) is accompanied by sharing that experience on social media. Missoula, Montana is known for it’s beautiful rivers and mountain ranges, however, it is also considered the cultural center of Montana. With an eclectic downtown scene, distinctive dining and strong sense of community, Missoula has a lot to offer as far as experience, both on and offline.
As an Instagram enthusiast myself, and a believer in the #DoItForTheGram mentality, I am all about curating an aesthetic and a strong social media presence. So I present to you your complete Instagram Guide to Missoula, MT to help you navigate the most aesthetically pleasing AND high quality hot spots around town.
Coffee: Black Coffee Roasting Co.
The winner as far as aesthetics and quality coffee in Missoula goes, is definitely Black Coffee Roasting Co. Not only do they provide organic, craft roasted coffee while operating with sustainability, but they’re ambience is seriously on point. With a hipster-chic vibe and insanely good lighting, this is definitely the spot to go if you want some good latte art on your feed.
Walk in the Park: Greenough Park
Greenough is a true gem, nestled just up the Rattlesnake and covering 42 acres, it is a peaceful place to go on a bike ride, run or, of course, go take photos. In the fall, Greenough is a paradise of colorful trees and crisp autumn air and a complete winter wonderland once the first snow occurs. It’s also just generally beautiful all year round, so if you want to go on a nice walk while taking amazing photos along the way, Greenough is the park for you.
Eats: Caffe Dolce
As you may be able to tell, I love a good #FoodPorn flatlay. Caffe Dolce is by far the best spot across the board for breakfast, brunch, lunch AND dinner. Not only taste-wise, but to get a gorgeous food pic with minimal effort. Since Caffe Dolce’s establishment is made up of mainly windows, the lighting will always be perfection. Not to mention their tables are the ideal background color and texture, which is essential for any successful flatlay. Oh yeah, and the food looks pretty good too.
On the Town: Plonk
As a grandma at heart, I’m no expert on the Missoula going out scene. However, I have to say that Plonk scores major points as far as experience, quality and Instagram-ability goes. The classy, big city atmosphere and gorgeous drink presentation are sure to elevate your feed into #InstagramGoals status.
Shopping: The Hip Strip + NOBO
Missoula has an awesome local shopping scene. With an array of unique and high quality boutiques, it’s definitely worth exploring when you get the chance, specifically downtown on The Hip Strip and NOBO (aka North of Broadway.) These areas are abundant with quirky shops, gorgeous boutiques, great places to eat and lots of Insta-worthy alleys tucked away perfect for that #ootd!
Something Sweet: Sweet Peaks Ice Cream
I know, I’m a true Big Dipper fan at heart too, however, there is no denying that Sweet Peaks brings it in the aesthetics department as well as well as their super unique ice cream flavors that make you go “huh, that sounds weird but also kind of good so I’ll try it.” If you want to capture a cool cone, venture over to Sweet Peaks. Don’t worry, it’s totally okay to cheat on Big Dipper every once in a while, especially if you get a good gram out of it.
Outside: The “M” Trail
Now, I’ll admit I’ve only ever hiked the “M” in high school gym class, and once on a first date when a boy made me, and I was still in the “pretend to not be high maintenance phase” of the relationship. Needless to say, I don’t hike very much. But Missoula is the place for hikes, hiking and hikers so I had to include some kind of hike in this guide, to prevent getting Birkenstocks chucked at my head. All jokes aside the “M” trail is a beautiful hike, which is accessible to all levels of hiking ability and it takes a pretty damn good picture too, I must say.
I hope you enjoyed this Instagram Guide. Now you’re all set to go snap some #goals worthy IGs! But don’t forget to put down your phone to really appreciate the wonderful place that is Missoula, Montana. #Blessed, indeed (hate me yet?)
Do you have any favorite spots around Montana that didn’t make this list? Leave me a comment to let me know!
Photography by Michelle Dufflocq Williams, Aline Dufflocq Williams, McKenna Munden, Cloth & Crown, Betty’s Divine, Our Life Experiments and the University of Montana.
Aaron Carter follows me on twitter, I do not know how or why. I would like to say that he could sense that my love for him in early 2000s still runs deep and that the joy and excitement I experienced from his debut on that Lizzy McGuire episode in 2001 (you know which one I’m talking about) created a loyalty that cannot be broken. But more than likely it was a fluke, an accident or even a PR stunt.
Whatever it is, he is one of my 48 followers and I was able to message the tween sensation on twitter.
(above is the picture I took of Aarons profile from my twitter account)
I got the idea to reach out to Aaron Carter when I saw on Facebook that he is performing in Billings, Montana on May 6th. It was really serendipitous because I haven’t heard a song or seen Aaron Carter since my Lizzy McGuire fan club days and now he has been on my radar twice in the last month.
I figured I had nothing to lose and I was going to send him a message.
I did some research and by that I mean I typed into Google “what to say to a celebrity in a direct message on twitter?” and there was pages and pages of advice. There was even a WikiHow page and hundreds of pages from One Direction Fans who have tried every different way to get in contact with Harry Styles.
So I sent my first message. It was long and I babbled and I mentioned his appearance in Lizzy McGuire back in 2001 and how he is still a great artist.
It was an awful message. My eight-year-old self would have been so disappointed. But I told myself to keep at it.
For the next few days I stuck with some basic “Hey Aaron” or “Have a good day”, nothing too crazy because I didn’t want to sound like an idiot (that ship might have already sailed but for the sake of this argument we will say that ship is still in the harbor).
The next week I saw something on Facebook that was pure gold.
SO I messaged Aaron about Farch. Again, it was not a great message but I tried to get the point across.
I messaged him a few more times about the local artist.
( (a picture of Farch in the campaign for him to open for Aaron Carter)
After sending multiple messages I refuse to get discouraged.
I am continuing to message Aaron Carter everyday until his show or until he blocks me on twitter (whichever comes first.) And I will keep you guys updated. You can check back to this page for updates and you can also follow me on twitter @Katerade4
The world of today runs on the internet, caffeine, and pure unadulterated data. Behind the scenes of every successful organization is some pretty solid number crunching. We live in a world where we are one click or tap away from free games, goulash recipes, or the history of Granada. A world where “free” in most cases isn’t exactly free.
Data is the medium of exchange for most pieces of consumer software out there. We pay in a sense through our usage. Data subsidizes your Clash of Clans, Google Searches, or Facebook News Feeds, through its analysis and sale to third parties. However in the larger picture, data analytics has some profound applications across the board. In describing the past, in predicting the future, and in prescribing a best course of action for days to come, data analytics can reveal deep insights into people, places, practices, organizations, and whatever other noun pops into your head. We are really in the frontier days for the mainstream recognizing the value of this skillset, yet tech companies the world over have been using these data techniques for monumental gains in productivity and profits since a little after the turn of the millennium.
But how can simply using a website or downloading an app keep it fiscally healthy? How is data so valuable? What can we possibly do with some numbers on a screen?
To start off a bit morbid let’s use data and a simulation to predict the most likely way you will die:
To fuel those conspiracy nuts let’s look at some (interactive) descriptive analytics showing the flight paths of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over various parts of the United States.
Or maybe I’m a college student looking at your browsing statistics via a free analytics tool to determine how effective my article was:
Free isn’t exactly free these days. Data has a lot more potential than simply being sold to advertisers for better targeting. When we use hard numbers from extensive variable lists, the world really is a sandbox in creating models to describe, predict, or prescript whatever topic is at hand.
In showing the kind of data that your giving to this site in viewing this page here are some illustrative graphs showing the typical viewer and their attributes:The best part about this is that this is only a fraction of the data freely available via Google Analytics. There is a host of other variables and measures out there gathered via cookies, browsers, or social media that I could use for research or marketing or whatever other motive I might have. The wealth of data freely given should scare you. In using the Internet, in viewing this site, it should be clear by this point that you’re actively providing more of that data. Data used to define exactly who you are for marketers and governments the world over.
These insights into this world of data analytics are only the tip of the iceberg, from a student only just entering the discipline. When it comes to data and its applications, stay paranoid my friends.
Interested in some other applications of big data? Take a peak at some recent news stories and articles of interest: