Bozeman, Montana is an amazing town full of adventure with rich history, world class museums and untouched wilderness to explore. Bozeman really has something for everyone and is one of the best cities you can explore if you are looking for a hidden gem that doesn’t have a lot of tourists. In this post, we will share our favorite adventures in Bozeman, focusing on things you can do in the summer months (winter is a different beast). Check them out below and let us know what we left off in the comments!

Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies is a Smithsonian museum in the heart of Bozeman that has one of the best collections of dinosaur bones I have seen outside of the major metropolitan museums. The museum is relatively small but impressive, with a full T-rex skeleton and many skulls of different dinosaurs at different times of life. It also has rotating exhibits; when we were there, the exhibit was on Genghis Kahn, and it was also fascinating. Lastly, you can visit a children’s area and a planetarium with your admission ticket. Bring the whole family and see it while in Bozeman.

Downtown Bozeman

Downtown Bozeman has an awesome historic vibe with brick buildings, museums, and restaurants. Main Street is a great place to park and explore in the city. Stop by Blackbird if you want a nice restaurant with great wood-fired pizza, Bozeman Spirits Distillery to try some of their drinks, and Sweet Peaks for a scoop of ice cream. If you want to do some shopping this is also the area to do that as well.

Gallatin Museum

The Gallatin Museum is the third museum recommendation in Bozeman, but it is a great museum worth checking out. Housed in the old city jail from the early 1900s, the museum has much history on the prison itself and Bozeman. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was impressed with how much I enjoyed reading the stories and seeing the exhibits. They even have an exhibit on the college, which is also fun to see. Check it out when you are in downtown Bozeman.

Bozeman Hot Springs

The Bozeman Hot Springs is one of the city’s top attractions, and it is a great place to relax, especially after some of the hiking recommendations. The building features 12 different pools, all at differing temperatures and all fed by the natural springs on the property. There were six pools indoors and six outdoors when we went, and it was fun to try them all out and sit and soak. Note that it gets busy on the weekends.

Hike to the “M”

The M can be seen from all over Bozeman, and it was placed there in 1919 by students from Montana State University. It is still a very popular hike as it is relatively short at 2 miles round trip and has some fantastic views. Many trails go to the M, but I would recommend not taking the steep one, as it is really steep and not that enjoyable. In contrast, the medium-level trail provides some lovely views and trees with a more gradual slope on the way to the M. Note that parking fills fast on the weekends or near sunset.

American Computer Museum

Bozeman’s American Computer Museum has been voted one of the best free museums in the USA (they will be charging starting in the fall, though). The museum is small, but it packs a punch with tons of great exhibits on the history of modern computing dating back to the printing press. You can tell that the people who work here are passionate about the museum and do a great job of helping you get excited about what you are seeing. Plus, it is wild to think about how massive some of these old computers were and how much more power our phones now have compared to them.

Montana Grizzley Encounter

I didn’t know what to expect when I drove out to Montana Grizzly Encounter, but it ended up being one of our favorite stops in Bozeman. The park rescues and rehabilitates grizzly bears, and five bears currently live there. The stories of where the bears were rescued from, including a cage that the two shared before being rescued, are sad to hear. However, when you see how happy the bears are in their new home, it is a lot of fun to see. We sat and watched one of the bears frolic around the property, swim in the pound, and climb on the rocks. I had never seen a bear this active before, and we stayed and watched them for a lot longer than we originally planned.

These last three recommendations are outside of the Bozeman area and are good half day trips.

Buffalo Jump State Park & Missouri Headwaters

About 20 minutes outside Bozeman sits two great state parks, the Madison Buffalo Jump State Park and the Missouri River Headwaters State Park. If you have a half day to explore, I recommend visiting both. First up, the Mason Buffalo Jump State Park features a large hill with rocky edges that Native American tribes used to run the buffalo off during their buffalo hunts. It is impressive to read how this was done without any modern weapons, and you can hike to the top of the jump if you want to check it out. Across the freeway at the Missouri River headwaters park, you can witness the three rivers that come together to form the mighty Missouri River. It is cool to see, and the park also has information on the town that was formed here and some small hikes that take you to incredible viewpoints. If you have the chance, both parks are worth seeing.

Big Sky & Ousell Falls

Next up, take a trip an hour south to the Big Sky area of Montana. As one of the most popular areas in the state, Big Sky is a hikers’ paradise in the summer and a skier’s paradise in the winter. We were there on a shoulder season, so we didn’t have to fight the crowds and got to go on a few hikes. If you are looking for a hike for the whole family, check out Ousel Falls, which is right in the heart of town and is a fantastic waterfall. And if you are looking for something more challenging, drive 20 minutes north and do the Storm Castle Trail. This is a tough uphill climb, but it has incredible views, and both Amie and I loved it. Be sure you bring your bear spray though.

Paradise Valley and Pine Creek Falls

For my last recommendation, drive to Livingston and head to Paradise Valley. Paradise Valley is a fantastic spot with massive mountains, a river, and beautiful views everywhere. If you have limited time, it is worth just driving through the area. If you have more time, though, head over to Pine Creek Falls for a hike. This hike is pretty easy, and it has an excellent tree cover and two beautiful waterfalls at the end. Of course, there are many other hikes in the area as well.


I wanted to share some of my favorite foods in Bozeman for my last recommendation, so I put them all into one suggestion. First, for donuts, head to Granny’s Gourmet donuts. You know that I love finding donut shops when I travel, and this was one of the best donut places I have been to in a while. If you want a sit-down breakfast, go to the Western Cafe. It is one of the oldest restaurants in Bozeman, and it still serves excellent food and cinnamon rolls in a fun old-school diner setting.

Head to the original Pickle Barrel next to Montana State University for lunch. This is a famous sandwich shop with locations all over the state, but the original one is in Bozeman, and it is an excellent spot for a gigantic sandwich. Get the mushroom cheesesteak or the veggie sandwich with chipotle sauce. For dinner, head to Montana Ale Works. They have upscale bar food, with my favorite being the buffalo pot stickers and a great beer list. Or head to Blackbird Kitchen, Amie’s favorite spot with great wood-fired pizza.

That’s it for our suggestions in Bozeman, let us know what we left off in the comments!