Bozeman, MT » Attractions

  Art Galleries – Nightlife – Fly Fishing

Bozeman, MT (pop. 45,250) looks like a town out the 50s, with a traditional main street packed with all kinds of interesting businesses. Some say Bozeman is a town of urban cowboys. Indeed, briefcases likely outnumber branding irons in Bozeman. The Bozeman area is growing fast, with a population increase of 34.4% in a recent decade.

Bozeman is located in the Gallatin Valley, surrounded by magnificent mountain ranges. North of the city, the Bridger Mountains attract thousands of skiers each winter. The Gallatin Range and the Madison Range, south of Bozeman, rise more than 10,000 feet and have peaks covered with snow much of the year.

Tip for travel to Bridger Bowl ski area near Bozeman, Montana.
Bridger Mountains offer spectacular scenery and are a favorite area for skiing near Bozeman, Montana.

Bozeman is home to Montana State University and the fighting Bobcats.  Montana State has an enrollment of about 11,934 students and offers degrees in agriculture, engineering, and many fields in the arts and sciences. Great academics here. And… “this is place to go if you love to be outdoors and ski…ski bumbs are all over the campus and so are the hippies…its a true party college,” according to

The Museum of the Rockies, located on campus, features many wonderful paleontology exhibits. Jack Horner, the world’s top dinosaur hunter and an adviser to the movie “Jurassic Park,” worked at the Museum for many years.

The Bozeman, Montana area is a fisherman’s paradise. Cool, sparkling streams, rushing down from high mountains, are filled with rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout and cutthroat trout.

In some parts of the Gallatin River near Bozeman, rainbow trout number over 400 per 1,000 feet of stream, according to data reported by the Montana Rivers Information System. Go to The Bozeman Angler site to find fishing area rivers. For hot tips, check out A Guide to Montana Fly Fishing by Brian McGeehan.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks helps you understand fish populations in Montana’s many streams and rivers.  A time for action, rainbow trout fishing in Montana’s blue-ribbon trout streams.

Hiking a favorite activity in the Bozeman area. Try the Grotto Falls Trail for a fun and scenic hiking experience. The 1 1/2 trail is wildly popular. Follow Hyalite Creek Road south of Bozeman to get to the trailhead.

Bicycling is also very popular in Bozeman.  A good way to get started is to join the Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club.  Once a member, after paying a small membership fee, the fun begins.

Some tourists while in Bozeman enjoy Bozeman Hot Springs.  This is a great place to relax in one or more of their 12 pools.  Bozeman Hot Springs is a full fitness facility too.

Bozeman is home to the Montana Grizzly Encounter, a grizzly bear “zoo”. Located about ten miles east of Bozeman, the zoo features adult grizzly bears for public viewing. A modest admission fee is charged. This is a great opportunity to see these magnificent animals.

Folks who like custom jewelry, head for The Gem Gallery in downtown Bozeman.  This store owns the famous Vortex Mine at Yogo Gulch in the Little Belt Mountains.  The mine is the source of gorgeous sapphire gemstones which are set in fine jewelry by professionals at The Gem Gallery.

The Lark (downtown)(866) 464-1000
RSVP Motel(406) 404-7999
Howlers Inn B&B(406) 587-2050

To find dining in Bozeman, head for Main Street. For breakfast and lunch local folks go to the Western Cafe (Yelp Reviews) downtown on east Main Street.  Great Harvest Bread is always a good choice.   Management at The Nova Cafe claims to serve “the best breakfast in town.”   Too boastful?  Well go and find out.  Starbucks coffee is served on west Main Street.

Don’t miss the Baxter Hotel. This establishment features Ted’s Montana Grille (Yelp Reviews) and the Bacchus Pub.   Italian cuisine is the regular fare at Blacksmith Italian restaurant.  The Open Range (Yelp Reviews) restaurant gets good reviews.  Dining at the Bay Bar & Grille is convenient while shopping at the Gallatin Valley Mall.

Top Ethnic Cuisine:

  • Blacksmith Italian
  • Fiesta Mexicana
  • Panda Express Chinese Kitchen
  • Watanabe Japanese Restaurant
  • Edelweiss Bistro German restaurant (in Missoula, Montana)

Bozeman is a college town, so finding interesting hangouts on Main Street is easy to do.  First, try the Crystal Bar.  Beverages are a bargain here, one shot of JD goes for $3.50 and, for teatoalers, $1.00 for a glass of Coke.  Several ladies’ bras hang from wall decorations. The ladies don’t bring them to the bar in a bag but rather “take them off when they come in,” a barkeeper said.

The Rialto is the newest hot spot in Bozeman.  The owners claim the “Rialto is an artistic, cultural, and inspirational hub.”  Judging by the huge crowds that show up, this place is big hit.  Check it out!

At the Gallatin Valley Mall, located west of the downtown area, shoppers find quality apparel at the Bon Marche department store. The mall has many national chain stores.  For outdoor apparel and boots, shop Schnee’s on Main Street.  For happy reading and your favorite Starbucks coffee, try Barnes & Noble  in Gallatin Valley Mall.

The Montana Woolen Shop is another great shopping spot in Bozeman. This shop must have the world’s largest stock of wool sweaters, blankets, fabrics, socks and more, all at bargain prices. Located a few blocks west of the Gallatin Valley Mall on U.S. 191.


Visitors to Bozeman should plan to leave their wallets behind when they drive out of town.  It’s a very expensive city.  A local hotel recently charged $339 for a one night stay in late September. At one restaurant a simple buffalo burger with coffee cost $20.13 (including tip).

Try Bozeman, Montana – a hot spot for outdoor activities or just hanging around.


Copyright © 2018 John Sandy

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