Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center – C.M. Russell Museum
Great Falls (pop. 59,178) is the largest city in north-central Montana. Most people who live in the region go to Great Falls for shopping. Holiday Village, the main mall in Great Falls, with over 80 stores, is located south of the downtown area on 10th Avenue South. Barnes & Noble bookstore is in the same area of town.
In the poem Escorting Grammy to the Potluck Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed at Bowman’s Corner, Paul Zarzyski captures the flavor of the country around Great Falls: “Grammy, a spring filly at 86, sips a whiskey-ditch in one hand, scoops the crispy nuggets to her platter with the other, forks a couple and goes on talking Hereford bulls.”
In Great Falls, Hoglund’s Work and Western Wear is the place to go to buy cowboy boots and hats. Hoglund’s has the best selection of brand-name western wear in the Rocky Mountain West, outside Denver. Hoglund’s store is in the downtown area.
The C. M. Russell Museum is a well-known attraction in Great Falls. A famous western artist, Charlie Russell produced many paintings depicting Indian and cowboy life on the northern plains in the early 1800s. Many of Russell’s paintings and drawings are owned by the museum. Charlie Russell’s original studio, on site near the museum, is, by itself, worth a visit.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center is a don’t miss attraction in Great Falls. The center sits on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River. It is near the great falls of the Missouri where Lewis and Clark took eleven days to make the 16-mile portage around five separate falls on the river in 1805. The center has numerous exhibits which describe the expedition’s journey up the Missouri River and on to the Pacific Ocean.
The Montana State Fair is a huge attraction in Great Falls in late summer. In 2018 the Montana State Fair runs from July 27 – August 4. Fun for everyone.
Some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery in the West is found along the Missouri River, east of Great Falls. Magnificent towering sandstone cliffs and deep canyons border the river. Segments of the river are known as the White Cliffs region and the Missouri River Breaks. Kayaking and Canoeing are favorite activities along this stretch of the river. The federal government recently designated this area as the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument. The wildness and solitude of the Missouri River make a float trip on the river an event long remembered.
Lewis and Clark traveled up the upper Missouri River in 1805 in a keelboat. Modern day “explorers” relive what they experienced. Call Montana River Outfitters (406) 761-1677 for reservations.
Great Falls has many good dining spots. JB’s Restaurant offers family dining and is near major shopping areas and the city’s main mall. The Sip-N-Dip Lounge (Yelp Reviews) is a hot spot in Great Falls.
The Wheat Montana Bakery and Deli (Yelp Reviews) makes delightful sweet baked goods, soups and salads, and sandwiches. Made from the best Montana ingredients. Great Harvest Bread is always a good choice.
Great Falls has some of Montana’s best tourist attractions. Canadians frequently visit Great Falls, so here’s a chance to make new friends with nice people from the great north country. You’ll really enjoy Great Falls.
Copyright © 2017 John Sandy