Travel Planning Montana

Montana travel planning
A pristine and wild landscape is the hallmark of Montana. Photo taken in Southwest Montana. Courtesy Silver Bow Club, a family owned guest ranch, Divide, Montana.

Travel planning is half the fun of being there. This Web page is packed with information to get you started.  Many of the tips offered in this Web page are useful while traveling in the state, as well.

Why take a vacation in Montana? To begin with, think about what best suits your tastes and lifestyle. Consider a few questions:

  • Is your interest in fun and ready gratification?  Try outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, horseback riding, and white-water rafting.
  • Are you eager to learn and discover new worlds?  Visit museums, state parks, zoos, ghost towns, and historical sites.
  • Are you looking for things which bring pure pleasure?  Exquisite lodging, premium resorts, craft breweries, and fine dining come to mind.
  • Do you seek mental experiences and spiritual satisfaction?  Cultural events, concerts, art museums, national parks, and viewing wildlife and nature are very satisfying.
  • Do you want to develop your physical well-being? Cycling, hiking, hot springs, and skiing are examples of favorite activities in the Treasure State.
  •  Is shopping for the unique and special on your mind?  Look for custom-made western boot and cowboy hat stores, made-in-Montana gift shops, art galleries. and antiques shops.
  •  Do you enjoy community celebrations for families? If so, plan your vacation around local fairs, festivals, rodeos, and other special events.





Of course, most people have a wide range of thoughts about how to spend vacation time. Still, before going, if you dig a little deeper in your interests and motivations, a better and more fulfilling vacation will surely happen.

Major Cities and Towns

Major cities: •Billings, pop. 110,323 •Missoula, pop. 72,364 •Bozeman, pop. 45,250 •Helena, pop. 31,169 •Great Falls, pop. 59,178 •Butte, pop. 34,553

•Glendive, pop. 5,332 •Kalispell, pop. 22,761 •Miles City, pop. 8,647 •Lewistown, pop. 5,870 •Havre, pop. 9.846 •Dillon, pop. 4,257

Outline map showing states of the United States of America. Montana is in the far northwest part of the country.

Highways

When traveling, you may want to check on road conditions. For information about road conditions, road closures and more dial 511 on your phone. Another choice is to simply call 800-226-7623.

“Montana’s curvy, mountainous roads and weather—which can change quickly even during summer months—require drivers to be alert to conditions at all times and to adjust speeds accordingly,” warns the the DOJ Web site. Great advice!

General Map of Montana
General Map of Montana showing major cities and towns and Interstate Highway System. From base map FHWA, U.S. Department of Transportation. Extra towns were added to the base map.

OFFICIAL STATE HIGHWAY MAP

Motoring is FUN! The speed limit is posted on the DOJ Web site. Traffic is light on many highways, so there’s plenty of opportunity to see and enjoy the spectacular scenery very common in every travel region.

Distance in Miles Between Major Towns and Cities

Travel tip: How far is Missoula? Montana is a very big state and distances between major cities can be as much as 100 miles or more. Plan ahead with the DOT’s distance calculator.

Airports

Some folks may choose to fly. Modern airports are found in major cities. Billings (BIL), Bozeman (BZN), Missoula (MSO), Helena (HLN), Kalispell (FCA), Butte (BTM), and Great Falls (GTF) airports are especially nice and all are served by major airlines and conveniently located near downtown areas. Booking flights on Expedia or other travel Web site is easy.

Montana map
Map of Montana showing mountainous areas in green and plains in beige. Courtesy Google Maps.

Car Rentals, Taxi Services.  Shuttle Services.

BILLINGS:  Car rentals at Billings Logan International Airport:  Hertz (406) 248-9151, Alamo (406) 252-7626, Avis (406) 252-8007.  For taxi service call City Cab (406) 252-8700 or Yellow Cab (406) 245-3033.



BOZEMAN:  Car rentals at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport:  Avis (406) 388-6414, Hertz (406) 388-6939, Alamo (406) 388-6694.   North of Yellowstone Shuttle & Charter Service, operating out of Livingston, provides long-distance transportation to several towns in southwest Montana.  They offer taxi, shuttle, and private car service to Big Sky, Livingston, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Chico, Gardiner, West Yellowstone, and other locations (406) 580-2286.  The company does not provide service in the city of Bozeman.  For taxi service in Bozeman, call Greater Valley Taxi (406) 587-6303.

MISSOULA:  Car rentals at the Missoula International Airport:  Avis (406) 549-4711, Hertz (406) 549-9511, Alamo (406) 543-0926.  airport.  For taxi service, call Missoula Green Taxi (406) 728-8294 or Yellow Cab of Missoula (406) 543-6644.  A Web page by Missoula airport lists shuttle services.

HELENA:  Car rentals at the Helena Regional Airport:  Alamo, (406) 442-1765, Avis (406) 442-4440, Hertz, (406) 449-4167.  For taxi service, call Capitol Taxi (406) 449-5525. 

KALISPELL:  Car rentals at the Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell:  Avis (406) 257-2727, Hertz (406) 758-2220, Alamo (406) 257-7144.  For taxi service in Kalispell, Whitefish, and Columbia Falls call Glacier Taxi (406) 250-3603. Arrow Shuttle also provides ground transportation in the Kalispell area (406) 300-2301.

GREAT FALLS:   Car rentals at the Great Falls International Airport:  Alamo (406) 727-0273, Avis (406) 761-7610, Hertz (406) 761-6641.  For taxi service, call Diamond Cab (406) 453-3241.



Bus Lines

Bus transportation is available for many cities. Check out Greyhound or Jefferson Lines.  Another choice, travel by train on AMTRAK’S Empire Builder.

Try MTsearch

Many Montana businesses and organizations showcase their services and products on Web sites. MTsearch was launched to help find these local Web sites. MTsearch covers things to do, attractions, lodging, guest ranches, restaurants, parks, museums, and more. Some local Web sites also offer beautiful art, western wear, and special gifts. MTsearch uncovers Web sites not easily found in regular Bing and Google searches. Note, national chain businesses are generally not included in this database, so searching other sources may be helpful too.

To find top eateries in Helena, for example, enter: Helena restaurants; or to find special lodging, enter: cabins

 

Consider Special Montana Places to Stay

Visitor Centers

Visitor centers provide lots of information on things to do and see in Montana. The Billings Visitor Information Center is at 815 South 27th Street; The Bozeman Convention and Visitors Bureau is at 2000 Commerce Way; The Helena Convention and Visitors Bureau is at 225 North Cruse Avenue; the Missoula Convention and Visitors Bureau is at 101 East Main Street; the Kalispell Convention and Visitors Bureau is at 15 Depot Park; and the Great Falls Convention an Visitors Bureau is at 15 Overlook Drive. Many smaller cities also have visitor centers.

Travel tip:  Google Maps is an essential tool for travelers.  Google Maps offers a quick and convenient way to find and locate all kinds of services.

For more information, the state Office of Tourism can be reached at P.O. Box 200553, Helena, MT 59620, or call 800-847-4868.

MontanaTraveler

https://www.MontanaTraveler.com
Copyright © 2019 John Sandy

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