Missoula is an ideal winter vacation destination. And it’s not just the beautiful scenery that draws tourists to this fantastic city. Whether you are looking to bundle up against the cold for some outdoor activities, or indoor relaxation is more your style, Missoula has winter fun for everyone. Below are some suggestions of fun and exciting things to do in Missoula in the winter.
Visit the Winter Public Market – Held indoors at the Missoula County Fairgrounds each Saturday from 10am-2pm, the Missoula Winter Public Market offers locally made items, gifts, produce and food all for a shopper’s delight.
Take a Trek in Showshoes – Enjoy the picturesque scenery of the Missoula hills at your own pace. There are miles of expansive trails all within a short distance of the heart of town. Consider Pattee Canyon Recreational Area, Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, or Lookout Pass for a snowshoe adventure.
Go Ice Skating – Glacier Ice Rink, located at the Missoula County Fairgrounds, offers fun for the whole family with open skate times both during the week and on the weekends that are sure to fit your vacation schedule.
Warm Up with a Cup of Local Coffee – Missoula is brimming with local coffee shops, huts, carts, and roasters that provide some of the finest perk up beverages around. Whether you are downtown or just driving through town, be sure and stop to experience some local flavor.
Go Sledding – When the show starts to fall, grab a sled and find a hill! This family friendly activity provides loads of fun and often a chance to make new friends. Popular sledding hills include Blue Mountain or Rainbow Park, but most any local can offer you a sledding suggestion if you ask.
Try a Local Distillery – Missoula currently has two local distilleries that are shaking and stirring their own unique drinks with locally made fine spirits. Whether you are looking to try something new or have them concoct an old favorite, Montgomery Distillery or The Montana Distillery can deliver a great drink with a relaxing ambiance.
Ski or Snowboard – If you are an outdoor enthusiast looking to sample some of Montana’s slopes, you can find several excellent options within a day’s drive of Missoula. Snowbowl is located right in town, and Lost Trail, Discovery, and Blacktail Mountain are all convenient to town and include beautiful drives on the way to the locations.
Relax in a Natural Hot Springs – Missoula is surrounded by hot springs. For a more commercial experience, consider taking the drive to Lolo Hot Springs or Fairmont Hot Springs. If you prefer a hot springs in its natural state, Jerry Johnson and Weir Hot Springs are within an hour and a half of town.
Attend a Hockey Game – The Missoula Maulers are a junior A hockey team that plays frequent games at the Glacier Ice Rink at the Missoula Fairgrounds. The games are a fun family event, and are a great opportunity to experience exciting hockey by up-and-coming young players.
Enjoy a Local Brewery – Missoula offers several local breweries that create unique, traditional, and seasonal brews for every beer lover’s taste buds. Taprooms are located all over town, and both Montana Brewery Tours and Tap Room Tours are local companies that can provide the ultimate brewery exploration experience. If you are short on time, consider asking a local for a suggestion. Many can guide you in the right direction based on your tastes.
Just because the weather is chilly doesn’t mean you have to stay in your hotel room when you come to visit Missoula. This vibrant city offers activities for individuals, couples, and families alike.