Responsible Ways You Can Still Enjoy Missoula While Social Distancing

Responsible Ways You Can Still Enjoy Missoula While Social Distancing

UPDATE 3.31.20—A statewide stay-at-home directive took effect on Saturday, March 28th. On Monday, March 30th, Gov. Steve Bullock also asked that tourists refrain from traveling to Montana while the state is under a stay-at-home directive, and that anyone who recently traveled to Montana from another state or country self-quarantine for 14 days. We are doing our best to follow new developments in our state and keep the information in this blog accurate, useful and up-to-date. Current travel updates can be found here

The city of Missoula has grown quiet as folks adjust their daily lives to stay healthy and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Residents hunker down in their homes as much as possible, and local businesses ramp up sanitization and safety procedures while cutting back on nonessential services to do their part. And while these times can bring uncertainty and anxiety, they also remind us why we love Missoula so much. This is more than a Montana mountain town with great food and a lot of rivers—this is a place of community, nature, opportunity, and a deep appreciation for all things local. While we practice physical social distancing, we are also coming together in more ways than one. Whether you are a local yourself, or simply in the area at the moment, you're probably wondering about the best ways to enjoy our incredible town and support local business while staying safe and responsible. Here are some ways you can continue to experience these magical pieces of Missoula while practicing safe social distancing and doing your part to flatten the curve.

Wide Open Spaces—Emphasis on the Space

If you're an outdoor enthusiast—and let's face it, you probably are if you're in Missoula—then staying indoors can be downright painful. But you don't have to forgo fresh air altogether, just makes sure to maintain a minimum of 6 feet away from others at all times. Lucky for us, Missoula has the trail systems and wide open spaces to accommodate social distancing best practices. While you'll have to make a little extra effort to keep your distance on popular routes like our Riverfront Trail, spots like Blue Mountain Recreation Area and Pattee Canyon offer more room to explore responsibly.

UPDATE 3.27.20—Local parks, trails and open spaces remain open in Montana during the state's shelter-in-place order, which will begin at 12:01am on Saturday, March 28th and end April 10th. A statement from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) recommends the following:

In places where there are no restrictions on the use of local parks, trails and open spaces, we encourage all users to follow these recommendations:

+Refrain from using parks or trails if they are exhibiting symptoms.
+Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails.
+Prepare for limited access to public restrooms or water fountains.
+While on trails, warn other users of their presence and as they pass, and step aside to let others pass.
+Follow CDC guidance on the recommended size of social gatherings including outdoor picnicking, pick-up sports and other group hangouts, and maintain proper physical distance at all times.
+Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space.
+Consult their local and state ordinances and guidelines for the most up to date recommendations on park and trail use.

Same Entertainment, New Location

A weekend in Missoula without live music and craft beer feels downright unnatural, we know. But as it turns out, we're a pretty communal community, and most of our favorite forms of entertainment go against the rules of safe social distancing. That's why local businesses and artists have worked tirelessly to find new ways to bring the Missoula to us. Here are a few creative alternatives we are especially grateful for.


Local musicians are taking to the internet and streaming live shows. Check out the Missoula LIVE Arts Facebook page for event information.


The 43rd International Wildlife Film Festival will go digital and create a virtual festival experience the week of April 18-25. The public will be able to buy tickets and passes to films and live streaming events.

Arts and Crafts

While you can't grab a craft cocktail at the moment, you can still enjoy DIY crafts from CREATE art bar with their new to-go kits. Simply browse and order online, and someone will email when your kit is ready for pickup.

The Zootown Arts Community Center (ZACC) is offering multiple ways to stay creative and collaborative from a safe distance, such as listening to their weekly podcast or painting your own pottery from home with their PYOP Curbside program


Fact & Fiction and Shakespeare & Co, two beloved bookstores in Missoula, have started offering online ordering and home delivery for those of you burning through books while at home.

Local Food & Beverages To-Go

Missoula's food and beverage scene is a hard thing to go without, but luckily you don't have to go cold turkey anytime soon. While restaurants and bars have closed their dine-in sections, many still offer takeout and delivery with added safety precautions such as paying over the phone and curbside pickup. Some are even joining apps like Uber Eats in waiving all delivery fees! Here are all of the local eateries you can still enjoy in Missoula.


Bamboo Chopstix II in Lolo


Baskin Robbins

Bayern Brewing Inc.

Bernice’s Bakery

The Breakfast Club

Bridge Pizza 

Buffalo Wild Wings

Burns St Bistro 

Caffe Dolce 

Cambie Taphouse


El Cazador (food truck on Front St.)

China Garden

Ciao Mambo

City Brew Coffee

Claim Jumper

Conflux Brewing Company

Cracker Barrel 

Dairy Queen Lolo 

Dairy Queen Grill & Chill on North Reserve

Daybreak Deli & Floral in St. Ignatius

The Depot


Doc’s Soup and Sandwiches

Dog & Bicycle

Double Front Cafe 

Famous Dave's 

Five Guys Burgers and Fries 

Five on Black

Florence Coffee Company

Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers on North Reserve 


Good Food Store

The Greek Pastry Shop

Green Source

Highlander Beer


Howard’s Pizza 


Huck Patch

Imagine Nation Brewing

Iron Horse Bar & Grill


James Bar

The Keep


Laughing Grizzly

Lolo Peak Brewery 

Mackenzie River Pizza

Market on Front 

Marvin's Bar LaFlesch 

McDonald's on Reserve

Michi Ramen Bar

Miller Creek Cafe 

Missoula Wine Merchants

Montana Club 

Montana Jack’s 

Mustard Seed

Ninja Mike's

Noodle Express

Notorious PIG

Old Chicago 

Outback Steakhouse


Papa Johns

Paul's Pancake Parlor

Pie Hole

Rattlesnake Market

Red Robin 

Romeo’s Italian kitchen 

Rumour Restaurant

Scotty's Table

The Silver Slipper 

Stageline Pizza in Arlee

The Still Room

Sushi Hana Downtown

Sweet Peaks

Taco Treat 

Tamarack Brewing Company

Tarantino’s Pizza

Ten Spoon Winery

Tia’s Big Sky

The Trough on Clements 


Wally and Buck’s


Zoo Thai 


Things change fast as local businesses adjust to the current restrictions, and we are keeping an eye out for any new closures or creative alternatives in our community. Check back regularly as we update this blog with new developments.

If you're giving dry a try this month, Missoula has plenty of spots for mocktails. Check out some of our favorites

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