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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Bayern Brewing Inc.
The Breakfast Club
Buffalo Wild Wings
Burns St Bistro
El Cazador (food truck on Front St.)
City Brew Coffee
Conflux Brewing Company
Dairy Queen Lolo
Dairy Queen Grill & Chill on North Reserve
Daybreak Deli & Floral in St. Ignatius
Doc’s Soup and Sandwiches
Dog & Bicycle
Double Front Cafe
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
Imagine Nation Brewing
Iron Horse Bar & Grill
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
Paul's Pancake Parlor
Romeo’s Italian kitchen
The Silver Slipper
Stageline Pizza in Arlee
The Still Room
Sushi Hana Downtown
Tamarack Brewing Company
Ten Spoon Winery
Tia’s Big Sky
The Trough on Clements
Wally and Buck’s
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.