Any season in Missoula is pure magic, but in winter Missoula is a wonderland. The gorgeous snow-capped peaks and hills beckon you to explore, and yet you can just as easily cozy up inside at one of Missoula's many shops, museums, restaurants, coffee shops and breweries. Every visitor who comes to our town is looking for something different, so we have put together six itineraries for every type of visitor. Feel free to mix and match if you would like to experience a little bit of everything that Missoula has to offer.
No trip would be complete without the perfect place to stay. Check out our Where to Stay page to finish out your itinerary.
For the Adventurer
- Start the day off at Market on Front for a delicious breakfast burrito and fuel up before a day of outdoor activities.
- Rent cross country skis or snowshoes at LB Snow or The Trail Head and head out to Pattee Canyon Recreation Area, Blue Mountain, or the Rattlesnake Recreation Area and take a scenic hike through the snow-covered trails.
- Have lunch somewhere quick and delicious like the Notorious P.I.G., serving up great barbecue sandwiches and sides, or Tagliare Delicatessen where you can grab amazing sandwiches to go.
- In the afternoon, head to the Lolo Hot Springs for a snowmobiling excursion. Or if the word "hot springs" just piqued your interest, consider trekking to Jerry Johnson or Weir Hot Springs for a memorable adventure in a natural hot springs along a frozen winter river landscape.
- After a day outside in the elements, treat yourself to a selection of beers, kombucha or root beer at Draught Works.
- End the day with dinner at one of Missoula's great pub-style restaurants like Iron Horse, Tamarack Brewing Company, GILD, Thomas Meagher Bar or Top Hat Restaurant & Bar.
- Fuel up for a day of downhill skiing or snowboarding by grabbing breakfast at Laughing Grizzly.
- Make your way to Snowbowl for a powder day to end all powder days. Snowbowl, Missoula's local ski hill, is located about a half drive from town. Once you are there you will understand why locals flock to Snowbowl in the winter.
- Take a break and warm up inside the lodge at Snowbowl with a crackling fire and amazing pizza. Ski more or head back to town depending on how you are feeling. Pro tip: their Bloody Mary's are some of the best in town.
- In the afternoon we have a couple of choices for you: head to Glacier Ice Rink and enjoy a fun afternoon on the ice or make your way up to the M on Mount Sentinel for great views of Missoula. If you are up for it, tackle the inversion by climbing above the cloud line and see what would have been historical Glacial Lake Missoula. It is quite a sight!
- Remember that awesome pub-fare list from yesterday? We gave you choices for a reason! Check out another for dinner.
- After, check out Union Club Bar & Grill for dancing and live music, or head to one of Missoula's many breweries.
For the Foodie
- Start the day with breakfast at Catalyst Cafe. It is a Missoula breakfast staple and you will not be disappointed.
- Head over to Black Coffee Roasting to sample their selection of locally roasted coffee.
- Visit the Missoula Valley Winter Market (held on Saturdays) to sample and purchase some great local foods.
- Make your way to Highlander Beer and enjoy lunch in one of their heated igloos.
- Take a tour and tasting at Western Cider and grab a flight of some crisp and delicious hard cider.
- Check out Missoula Wine Merchants and their selection of specialty wines and cheeses.
- For dinner, enjoy a nice dinner and cocktails at Plonk, or check out The Camino. Either location provides delicious food options and a really cool atmosphere.
- Enjoy a nightcap at Montgomery Distillery.
- For breakfast this morning, check out The Trough at The Olde Dairy.
- After breakfast, head over to the Good Food Store to sample local cheeses, breads, and other specialties. They also have a great selection of baked goods from various local bakeries to check out as well as local jams, jellies, hot sauces, honey, and more.
- For lunch, check out Edelweiss Bistro at Bayern Brewing for some authentic German fare and delicious locally brewed beers.
- In the afternoon, take a coffee and tea tour of Missoula and go check out one of our many great coffee shops and bakeries. We recommend Bernice's Bakery or Clyde Coffee.
- Stop by Posh Chocolat for a sweet treat. Posh specializes in handmade chocolates. They also make great gifts!
- Enjoy a nice dinner at the 1889 Steakhouse. Located in the heart of downtown, 1889 provides great views of downtown Missoula. The ambiance is laid back yet upscale, and you will not be disappointed by the menu.
- End the night with some live music at one of Missoula's many breweries.
For the Culture Seeker
- Start off the day grabbing a to go coffee and take a walk through the University of Montana's campus to see the beautiful architecture and sculptures.
- Enjoy the weekend brunch menu at Burns Street Bistro on Missoula's Northside. You will love the ambiance; artwork adorns the walls and the menu changes weekly.
- Next, visit the Missoula Art Museum to see the works of local and regional artists.
- Check out CREATE Art Bar, a DIY workshop, art studio and bar in downtown Missoula for a chance to create your own art.
- Stroll the galleries of downtown Missoula including Radius, 4 Ravens, and Dana. If you happen to find yourself in Missoula on the first Friday of the month, you are in luck. Galleries open their doors and often offer complimentary beverages and snacks as well as music. The whole town bops from galleries and shops enjoying local artwork.
- For dinner, check out Second Set Bistro located in the historic Florence Building.
- Start the day with a visit to the Montana Natural History Center to learn about the state's natural history and wildlife.
- Take a guided tour of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to learn about conservation efforts and see elk, bison and other animals.
- Have lunch at one of the great dining options on Missoula's Hip Strip. After lunch, stroll the shops of this funky downtown corner.
- While you are in the Hip Strip neighborhood, check out the showtimes at the Roxy Theatre, a historic movie theatre that is now the cinematic cultural hub in Missoula and the home to numerous film festivals as well as theme nights, new releases, and more.
- Take a self-guided walking tour to check out the public art in Missoula's downtown district including the famous XXXXs, murals on side streets and alleyways, and the fish sculpture along the Riverfront Trail. We are particularly obsessed with Allez!, a revolving outdoor gallery on Higgins.
- End the day with a nice dinner at The Keep Restaurant, an upscale dining establishment with a colorful history. Located on a hillside above Missoula, the views are superb. Be sure to arrive before sunset to take in the gorgeous vistas.
For the Shopaholic
- Start the day off in Missoula's Midtown neighborhood with a delicious breakfast at Paul's Pancake Parlor before making your way to Southgate Mall.
- Spend a few hours browsing the great shops at Southgate Mall, western Montana's premier indoor shopping mall, where you can find a variety of stores including department stores, specialty shops, and local boutiques.
- Have lunch at the Notorious P.I.G. restaurant. There are two locations, so you can chose to head to downtown or eat near the mall and enjoy the same delicious barbecue cuisine-- a local favorite!
- In the afternoon, check out the unique shops and galleries on Higgins Avenue and the Hip Strip, where you can find handmade crafts, jewelry, and artwork by local artisans.
- In Missoula, we are all about shopping local. Be sure to check out Noteworthy, a fun stationary and card shop and while you are on Hop Strip, you have to check out Betty's Divine, a Missoula classic. Be sure to check out the Missoula Makers Collective for more places where you can shop local.
- Finish the day with dinner at the Imagine Nation Brewing Company and enjoy browsing the local artwork and artisan crafts displayed and for sale in their tap room.
- Start our with a deliciously sweet breakfast at Veera Donuts.
- Next, take a stroll through the University of Montana's campus, where you can find the UM Bookstore and shop for some great UM's merchandise.
- Spend the afternoon browsing the Montana Antique Mall, the largest in Montana with four stories of finds.
- Have lunch at Florabella. Their pizzas are delicious, and they offer fun wine and cheese boards that pair together.
- Take a stop by Rockin' Rudy's. You can seriously get lost in this eclectic shop where you can find a little bit of everything, and then some!
- In the afternoon, visit the Missoula Art Museum Gift Shop, where you can find unique gifts and souvenirs inspired by the museum's exhibitions.
- Finish the day with dinner at the Iron Horse Brew Pub or the Tamarack Brewing Company.
- In the evening, head to the Missoula downtown and check out the local shops and boutiques that stay open late.
For the Family
- Start the day with breakfast at the FINN, where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast while looking at the beautiful views.
- Visit the Families First Learning Lab and spectrUM Discovery Area at the Missoula Public Library to engage and educate kids with interactive exhibits and activities. While you are there, check out the Missoula Public Library, voted the world's best library in 2022.
- Have lunch at Tamarack Brewing Company, a brewpub that offers a range of beers and a menu that includes burgers, sandwiches, and pizza.
- After lunch, check out A Carousel for Missoula, located just below Tamarak Brewing outside of Caras Park. This historic hand-crafted carousel is a Missoula gem and fun for all ages.
- Take a family stroll along the Riverfront Trail system, taking time to enjoy the beautiful nature and parks along the way.
- Finish the day with dinner at The Top Hat.
- If you are still up for a little more fun, check out one of Missoula's two ice cream shops, Sweat Peaks and Big Dipper.
For the Wellness Retreater
- Enjoy a sunrise walk up Waterworks Hill for a spectacular panorama of Missoula.
- Warm up at a hot yoga class at Hot House Yoga.
- Have a healthy lunch at Basal and chose from their great selection of salads, stir fries, and smoothies
- Treat yourself to a spa day at Cedar Creek Salon and Day Spa.
- Visit Lake Missoula Tea Company and relax with a fresh brewed cup of tea. Browse their amazing selection and find some teas to take home with you.
- End the day with a nice dinner at Plonk.
All of these ideas can be adjusted for your particular preferences and budget. If you need help customizing your dream Missoula trip, feel free to give us a shout through our LiveChat feature on our website or by giving us a call. We are available to assist Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm.