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About Missoula

Nestled in Montana’s Northern Rockies, the city of Missoula is a dream for outdoors enthusiasts. With 60,000 acres of wilderness nearby, you can go hiking, biking or fishing, or just explore the historic downtown area.

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About Missoula

Montana’s second-largest city was founded in 1860 and grew with the arrival of the railway and its lumber industry. Today, Missoula is one of the US’s fastest-growing cities, and it's considered by many to be the most liberal city in Montana, due in part to its eclectic culture and interesting mix of inhabitants. Forget Wild West cowboys and saloons—this charming university city is diverse, lively and incredibly modern.

Surrounded by seven wilderness areas and several rivers, Missoula is renowned for its natural beauty (and its trout fishing), as well as its art, culture, shopping and dining.

Whether your idea of the perfect meal is Mexican from a food truck or fine dining at a romantic restaurant, you’ll find plenty of options downtown. Steak is often on the menu here, or for something different, why not give elk a go?

What to do

Check out some local art and culture with a visit to Missoula Art Museum (entry is free), see the two historic railroad stations, the courthouse and Missoula Carousel in Caras Park. On the ‘First Friday’ of every month, the city’s art galleries open their doors with free food and music.

Get out into the wilderness and go rock climbing, skiing, golfing, rafting, tubing or kayaking, all within a few minutes of the city center. Or head for Mt Sentinel where you can hike the 700-foot trail from the University to the ‘M’ for some of the most spectacular views. Intrepid explorers can continue their hike for another 1,400 feet to the summit of Mt Sentinel.

If you’re in the mood for a show, Missoula won’t disappoint, with regularly changing programs at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts, Crystal Theater (downtown) or the UM’s PARTV Center.

Top travel tips

The nearest airport is Missoula International Airport. Driving in Missoula can be challenging, as the roads are confusing, so relying on the bus system rather than car rental is recommended!

The climate here brings cold, snowy winters and hot, dry summers, with average summer temperatures of 20 degrees Centigrade. Missoula is known for its unpredictable weather, so pack your waterproofs.

During the summer months, events like the farmers’ markets on Saturday mornings and music and food festivals in Caras Park add a lively feel to the city, and in August the Western Montana Fair is a great family day out.

Forget your Wild West preconceptions and saddle up for a fantastic, fun-filled family vacation in Missoula.

With dozens of cozy cabins, condos and apartments to choose from, you’re sure to find your perfect vacation rental with FlipKey.