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Explore Missoula

The city of Missoula as seen looking west from the M on Mount Sentinel
Zoo Town. The Garden City. Place of the Little Bull Trout.

Missoula has many nicknames, perhaps because it means something special to each of us. From its diverse population and rich cultural events to a foodie’s paradise and of course the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone here. But don’t take our word for it see for yourself.

Most Fun City for Young People

Missoula Tops the List

Missoula, Montana, ranks No. 1 for “fun,” according to SmartAsset, based on its high percentage (18%) of the population between 20 to 29 years old, and the number of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues per capita.

Read the article here.

The great outdoors, greater than ever

When it comes to outdoor recreation, Missoula is unbeatable. Here you’re close to hiking and mountain climbing (see: the Northern Rockies we call home) on one hand, and fishing and kayaking (see: the three rivers that meet nearby) on the other. The only question: What do you choose to do first?

The great indoors — also greater than ever

Craving a cultural experience? In Missoula you never have to look far. Some days you’ll find nationally touring musicians playing at one of our top-ranked concert venues; other times you might spend the afternoon exploring local galleries and art installations. Missoula is truly the cultural capital of Montana.
Festivals for days

Missoula loves a celebration and we're not shy about throwing a party and inviting the whole town. Whether we're soaking up the end of summer with free live music at River City Roots, supporting avalanche awareness at Pray for Snow, dedicating the new Bear Tracks bridge in honor of the Séliš people or marking UM's Homecoming, Missoula takes community, tradition – and fun – seriously. 

Mountain biking Mecca

Enjoy climbing (and descending) on two wheels? You’ll love the trails around Blue Mountain Recreation Area on the south end of town. Gorgeous views are a given here, and with 41 miles of trails, cyclists of all skill levels can up their game.

A documentarian's dream

For documentary buffs, there’s no better place to be in February than at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Not only is it the largest cinema event in Montana, it’s host to hundreds of non-fiction films from around the globe.

Best in the world

Spanning an entire city block in downtown, the new Missoula Public Library opened in 2021 and was declared the “World’s Best Public Library” of 2022. The Missoula Public Library is the first library from North America to win this award.

And we haven’t even mentioned the food scene yet.

“Locally sourced” is pretty much the standard here and it has been for years. Dining out in Missoula is always the start of something delicious, whether you go for artisanal chocolates, curry made by refugee chefs or St. Louis-style BBQ.

Get caffeinated

Organic coffee with a sustainable footprint? Done. Black Coffee Roasting Co. is a local favorite known for their ethically produced craft coffee from around the globe. Did we mention it tastes amazing?

Fuel up at Front Street

Front Street Pizza: home of steaming-hot slices and whole pies, addicting garlic knots and rich New York cheesecake. Located just across the river from campus, Front Street is a student favorite.