Montana comprises an expansive and awe-inspiring collection of glacier-sculpted mountains and valleys, rushing rivers and seemingly limitless prairies. Some of its Western mining towns have evolved into gentrified boutique-filled enclaves. While native Montanans may complain about the influx of new residents, it’s difficult to blame outsiders for wanting to live in these spectacular environs.
Glacier National Park, on the state’s northern border, is an astonishing landscape of majestic peaks, alpine forests and crystalline waterways and is less crowded than the more iconic Yellowstone National Park (which spills over the southern border from Wyoming). In the state’s south-central region, the confluence of four major rivers makes for world-class fly-fishing, and in the winter, Big Sky Resort becomes the locus for dramatic downhill skiing. The college town of Bozeman blends urban professional-transplant and cowboy cultures, while Missoula, in the west, is a similar hybrid, home to writers and ranchers alike.
Milder summer weather draws the most visitors, but Yellowstone in winter is unforgettable.