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What to Do in Missoula, Montana: Your Weekend Travel Guide

Missoula, Montana is an incredible place to spend 48 hours exploring. With a bustling downtown area, stunning natural beauty, and an abundance of outdoor activities, you’ll never run out of things to do in Missoula. Whether you’re visiting for the weekend or just have a day or two to spare, here’s how to make the most of your time in Missoula.

When it comes to unique and unforgettable experiences, Missoula, Montana has it all. Nestled in Mission Range, near the northern Rocky Mountains, this quaint college town is full of history and culture. If you have visions of Yellowstone, it’s easy to see why a visit to Montana is a must. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking for adventure or a foodie searching for delicious eats, Missoula has something for everyone. This guide will provide all the information you need to make the most out of your 48 hours in Missoula. So let’s get exploring!

48 hours in missoula montana

A Glimpse of the City: 48 Hours in Missoula, Montana

Missoula is a city that embraces the outdoors. With its spectacular Rocky Mountains and riverside views, this small city offers plenty to explore. Whether you’re looking to spend the day hiking, biking, or fishing, Missoula has something for everyone. 

The downtown area of Missoula offers plenty of shopping and dining options as well. You can find everything from local boutiques to award-winning restaurants here. Plus, there are always events happening around town like live music shows and festivals that add even more flavor to this vibrant city. If you only have 48 hours in Missoula, Montana, don’t worry – you’ll still get to explore most of what this beautiful city has to offer.

Missoula is the perfect destination for anyone looking to experience the outdoors, shop and dine in style, and relax in comfort. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder so many people are drawn to this vibrant city! 

Local Information on Missoula, Montana

Missoula, Mont., is tucked between five mountain ranges and was created 13,000 years ago by Missoula Lake. This proglacial lake formed what is known today as the Bitterroot Valley, and is now the largest city in this valley.

Missoula, Montana is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. With its stunning natural beauty, vibrant downtown, and numerous outdoor activities to choose from, you won’t be disappointed with 48 hours in Missoula.

When it comes to weather in Missoula, temperatures are generally mild throughout most of the year. During summer months, it’s warm, dry and mostly clear with temperatures above 76 degrees. Winter temperatures are around 40 degrees, and you can expect some snow and cold nights, especially in December. Whether you’re planning on hiking, shopping or simply taking in the sights of this charming mountain town – make sure to check out Missoula’s local forecast before you pack!

Where to Stay

Staying in Missoula, Montana is a great way to experience all the city has to offer. From cozy hostels and hotels to luxury resorts, there are plenty of options for all kinds of travelers.

For the budget-conscious traveler, Missoula offers a variety of options, including campgrounds, budget hotels and motels, and cabins.

The city also provides a wide range of mid-range hotels with amenities such as hot tubs, pools and fitness centers. Most of these hotels are located near downtown so you can easily explore the area’s vibrant dining and shopping scene.

If you’re looking for something more luxurious, Missoula also offers high-end resorts that provide stunning views of the mountains, on-site spas, fine dining restaurants and much more. These resorts are ideal for couples looking for a romantic getaway or those seeking an unforgettable adventure in the Montana wilderness.

No matter what your accommodation needs may be – Missoula offers plenty of options for any type of traveler! Take a look and book through our hotel portal below to find the perfect place for you:

What to Do in Missoula – Your 48 Hours in Missoula, Montana Travel Guide

Downtown Missoula

There is always something to see, try, eat, smell or do in downtown Missoula. Filled with local shops, bakeries, jewelry and brewery stops, you can spend hours just in this section of our great city.

Cara’s Park

During the spring and summer, this park is the heartbeat of downtown Missoula with events, markets and musical performances. You can listen to troubadours and buskers while picnicking in the grass, or watch the local surfers and kayakers on Brennan’s Wave.

brennans wave missoula mt
Brennan’s Wave

The Wilma

The Wilma is Missoula’s classic 1920s theatre that has housed locals and the famous on its stage, and is always known for hosting a good show, regardless of the performer(s).

Recently, Modest Mouse, Brother Ali and Milky Chance have all visited Missoula and killed it on The Wilma’s stage.

wilma missoula mt

Mount Sentinel

Hike some of Missoula’s best trails located right in town! The famous ‘M’ trail, on Mount Sentinel, can be seen from most places in Missoula.

It’s a bit strenuous to get up the steep trail, but at only ¾ of a mile, it’s worth the hike as the ‘M’ trail offers exceptional views overlooking Missoula and the University of Montana campus and stadium.

Clark Fork River

Head over to the local shop, Lewis and Clark Trail Adventures and see about renting a river raft or tube to join the crowd down the Clark Fork River.

The most popular spot to start floating down the river is just 10 miles east of Missoula in Bonner, at the State Park access known as Miltown.

This float will take you from the Blackfoot River, through Hellgate Canyon, right past the University of Montana, Mount Sentinel and downtown Missoula’s Caras Park.

You can also contact the local River City Brews Rafting Tours and have some local brews while you float the river, enjoying the weather and the beauty on both sides of the water.

Ogren Park

Attend a baseball game at Ogren Park at Allegiance Field and watch the Missoula Paddleheads!

In the summer, the stadium is used for an outdoor movie theater where you can catch some classics on the baseball field as well!

The Daly Mansion

Just an hour from Missoula in Hamilton, you’ll find the Daly Mansion, built in 1886, and owned by Marcus Daly, one of Montana’s “Copper Kings.”

The Queen Anne style Victorian home is over 24,000 square feet and has been wonderfully preserved.

You can walk the grounds and learn more about the famous Daly family and life during that time. Tickets are only $15 for adults and $8 for children 6 to 17.

Lolo Hot Springs

Just 20 minutes away from Missoula in Lolo, you can soak your cares away in these hot springs.

As the Lolo Hot Springs website attests: “Whether it’s a freezing winter day or a hot summer day, you can take a dip in our indoor mineral pool or frolic in the outdoor swimming pool.”

After comfortably enjoying the great outdoors, enjoy a food, drinks and entertainment at The Jack Saloon.

Garden of 1,000 Buddhas

missoula montana travel guide

Head north to the Jocko Valley for a little tranquility and zen.

The Garden of 1000 Buddhas is free to visit, and the experience is absolutely worth the 30 minutes it takes to drive there from Missoula. It’s truly a magical sight to behold.

Where to Eat in Missoula

Missoula offers a taste of just about everything, from some exceptional Mexican bites and drinks at The Camino, to the raw side of dinner with delicious sushi from Saketome and the Michi Ramen Bar.

Visit Missoula classics such as The Depot and The Top Hat, and/or grab a burger from the Missoula Club or signature fried chicken at Double Front Cafe & Bar.

Paul’s Pancake Parlour

When visiting Missoula, Paul’s is a must-stop! This iconic pancake parlor is a breakfast staple and is loved by the locals.

Offering massive homemade pancakes and breakfast eats, this hotspot requires a wait most of the time, but it’s worth it, promise!

Paul’s Pancake Parlour is located in the middle of Missoula, on Tremper Square. It sits next to The Book Exchange, a local, family owned shop!

The Book Exchange is an excellent place to pass the time while waiting for your seat at Paul’s!

Worden’s Market and Deli

Looking for lunch, head over to Missoula’s first grocery store, Worden’s Market and Deli, established in 1883. Soups, sandwiches and salads are all made in-house daily, and is the perfect place to grab a bite before heading out on your next activity.

Where To Drink

Missoula has a serious tap house scene!

Some of our local favorites include: Draughtworks, KettleHouse Brewing Co., Western Cider Co., The Dram Shop, Tamarack Brewing Co., Highlander Beer or Montgomery Distillery.

48 hours in missoula montana
Enjoying a flight inside a heated igloo at Highlander Beer

Travel southwest down the Bitterroot Valley to explore the little towns that make up the Missoula county lines: Lolo, Florence, Stevensville, Victor and Hamilton.

All towns are down Montana Highway 93 and each is home to a brewery or two that deserves a visit.

You’ll be able to experience these charming towns, drink their delicious, local brews and make still make your travel goal of 48 hours in Missoula, Montana.

Missoula Itinerary At a Glance

The city of Missoula and its surrounding towns are a must-visit for anyone looking to get away and experience western Montana. In just 48 hours, you can participate in a variety of activities and cultural encounters, eat and drink to your heart’s content, and just enjoy the majesty of Montana in and out of the city.

How will you spend your 48 hours in Missoula, Montana? Let us know by tagging @trendingnorthwestmag in all your exciting excursions!

Terran Wimberly

Terran Wimberly was raised in Eastern Montana, but now calls Western Montana, specifically Missoula, home. 

She’s an avid dog lover who enjoys traveling and trying new foods and beverages. Terran brings her camera along on all her adventures, and is honing her photography skills while still trying to live in the moment. 

Determinedly driven by a tenacious stubbornness with a dash of impatience and spontaneity, Terran counts herself beyond fortunate to have experienced more in the past two decades than her younger self would have ever thought imaginable or possible.

read all of terran’s articles here.

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One Comment

  1. Missoula is colder than this article suggests though not as cold as most of Montana. There are plenty of cloudy days though.

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