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8 of the Most Walkable Cities in Montana

Montana is an incredible state known for its natural beauty and abundant outdoor life. In search of hiking and biking trails, many people overlook the state’s many walkable cities. These cities are well laid out and connected as a group of square boxes, making navigation seamless and accessing highlights easier. Along the streets, visitors can explore restaurants to taste various delicious dishes, buy gifts at souvenir shops, visit art galleries and interact with friendly locals. Lace up those shoes and prepare for an unforgettable experience in Montana’s eight most walkable cities.

Red Lodge

View of downtown Red Lodge, Montana.
View of downtown Red Lodge, Montana. Editorial credit: melissamn / Shutterstock.com

Red Lodge is a quaint, picturesque mountain town in Carbon County and serves as the gateway to Yellowstone National Park, providing the perfect scenery for scenic and exciting hiking adventures. A walking tour of this elegant city usually consists of a stroll along Broadway Avenue, the city’s main street, also known as Red Lodge Commercial Historic District. Here, visitors love the many colorful storefronts, restaurants and historic buildings galore.

Some notable historic buildings to see and explore on Broadway Avenue include the 1917 Roman Theater, the 1925 Irish Theater, the 1893 Pollard Hotel, and the Carbon Country Courthouse. On the same Broadway, the Black Canyon Bistro offers sensational dining experiences with Mediterranean and local cuisine. Meanwhile, art lovers can sit back in the Beartooth Gallery and explore various works of art and exhibitions.

Glendive

A dinosaur statue next to the city hall building in Glendive, Montana.
A dinosaur statue next to the city hall building in Glendive, Montana. Editorial credit: Logan Bush / Shutterstock.com

The small town of Glendive is a hiker’s paradise and particularly attractive to history buffs, especially in the Merrill Avenue Historic District. A stroll through this district leads visitors into a prehistoric atmosphere, with the visual delights of ancient and iconic buildings. Some of these landmarks include the 1914 Glendive City Hall, the 1922 Glendive Depot, and the 1907 Krug Building.

While exploring downtown, science enthusiasts can venture to State Street, off N. Merrill Avenue, to visit the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum. This amazing place displays life-size dinosaur exhibits and fossils that the whole family will love. Also on State Street, discover the Frontier Gateway Museum, with Native American artifacts, fossils and railroad exhibits spread across seven buildings. Meanwhile, by its namesake, the Yellowstone River, the Yellowstone River Inn is a charming dining establishment with exceptional water views.

Livingston

Businesses line a street in downtown Livingston, Montana.
Businesses line a street in downtown Livingston, Montana. Editorial credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Livingston is located in the Yellowstone Valley and is a gateway to Yellowstone National Park. But it’s beyond the gateway to a famous park, thanks to its walkable and charming main street where culture, history, modernity and delectable cuisines effortlessly come together in storefronts.

For history-conscious travelers, the Livingston Depot Center on West Park Street and the Yellowstone Gateway Museum on W. Chinook Street offer insight into the city’s past as a railroad hub and gateway to Yellowstone Park. Art lovers can check in at the Livingston Center for Arts and Avery’s Art Work, both on S. Main Street. It’s normal to feel ravenous during the tour, and the Livingston Bar and Grille on N. Main Street is a short walk away to quench the taste and hunger pangs.

Butte

The Silver Bow County Courthouse Annex in Butte, Montana.
The Silver Bow County Courthouse Annex in Butte, Montana. Editorial credit: davidrh / Shutterstock.com

Butte is one of Montana’s more prominent mining towns, famous as the “richest hill on earth.” The city is also unique, with a walkable area in the uptown area instead of the popular downtown areas. Visitors can stroll through this city’s historic district and enjoy several architectural masterpieces ranging from Queen Anne and Italianate to Victorian styles. The neighborhood is relatively compact and you can easily navigate to iconic buildings such as the historic Metals Bank, Hotel Finlen, and Copper King Mansion.

After a long tour, take a break at the Uptown Café on E. Broadway for lunch and dessert, or Annie’s Café on Front Street for a delicious ham steak, eggs and coffee. Before you leave, enjoy more adventures in the South Butte neighborhood, which features historic buildings such as the 1908 Burton K. Wheeler House and 1907 Bowen Block.

Kalispell

Walkable buildings and businesses in Kalispell, Montana.
Walkable buildings and businesses in the city of Kalispell, Montana. Editorial credit: Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com

Kalispell is the largest city in the Flathead Valley, and despite a population of over 24,000, it remains one of the state’s most walkable destinations. As a result, pedestrian traffic predominates along the main street downtown, where a mix of historic, modern and commercial buildings front the sidewalks. While strolling through this town, visitors can spice it up with ice cream from Sweet Peaks or have breakfast at the Sykes Diner & Market.

Then walk around the interconnected First and Second Avenues and stop at the Northwest Montana History Museum on Second Avenue to learn about the city of its pioneers. Still on Second Avenue, you can visit the Hockaday Museum of Arts, which preserves the great art of Montana and Glacier National Park through permanent exhibitions for art lovers.

Whitefish

Scenic Main Street in Whitefish, Montana.
Main Street in Whitefish, Montana, awash with rustic buildings and beautiful mountains. Editorial credit: Image Type / Shutterstock.com

Whitefish is a beautiful town in Flathead County, and if you drive through it, you’re sure to miss a lot of great experiences. This magnetic city and gateway to Glacier National Park is a hiker’s paradise, with many paved, interconnected streets and an array of boutiques, restaurants, antique shops, historic storefronts, and art galleries to explore. For an unforgettable walking tour of this city, visitors can start with a delicious breakfast at Loula’s Café on E. Second Street.

Art lovers can discover some creative works at the Going-to-the-Sun Gallery or the For Fine Art Gallery, both on Central Avenue. As you walk through downtown, stop at 127 Spokane Avenue to catch a show at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center. Otherwise, walk to the Whitefish Downtown Farmer’s Market to buy fresh produce, eat and enjoy live music in the summer.

Helena

Aerial view of Helena, Montana.
Aerial view of the town of Helena, Montana.

Helena is a beautiful town surrounded by the iconic Mount Helena, making every hiking trail a scenic viewpoint. The city has a high concentration of historic and architecturally important buildings that visitors can explore on guided and self-guided tours. Architectural and historical wonders line both sides of the enticing, walkable Last Chance Gulch, the city’s most vibrant and thriving neighborhood.

Additionally, this unique neighborhood is home to the Helena Walking Mall, a walkable landscaped area that includes a small creek, the Holter Museum of Art, and the Ghost Art Gallery. If you’re in the area, make sure to get a delicious cup of ice cream at the Big Dipper Ice Cream Shop or grab a coffee at the Fire Tower Coffee House.

Angry man

Hotel Baxter and other brick buildings along a street in Bozeman, Montana.
Hotel Baxter and other historic brick buildings line a street in Bozeman, Montana. Editorial credit: aceshot1 / Shutterstock.com

Bozeman is proud of its walkable Main Street, with plenty to see and do. Most visitors head straight to Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot for a refreshing cup of coffee before starting the day. Afterwards, explore local works of art at the Emerson Center for the Arts, Cello Gallery, or Old Main Gallery & Framing. When it’s time to refill your stomach, head to Co-op Downtown for delicious meals or Ted’s Montana Grill for their amazing chicken and seafood dishes.

History buffs strolling through the city should visit landmarks such as the 1919 Ellen Theater and the Gallatin History Museum, which offer a journey into the past. If there’s still time, head to Highland Boulevard for stunning views of the Bridger Mountain Range or walk down Willson Avenue for sights of historic homes.

To block

Sometimes exploring a city on foot is the best way to enjoy its sights, sounds and culture. However, walking is only fun if the city is indeed walkable, with interconnected streets, well-paved pedestrian streets, and less traffic. These Montana cities have all the features that make them walkable. Furthermore, they are generally calm and relaxed, which makes the experiences even more enjoyable. Visit these incredible cities today, wear comfortable shoes and hit the streets for exciting adventures and to improve your health.

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