Some people prefer summertime, but many others look forward to the colder months. Winter has its own beauty and charm, especially in the United States. There’s nothing sweeter than a cup of hot chocolate while sitting near the fireplace and watching the snow fall outside.
If you’re looking for a winter wonderland escape, consider planning a trip to Montana during the holiday season. You’ll find several unique cities to visit, popular winter attractions to experience, and fantastic ski resorts to squeeze in some outdoor fun during this exciting time of year.
Top Winter Cities in Montana
- Big Sky is a community found on the south end of Montana, close to the border of Yellowstone National Park. The area is most commonly known for outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking.
- Bozeman can be found about an hour north of Big Sky, serving as a home base for Montana State University. The closest ski resort to Bozeman is Bridger Bowl, with incredibly affordable lift tickets for as low as $53 for adults! This is a great place to learn how to ski or snowboard, because they also have beginner lift passes for only $15.
- Whitefish is on the northwest end of Montana, and is a great city to stay in if you plan to explore Glacier National Park. It’s also home to Whitefish Mountain Resort, where you’ll find powdery ski slopes and terrain parks for seasoned riders.
- Bigfork is a small community on the north edge of Montana’s Flathead Lake that’s known for it’s yearly transformation into a Christmas Village during the holiday season. This year’s Bigfork holiday festivities begin on November 23rd, where the city’s elves will be hard at work decorating the city.
Best Ski Area: Big Sky Resort
Montana’s enormous snow covered mountains are great for skiing, with a total of fifteen ski areas scattered along the west half of the state, but the best resort in Montana brings us to Big Sky Resort, also known as “The Biggest Skiing in America.”
This year, opening day at Big Sky is on Thanksgiving, with lift tickets priced at $52. Don’t take that price for granted, because rated begin to rise by the second week of December, and can go as high as $168 towards Christmas and New Year.
Big Sky also offers a handful of winter activities including sleigh rides, dog sledding, snowshoe tours, family-friendly zip lining, and more. If you’re visiting with the kids, but don’t quite want to spend an afternoon on the slopes, you can even opt for a relaxing appointment at the Solace Spa & Salon while the everyone else is on the mountain. There’s definitely at least one activity for everyone at Big Sky, making it the perfect place to go for a winter vacation.
Montana’s Most Popular Attractions
- Glacier National Park is noted as one of the top four national parks to explore in the United States. Many years ago, it housed over 100 glaciers, with only about 25 left remaining today. It’s definitely a sight worth seeing, as the number of glaciers slowly decrease due to climate change.
- Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is a wonderful underground attraction in Whitehall, just an hour away from Bozeman. There are several guided tour packages to explore the limestone caverns, including a Winter Holiday Candlelight Tour that starts in December.
- Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University is one of Bozeman’s most iconic attractions. The museum — an affiliate of the Smithsonian — displays interesting artifacts such as dinosaur skeletons, fossils, and many rotating exhibits. It’s a wonderful place to visit if you need a break from all the winter outdoor activities!