Culture, history—and of course, the great outdoors—make YTI’s hometown a great place to live
When my husband, Todd, and I first visited the small but growing college town of Bozeman, Montana, three years ago, we could immediately see why it had been deemed “most livable place” because it sits in a scenic valley surrounded by beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains. As we continued to visit with our family over the last three years, we found so many more reasons for Bozeman to be a great place to live.
A community feel
First of all, we truly enjoy the uniqueness and small-town feel of downtown Bozeman. As we explored Main Street, we passed a variety of locally owned restaurants, trendy cafes, unique shops, small theaters, and boutiques. The sidewalks were lined with old-fashioned lampposts displaying small banners advertising the various upcoming community festivals and events. There are many festivities for the community to enjoy such as the Sweet Pea Festival, Music on Main, S.L.A.M. (Support Local Artists & Museums), the Christmas Stroll, the Farmer’s Market, and the Art Walks, just to name a few.
As we continued down Main we also noticed the many hanging flower baskets filled with beautiful flowers and the interesting combination of different architectural designs on the store fronts and churches, many of which are in the National Register of Historic Places. As we moved on to exploring the rest of town, we were amazed that on every corner where there was an electrical box, they weren’t just gray, but beautifully covered in amazing artwork. Each box displays something different from the area such as the local wildlife, hiking, fishing, skiing, and the scenic mountains. We love that art is incorporated in so many ways throughout Bozeman.
Arts and culture
As a family, we love that there are many museums, art galleries, music venues, and other educational places to enjoy together in Bozeman. Traveling throughout town we discovered several places to explore, such as the Museum of the Rockies, which has the largest collection of dinosaur remains in the United States and has traveling exhibits that cover diverse topics. There is also the Bozeman Library, which has an art gallery in the atrium, a coffee shop inside, and a large children’s area. The American Computer Museum, The Montana Science Center, and The Gallatin History Museum are great places to visit if you are a lover of science and history.
If you want to enjoy some art, music, or theater you can visit the Emerson Cultural Center, The Bozeman Art Museum, The Rialto, and the Ellen Theatre. With Bozeman being a college town, you don’t want to miss visiting the beautiful campus of Montana State University and all that it offers.
The great outdoors
The variety of outdoor activities that Bozeman and the surrounding area offer are probably one of the biggest reasons that we find Bozeman a great place to live. We can find something different to do outside every single day. If you want to stay close to town, Bozeman Hot Springs is a great place to go for relaxing in the spring waters. You can take a hot air balloon ride or go golfing. There is a biking and walking trail system that often connects you to many of the parks throughout town or you can take a hike on the Drinking Horse Trail or the M Trail.
If you would rather take a drive and go hiking farther out, there are numerous trails to hike into the surrounding mountains. Some of the easier ones include going to Hyalite Canyon and hiking up to the Palisade Falls or to the Grotto Falls. If water activities are more your style, you can go swimming, fishing, boating, canoeing, tubing, white water rafting, or fly fishing in the Gallatin or Madison rivers. During the winter months, snowboarding, skiing, and ice climbing are popular activities. Bridger Bowl ski area is only sixteen miles from downtown Bozeman, and Big Sky Resort is an hour away. Last, but definitely not least, is taking a trip to Yellowstone National Park which is a ninety-minute drive from Bozeman. This is one of our favorite things to do because every trip we take we get to see something different.
For these reasons and many more we think Bozeman, a community brought together by geographic boundaries, with respect for nature, and a passion/interest for art and outdoor activities, is a great place to live!