13 Reasons Montana Is One of the Best States

Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure? 

Today, we’ll share some compelling reasons why Montana is one of the best states.

From its stunning national parks to its vibrant culture and everything in between, you’ll discover why The Treasure State is the perfect destination for your next getaway.

We know that choosing a travel destination can be overwhelming, but we’re here to guide you through Montana’s magnificent wonders, ensuring that you won’t regret a single moment.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply someone looking for a change of scenery, Big Sky Country has something to offer. 

Are you ready to embark on a journey through Montana’s awe-inspiring wonders? Let’s go and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Reasons Montana Is Among the Best States

Montana Forest with Mountain

From the awe-inspiring Glacier National Park to the vibrant culture and warm hospitality of its people, Montana is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and let the state show you just how extraordinary it truly is.

1. Montana’s Wonderful Places to Live

Bozeman Montana Sunset

Montana truly has some wonderful places to live.

Bozeman is an outdoor lover’s paradise with stunning mountain views and 2 universities, including Montana State University.

It also features a top-rated public school system, making it ideal for families.

Whitefish is a favored winter and year-round vacation spot with historic homes and the renowned Whitefish Mountain Resort.

It’s a hub for skiing and scenic beauty, fostering a vibrant community.

Montana’s capital, Helena, flourishes with a lively downtown featuring microbreweries, restaurants, theaters, and even a symphony.

Additionally, it houses Mount Helena City Park, among the largest in the contiguous U.S., offering residents an ideal mix of urban amenities and nature access.

Last but not least, there’s Missoula—a city with a diverse mix of boutiques, breweries, restaurants, coffee shops, a lively art scene, and historical sites, creating a truly comprehensive urban experience.

Its charm is enhanced by numerous galleries and theaters, adding to its allure.

Boosting the appeal of these Montana locations are their practical benefits.

These cities offer quality education options, guaranteeing an excellent learning experience for everyone.

Moreover, Whitefish and Missoula boast notably low violent crime rates—1.7 and 3.3 respectively—significantly below the national average of 4.7.

With natural attractions and outdoor recreation opportunities, choosing to live in these cities means embracing the best that Montana has to offer. 

2. Montana’s Endless Outdoor Recreational Opportunities

Glacier National Park Montana

Big Sky Country defies expectations with its endless outdoor recreational opportunities.

From the sprawling peaks of Glacier National Park to the rugged beauty of Yellowstone, Montana is a haven for nature lovers.

Backpacking and camping enthusiasts can explore the vast wilderness and truly immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes.

Boating on the serene waters of Flathead Lake or Whitefish Lake offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

For adrenaline junkies, the options are just as exhilarating.

From mountain biking and cycling along scenic trails to hitting the slopes at world-class ski resorts like Big Sky Resort, Montana has it all.

But it’s not just the adrenaline rush that makes outdoor activities in the state so special.

Engaging in fishing, hunting, or hiking in Montana is not just about the thrill; it’s about reconnecting with the natural world and finding solace amid breathtaking scenery.

Plus, its benefits extend beyond the physical.

Spending time outdoors can have a profound impact on our mental well-being, allowing us to recharge and find inner peace. 

3. Montana’s Quality Choices for Higher Education

University of Montana
source: flickr.com

When it comes to higher education, The Treasure State doesn’t disappoint.

Beyond Montana’s well-known institutions like the University of Montana and Montana State University, lies a world of exceptional educational opportunities.

Montana Tech of the University of Montana, ranked 3rd in Regional Colleges West, provides a thorough education for career readiness.

Another standout is Carroll College in Helena, which holds the top position in the same category per U.S. News & World Report.

Aligned with the Catholic Church, Carroll College delivers a holistic, values-driven education.

But the education landscape in the state doesn’t stop there.

With 12 two-year institutions within the Montana University System and the presence of 7 tribal colleges, Montana truly embraces inclusivity and diversity in education.

The 7 tribal colleges that contribute to the state’s comprehensive learning opportunities include:

  • Aaniiih Nakoda College
  • Blackfeet Community College
  • Chief Dull Knife College
  • Fort Peck Community College
  • Little Big Horn College
  • Salish Kootenai College
  • Stone Child College 

Montana has quality choices for higher education that will surely ignite your thirst for knowledge and elevate your future prospects.

4. Montana’s Thriving Business Scene

Montana Businessman Holding Each Others Hand

While agriculture remains the primary industry in the state, there has been remarkable growth in Montana’s high-tech sector.

According to the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, this sector expanded by over 70% from 2015 to 2016.

With an annual revenue of more than $1 billion in 2017, Montana’s high-tech field is progressing at a rate 9 times faster than the overall state economy.

One city that has gained recognition on the national high-tech scene is Bozeman.

This growing presence has been noted by respected sources like the Washington Post.

With its business-friendly environment, Bozeman, Montana is attracting innovative companies and entrepreneurs, contributing to the overall economic growth of the state.

But it’s not just the high-tech industry that is booming in the state.

Its tourism industry is also flourishing, aligning perfectly with its abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities.

From lodging and restaurants to guides and outfitters, numerous businesses thrive in this vibrant sector, further stimulating the state’s commercial landscape.

Montana’s thriving business scene adds yet another layer of appeal to this already remarkable state.

5. Montana’s Beautiful and Diverse Wildlife

Gray Wolf in Montana

Montana is a state that truly captivates with its rich and diverse wildlife.

From its vast plains and sprawling forests to the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains, this state serves as a sanctuary for an extensive variety of species.

In the rugged terrain, you can spot glorious mountain goats defying gravity as they effortlessly navigate steep cliffs. These sure-footed creatures are a testament to the adaptability and resilience of wildlife in Montana.

Bighorn sheep gracefully traverse mountaintops, their imposing horns a symbol of their strength and beauty. 

Montana’s wilderness is also home to the elusive moose, a majestic beast that is hard to turn away from.

Don’t forget about the predators that roam these lands.

Black bears and mountain lions silently traverse the forests, their presence a reminder of the delicate balance of nature. 

Right there with them are Montana’s legendary Grizzly Bear and Gray Wolf, creatures that perfectly embody the raw power and untamed beauty of the state.

The state’s commitment to wildlife conservation ensures the preservation of this impressive biodiversity.

With its diverse natural habitats, the state provides a haven for not only these iconic species but also migratory birds like sandhill cranes and various waterfowl.

Every step you take in Montana is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of wildlife, photography, and observation. 

6. Montana’s Literary Delights

Library in Livingston

The Treasure State is a literary enclave, with vibrant communities that celebrate the written word.

Livingston is a small Montana city that boasts a thriving literary scene.

It’s not surprising considering the presence of notable authors like Thomas McGuane and Doug Peacock in the area.

That said, Livingston’s allure extends beyond its literary luminaries.

Its picturesque main street exudes charm, while the scenic Yellowstone River meanders through the surrounding landscapes, creating a postcard-perfect setting.

A must-visit destination in Livingston, Montana is Elk River Books. This acclaimed bookstore specializes in rare and collectible outdoor literature, making it a haven for book enthusiasts.

But the bookstore is not just a place to browse; it actively fosters literary engagement by hosting a variety of author events.

These events bring writers and readers together, creating a vibrant and connected literary community.

Adding to the literary riches of Livingston, Montana is Elk River Arts & Lecture, a non-profit initiative that further enriches the town.

Through engaging workshops, readings, and discussions, it brings writers, artists, and lecturers to this unassuming city, making Livingston a hub of cultural exchange and intellectual discourse.

If you’re journeying along I-90, another literary destination that deserves a stop is Mountain Valley Book Store in Alberton.

This family-operated store boasts an impressive collection of over 100,000 books, ensuring that bookworms will find a literary treasure to satisfy their literary cravings.

Montana may be known for its natural beauty, but it’s also a place where literary enthusiasts can find solace and inspiration. 

7. Montana’s Natural Wonders

Trail in Glacier National Park

Montana is truly in a league of its own when it comes to natural wonders.

This magnificent state is home to 2 of the most renowned national parks in the entire country: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park spans across the southeastern corner of Montana, as well as Wyoming.

You can enter this mesmerizing wonderland through its north entrance in Gardiner, Montana, which remains open year-round.

From the iconic Grizzly Bears and Gray Wolves to splendid black bears, bison, and even moose, this park is a treasure trove of biodiversity.

But that’s not all.

Montana’s Glacier National Park, part of the world’s first international peace park along with Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, holds its own share of natural wonders.

A highlight is the renowned Going-to-the-Sun Road, winding through the park’s east and west, offering breathtaking views of mountains, lakes, and waterfalls.

To top it off, Glacier National Park is home to a staggering 25 active glaciers as of 2022, showcasing the raw power and beauty of nature.

These national parks offer more than just stunning landscapes. They provide opportunities for outdoor adventures and a unique connection with nature that truly awakens the senses. 

8. Montana’s Spacious Lands

Montana Landscape Sunset

Montana’s towering mountains and vast prairies stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a sense of freedom and solitude that is hard to find elsewhere.

With a population density of just 6.86 people per square mile, it’s not uncommon to go miles without encountering another person.

In Big Sky Country, you can truly immerse yourself in your thoughts, with only the sound of a 90s country song as your backdrop.

And let’s not forget about the magnificent mountains and river valleys that showcase the state’s natural beauty.

Whether you’re exploring the iconic Glacier National Park or rafting down the Yellowstone River, Montana’s breathtaking views will leave you in awe.

In Montana, the absence of crowds allows you to find inner tranquility, offering a genuine escape to reconnect with both yourself and the natural environment.

9. Montana’s Food and Brews

Wagyu Ribeye Beef from Montana
source: flickr.com

Montana’s culinary scene is as diverse and delicious as its breathtaking landscapes.

From the rare and tantalizing flavors of huckleberries and chokecherries to mouthwatering bison burgers and Rocky Mountain oysters, this state offers a unique and unforgettable dining experience.

As a leading beef producer in the country, Montana showcases its quality and expertise in every bite.

But it’s not just the food that will leave you craving more.

The state’s craft brewing industry is thriving, with an array of breweries that cater to all tastes.

Whether you’re in Billings or anywhere else in the state, you’ll find a world-class brewery scene waiting to be explored.

In Billings alone, you can savor the creations of Montana Brewing Company, Canyon Creek Brewing, and Thirsty Street Brewing Company at the Taproom.

These establishments contribute to the vibrant craft beer culture, offering a variety of brews that will delight even the most discerning palate.

Whether you’re a foodie searching for unique flavors or a beer enthusiast looking to indulge in the finest craft brews, Montana has all you need.

10. Montana’s Relatively Affordable Lifestyle

Retired Couple Having Peace in Montana

With living costs that clock in 6% lower than the national average, Montana offers a refreshing respite from the never-ending financial stress that plagues pricier areas.

Furthermore, the state’s utility bills come in nearly 10% cheaper than the nationwide average, offering another layer of financial comfort.

And when it comes to transportation costs, CNN Money has ranked Montana among the lowest, giving you even more reason to embrace the freedom of the open road.

Now, let’s discuss the importance of highlighting the term “reasonable.”

This is primarily due to the housing market, where the state average stands at $440,339, exceeding the national U.S. average of $410,200.

Montana’s more competitive housing balances out the other financial advantages that would have otherwise contributed to an even more affordable cost of living in the state.

11. Montana’s Enjoyable and Intriguing Spots

Ghost Town in Montana

Whether you’re in search of exhilarating water sports or embarking on peaceful fishing excursions on clear lakes such as Whitefish and Flathead Lake, Big Sky Country consistently delivers.

But the fun doesn’t stop there.

With close to 15 ski resorts, including the renowned Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana is a paradise for winter recreation enthusiasts.

From skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the state’s snowy wonderland.

For those who prefer a more laid-back experience, the family-friendly city of Bozeman offers a lively art scene, with local art, music, culture, restaurants, and shops that will captivate your senses.

And if you’re yearning for a bit of adventure, The Treasure State’s stunning hiking trails, like The Beaten Path and Highline Trail, offer breathtaking views that will make your heart soar.

Montana’s renowned ghost towns, such as Virginia City and Castle Town, are also worthy of exploration.

Here, you can immerse yourself in history and even discover connections to Western legends like Calamity Jane.

It’s this mix of nature adventures and quirky locations that make Montana truly unique and filled with fun experiences. 

12. Montana’s Warm and Welcoming Communities

Happy Community in Montana

Montana’s inviting communities create an ideal home with strong bonds and family values.

In challenging times, neighbors rally together, showcasing a strong sense of unity and support.

Bozeman shines as a family-friendly city with a welcoming environment that has fueled its rapid growth.

From schools to neighborhoods, the city’s design accommodates new residents, creating an immediate sense of belonging.

Beyond practicality, Bozeman boasts a vibrant arts scene, captivating with local creativity and culture.

Attractions like the American Computer & Robotics Museum and Gallatin History Museum, along with the local flavors of Bozeman Spirits Distillery, offer enriching and delightful experiences.

Bozeman’s progressive spirit and tight-knit communities set the tone and are echoed in cities like Whitefish, Missoula, and Billings across Montana.

13. Montana’s Fascinating Historical Charm

Native American Huts in Montana

With a history dating back 12,000 years, Montana’s tapestry of rich Native American heritage and pivotal 1800s events forms a narrative spanning numerous millennia.

One cannot explore the state’s history without mentioning the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

In the early 1800s, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark ventured into this untamed wilderness, charting new territory and forging connections with Native American tribes.

Their journey marked the beginning of Montana’s place in American history.

The 20th-century Industrial Boom further shaped Montana’s character.

The rapid growth of mining camps like Butte and the emergence of the railroad brought wealth and prosperity to the state.

Today, remnants of Montana’s bygone eras can still be seen in the architecture of its towns and cities.

The majestic State Capitol in Helena, the haunting Old Prison Museum in Deer Lodge, and the iconic Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner are just a few examples of the state’s enduring historical landmarks.

If you’re a history enthusiast, Montana will stand out as a true paradise. 

Montana Is One of the Best States Final Thoughts

Montana Mountains with Bushes on Trail

If you have a love for nature, history, a mix of fun and quirky experiences, outdoor thrills, or a taste for good food and beer, Montana will surely be on your list of best states. 

With livable cities like Bozeman, Missoula, and Whitefish, outdoor recreation and stunning scenery are easily accessible.

The state’s appeal is enhanced by its affordability and educational opportunities, while its distinctiveness is underscored by its welcoming communities and a deep sense of heritage.

Montana’s distinction as one of the best states isn’t solely attributed to its beauty, but also to the fulfillment and richness it adds to your everyday life.

Montana Is One of the Best States FAQs

1. Is Montana the Best State to Live In?

When seeking a place to call home, Montana emerges as a strong contender for the best state to live in if you prioritize:

  • Friendly and inviting communities
  • Abundant outdoor recreational possibilities
  • High-quality higher education offerings
  • Breathtaking expansive landscapes

2. What Attracts People to Montana?

Montana’s main qualities that attract people include, but are not limited to:

  • Relatively affordable living conditions
  • Natural wonders, particularly Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park
  • Tight-knit communities
  • Thriving business scene
  • Vibrant college towns and cities, like Bozeman, offer top-notch higher education options

3. What Is the Nicest City in Montana?

When it comes to finding the nicest city in Montana, it really depends on your preferences and plans.

For those seeking a highly progressive city with close-knit neighborhoods and a mix of historical charm and urban energy, Bozeman is a strong contender. 

On the other hand, if you’re drawn to a cozy small-town atmosphere and a wealth of outdoor activity options, Whitefish could be the perfect fit.

4. Where Do the Rich Live in Montana?

Helena Valley Northeast is where rich people are likely to reside in Montana.

In 2023, households in Helena Valley Northeast boasted a median household income of $122,804, coupled with a remarkably low poverty rate of only 3.06%. 

5. Why Is Montana So Special?

What makes Montana so special is its unique and unparalleled natural beauty.

Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, shared with Wyoming, stand as examples.

As a pivotal part of the world’s first international peace park, Glacier National Park, alongside Yellowstone National Park, attracts millions annually and significantly contributes to Montana’s economy.

Unearth the hidden marvels of Montana by delving into these remarkable reads:

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Written by:

Chris Hall
Hi, I'm Chris Hall, co-founder of PocketMontana.com. Growing up among Montana's breathtaking landscapes ignited my passion for travel. While I've journeyed to many corners of the world, the allure of Montana's wild beauty always draws me back. To me, travel is about understanding the soul of a place, and Montana has a special place in my heart. It's where endless adventures meet raw nature.

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