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Published on March 30th, 2014 | by Sam Park


11 Reasons Missoula is the Best City in Montana

Your hometown’s list might go to ten. Missoula’s goes to eleven.

11.  Griz Football

Washington Grizzly Stadium

The closest thing Montana has to pro sports.  The Griz have won two national championship and play in the incredible Washington-Grizzly stadium which seats over 25,000.  Game days in Missoula are special…

10.  This quote:

Norman Maclean

Norman Maclean knows the truth

9.  The Western Montana Fair is Bonkers

Rides, rodeos, fried food, and a demolition derby.  There are too many things going on to list here.

8.  The Views

Montana is a scenic state, but nowhere else has view like this…


#overlook #missoula

— Black Coffee (@BlackCoffeeMsla) March 30, 2014

I think I’m going to like spring in Missoula just fine.


— Cameron Songer (@CameronSonger) March 28, 2014

#Missoula in Montana Sunset


— Creative Travel Spot (@spotenthusiast) March 27, 2014

 7.  Outdoor activities no matter the season

Surfing in the summer

Missoula surfing

…and powder surfing in the winter.

(find out more about river surfing here:

6. It is home to the University of Montana: The Harvard of Montana

UM offers a multitude of traditional degrees, including business and law. The vocational and technical school offers education in a variety of trades. Whether you are high school graduate getting your first degree or a full-time professional looking to increase your credentials, you have opportunities to do that in Missoula. And the campus is beyond beautiful.
university of Montana

5.  We have some of the best restaurants in the state… and the country

We could devote a whole list to Missoula Restaurants (and maybe we will!).  For now, here are some awards…

Charlie B’s – Esquire 2010 Best Bars in America (and it’s not even the best bar in Missoula)

Big Dipper – Best Ice Cream Spot in the U.S. by Food and Wine Magazine 

Staggering Ox – 2004 Maxim Top Ten Sandwiches Runner Up (the Nuke)

Pearl Cafe – OpenTable 2014 Diners’ Choice Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America

the pearl missoula

4.  Missoula has great craft beer.  Cold Smoke might be the best in the state

The ever growing list of great Breweries include: Bayern, Big Sky, Kettlehouse, and Tamarack.  You cannot go wrong.

delicious beer

3. Monte

The University of Montana mascot has been nominated five times for Capital One’s Mascot of the Year.  He’s the only mascot ever to win twice.

I mean, seriously, check out these moves…

2. Badass Businesses

Missoula is the center of commerce and education in the Western Montana region.  This unique combination of healthy economic conditions leads to numerous examples of successful startups in sectors ranging from artisan trades like award-winning breadmaker Le Petit Outre, to movie prop supplier Zombie Tools, to clothing companies like Garage Tees, to high-tech startups like Education Logistics.  The business-friendly environment, combined with a high quality of life, makes Missoula one of the most attractive places in the nation to live and work.  During the midst of the recession in 2009, CNN Money nominated Missoula as one of its top ten best places to launch a business.

Most importantly, if you work downtown, it is possible  get some fly fishing in during your lunch break.

1. If an avalanche buries your house, you’ll have hundreds of neighbors on the scene in minutes to shovel you out

missoula avalanche

The Montana Mint staff commends Missoula residents and rescue teams for responding so quickly to the recent avalanche emergency.  But we weren’t surprised (see reason #10).

Montana Mint’s Sam Park contributed to this article.  You can follow him on twitter @mtsampark.
 Do you want to write for the Mint? You can.  Find out more here.

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About the Author

Sam Park

Missoula native. Mint enthusiast.

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