Halfway between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks is Montana's cultural hub and second-largest city, Missoula. With nine historic districts, funky boutiques, live theater, a symphony, diverse dining options, a thriving music scene, ample lodging options, plus access to nearby wilderness areas, unrivaled outdoor playgrounds and five golf clubs, Missoula perfectly combines big-city amenities with outdoor recreation and Montana's natural wonders. This eclectic mountain town is also home to the state's oldest college—the University of Montana.
For a true Missoula experience, stroll along the riverfront trail as it follows the Clark Fork River through the heart of downtown.
Lewis and Clark came through the Missoula Valley in 1805, but it wasn't until 1860 that Europeans settled here (although a Jesuit priest, DeSmet, opened a mission south in the Bitterroot Valley in 1841).
Before settlers arrived, Western Montana was home to the Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai tribes. In 1860, C.P. Higgins and F.L. Worden opened a trading market that they called the Hellgate Village. (Today you can buy wine, espresso and huge deli sandwiches at Wordens Market on Higgins Street downtown). The name hellgate came from French trappers, who found carnage from warfare, including bones and bodies, in the canyon on the east edge of town. The Blackfeet and Flathead used the close confines of the canyon to battle one another. The canyon is still called Hellgate today, but only winter winds are a threat now.
Hellgate Village was a success, followed by a flour mill and a sawmill, which the new settlers dubbed Missoula Mills. Mills was eventually dropped, leaving the town with the name Missoula. Which, by the way, comes from a butchered version of the Salish name for the area, "Nemissoolatakoo."
Jeanette Rankin, the nation's first Congresswoman, was reared in Missoula in the late 1800s. She was elected to Congress before women could vote, on the eve of the first World War. She served one term, then was re-elected to Congress on the eve of the second World War. She is the only legislator to have voted against entering both wars.
The town is still steeped in active politics. And its economy is still based on retail trade -- people from hundreds of miles around use Missoula as their base for shopping and for finding medical and other professional services. The University of Montana and the Forest Service are also heavy economic hitters here.
December 3rd at 12:00pm
Missoula Public Library 455 E. Main St. Missoula, MT
Categories: General, Kids, Music/Concerts
December 5th at 04:30pm
MCT Center for the Performing Arts 200 N Adams Missoula, Montana
Categories: Arts/Culture, General, Kids, Theatre/Film
December 5th at 05:30pm
Big Sky Brewing 5417 Trumpeter Way Missoula, Montana
802 W. Spruce St.
101 Carousel Drive
39 Juniper Lane
PO Box 762
1268 Bandmann Trail
4559 N. Reserve St.
101 E. Main St.
100 Madison St.
321 N. Higgins Ave.
5252 Airway Blvd.
1600 S. Third St. W.
218 E. Main St., Suite C
3400 Captain Rawn Way at Fort Missoula Building #322
32 Campus Drive, Suite 1234
136 E. Broadway
825 E. Front St.
600 Cregg Lane in McCormick Park
Dennison Theatre, University of Montana (Performance location)
116 Glacier Dr.
6305 U.S. Highway 10 W.
125 N. Pattee St.
5705 Grant Creek Road
Building T-316, 2975 General Foster Ave., Fort Missoula
1700 Snowbowl Road
32 Campus Drive, University Center, Room 340
32 Campus Drive
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It’s #NationalParkWeek and we want to hear your park story about our fave place, @GlacierNPS. Tweet a fun GNP memor… https://t.co/weKGsEahil