The Quick Getaways Montana has to Offer this Summer

Natalie Waddington

Summer brings sunshine, warmer weather, and the opportunities to get out and explore. Many choose to leave the state and visit islands, other continents, or big cities. Summer vacations give us the chance to escape our normal, everyday lives to go see something new. Nevertheless, with so many adventures and activities right here in Bozeman, it’s hard to justify going anywhere else. But, sometimes it can be nice to get away from the everyday scenery and try something new. There are so many incredible places for families, friends, and even oneself to go and see. It may be hard to get up and leave, or take off work, so I decided to compile a list with places to visit this summer which may not break the bank or cause too harsh of a conversation with the boss. Since these places are still in Montana, these trips can even be done in a day! But, they still offer fun, relaxation, and the chance to do something a bit different. So, take a look and see if anything sparks an interest.

The Berkeley Pit

Located in Butte, which is about an hour and a half drive from Bozeman, the Berkeley Pit is a former copper mine turned into a huge hole filled with acidic water. Though you can’t take a dive into the pit, it does offer some incredible views and a fun afternoon in the Mining Museum attached to the pit. It gives the history of the mining that took place in the copper mines and explains why the water is so contaminated now. It is quite the story. If you’re looking for a cool story and a unique picture, the Berkeley Pit is the place to go for a quick afternoon adventure!

Montana Folk Festival & An Rí Rá Montana Irish Festival 

A perfect quick getaway for a day over the weekend! August 9-11, 2019, the An Rí Rá Montana Irish Festival will take place in Butte. The festival offers food, FREE admission, and the chance to appreciate Irish heritage from across the country. So, grab your lawn chair and get out to enjoy some sun and Irish dances!

Helena offers so many activities and events for those looking for a way to spend an empty day on the calendar. With the state capitol, multiple museums, churches, parks, ranches, and plenty of other places, Helena gives a range of opportunities depending on the interests of the crew. For families, the national parks and museums offer fun places to get outside or learn. The popular attraction, Gates of the Mountains, is a park located on the Missouri River just outside of Helena, and the views offered are spectacular. The lake view against the giant rock formations make for a great summer day spent soaking, eating, and relaxing. But if you’re looking for something in town, Helena’s capitol makes for a fun experience for the family. The building is beautiful and archaic, and the tours make for a great afternoon of learning and fun. Who wouldn’t want to visit the capitol of the Treasure State? There are so many restaurants, pretty sights, and places to explore in Helena, which makes it a great destination spot for a quick weekend vacation!

Hot Springs

If you find yourself stressed with work or summer classes, I highly suggest visiting one of the remote hot springs near Bozeman for a quick soak and a great moment of relaxation. There are two well-known and respected hot springs that are a quick drive from Bozeman: Norris Hot Springs and Chico Hot Springs.

Norris Hot Springs, located in the Madison River Valley, is about a forty-minute drive from Bozeman, making it a great evening trip. The drive is also beautiful. Admission to soak is $8 for adults, $5 for those over 64 years, and $3 for those kiddos under 12 years. They also have live music for $2 extra during the weekends!

Chico Hot Springs, attached to a resort, is roughly an hour drive from Bozeman. This hot spring is a hot attraction for those living in or visiting Montana. The day admission for the hot springs is $8.50 for adults, $3.50 for seniors 65+, and $3.50 for kids ages 3-6. If you decide to stay at the resort, the admission is included with your stay. 


Big Timber
The Natural Bridge in Big Timber is the perfect stop for a great hike and beautiful Montana scenery! The Boulder River flows through the rocks and landscape to come out on the side of the falls creating quite the sight. It is just one of nature’s many wonders that Montana is lucky enough to exhibit for us. Plus, the forest service created a bridge to get hikers and tourists from one side of the river to the other. So, take a day to get outside and enjoy the picnic areas near the river for a quick day activity.


White Sulphur Springs Hotel and Hot Springs
Located in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, Spa Hot Springs and Motel offer a relaxing getaway for those looking for a weekend trip. With a drive at roughly an hour and a half, this makes the perfect spot for a vacation that doesn’t require tons of planning or thought. If you’re looking to get a weekend to yourself, your partner, or your whole family, White Sulphur Springs provides the perfect spot for entertainment, relaxation, and happiness. 


Moonlight Music Festival
Moonlight Music Festival, located in Big Sky, is a great chance to listen to a variety music and get away for a few days with the family! With lots of live performances, opportunities to pitch a tent, and great food, this music festival certainly brings the heart and spirit of Montana to life in music! The Moonlight Music Festival will be happening August 16-17, 2019, and I hope you get a chance to go enjoy it!


Clearly, there are a lot of opportunities to get out of the normal routine and see a different part of Montana for very little cost and time. This list isn’t everything happening in Montana, so definitely keep your eyes out for other fun activities and places. With the sunshine comes the drive to get out and relax, so if you’re really looking for something to do with your family, significant other, or even by yourself, hopefully this list has sparked some interest. After this past winter, I think the need for a quick vacay or trip is necessary. So, let’s get out and see what Montana has to offer this summer!

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