Great Falls, Montana (MT) is a hidden gem in the heart of Big Sky Country, offering a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors. From scenic natural wonders to historical landmarks, cultural museums to outdoor recreational opportunities, Great Falls has something for everyone to explore and enjoy. Local travel guide, Montana Outdoors, recommends the following must-see attractions in Great Falls:
- Visit the iconic Great Falls of the Missouri River, a picturesque natural wonder that provides breathtaking views and a glimpse into the region’s geological history.
- Explore Giant Springs State Park, home to one of the largest freshwater springs in the United States and a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and bird-watching.
- Discover the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center, which offers insight into the famous expedition’s journey and its impact on the region.
- Take a stroll in the scenic River’s Edge Trail, a beautiful pathway that follows the Missouri River and provides opportunities for hiking, biking, and enjoying nature.
- Visit the C.M. Russell Museum, dedicated to the renowned Western artist Charles Marion Russell and showcasing his iconic artwork.
- Enjoy outdoor recreation at Ryan Dam, where you can fish, boat, or simply relax by the tranquil waters.
- Experience history at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, featuring rotating exhibits and promoting local artists and cultural heritage.
- Attend events and festivals at the Montana ExpoPark, a vibrant venue hosting various entertainment, agricultural, and community events throughout the year.
- Play golf at one of Great Falls’ beautiful courses, such as Meadow Lark Country Club or Anaconda Hills Golf Course.
- Explore the Children’s Museum of Montana, a fun-filled interactive museum offering engaging exhibits and educational activities for kids.
To make the most of your visit to Great Falls, it’s important to consider the best time to visit and nearby attractions to explore. Great Falls is known for its welcoming community and offers a high quality of life, making it a great place to live. When it comes to dining, the city boasts a range of popular restaurants serving delicious cuisine to satisfy every palate. Outdoor enthusiasts will also find plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities near Great Falls, including hiking, fishing, camping, and more. For families, Great Falls offers a variety of family-friendly activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained. With its diverse range of attractions and activities, Great Falls, Montana, promises a memorable and enjoyable experience for all visitors.
Visit the Great Falls of the Missouri River
To truly appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty and immense power of nature, make sure to visit the magnificent Great Falls of the Missouri River in the charming city of Great Falls, Montana. These majestic falls offer an enchanting and captivating sight as the water rushes down the rugged cliffs. Standing in awe of this natural wonder will fill you with a sense of wonder and deep appreciation for the incredible forces of nature at play.
Explore Giant Springs State Park
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If you’re visiting Great Falls, Montana, one must-visit destination is Giant Springs State Park. By exploring Giant Springs State Park, you can truly immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and have the opportunity to learn about the wonders of the natural world.
- Discover the largest freshwater springs in the country, with an impressive flow rate of 156 million gallons per day.
- Witness the stunning crystal-clear water and the diverse ecosystem it supports.
- Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the picturesque trails that wind through the park, allowing you to take in the scenic landscapes and observe the local wildlife.
- Take a guided tour to learn about the rich history and cultural significance of the springs.
- Indulge in recreational activities such as fishing, picnicking, and bird watching.
- Marvel at the unique geological formations and the powerful force of nature that created these amazing springs.
Visiting Giant Springs State Park is an incredible opportunity to explore and experience all that this remarkable destination has to offer.
Discover the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center is a must-visit destination where visitors can discover the fascinating history of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Conveniently located in Great Falls, Montana, this center provides an interactive and educational experience. By exploring the exhibits, you can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the explorers and their impact on the development of the American West. The engaging displays and informative presentations at the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center allow you to discover the legacy of Lewis and Clark and appreciate their significant contributions. Plan your visit today to immerse yourself in the journey of these explorers and experience firsthand the remarkable achievements that took place at the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center.
Take a Stroll in the River’s Edge Trail
Take a Stroll in the River’s Edge Trail in Great Falls, Montana to enjoy the scenic beauty of the area and immerse yourself in nature. The trail spans over 60 miles and offers breathtaking views of the Missouri River and the surrounding landscapes. Walking along the trail allows you to experience the tranquility and serenity of the river, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether you prefer a leisurely walk or a more rigorous hike, the River’s Edge Trail caters to all fitness levels, making it a great activity for individuals and families alike. The trail is well-maintained and offers various access points, allowing you to choose the distance and duration of your stroll. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views and natural beauty along the trail. So, put on your walking shoes and take a Stroll in the River’s Edge Trail to enjoy the beauty of Great Falls, Montana.
Visit the C.M. Russell Museum
Visit the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana to experience a rich collection of artwork by the famed Western artist Charles M. Russell. With over 11,000 pieces of Russell’s work, including paintings, sculptures, and personal artifacts, the museum provides a captivating exploration of Western life. Immerse yourself in the vibrant and detailed representations of the American West as you navigate through the museum’s galleries. Additionally, the C.M. Russell Museum offers educational programs and events, giving visitors an opportunity to deepen their understanding of Russell’s art and the history of the American West. If you are an art enthusiast or simply interested in Western culture and history, a visit to the C.M. Russell Museum is a must.
Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Ryan Dam
Ryan Dam in Great Falls, Montana offers a myriad of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Visitors can indulge in a range of activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking in the scenic surroundings of the dam. With its flowing water and stunning landscapes, the dam provides a picturesque backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.
Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines into the river and try their luck at catching various fish species. For those who prefer boating, the calm waters offer a perfect setting to navigate and soak in the serene atmosphere. Hikers can delve into the trails that encompass the dam and fully immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.
Irrespective of age or interests, Ryan Dam caters to everyone who enjoys fishing, boating, and hiking, ensuring a memorable and delightful outdoor experience.
Experience History at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art
Experience history at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art by exploring the exhibits, participating in educational programs, and attending events.
- Exhibits: The museum features a diverse collection of artwork that showcases the history and culture of Great Falls. From paintings and sculptures to multimedia installations, there’s something for everyone to appreciate.
- Educational programs: Take advantage of the museum’s educational programs to learn more about the history of the area and the artists featured in the exhibits. Attend workshops, lectures, and guided tours to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the artwork.
- Events: The museum hosts various events throughout the year, including art showcases, performances, and community celebrations. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Great Falls through these engaging events.
In addition to these experiences, one fascinating piece of history connected to the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is that it is housed in the former Great Falls Public Library building, constructed in 1897. This historic building adds another layer of significance to the museum and provides visitors with a glimpse into the past of the community. By visiting the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, you can truly experience history at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art and immerse yourself in the history and culture of Great Falls, Montana.
Attend Events and Festivals at the Montana ExpoPark
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When visiting Great Falls, Montana, make sure to attend the events and festivals at the Montana ExpoPark. Here are some reasons why:
- Experience the vibrant atmosphere: Attending events and festivals at the Montana ExpoPark allows you to immerse yourself in the lively and exciting atmosphere created by the gathering of people and various activities.
- Enjoy a wide range of entertainment: From live music performances to cultural events, there is something for everyone at the Montana ExpoPark. You can attend concerts, rodeos, sports events, and even agricultural shows.
- Support local businesses and artisans: Many events and festivals at the Montana ExpoPark provide opportunities for local businesses and artisans to showcase their products and talents. By attending these events, you can contribute to the local economy and discover unique crafts and goods.
- Connect with the community: The Montana ExpoPark is a hub for community gatherings, making it the perfect place to meet and interact with fellow residents and visitors. Attendees of these events often share a common interest, creating opportunities for networking and building relationships.
- Create lasting memories: Attending events and festivals at the Montana ExpoPark can be a memorable experience. Whether it’s witnessing an exhilarating sports competition or indulging in delicious food from food trucks, these events offer moments that you can cherish for years to come.
Play Golf at One of Great Falls’ Beautiful Courses
Great Falls, Montana offers the perfect opportunity to play golf at one of its beautiful courses. With scenic views and well-maintained greens, golf enthusiasts can enjoy a fantastic experience.
Tee off at one of Great Falls’ beautiful courses like Meadow Lark Country Club or Eagle Falls Golf Club, both of which boast stunning landscapes and challenging holes. Improve your swing and aim for the greens while immersing yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds the courses.
Whether you are a seasoned golfer or a beginner looking to learn, Great Falls provides an ideal setting for a round of golf. So grab your clubs and get ready to play golf at one of Great Falls’ beautiful courses for an exceptional and memorable golfing experience.
Explore the Children’s Museum of Montana
If you’re visiting Great Falls, Montana, make sure to explore the Children’s Museum of Montana. It’s an amazing and educational destination for kids of all ages. Here are some highlights:
- Interactive exhibits: At the museum, there are various hands-on exhibits that engage children in learning through play. From a mini grocery store to a pretend veterinary clinic, kids can explore different professions and develop their imagination.
- Science experiments: Specifically designed for science experiments, the museum has an area where kids can learn about the principles of physics, chemistry, and biology in an interactive and enjoyable way.
- Art activities: Unleash your child’s creativity at the museum’s art station. They can paint, draw, and create to their heart’s content, fostering their artistic skills and self-expression.
- Outdoor play area: The museum also offers an outdoor play area where kids can run, climb, and have fun on the playground equipment, allowing them to burn off some energy while enjoying the fresh air.
When you visit the Children’s Museum of Montana, remember to dress comfortably and be prepared for the possibility of getting messy while engaging in hands-on activities. Also, check the museum’s website for any updates or special events that may be taking place during your visit. Enjoy your exploration of the Children’s Museum of Montana!
What Is the Best Time to Visit Great Falls?
“The best time to visit Great Falls, Montana is during the summer months, from June to August, which answers the question ‘What Is the Best Time to Visit Great Falls?’. The weather during this time is generally warm, with temperatures ranging from 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the perfect time to explore the outdoor attractions in and around the city, such as Giant Springs State Park and Ryan Dam.
During the summer, you can also enjoy various events and festivals happening in Great Falls, including the Montana State Fair and the Lewis and Clark Festival. These events offer a unique glimpse into the local culture and provide entertainment for visitors of all ages.
If you prefer cooler temperatures and smaller crowds, the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are also great times to visit. In spring, you can witness the beautiful blooming wildflowers and enjoy mild temperatures. Fall brings stunning foliage and comfortable weather for outdoor activities like hiking and biking.
However, it’s important to note that Great Falls experiences cold winters with temperatures dropping below freezing. If you don’t mind the cold, winter can be a great time to visit for winter sports enthusiasts, as there are skiing and snowboarding opportunities nearby.”
What Are Some Nearby Attractions to Great Falls?
What Are Some Nearby Attractions to Great Falls?
Visit the Great Falls of the Missouri River: This iconic natural attraction is a must-see when visiting Great Falls. The powerful waterfall offers breathtaking views and opportunities for hiking and photography.
Explore Giant Springs State Park: Located near Great Falls, this state park is home to the largest freshwater spring in the country. Visitors can enjoy picnicking, fishing, and observing the abundant wildlife.
Discover the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center: Learn about the famous explorers Lewis and Clark and their expedition through the American West. The interpretive center offers exhibits, artifacts, and educational programs for all ages.
Take a Stroll in the River’s Edge Trail: This scenic trail follows the banks of the Missouri River, offering stunning views of the water and surrounding nature. Perfect for walking, jogging, or biking.
Visit the C.M. Russell Museum: This museum showcases the artwork of famous Western artist Charles M. Russell. Explore his paintings, sculptures, and personal items to gain insight into the history and culture of the region.
Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Ryan Dam: Located on the Missouri River near Great Falls, Ryan Dam offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and water sports. Enjoy a day in nature while soaking up the sunshine and fresh air.
Experience History at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art: Housed in a historic building, this museum features rotating art exhibits, as well as permanent collections that highlight the history and culture of Great Falls and the surrounding area.
Attend Events and Festivals at the Montana ExpoPark: The Montana ExpoPark hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, rodeos, and fairs. Check the schedule to see what’s happening during your visit.
Play Golf at One of Great Falls’ Beautiful Courses: Golf enthusiasts will be pleased to find several excellent golf courses in the Great Falls area. Enjoy a round of golf surrounded by stunning landscapes and picturesque views.
Explore the Children’s Museum of Montana: Perfect for families, the Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that promote learning and creativity. Kids of all ages will have a blast exploring and playing.
These nearby attractions to Great Falls offer a range of activities and experiences for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in natural wonders, history, art, outdoor recreation, or family-friendly fun, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in and around Great Falls, Montana.
Is Great Falls a Good Place to Live?
Great Falls is indeed a good place to live. With its scenic beauty, diverse range of activities, and friendly community, it offers a high quality of life.
The city boasts a low crime rate, making it a safe place to raise a family or enjoy a peaceful retirement. The cost of living in Great Falls is also affordable, with housing prices below the national average.
Great Falls has a strong sense of community, with numerous social and cultural events throughout the year. Residents can enjoy festivals, art exhibitions, and live performances at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art and the Montana ExpoPark.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the city offers plenty of recreational opportunities. The nearby River’s Edge Trail provides scenic walking and biking paths, and Ryan Dam is perfect for fishing and boating.
In terms of education, Great Falls has a well-regarded school district with excellent public and private schools. It’s also home to the Children’s Museum of Montana, which offers educational and interactive exhibits for children.
With its beautiful golf courses, stunning natural landscapes, and strong sense of community, Great Falls truly is a great place to live.
What Are Some Popular Restaurants in Great Falls?
Looking for popular restaurants in Great Falls? Look no further! Here are some recommendations:
- Electric City Coffee: When it comes to a cozy coffee shop with a relaxed atmosphere, Electric City Coffee is a great choice. They have an array of delicious coffee drinks and tasty pastries.
- The Celtic Cowboy: If you’re craving Irish and American cuisine, head to The Celtic Cowboy. Their diverse menu includes traditional fish and chips, hearty burgers, and mouthwatering shepherd’s pie.
- The Sip-N-Dip Lounge: Make sure to visit The Sip-N-Dip Lounge for its unique atmosphere. It’s the home of the legendary Piano Pat, who will entertain you with lively performances. Enjoy a refreshing drink and some appetizers while you take in the live music.
- Jakers Bar and Grill: If juicy steaks or seafood are calling your name, Jakers Bar and Grill is the place to go. They take pride in serving top-quality meals in a warm and inviting setting.
- Mighty Mo Brewing Company: Beer enthusiasts rejoice at Mighty Mo Brewing Company. Indulge in their range of handcrafted beers, accompanied by a menu full of tasty pub food.
Pro-tip: To secure a spot, call ahead for reservations, especially during peak dining hours. Also, make sure to check out the daily specials for the chance to try something new!
Are There Any Outdoor Activities Near Great Falls?
Are there any outdoor activities near Great Falls? When visiting Great Falls, Montana, there are several options you can enjoy in the beautiful surroundings. Here are some suggestions:
- Visit the Great Falls of the Missouri River: Witness the breathtaking natural beauty and power of the iconic waterfalls.
- Explore Giant Springs State Park: Discover the largest freshwater springs in the United States and enjoy hiking trails and picnicking areas.
- Take a Stroll in the River’s Edge Trail: Enjoy a scenic walk along the Missouri River, taking in the stunning views and observing local wildlife.
- Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Ryan Dam: Engage in various activities such as fishing, boating, and birdwatching at the Ryan Dam Recreation Area.
- Play Golf at One of Great Falls’ Beautiful Courses: Tee off at one of the well-maintained golf courses in the area, surrounded by picturesque landscapes.
These outdoor activities near Great Falls provide opportunities to immerse yourself in nature, indulge in recreational activities, and appreciate the region’s natural wonders.
What Are Some Family-Friendly Activities in Great Falls?
Are you wondering what are some family-friendly activities in Great Falls, Montana? Look no further! Here are some options for you and your loved ones to enjoy:
- Visit the Great Falls of the Missouri River: Marvel at the breathtaking waterfalls and hike along the scenic trails surrounding them.
- Explore Giant Springs State Park: Discover the largest freshwater spring in the United States and enjoy picnicking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
- Discover the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center: Learn about the famous explorers and their journey through interactive exhibits and interpretive programs.
- Take a Stroll in the River’s Edge Trail: Enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride along the picturesque trail that follows the Missouri River.
- Visit the C.M. Russell Museum: Immerse yourself in the art and life of famous Western artist Charles M. Russell through his paintings and sculptures.
- Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Ryan Dam: Have fun fishing, boating, or kayaking in the scenic reservoir.
- Experience History at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art: Explore the history of Great Falls through various art exhibitions and cultural events.
- Attend Events and Festivals at the Montana ExpoPark: Check out the calendar of events for exciting activities like fairs, rodeos, concerts, and more.
- Play Golf at One of Great Falls’ Beautiful Courses: Tee off at one of the city’s well-maintained golf courses for a fun-filled family game.
- Explore the Children’s Museum of Montana: Let your kids engage in hands-on learning and play in this interactive museum designed for children.
These family-friendly activities are sure to create lasting memories during your visit to Great Falls, Montana.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top attractions in Great Falls, Montana?
The top attractions in Great Falls, Montana include the majestic five waterfalls along the Missouri River, the C.M. Russell Museum showcasing the works of Cowboy Artist C.M. Russell, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center providing historical insight into the famous explorers’ journey, Gibson Park with its beautiful flower gardens and historic cabin, and Giant Springs State Park known for its large freshwater springs and stunning views of The Great Falls of the Missouri.
What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Great Falls, Montana?
Great Falls, Montana offers a range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. You can explore the 60-mile Rivers Edge Trail for biking, jogging, or snowshoeing, enjoy mountain biking trails, and experience the rugged beauty and mountain views of the area. You can also visit Giant Springs State Park for hiking, biking, fishing, and hunting opportunities, and Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, a haven for birdwatchers with photography, hunting, and fishing options.
Are there any historical sites to visit in Great Falls, Montana?
Yes, Great Falls, Montana is rich in history. You can visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center for insights into the Corps of Discovery journey. The C.M. Russell Museum showcases the works of Cowboy Artist C.M. Russell, offering a glimpse into the area’s cowboy and Native American history. Additionally, First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park provides an archaeological site where Indigenous populations used to stampede buffalo, giving visitors a unique perspective on Native American hunting practices.
What are some free outdoor things to do in Great Falls, Montana?
In Great Falls, Montana, there are several free outdoor activities to enjoy. You can explore Gibson Park, which features a duck pond, picnic benches, flower gardens, and a historic cabin. The River’s Edge Trail offers 60 miles of biking and jogging paths along the Missouri River. Giant Springs State Park provides access to The Great Falls of the Missouri and magnificent views of the waterfalls. Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge offers free birdwatching, photography, and nature exploration opportunities.
Where can I find the best views of the waterfalls in Great Falls, Montana?
To experience the stunning waterfalls in Great Falls, Montana, visit Giant Springs State Park and Black Eagle Falls, where you can find some of the best viewpoints. These viewpoints provide breathtaking views of the waterfalls along the Missouri River, including Crooked Falls, Colter Falls, Rainbow Falls, and the iconic Black Eagle Falls.
Is Great Falls, Montana a convenient stopover for visiting other national parks?
Yes, Great Falls, Montana serves as a convenient stopover for those visiting Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. With its central location, it is only a short distance from these renowned national parks, making it an ideal place to rest, explore, and enjoy the cultural and natural attractions the city has to offer before continuing the adventure to the national parks.
Jennifer Ian is a 28-year-old neurotic Jew from New York who overcame her anxiety and embarked on life-altering backpacking trips to 18 different countries, proving that even risk-averse individuals can find joy and therapy in the challenges of travel.