The place shadows of the towering Rimrocks meet the mystic waters of the Yellowstone River, Billings serves as Montana’s trailhead for no matter superior adventures guests search below massive skies. Billings’ Nice American Highway Journey treats households (together with the four-legged members) to an alternative shut off the digital units and join with each other exploring among the West’s most iconic locales in and round Billings – The Trailhead of Superior.
There’s nobody greatest method to discover a metropolis with as a lot to supply as Billings, so the vacation spot merely invitations guests to forge their very own path towards a memorable go to. However here’s a pattern itinerary to assist get you began planning your subsequent Nice American Highway Journey.
Upon your arrival in Billings, cease for lunch at Montana Brewing Firm to gas up. Montana Brewing Firm opened in 1994 and is the state’s first brew pub, providing a full menu of appetizers, sandwiches and flatbreads (or pizza, as the youngsters will name it), and has the whole lot the household must refill for the day forward. Montana Brewing Firm can also be certainly one of six breweries alongside the Billings Brew Path, Montana’s solely walkable beer path, which additionally boasts two distilleries and a cider mill, simply in case mother and pa are on the lookout for a couple of locations to sneak in some grownup libations.
Subsequent up, start exploring the enduring Montana panorama on the many parks and trails in Billings. The stretch of path alongside the Rimrocks – sandstone bluffs estimated to be no less than 70 million years outdated – is a must-see and ideal for gaining a fowl’s eye vantage of the encircling territory of mountain ranges, plains and the enduring Yellowstone River, the final free-flowing river within the decrease 48 states. For among the greatest views of the encircling area and to study native Montana vegetation, discover the 4 Dances Recreation Space atop the Rimrocks, an space teeming with sagebrush, grassland, cottonwood riparian and ponderosa pine within the rocky outcrop areas close to the river cliffs.
Or, hire some bikes in the event you didn’t convey your individual and discover the paths adjoining to the Yellowstone River at Two Moon Park, that are excellent for leisurely bike rides whereas taking within the foliage and wildlife. Two Moon Park borders the Yellowstone River on the south and a steep, forested bluff to the north. On the downstream finish of the park, uncover the well-known Weeping Wall, which seeps pure spring and mantles the cliffside with sheaths of ice within the winter. Now everybody can return to their associates at house and inform all of them concerning the “crying wall” you visited!
For dinner, take a look at Ciao Mambo and revel in “mountain Italian” delicacies amid a taking place household ambiance. Pattern scrumptious entrees like Cozze E Salsiccia, which is steamed mussels, sausage and peppers in a sauce, together with the traditional and easy linguini and meatballs for the pickier eaters within the household. Ciao Mambo additionally serves 12 totally different sorts of pizza together with the normal varieties along with some with a novel twist like Pizza Volpetti, which is topped with roasted crimson potatoes, mozzarella, crispy pancetta and cream sauce. An intensive wine menu is certain to incorporate the proper complement to the adults’ meals to assist unwind after a day of household journey.
Then, deal with the household to a present and take in some native tradition on the historic Alberta Bair Theater. The Alberta Bair Theater has hosted the best performers in each self-discipline of the performing arts, together with classical and common music, nation music and jazz, opera, ballet, fashionable and ethnic dance, comedy, drama and musical theater. The rousing performances are certain to assist create lasting recollections. Test the theater’s web site for listings.
Or, head over to the Artwork Home Cinema on the Babcock Theater to soak up a traditional movie from your youthful years. The theater has just lately screened movies like Batman (the Michael Keaton model), Spaceballs and Beverly Hills Cop, excellent to take the youngsters on a visit with you down reminiscence lane. Constructed in 1907, the Babcock Theatre was as soon as a venue for stage reveals and boxing matches, and at this time the Babcock is now a venue showcasing movies for the general public and different personal occasions like weddings and events.
Mother, let dad and the youngsters sleep in and sneak off to LimberTree Studio. Yoga your method to a refreshed you amid views of the Beartooth Mountains throughout a rooftop yoga class, or spend a while the wrong way up in an aerial yoga course. If the remainder of the household us up for it, LimberTree additionally presents programs for the youngsters so the entire household can take pleasure in yoga collectively.
Subsequent, take pleasure in a traditional, selfmade breakfast identical to Grammy Sophie used to make. Founder and proprietor Stacey Hettinger opened Sophie’s Kitchen, serving made-in-house meals with the purpose of treating Billings residents and guests alike to the flavors and ambiance of her grammy’s heat, inviting kitchen. Refill with breakfast staples like eggs, French toast, buttermilk pancakes, and sausage gravy and biscuits earlier than heading out to play.
Saddle-up and discover Billings cowboy fashion with the entire gang! Household-owned and operated Bitter Creek Outfitters presents leisurely guided horseback excursions on a 7,000-acre cattle ranch, together with the world’s distinctive Rimrocks, ponderosa pines and fields of wildflowers. Along with the pure panorama, wildlife reminiscent of mule deer and wild turkeys are sometimes seen in the course of the journey. Bitter Creek Outfitters is a woman-owned enterprise and has been featured on Journey Channel’s Resort Unattainable and on the duvet of Distinctly Montana Lady journal.
Or, go to Pictograph Cave State Park and discover three historical caves that showcase proof of habitation from greater than 2,000 years in the past. A delicate 3/4-mile loop path descends 45 toes offering entry to 3 separate caves – the Pictograph, Center and Ghost Caves. Alongside the path, you’ll encounter interpretative shows figuring out and explaining the pure options, prehistoric work and vegetation discovered within the space.
No go to to Billings is full and not using a cease to ZooMontana to mingle with the animals. ZooMontana is house to some 50 totally different animals together with a crimson panda, grizzly bear, an amur tiger and as of 2020, a two-toed sloth. Winston, because the sloth is affectionately recognized, has been a star ever since his arrival at ZooMontana. You’ll be able to study extra about him and the opposite animals at ZooMontana he’s befriended by way of his private Instagram account, @sloth_zoomontana.
Make your manner again to Downtown Billings and cease for lunch at UberBrew, which is one other location alongside the Billings Brew Path. The brewery presents a menu of upscale informal meals like smoked wings, bison burgers, and fish and chips – one thing for everybody to take pleasure in.
Organized in 1953, the Yellowstone County Museum focuses on decoding the pure historical past and numerous cultures of the Yellowstone Valley of Montana and the Northern Plains. However what is going to most likely appeal to your consideration is the museum’s decade’s outdated mascot, the taxidermied two-headed calf named Charlie and Russell, after Previous West artist and Montanan Charles M. Russell. Whereas the precise calf solely lived a couple of hours, the distinctive determine lives on on the Yellowstone County Museum. The historic McCormick Cabin serves as the doorway to the museum, which showcases greater than 15,000 artifacts representing the historical past of the area. Along with a number of Native American artifacts from the area, the museum showcases cowboy and western objects by way of displays exploring an Eighteen Nineties saloon, vintage firearms and a 1901 steam engine. And sure, plush variations of Charlie and Russell can be found for buy within the present store.
Together with the Yellowstone, the Stillwater and Bighorn Rivers are amongst Montana’s premier flyfishing waters and an ideal venue to strive one thing new as a household. Cease in at East Rosebud Fly and Deal with – a full-service retail fly store and hub for all fly fishing associated exercise within the Billings space. They will get you match with all of the gear you want (in addition to the required license) and level you to the place the rainbow and brook trout reside so you may start exploring Montana’s prime chilly water trout streams. For calmer waters, take a look at the 64-acre reservoir, Lake Elmo State Park – an city playground for outside adventurers, full with a canine park. Get pleasure from non-motorized watersports like stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and windsurfing, or forged a line off of Roger’s Pier. Lately the brand new Montana state report largemouth bass was caught in these waters, weighing in at 9.575 kilos.
Bask in a filling dinner at Stacked, A Montana Grill for dinner. Guests and residents alike proceed to rave concerning the flavorful connoisseur burgers, sandwiches, tacos and entrees on the menu just like the Greatest Chunk Burger – a World Meals Championships Burger with goat cheese, bacon jam and siracha bourbon sauce. For those who’re up for a problem, strive the Howitzer Burger – one pound of beef, three layers of pepper jack cheese, bacon, BBQ brisket, smoked sausage, pickles, onion and home made whiskey glaze. Oh, and a facet of crispy fries too.
Who needs ice cream? Seize a cone for dessert at Large Dipper Ice Cream, which has been featured on Good Morning America and has been chosen as certainly one of America’s Greatest by Meals and Wine Journal. Together with conventional chocolate and vanilla, strive among the distinctive flavors like huckleberry, cardamon and white mint Oreo together with a number of seasonal flavors. There’s so many to select from, perhaps one of the best thought is to simply order a bit of the whole lot and share as a household.
Get up and heat up with some contemporary baked cinnamon rolls at Stella’s Kitchen and Bakery. For greater than 40 years, Stella’s has been a favourite amongst locals and guests alike serving breakfast all day starting from egg dishes to pancakes. And naturally these scrumptious pastries.
Spend the morning exploring among the most well-known landmarks in Billings, together with Pompeys Pillar Nationwide Monument, Little Bighorn Battlefield Nationwide Monument and Chief Lots Coups State Park. These areas are excellent for studying about Native American and Western historical past, together with the well-known Lewis and Clark Expedition.
And at last, make the spectacular drive to Yellowstone Nationwide Park alongside the famed Beartooth Freeway. Lower than an hour from Billings, the Beartooth Freeway – one of many nation’s most dazzling drives in line with Forbes – gives breathtaking vistas from begin to end, guiding roadtrippers by way of essentially the most lovely entrance into Yellowstone Nationwide Park – the nation’s first nationwide park. The freeway meanders alongside among the most excessive terrain on the earth, with greater than 20 mountain peaks reaching and stretching into massive blue skies. The drive takes a couple of hours relying on how lengthy you spend gazing out on the gorgeous, ceaselessly views. That is one street journey the place you’ll by no means hear “are we there but?” echoing from the again seat.