10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in Montana You Must Visit

Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by Nikki Jain

Winding snow-capped mountains and blissful forests made of vibrant greens and oranges await in beautiful Montana.

Montana is a state known for sprawling farmland, natural reserves, and some of the most unique and charming small towns in the area.

Montana is full of small towns with independent personalities and exclusive, like no other eateries and locals. With every small town in Montana being so different, you might just need a handy dandy guide to get you on your way to adventure.

That’s what we’re here for. Check out this list of the top 10 most beautiful small towns in Montana.

Best Small Towns in Montana

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1: Whitefish

Dreamstime/Pierrette Guertin

Settled in the Rocky’s, Whitefish is a luxurious small town with a view. This is the perfect place to go for the outdoor adventurer with a little bit of love for some luxuries.

Here in Whitefish, you can hike, ski, bike, boat, and so much more! Being a resort town, that means that you can choose the way you Whitefish all the way.

Relax in one of the spas around town, or rough it at the campgrounds. Whitefish is all about finding your own adventure and living life to the fullest.

And of course, as a gorgeous Montana mountain town: skiing here is something you would not want to miss. Bring your ski board or check out some of the rentals in town!

There are numerous trails to take her, but Whitefish is particularly notable for the lakeside view on the way down! Shred some of that fresh powder, all with absolutely breathtaking scenery to enjoy on your way down.

Not the best skier? No worries! There are classes offered throughout the snow season to get you ready for the slopes in no time. And of course, after a successful day of shredding, don’t forget to try some of the world-class eateries in town.

Address: Whitefish, MT

2: West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone
Dreamstime/Pierre Jean Durieu

Lauded as the 'gateway to Yellowstone', this beautiful Montana town is well worth the trip. This is the perfect place to spend the weekend, located within minutes of some of the most fascinating spots in Montana.

Check out the Old Faithful geyser and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone for natural wonders seldom seen elsewhere. West Yellowstone is an earthy, natural town that embraces the wide world around it. There are parks nearby where visitors can sometimes see elk, bison, and many other wildlife creatures.

West Yellowstone just wouldn’t be complete without some of the tours that make this place sparkle. Check out boat rides on the Yellowstone River, Jeep tours, and even rafting through the national forest.

However, for any trailblazers out there—you will always get that much-needed alone-time in these forests. Yellowstone National Park has trails for everyone! West Yellowstone is also a great stop for any history lovers.

Everybody, especially train aficionados, will love the Yellowstone Historic Center. This is located in a historic train depot and harbors some truly stellar exhibits and tiny pieces of history preserved by locals. All of this and more is what makes West Yellowstone one of Montana’s best small towns.

Address: West Yellowstone, MT

Stevensville is widely known as one of Montana’s first non-indigenous permanent settlements in the state. Dating all the way back to 1841, this city has held on to its many years of history and beautifully preserved its historical structures.

The Historic St. Mary’s Mission is a museum and church that was originally founded in 1841 and rebuilt in 1866. Now, it is a popular attraction for visitors to Stevensville to come and marvel at.

There are also Native American pieces of history located here, as well as a charming blend of modernity brought about by current locals.

Stevensville is also an ideal location to spend some time outside! The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is a preservation park home to numerous native and endangered species.

Specifically, this location was set apart as a protection land for migratory birds, and as such, is often the sighting spot of hundreds of interesting, spectacular birds. As well as several mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and more.

The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is a spacious 2,800-acre refuge settled on the Bitterroot River. Making Stevensville one of Montana's best and most unique small towns.

Address: Stevensville, MT

4: Hamilton

Flickr/Audie Ortiz

Hamilton is one of the most charming small towns in Montana. With a whole lot of personality and plenty of activities for all sorts of travelers, Hamilton is a must-visit while in Montana.

As a beautiful outdoors expanse, there are several options on how to enjoy a good day outside. Check out Lake Como for some by the water relaxation.

Here the snow-capped mountains slope and point into a beautiful backdrop from the vivid green forests and shimmering waters that can be seen from the beach. Or, check out Hamilton’s Farmers Market Co-Op, where you can buy everything from fresh flowers to homemade spices. 

Hamilton is also well known for some of its sights and landmarks, such as the Daly Mansion Preservation Trust. Open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for tours daily; this is an excellent place to start your trip.

This is a 19th-century house sprawling over 46 acres of beautiful Montana land. And keep the education going by visiting ABC acres the next day. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; this is a sustainable production farm in the Bitterroot Valley.

Here they have free-range livestock, homegrown fruits, vegetables, and more and self-guided farm walks that will take you all over these gorgeous acres. Wherever you wander in Hamilton, it’ll be an adventure you’ll never forget.

Address: Hamilton, MT

5: Anaconda

Flickr/Tim Gage

A postcard come alive! Anaconda is one of Montana’s most charming small towns for a wide variety of reasons. To start, Anaconda is home to many outdoor excursions.

Georgetown Lake is one of the most visited and most beloved of these options for its sprawling, shimmering lake with mountains gracing the background.

This is the perfect place to take the family, a date, a friend, or just about anyone as you take soothing, calming trails cradled by Mother Nature. Relax and spend your lunch on the banks, or maybe even enjoy a lovely sunrise/sunset.

Anaconda is also known for being a charming Montana small town for its unique personality. Check out downtown and the Washoe Theater to see some live concerts and shows in a place entirely Anaconda's own.

And be sure to stay up to date with festivals and town-created activities, as there is always something exciting to do in Anaconda!

Address: Anaconda, MT

6: Livingston

Dreamstime/Miroslav Liska

Nestled in southwestern Montana, Livingston is one of Montana's best small towns. From the Sacajawea Park, where you can spend a beautiful afternoon by the lake, to Pine Creek Trail where you can follow a rushing waterfall--- Livingston is an adventure.

Try out some of the foot trails, or maybe take a bike ride under the charming canopy of trees Montana boasts of. And what’s Montana without ranches!

Check out the Music Ranch Montana located right here in Livingston for all your concert and show needs. You haven’t experienced pure performance bliss until you've sat on the grassy Montana plains, underneath the stars belting out your favorite tunes.

And, of course, Livingston is also known for its dedication to history and culture. The Yellowstone Gateway Museum is an excellent way to spend the day with travelers of all ages.

There are numerous exhibits and pieces that you can spend the whole day finding something new to love. And as the gateway to Yellowstone, you’re always at the front door to beautiful trails. Lace-up those hiking boots and go out exploring in Montana's wilderness. You never know what you’ll find in Livingston.

Address: Livingston, MT

7: Philipsburg


For one of the most unique and charming small towns in Montana: check out Philipsburg! This is a city with lots of local personalities and some sweet olde town charms.

Guests with a particular affinity for sweets might enjoy the beloved Sweet Palace in downtown Philipsburg.

There are many local mom-and-pop shops to eat, dine, and shop about that downtown can be made into a whole exciting experience.

After getting acquainted with the friendly locals and marking all the points of interest in the city, maybe go for a spin at the Winninghoff Park Ice Rick and Arena. The building itself is an interesting Montana design with some of the best ice skating for miles.

Philipsburg is also known for its wide array of museums! The Montana Law Enforcement Museum and the Granite County Museum are both centrally located and visited by locals and tourists alike.

Philipsburg is also a big city amongst gem lovers. With the Montana Gems of Philipsburg tourist attraction and the Gem Mountain mining and fossil attraction, Philipsburg truly sparkles.

Come and visit a city like no other and spend your next getaway in one of Montana’s most charming small towns. Visit Philipsburg today!

Address: Philipsburg, MT

8: Fort Benton

Fort Benton
Dreamstime/Joe Sohm

See the city known as the “Birthplace of Montana”! Fort Benton has a long history centrally located on the Missouri River. Fort Benton even has its ties back to the historical quest of Lewis and Clark.

Be sure to visit some of the museums in the city to get a dynamic look at all things Benton. The Museum of the Northern Great Plains and the Museum of Upper Missouri are two unique and fascinating exhibits that come highly recommended.

Take a breath of history and enjoy some of the tours and detailed looks into Montana through the years. The Shep Memorial is another historical site that Fort Benton boasts of. Located on the water, this is also a pretty nice place to take some time to yourself and relax. Fort Benton is what you make out of it.

Address: Fort Benton, MT

9: Choteau


Nestled near the Rocky Mountains, Flathead National Forest, and Glacier National Park--- Choteau is chock full of adventure!

This is an exciting Montana small town with all the big city draws with none of the hassles. Skip those hour-long wait lines for skiing further west, and check out Teton Pass Ski Area.

Coated in white and broken up by the vibrant green that hangs on the trees, Choteau (pronounced SHOH-toh) is the place to be. Even if you come during the summer, the hikes make this city all the more worth it.

Check out Dropstone Outfitting for a view like no other, and Freezeout Lake for a wonderful day outside without any of that crowded stress.

Choteau is the perfect place to go if you love resort towns with so much to offer and hate the hustle and bustle of a big city. The small comfort charms are really what make Choteau one of the most charming small towns in all of Montana.

Address: Choteau, MT

10: Red Lodge

Red Lodge

Take a breath of fresh air! Red Lodge, Montana, is all about the great outdoors and how best to embrace them. Be it walking, running, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, and so much more--- Red Lodge has it!

Settled in the lush green forests of Montana, Red Lodge has a vast number of trails and scenic preserves to choose from. Red Lodge Mountain, the namesake, is one of the best-recommended adventures.

With snow-capped peaks in the winter and a charming, welcoming small town feel year-round. There are hour, day, and multi-day hikes available in the surrounding areas, so come with a plan to get the most out of your trip.

Red Lodge is also home to two other spectacular wildlife displays: Wild Bill Lake and Lake Fork Trail. Both are ethereal locations home to some of that famous Montana beauty.

This is the perfect place to go to unplug or just simply relax and unwind with the soothing sounds of nature. Red Lodge is the perfect town for that as well, as life continues to move without ever feeling overbearing.

It’s a small, tight-knit community filled with individuality and charm. With all of this and more, it’s easy to see why Red Lodge is one of the most beautiful small towns in Montana.

Address: Red Lodge, MT

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