3 ways to spend 3 days in Montana as a couple, a family or a group of friends

Peter Watson

Whether it's a romantic weekend with your partner, a fun family break or a quick getaway with your friends, here are three short and sweet breaks in Montana.

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Montana is known as Big Sky Country (Image: Katarina Marsalekova/Shutterstock)

Long vacations are great, but not always feasible. For travelers seeking big adventures without a big-time commitment, Montana has endless possibilities available.

Between the mountains, rivers and plains, Montana’s warm season is the perfect time to plan a long weekend trip.

Whether you’re a couple, a family or a group of friends, you’ll make lasting memories together with a three-day getaway to Big Sky Country. 

Why Montana

Montana, located where the Great Plains hit the Rockies, is home to some of the finest expanses of wilderness in the country.

Wilderness areas such as the pre-Yellowstone plains of Montana's south to Absaroka Beartooth, Bob Marshall or the American Prairie Reserve and the never-ending horizons in Montana's pastoral heartland are what draws countless visitors to this spectacular part of the world.

Further afield, Missoula and Bozeman are hip urban centers teeming with brewpubs, fabulous restaurants and scenes of rising culinary excellence.

Montana is worth the wait (Video: MontanaTV)

Montana is also home to Little Big Horn Battlefield and, the state's major drawcard, the sculpted peaks and pristine forests of Glacier National Park, one of the most sensation sights on the continent.

Montana has a total of nine National Park Service areas:

Couples getaway

For a relaxed, romantic weekend, spend the time lakeside at Flathead Lake. T

his pristine lake is the largest body of fresh water west of the Great Lakes and the charming towns surrounding it offer unique atmospheres centered on its beauty.

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Flathead Lake is a great destination for couples (Image: Montana Office of Tourism)

To explore your surroundings, rent a boat, kayak or canoe and venture out to Wild Horse Island State Park. The island is perfect for a cozy picnic and exploring.

Off the island, take the two-hour drive around Flathead Lake, stopping at cherry orchards or finding other Made in Montana products in local shops.

There are so many activities to do as a couple in Montana (Video: MontanaTV)

sunset cruise will be a romantic memory you’ll never forget, as the fiery colors of the sky dip into dark shadow around you and the sun sinks out of sight across the lake.  

When you’re ready to call it a day, you’ll find accommodations around Flathead Lake ranging from one-of-a-kind resorts to cozy beach bed and breakfasts.

Try different accommodations around the lake for a change of atmosphere without traveling far. 

Family fun

Family fun is everywhere in BillingsBig Horn Resort offers family-friendly lodging and The Reef Indoor Water Park--- the largest indoor water park in Montana.

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There are plenty of family-friendly trails in Montana (Image: Montana Office of Tourism)

Learn about local wildlife and exotic animals at ZooMontana, where you can see tigers, lynx and grizzly bears, oh my!

Take the family for a hike to experience rock paintings dating back as far as 2,000 years ago in the nearby Pictograph Cave State Park, then cool down with a swim at Lake Elmo State Park.

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Pictograph Cave State Park in Montana (Image: Montana Office of Tourism)

History is also an adventure here when you visit top museums like the Western Heritage Center, or take a short drive to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

Bike the Rimrock Trail and watch the sunset over Montana’s largest city to create a memorable family experience.

The fun is on tap with an evening walk in the state’s largest walkable brewery district, where you’ll find family-friendly dining and locally crafted brews.

Friends' getaway

Take a long weekend and go hiking in the stunning Sluice Boxes State Park. It’s the perfect opportunity to escape from it all among the soaring cliffs of the Belt Creek Canyon.

After your outdoor adventure, you’ll find fun and excitement in the nearby city of Great Falls with local breweries, dining and shops.

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Hiking to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park in Montana (Image: FrancesFiestaa/Shutterstock)

Take a stroll through the Great Falls Farmers Market and enjoy the vibrant Montana-grown produce, music, and locally made wares for purchase.

You can toast your getaway at the newly opened Enbär Craft Cocktail Lounge with unique cocktails made with local spirits.

Find history and culture with a visit to the nearby Blackfeet Reservation, home to Montana’s largest Native American tribe, the Blackfeet Nation.

Just east of Glacier National Park, this beautiful community invites visitors to experience their culture by visiting the Blackfeet Heritage Center and Art Gallery or the Museum of the Plains Indian.

Take a Native guided tour on horseback, or float the pristine waters of the calm St. Mary River. Watch for wildlife and take time to ask your guide questions about the cultural significance of the landscape around you. 

If you can find 72 hours to getaway, you can find unlimited adventure in Montana. 

A #MontanaMoment in Glacier National Park (Image: @glacier_national_park)

Trip ideas for family funroad trip adventures and more are available to help you discover your #MontanaMoment. Find more resources to plan your trip, including places to gothings to do, and places to stay.

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Peter Watson is a writer, photographer and adventurer. A keen trekker and climber he can usually be found on the trails of the Greater Ranges. He’s visited over 80 countries and is currently focused on climbing the seven summits – the highest mountain on every continent. Four down, three to go... He has also travelled extensively around the US developing a penchant for American backcountry, abandoned buildings and natural wonders en route.

Phoenix, AZ
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