A hub of education, retail, outdoor entertainment, and arts, Missoula is one of the stars of the northern Rockies. The city is nestled at the merging of five valleys and stands out from other Montana cities due to its lush green flora, which has earned it the nickname Garden City.
In Missoula, travelers can find both tranquility and excitement. The wilderness is just steps from the thriving downtown scene which comes alive with eclectic specialty stores and world-class restaurants.
There are three distinct shopping districts in the city, while art and cultural attractions are weaved in between them in the form of museums, bookstores, and theaters.
Along with its outstanding natural beauty, Missoula is known for its first-class blue ribbon trout fishing opportunities. There are seven wilderness areas and three rivers nearby, paving the way for endless opportunities to experience wildlife and outdoor recreation.
In Missoula, you can design your own travel experience, whether that includes exploring the local culinary scene, hiking in the wilderness, or strolling through an art gallery.
No matter where you are, views of the surrounding mountains are never far away when you stay at one of the many bed and breakfasts in Missoula.
Travel Tips for Staying in Missoula
Visitors can travel to Missoula via the Missoula International Airport, which is served by Allegiant Airlines, Delta Airlines, Horizon, Northwest Airlines, and United Express. Hertz and Thrifty Car Rental also offer hire cars from the airport if you’d like to drive yourself into town.
Getting around Missoula is easy, with an abundance of parking spaces and a convenient bus service that doesn’t charge a fare.
The main pedestrian walkway in Missoula is the Clark Fork River Trail, which runs parallel to the river along both banks. A relaxing walk along the trail is an ideal way to start off your adventures in Missoula and find your bearings around town.
Seeing the giant M on Mount Sentinel is a rite of passage for anybody visiting Missoula (via Planet Ware). The landmark looks over the city above the University of Montana. The hike up to the M is challenging, with 600 feet of elevation, but it’s less than a mile in distance and boasts spectacular views of the Missoula Valley.
Downtown Missoula offers endless things to see and do, from specialty stores to live music venues. Catch a family friendly musical act at the Top Hat Lounge or try the vegan donuts at Veera. You’ll also find a lively nightlife in the city, with many casinos, bars, distilleries, and restaurants to choose from.
Learn about the frontier history of Missoula at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, which stands on the original site of the fort. For art enthusiasts, the Missoula Art Museum displays work from local artists alongside international touring exhibits, and entry is always free.
There are plenty of opportunities for fishing in Missoula, with three rivers running through the town: the Blackfoot River, the Clark Fork River, and the Bitterroot River. Rock Creek also provides good fishing, and there are a range of outfitters who offer tours and lessons for inexperienced anglers.
If you’re interested in learning more about native wildlife in the area, check out the Elk Country Visitor Center, which offers a variety of immersive exhibits that give insight into the local elk population.
The famed Montana Snowbowl ski resort is only 12 miles from Missoula and one of the area’s most adored points of interest. A premiere winter sports destination, the Snowbowl is home to a hotel and a chalet, a ski school, and several trails for visitors to hit the slopes to their heart’s content. You can still visit the Snowbowl in the summer, when it becomes a destination for hiking and mountain biking.
There are numerous other points of interest in the surrounding areas that are worth visiting on day trips from Missoula. The city provides an ideal base for exploring the Bitterroot Valley, the Flathead Valley, the Seeley Swan Valley, the Clark Fork Valley, and the Black Foot Valley.
The Garnet Ghost Town is just over an hour away and paints an insightful picture of what the area was like in the days of the Old West.
List of the 6 Best Bed and Breakfasts in Missoula
- Goldsmith’s B&B
- Guest Ranch at Dunrovin
- Cougar Ranch Lodge and B&B
- Gibson Mansion B&B
- Blue Mountain Bed & Breakfast
- Butler Creek Lodge
1. Goldsmith’s B&B – Missoula – $
Goldsmith’s is a historic riverfront property that gives guests stunning views of the Missouri. There are six different types of suites and apartments on the property, so there’s something for every kind of traveler, from those looking for a smaller condo to those seeking an entire rental unit.
The original Goldsmith’s home dates back to 1911 and was initially constructed as the University of Montana President’s house. It’s since been renovated, with all six rooms featuring modern amenities and hand-tiled bathrooms.
While Goldsmith’s operated as a traditional bed and breakfast for many years, it has now shifted into a more COVID-friendly model, with self-sufficient apartments that contain their own kitchen and laundry.
Goldsmith’s is just a few blocks from the university campus and a 10-minute walk from a shuttle bus service that will take you to a few points of interest around Missoula.
The bed and breakfast also offer free parking, Wi-Fi access, dedicated workspaces, cooking basics, and central heating and air-conditioning.
2. Guest Ranch at Dunrovin – Lolo – $$
Described as a “small boutique guest ranch” that “feels more like visiting a favorite aunt and uncle than staying at a commercial lodging”, the Guest Ranch at Dunrovin offers guests an authentic Montana rural experience.
Smaller and more personable than the average guest ranch, Dunrovin welcomes guests like family with two cozy lodgings: the Lewis and Clark Apartment and the Louisiana Studio Apartment.
The apartments offer views of the Bitterroot Valley and also come complete with a self-serving kitchen, dining, and laundry area. Both apartments have outdoor patios and private bathroom facilities so that guests feel as comfortable as possible.
The Guest Ranch at Dunrovin also provides horseback rides and other horse-related activities, including horseback games, and instruction on grooming and washing horses. Guests can also host private events and functions at the ranch, including weddings and family reunions.
Situated in Lolo, the property is less than half an hour from Missoula and makes a great base point for those who want to explore the city.
3. Cougar Ranch Lodge and B&B – Missoula – $$
Located just to the north of Missoula, the Cougar Ranch Lodge and B&B boast six bedrooms and five bathrooms. The property stretches for 5,000 square feet and is surrounded by picturesque views of the Mission Mountains and Finley Creek.
This is an ideal place to stay if you’re looking for a tranquil escape from the stress of life, with tall pine trees creating a barrier between the ranch and the adjacent highway.
The ranch offers several convenient services and amenities, including breakfast and kitchen facilities, a laundry, a shuttle service, music, and movie rentals. In the way of entertainment, there’s a playground for children to enjoy, as well as a billiards table.
The peaceful grounds surrounding the lodge feature wooded hillsides and lush green meadows, providing the perfect opportunity for bird-watching, walking, photography, and fishing. Outdoor activities like hiking and skiing are just a stone’s throw away.
4. Gibson Mansion B&B – Missoula – $-$$$
The Gibson Mansion immerses guests in the rich history of Missoula while treating them to the comforts of modern life.
Designed in 1903, the mansion has since been restored to its turn-of-the-century ambiance. It comprises four guest rooms decked in period décor, which also feature satellite TV, air-conditioning, high-quality linens, and private baths.
The starring attraction of the mansion may be the generous breakfast served in the dining room, which complements the freshly baked scones, tea, and coffee services that are also offered to guests. Breakfast in bed is also available upon request.
There’s a period library on the property, where guests can read a variety of material, play a game of chess, or chat with other travelers. The parlor boasts its own fireplace and statement stained glass windows, its beauty rivaled only by the charming flower gardens.
5. Blue Mountain Bed & Breakfast – Lolo – $$$
The Blue Mountain Bed & Breakfast offers a relaxing retreat in a scenic location. Situated in Lolo, around 20 minutes from Missoula, the bed and breakfast is home to comfortable units that come complete with TV screens and a seating area.
There’s a shared lounge at the bed and breakfast, along with free Wi-Fi and a beautiful terrace. Guests will also find a quaint garden on the grounds, perfect for early-morning walks or lazy afternoons. Every morning, guests are treated to a Full English or Irish breakfast, with vegetarian options also available.
Guests have access to several outdoor activities nearby, including hiking and cycling, and the bed and breakfast is a short distance from points of interest such as Lolo Hot Springs. The Missoula International Airport is just 11 miles from Blue Mountain.
6. Butler Creek Lodge – Missoula – $$$
Just a few miles from the heart of Missoula, the Butler Creek Lodge is tucked away in the Rocky Mountain foothills. This forest getaway is the perfect destination for guests seeking a vacation in the Montana wilderness (with a few more creature comforts!).
The lodge offers several bedrooms, which are all equipped with a private bath, and has spacious common areas where guests can relax. Wildlife viewing is a favorite pastime on the redwood decks of the property, as wild deer and native birds are known to frolic nearby.
There’s a two-night minimum stay at the lodge, and guests with larger parties have the option to rent the entire property. On-site, you’ll find laundry facilities, Wi-Fi, convenient parking, a selection of books and DVDs, and a spacious, full kitchen.
There’s a selection of bed and breakfasts in and around Missoula, many of them offering private and relaxing escapes just a short distance from the city.
No matter which bed and breakfast in Missoula you choose, they all provide guests the chance to discover the natural beauty of Missoula County and enjoy the outdoor activities that Montana is famous for.
List the Bed and Breakfast which is most suitable for…
- Best Luxury Bed and Breakfast in Missoula: Blue Mountain Bed & Breakfast
- Best Boutique Bed and Breakfast in Missoula: Gibson Mansion B&B
- Best Cheap Bed and Breakfast in Missoula: Goldsmith’s B&B
- Best Family Bed and Breakfast in Missoula: Guest Ranch at Dunrovin
- Best Romantic Bed and Breakfast in Missoula: Butler Creek Lodge