The rugged terrains and prairies of Montana are a very recognizable feature of this state. In Montana, Billings is easily one of the most beautiful cities to spend a few days in, rather than just travel through. An online search of this lovely city tells you where to go, what to do, and most importantly when is the best time to visit Billings, Montana. The seasons play a vital role in Billings’ appeal.
If you intend to stay, you will find that Billings is one of the most underrated places in Montana. Though Montana offers splendid options of hiking, visiting parks, and hunting opportunities; the center for all this, I believe, is Billings.
Why Travel in the Summer Months?
Billings offers hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and an art experience like no other if you’re into that. However, to make most of the outdoor activities, it is best to time your visit somewhere between July and August. This is when you can breathe in the crisp, fresh air whilst enjoying all the outdoor activities Billings has to offer.
Though you can travel at any other time of year, July and August provide clear blue skies and beautiful weather as well as fewer crowds. Moreover, with the current pandemic not quite over yet, overcrowded cities are far from ideal.
If you intend to stay up to or past September, you will get a chance to witness the Billings snowy winter. But, if you choose to travel in June, you can still enjoy all the summer activities you want but during an unpredictable, rainy season. However, as Billings has a milder temperature, you will find that snow thaws faster here than it does in other cities. The weather in Billings is rarely bad and snowstorms become a nuisance only during the winter months. Additionally, the Logan Airport doesn’t close down and the authorities are trained to make sure the roads and pathways are secure within the city.
Activities for Summer in Billings
Though summer can get a bit hot as the temperature goes as high as 90F, the nights are pleasant and cool in Billings. You can set up camp under the stars or enjoy strolls along the streets of Montana to make the most of your nights.
Summer in Billings hosts a plethora of festivals, concerts, sports events, and incredibly appealing activities for both solitary travelers and families. It has something for just about everyone. Following are some of the most noteworthy events in Billings that you should be able to catch with a perfectly timed visit to the city:
Billings Trail Opportunities
Billings is known to be a ‘trailhead’ city which means that is it a point where a trail begins. So, if you’re a cycling enthusiast, enjoy horseback riding, or just want to enjoy a scenic hike, you can pick one of the trails to spend a rejuvenating few hours. I found the Beartooth Highway as my route into Yellowstone National Park which is sixty minutes to the Southwest of Billings. The route itself is gorgeous and I found the Yellowstone National Park to be just as breathtaking as people told me it was.
If you prefer to stay closer to Billings then I would suggest taking a bike and enjoying the Swords Rimrock Park Trail or the Zimmerman and Phipps parks. I recommend these because they are great for biking which was a plus for me.
Arts and Culture
Billings has one of the most magnificent art scenes I have ever come upon in Montana. Traffic signals all look the same, not in billings though where you can find beautifully painted and brightly colored traffic signal boxes. These are a great outlet for local artists, in addition to the vibrant and contemporary art that already covers the sides of many buildings in Billings.
Though there are galleries aplenty, I found these to be the most expressive and vividly creative pieces of the artistic culture in Billings.
If you are more attracted to the historic side of Montana, then worry not. Every step you take within the city leads you to a different point in history, beginning at the airport. The Yellowstone County Museum is a great way to look at the exhibition of artifacts from the Northern Plains Native tribes, the history of the western expansion, various cattle herding, and textiles.
The Moss Mansion is the home of the founders of Billings and rests as a magnificent building of Redstone. It’s built upon the history of the Moss family and I happened to visit it multiple times during my stay.
You can also enjoy the Western Heritage Center which is devoted to the Northern Plains and the Yellowstone River Valley, respectively.
Outdoor Activities in Billings
Summer brings an incredible list of summer activities as Billings seems to be made for the outdoorsy adventurer. The first thing I did when I decided to spend a day out was to contact Bitter Creek Outfitters. This is a family-operated guided horseback riding activity that takes you through various Billings trails. One of which is a 7000-acre cattle ranch, just a few minutes outside of Billings. If you want to catch the best chance at horseback riding then you can search online to know when is the best time to visit Billings Montana and book accordingly. You can enjoy the natural splendor and gorgeous landscape of Billings and spend a lovely day on horseback.
If you want to spend a more educational day, head on to the Little BigHorn National Monument and learn about the historic battle fought under the command of the notorious General Custer.
For sports fans, especially those who follow baseball, you can check out the Billings Mustangs at Dehler Park. You can see the Mustangs, which are a farm team for the Cincinnati Reds, at Dehler Park which was recently recognized by multiple websites as the Best of the Ballparks at a Rookie Level. You can also enjoy various races, including the Soaked Fun Run, Beat the Heat 5k which you can take part in with the local authorities, or the Yellowstone Kelly Mountain Triathlon which is best for adrenaline-loving travelers.
Why Travel in the Spring?
Summertime is ideal for those wishing to spend days under the warm sun. But if you’re not in the mood and are wondering when is the best time to visit Billings, Montana, besides summer, I would recommend traveling in March and June instead. Even though you might experience rain in June, it’s nothing an umbrella and raincoat can’t fix. The rain could also shape your trip into a really nice one. Whereas in spring, all the freshly grown flora and fauna, and the green fields would not only be perfect to take tons of pictures with a stunning backdrop of Montana landscape, but it also seems like the perfect opportunity to unwind.
Spring Activities In Billings
Though April is a wildcard in terms of weather conditions in Billings, March offers a variety of Spring activities for you and the family. Whether you are traveling solo, with a group, or with family, you can get a chance to experience more than just the festivals and concerts.
Zoo Montana For The Family
If you want to enjoy a family vacation, then knowing when is the best time to visit Billings, Montana, will help you plan your trip better. Spring is the best time for you to take your little ones on a fun, outdoorsy trip to Zoo Montana. The Zoo offers a chance to learn about the unique ecosystem of the Yellowstone flora and fauna. It is also a zoological and botanical facility that aims to conserve and protect wildlife. It is led by a sixteen-member crew and offers guided educational tours to over twelve thousand students and a hundred thousand people each year.
The DanWalt Gardens
The constantly changing DanWalt Gardens are open to visitors from April to October, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Therefore, knowing when is the best time to visit Billings, Montana, for this garden, will help you catch the right bloom. These gardens are ever-changing because of the different flowers blooming at different times, so you can catch a different view every time you visit. As this area is open to the public, you can take your family to enjoy the koi ponds, the hyacinths, and the daffodils, which are the primary flowers for spring.
Western Heritage Center
In springtime, most of the locals and tourists are out and about enjoying the sun. While there are activities such as horseback riding, fishing, and hunting to choose from, those who wish to spend a day in a less crowded place will find the Western Heritage Center to be the perfect spot. The history center has interactive exhibits where you can spend time enjoying or take a chance to witness some of the temporary and permanent exhibits they host. This museum houses over sixteen thousand pieces of historic artifacts and offers a host of exhibitions and programs that tell the stories of the Yellowstone River Valley.
Billings is one of the most historically diverse and culturally rich places in Montana. It is still a bit understated as people generally choose to visit the more famous places in the state which are, no doubt, amazing in terms of their appeal. But Billings offers more than you would think. With a vast culture, delicious cuisine, lively concerts, and a hub for zoological and botanical eco-systems, Billings is a charming little town in Montana, awaiting your visit.