In the County Seat of Valley County, Glasgow may be a small town, but it boasts several museums, excellent shopping, and even a regional airport and an Amtrak stop. What Glasgow may lack in size, it certainly makes up for in history.
Originally founded in 1887 as a railroad town, Glasgow has grown from its humble roots to become what it is today, particularly after the construction of the nearby Fort Peck Dam.
Much of this history is still visible, and be it inside one of Glasgow’s museums or within the stories of a longtime local, there’s a lot to explore in Glasgow that uncovers something universal about the settlers who swarmed the American West.
In this article, we will look at the top things to do in Glasgow, Montana so you are well-prepared for your next visit!
15 Best Things To Do In Glasgow, Montana
1. Valley County Pioneer Museum
This non-profit museum has been aiming to preserve the cultural heritage of the region since 1970 and does so with a vast and eclectic collection. Housing everything from vintage farm equipment to pieces of taxidermy, the items at Valley County Museum combine to weave a rich tapestry of the history of the area.
2. Visit a Classic Montana Bar
This brewery and taproom are pretty new relative to some of the bars that are still around from the Gold Rush, but what it lacks in age it makes up for in delicious beer, excellent service, and a commitment to consistency in the craft of brewing quality beers.
Originally opened all the way back in 1899, the Montana bar is exactly that: the quintessential regional tavern. With a history spanning well over a hundred years literally displayed within, the Montana Bar isn’t just an iconic bar in Glasgow, it’s iconic to the entirety of the American West.
They are very particular about upholding the traditions of the region, so you can expect excellent hospitality, with absolutely zero pretenses.
Read more: The best breweries in Montana.
3. Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs
About an hour west of Glasgow is one of the jewels of recreation in the region: the Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs. You can certainly come to visit for just the day, but just in case you’re interested, there are also camping spots for tents and RVs, as well as some incredibly well-appointed cabins and more traditional hotel rooms.
The pools here are filled with naturally heated and mineralized water that is drained and replaced every day. They monitor the facility for optimum temperature and cleanliness so you can be assured to have a comfortable visit.
Read more: hot springs in Montana.
4. Children’s Museum of NE Montana
Featuring several immersive exhibits designed specifically for children, the Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana is a non-profit organization that’s been operating since 2005. Kids can enjoy presentations and activities that explore biology, music, and other cultural and scientific pursuits.
5. Shop for Local Goods
Owners and operators Ashley and Briana created the Thistle and Thread to accommodate women of all shapes and sizes while maintaining affordable prices. They demand that pieces they carry in the store be durable and stylish, so you can be assured that you’ll be purchasing high-quality items.
If you’re ready to embrace your inner cowboy, you can go directly to D&G Sports and Western Wear to pick up your new wardrobe. With a plethora of clothing and gear for men, women, and kids, they got you covered.
Part cafe, part antique store, Mary’s Mercantile may seem to have eclectic offerings, but her store is truly beloved in the Glasgow community. With such a wide variety of offerings, it’s hard to say what the highlights are, but most visitors rave about the cold brew coffee and the hundreds of pairs of incredibly reasonably priced pre-owned cowboy boots (most are between $30 and $60!)
6. Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge
Along the banks of the Missouri River and encompassing the Fort Peck Reservoir is the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. Though its southern end is about an hour and a half away from Glasgow, this is still the major entry point to reach the site.
The refuge started its life as a game range, so it has certainly evolved considerably. Today, it hosts thousands of visitors a year to enjoy the numerous beavers, white-tail deer, and the largest community of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the world that live outside of the Rockies.
7. Fort Peck Interpretive Center
A half an hour south of Glasgow on the shores of Fort Peck Lake is the Fort Peck Interpretive Center. Part of the Northern end of the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge, inside you’ll find a full-sized replica of a T-Rex, as well as plenty of information about the history and geology of the area. There’s also an extensive display that covers the construction of the Fort Peck Dam.
8. Sleeping Buffalo Rock
45 minutes west of Glasgow is an interesting monument: the Sleeping Buffalo Rock. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996, it actually currently sits in a different place than it did when it was revered by the indigenous peoples of the region having been moved by white settlers. Nonetheless, it still exists, at least, for future generations to enjoy.
9. Check Out the Milk River Observation Point
Just about 18 miles outside of modern-day Glasgow in a south-easterly direction, the Milk River Observation Point was established in the part of this region explored by Lewis & Clark.
The expedition noted the peculiar color of the water running through the region and drew comparisons with a cup of milky tea, hence the name ‘Milk River‘ was born.
The viewpoint provides access to the same scenery that would have been witnessed by the expedition upon the river’s discovery, and it offers some great perspectives of the flowing waterway and its surrounding scenery.
10. Try a Spot of Local Fishing or Hunting
Glasgow is surrounded by recreation opportunities like fishing at various creeks, rivers, and reservoirs, as well as hunting.
Billingsley Ranch Outfitters provides guided archery and rifle hunting tours. The archers will be on the lookout for any of the plentiful elk, antelope, and deer in the region, while the rifle hunters go largely for different types of deer, antelope, and the odd game bird.
The outfitters’ ranch is located in the vicinity of Fort Peck Lake, which is renowned for its walleye fishing along with a few other species.
Accommodation is available on the ranch for anyone who wants to make a few days of it, and you won’t go far wrong with the western lifestyle and hospitality if you are looking for an authentic touch of Montana.
11. Indulge in a Few Rounds of Golf
Sunnyside Golf Course is just on the outer limits of Glasgow half a mile from Highway 2. The club offers challenging courses surrounded by excellent views, and a small section of the course has Cherry Creek flowing through it to add to the great scenery. Golfers of all levels will enjoy this well-groomed venue.
The friendly staff is on hand to offer tips and other support if required, and the club is an all-round great option for a few rounds in the region of Glasgow. The course features 18 holes and is a reasonably level play. Rates are charged for 9 and 18 holes between $17 and $30.
Turn north on Skylark Road off Highway 2 to get to the venue and continue for another mile to the golf course.
12. Check Out the Glasgow Base Pond
Glasgow Base Pond is a state fishing access site set across 16 acres. The site is 20 miles north of the town along highway 24 and sits at elevations close to 3000 feet.
The site also features a day use area, campsites, a picnic area, and a reasonably primitive boat launch and dock as well as restrooms.
13. Catch a Performance at the Fort Peck Summer Theatre
The Fort Peck Theatre dates back to 1934 and was initially constructed as a means of entertainment for those who came to work on the Fort Peck Dam construction.
The Fort Peck Fine Arts Council (FPFAC) was formed to manage the operation of the theater in the 1960s and the operation has been staging productions and other artistic performances ever since.
The theater has also been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983, and performances run from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
The company is made up every season of professional actors and technicians along with a few budding younger regional performers of all ages. The Fort Peck Summer Theatre is located 10 minutes south of the US Highway exit for Nashua, less than 20 miles east of Glasgow on Highway 24.
Reservations are available by calling the box office at (406) 526-9943, but most performances have plenty of regular seating available, and there are no dress codes here.
The curtain goes up at 7:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 4:00 pm on Sundays.
14. Watch a Movie
Valley Cinema is where anyone in the Valley County area is likely to head when they want to check out the latest movie release. This is a great movie-going experience in an authentic theater with a distinctly Montana vibe to it.
The Valley Cinema usually shows two newly-released movies and the inside of the auditorium is fairly modern-looking. The friendly and accommodating staff will cater to any fresh, hot, buttered popcorn tendencies you might find yourself displaying, and the movie theater is very family-friendly.
Usually, movie fans can find three daily screenings, with a discounted 4.00 pm matinee. The modern operation features digital pictures and sound which you might not initially think of when you see the premises from the outside.
The cinema is located in downtown Glasgow close to the Wells Fargo Bank.
Red Rock Plaza Farmers Market is a great opportunity to check out what products the locals are showcasing. The market tends to be a somewhat social event in the town and has a fun and lively atmosphere.
You can enjoy the freshness and taste of locally-produced foods directly from the farmer who grows them. The market will typically feature items such as seasonal fruits and vegetables, herbs, and a variety of locally-grown bedding plants.