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The 9 Best Things To Do In Lewistown, Montana

With a classic American Main Street and a comfortable suburban feel, Lewistown, Montana is a small town that packs a big punch. For its diminutive size, there is a lot to do for visitors without the traffic and bustle of some of Montana’s major metropolises.

Whether you’re visiting to retrace the Lewis and Clark Trail or to catch your first paddlefish, there’s a lot more to do while you’re in town that you may have overlooked. Lewistown is also known for its well-curated boutiques, unique attractions, and those unforgettable big Montana skies.

9 Best Things To Do In Lewistown, Montana

1. The Lewistown Art Center

The Lewistown Art Center has an incredibly robust arts program for being in such a small town. Though they have regularly rotating exhibitions, visitors are guaranteed to find something unique, delightful, and often educational on display.

Their focus is on displaying the work of premier Montanan artists, so the displays here offer a true glimpse into the culture of the region. They also have a robust calendar of events, ranging from evening soirees to arts education classes, so be sure to check their calendar before you go.

2. Central Montana Museum

central montana museum
Image: Central Montana Museum

With exhibits and displays that relate the history of the Judith Basin from pre-history until today, the Central Montana Museum is a consistent hit for adults and kids alike. Through artifacts, fossils, and interpretive displays, the exhibits cover the geology of the region and the ramifications of the homesteading act. Their prized display is a replica Torosaurus skull that was found about 65 miles away.

3. Big Springs Trout Hatchery

Far more than just a fisheries facility, the Big Springs Trout Hatchery also incorporates a picnic area, shelters, and even sports fields. There are numerous opportunities to view wildlife right on the grounds, especially deer and a wide variety of birds. If you want, you can even buy a handful of fish food and feed the trout yourself.

4. Beargulch Pictographs

 

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This privately owned recreational facility is absolutely beloved by tourists to the area. An absolute must-see while visiting Lewiston and the rest of Central Montana, this guided tour to see ancient pictographs will also include a plethora of information about the geology of the region, the various indigenous people who once lived there, and the preservation efforts of contemporary Montanans.

5. Charlie Russell Chew Choo

 

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This iconic 56 mile trip through the mountains and valleys of Central Montana is also a dinner train. You’ll get to enjoy a hearty prime rib dinner while enjoying the enchanting scenery of Central Montana at sunset.

The train travels down a historic route to Denton, Montana and back, passing across two trellises and through a half-mile long tunnel. It is likely you’ll see a variety of wildlife: it is common to find eagles, antelope, hawks, and deer abound in the area adjacent to the track.

6. Judith Theatre

 

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The Judith Theater is a historical movie theater on Main Street in Downtown Lewistown. As well as showing first-run movies, they also screen classic films at deeply discounted prices. Lewiston is subject to intense storms in the winter, so this may be the perfect spot to escape the cold.

7. Snowy Lanes

Beloved by adults and kids alike, Snowy Lanes is Central Montana’s favorite bowling alley. Though it has a clear vintage vibe with lots of original details, the facility has been completely updated with an electronic scoring system, refinished lanes, and even cosmic bowling every Friday at 8 pm! They have prices reasonable enough to bring the whole family, and they

8. Enjoy the Food & Drink

 

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A mix of historic bars and quaint diners dot Lewistown’s Main Street and are scattered around Downtown. They offer a mix of favorite local meals, classic American dishes, and a few surprises here and there. Local bars are known for lively discussions, so be prepared to make a few new friends.

Mint Bar & Grill

Tucked away on 4th ave S, the Mint Bar and Grill is just one of several historic Montana bars to bear this moniker: the name ‘Mint’ became a popular name for multi-purpose bars during the Gold Rush and the constructions of the railroads to entice workers to cash their paychecks there – and in turn, spend them while saddled at the bar. Lewistown’s Mint still has this old west spirit in spades, and plenty of Montanan brews to choose from.

406 Cafe

Voted Lewistown’s best restaurant, the 406 Cafe serves up both hearty breakfasts and lunches. Part coffee shop, part diner, this is a true take-all-kinds type of place that doesn’t skimp on portions.

Dash Inn

Originally opened in 1951, this drive-through-only burger joint is patently iconic to Lewistown, and is a must-visit while you’re in town. While they don’t have a dining room at all, there are several picnic tables outside where you can enjoy your meal on a nice day. While the menu might be small – a selection of burgers, fries, shakes, and sodas – it’s rare for someone to leave the Dash Inn disappointed.

9. Buy Some Gifts and Souvenirs

 

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There are a plethora of unique shopping opportunities in Lewistown ranging from handcraft boutiques to high-end saddleries. You may not have time to visit them all, so here are a few unique places to put on your to-do list.

Spring Creek Flower Farm

Way more than just a simple florist shop, this comprehensive flower farm has sprawling gardens you can stroll through to choose your own flowers for a personalized bouquet. This family-run flower farm is committed to using zero pesticides or chemicals to grow the impressive variety of flowering plants. Keep in mind that they have limited hours, and reservations are recommended.

Blue Stone Boutique

Selling a mix of high-quality basics, locally-printed tees, and a few surprises, Blue Stone Boutique is going to be your go-to if you need to pick up a few extra pieces while you’re in town. Bonus: you can be assured that everything is more than appropriate for the sometimes harsh Montana weather.

C+V HOME

Meticulously curated, the vintage and antique furniture and home accessory offerings at C+V Home might be the best in Central Montana. If you feel inspired to redecorate your home after your visit, you’re in luck: they also offer interior design services.

Free Things To Do In Lewistown, Montana

St. Leo the Great Catholic Church

A Lewistown landmark, St. Leo the Great Catholic Church was originally established back in 1888, with its current location, the grand Romanesque Revival building on West Broadway, officially opened in 1916.  The crowning glory of this impressive piece of architecture is the stained glass window depicting the patron saint of Lewiston: St. Leo himself.

Lewistown Carnegie Public Library

 

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In 1905, the city of Lewistown was given a $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie to construct a proper town library. The result was this quaint but architecturally impressive building, even though it nearly bankrupted the city during its construction. Nonetheless, their foresight in wanting to create a monument to civic pride eventually paid off, resulting in what is still the current Lewistown Carnegie Public Library.

Missouri Breaks

missouri breaks

The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument is actually a vast tract of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Near Lewiston, it encompasses some of the portions of the Lewis and Clark trail.

Of course, you would expect to be able to see highlights from the Lewis and Clark Trail near Meriwether Lewis’ eponymous town, and one of the best places in The Breaks to get a glimpse of this history is the Judith Landing Recreation Site, a campground and boat ramp about an hour north of Lewiston. Here you can retrace parts of the actual route that Lewis and Clark were led along by their Lemhi Shoshone guide and interpreter, Sacagawea.

Fred Robinson Bridge

Just north of Lewistown, the Fred Robinson Bridge is a steel-girder bridge that spans the Missouri River. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 and is a popular spot for photos in Central Montana. Just below it is a legendary spot to catch paddlefish; if you’re in town during the right season, you can join in on the fun.