If you’re the couple that enjoys the outdoors and everything nature, then Montana is the perfect location for your next romantic getaway. With its vast rugged mountains, perfectly curved valleys, serene rivers and lakes, picturesque waterfalls, and forest-filled landscapes, your vacation days will be filled with scores of fun and explorative activities.
For a romantic setting, we all want a destination that provides the perfect mix of adventure, serenity, and fun. The Big Sky Country does just that. Besides the outdoors, you’ll find countless elegant, warm, and cozy hotels and inns where you can enjoy the countryside and the tranquility that comes with it.
This article filters through this countless list, to give you the best options of places to stay during your trip. Read on to find out the sites to visit, the best things to do while you’re there, and the best places to spend your romantic getaway in Montana.
Romantic Getaways in Montana, Tips, and Advice
- Getting around in Montana: There are a few direct flights to Montana and more flight connections from nearby cities. This makes arriving on a plane a limited option. The most convenient travel mode into and around Montana is by car. You are, however, likely to drive long distances because of the vast landscape. It’s advisable to make the required adjustments for this. If you wish to use public means, buses and shuttles are operating in each of the districts.
- Sightseeing and adventure: There is not a single place in this state that isn’t scenic. No, seriously, Montana and adventure are synonymous. Think about all the glacier-laced mountain ranges, the countless lakes atop these mountains, the many creeks running down these rocky landscapes. Don’t forget the waterfalls cascading the rugged walls of elevated terrain. All the wildlife inhabiting the forested regions, and even the ones roaming around in the grasslands. What more could anyone ask for? Take a drive along any of the scenic roads in this state with your loved one and make memories of a lifetime together.
- Where to eat in Montana: Are you or your partner steak lovers? In this state where people love their meat, you will definitely have a great time. And for even more adventure, try out game meat such as elk, bison, or venison. Forget your regular beef burger and order a Montana elk burger instead. There are many restaurants in the cities around the state where you can comfortably explore new cuisine. You’ll find wild foods such as morel mushrooms and trout in menus and wild fruits such as huckleberries.
- Backpacking in Montana on a budget: Visiting Montana on a budget? The backpacking options here are limitless. With all the outdoor adventure, comes lots of affordable camping grounds to enjoy after long days of hiking trails and paddling boats. Most attraction sites have this option and you don’t have to splurge on expensive mountain cabins to have a good time. Also, there are many scenic drives you could take and enjoy these natural landscapes for free.
5 Best Cities for Romantic Getaways in Montana
One of the most popular places to visit while in Whitefish would be Glacier National Park. It’s about 30 miles from this city and is a must-visit site in Montana. The most beautiful scenery awaits you on the Going to the Sun Road. This 50-mile architectural landmark allows you a scenic view into the park with your beloved. Flathead River makes for an amazing rafting excursion for adventurous couples. Also, take a boat ride on Lake McDonald, which is the largest lake in this park. Peer into the horizons from the decks of your evening boat ride and watch the beautiful sunset. There are scores of hiking trails to take that you will definitely enjoy. The backdrops to every picture you take here will be nothing short of perfection.
Other than Glacier National Park, Whitefish also offers other romantic getaway experiences. The Whitefish Lake State Park is a secluded woodland area with a beach that couples will definitely enjoy. It spans 10 acres and has an elevation of 3,012 feet, which is suitable for bike hiking. The park’s location is serene, near Whitefish Lake, and is full of activities to engage in. Beautiful mountain views surround the lake and it’s barely windy, making it suitable for water skiing. You can also go swimming, fishing, kayaking, or boating in this amazing lake. There are 25 campsites around the park for couples who want to snuggle up in sleeping bags and enjoy the outdoors by night.
Take a stroll to downtown Whitefish and enjoy this little city’s historical district. Hop into art galleries and museums along the streets on your way and take in some of Montana’s creative aura. There are a few historic building landmarks you’ll bump into as well. You will definitely want to pop into a juice bar and taste the popular huckleberry flavored drinks on your way too.
As you stroll your way through downtown Whitefish, pass by Loula’s Café for breakfast or brunch and start your day right. Located in the historic Masonic Temple building, they offer the best huckleberry pies there are in town. The Whitefish Lake restaurant is the place to be for some of the town’s best seafood and steaks. Their menu is full of options on cuisines served the Montana way you ought to try out. The Whitefish Mountain Resort is the best place to go skiing in winter along with other interesting activities such as biking and tours in the summer.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) Cedar Creek Lodge and Conference Center – 2.1km from Flathead River
- ($$) Kandahar Lodge at Whitefish Mountain Resort – 0.4km from Whitefish Mountain Ski and Summer Resort
- ($) Stumptown Inn of Whitefish – 6.4km from Whitefish Lake
2. West Yellowstone
This is the entry town of the famous Yellowstone National Park, the oldest and largest park in the United States. This park provides numerous activities for the perfect romantic getaway. Through the West Yellowstone entrance, which is the only one that is open all year round, you can access the park and experience its magic. The Old Faithful Geyser Cone in the Upper Geyser Basin is one of the nearest thermal features you’ll find. You can spend your getaway at the Old Faithful Inn, a historical restaurant and lodge that’s more than a century old. The cabins here have the perfect look and feel of a blend of traditional Yellowstone and modern décor. The views of the park and the Old Faithful Geyser from here are also priceless.
Other than the most scenic collection of geysers, this enormous park has way more adventurous features to explore. Follow the available paved routes to view even more geysers and hot springs. The Yellowstone River, which runs 690 miles across the park, is one more beautiful feature you’re likely to cross on your way. There are calm areas in the park where you can enjoy a romantic picnic with your partner and rest up. There are also more laid-back activities to partake, such as bird watching, wildlife watching, and animal photography.
Zipline Adventure Park has the most exhilarating aerial adventures. Slide along up to 1,000 feet of cable while hanging 15 feet up the ground. The park is open to all by day and you can pop in and out as you please. Take a scenic drive to the Madison River Canyon and learn the history of Earthquake Lake. In 1959, a bolt of lightning struck the canyon causing a huge landslide that had rocks tumbling down into this canyon. As a result, these rocks obstructed the flow of the Madison River, leading to the formation of this “earthquake” lake, otherwise known as Quake Lake.
Take a historical tour around downtown West Yellowstone. Also, don’t forget to stop by the Museum of the Yellowstone during summer and learn more about the history of Yellowstone National Park and other parts of this town. The Yellowstone Giant Screen Theatre is also a stop you don’t want to miss. Catch a short Yellowstone movie by day or a Hollywood film in the evening. This theater gets super busy in summer, so you’ll need advance tickets.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) Yellowstone Park Hotel – 1km from Yellowstone National Park West Entrance
- ($$) Yellowstone Cabins and RV – 0.9km from Museum of the Yellowstone
- ($) Yellowstone Country Inn – 1.3km from Yellowstone National Park West Entrance
3. Red Lodge
If you’re looking to have your Montana romantic getaway in a quieter, less crowded town, Red Lodge is your best option. Tucked away between the Beartooth Ranges and Absarokee Mountains, this small town provides lots of interesting activities for couples all year round. The Beartooth Highway, for one, is a feature that is magnificent both as an engineering construction and as a place to get magnificent views while on the road. Stretching from Red Lodge to Cooke City, there are trailheads to branch off to along the way and hiking and backpacking options.
The Red Lodge Mountain ski resort is a popular spot for skiing and winter snowboarding. It’s found in the mountains and the ranges elevate as high up as 9,416 feet at the Summit Grizzly Peak. Visit the Carbon County Historical Museum and learn about Carbon County’s history. The building that houses this museum was a former Labor Temple built in 1909 by coal miners in this town. Some exhibits shown here are hard rock mines, Waples’ family gun collection, and a collection of rodeo items from the Bill Greenough family.
Get a feel of the Montana landscapes the local way with your partner, by taking a tour along the mountains on a horse. Elk River Outfitters offer guided horseback rides that you can book on an hourly basis or all day. Go fishing on the Wild Bill Lake located on Road Creek Road just south of Red Lodge. You can also hike a trail along the lake.
Don’t forget to sample some of this location’s exceptional cuisine. Start your day off with an award-winning breakfast at the Cafe Regis. The Bear Creek Saloon & Steakhouse offers some of Montana’s best steaks. In a rustic, welcoming environment, get an intimate dining table and enjoy an evening of steak and some locally brewed beers or wine from their drinks collection.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) Alpine Lodge – 0.2km from Rock Creek
- ($$) Beartooth Hideaway Inn & Cabins – 9.7km from Red Lodge Mountain
- ($) Lupine Inn – 0.7km from Red Lodge Center
Bozeman is the place to be for a hoard of romantic getaway activities. The Montana Whitewater Rafting and Zipline Rafting offers guided tours along the Gallatin River. Here you can go kayaking, rafting, fly-fishing, and river tubing. The Madison River Tubing also offers similar water excursions. You can also go fishing at Bozeman Pond Park.
Explore a museum in town with your partner. The Museum of the Rockies is one place to view dinosaur fossils. Montana Shakespeare in the Parks performs theater production of Shakespeare films and other classics. You could also catch the Bozeman Film Celebration in the summer. Catch a live musical performance in local venues and finish your date night off with pleasant tunes.
The Bozeman Hot Springs is perfect for relaxation with its amazing heated and cold pools. If you’re looking for a good meal in Montana, the local restaurants are full of amazing local cuisine. Open Range Restaurant serves the best steaks there are. For a classy and still evening, stop by Plonk and have an intimate date, with amazing food and cocktails. Feast Raw Bar and Bistro are also perfect for romantic date nights.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) Bozeman Lewis & Clark Motel – 1.3km from Montana State University
- ($$) MountainView Lodge and Suites – 9.5km from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport
- ($) My Place Hotel-Bozeman, MT – 7.2km from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport
This town is located 26miles outside Bozeman and is quieter and less crowded. Check out the Livingstone Depot, a summer museum built in 1902. This brick building is located right on Park Street and also doubles as a community center for local talent. Visit the Yellowstone River along Paradise Valley and enjoy floating, kayaking and fishing.
Downtown Livingston also makes for a good self-guided learning tour. There are many historical buildings to check out on your way, such as the Murray Hotel. You’ll also easily spot art galleries you can hop into and enrich your creative side. Get the best milkshakes in Mark’s In and Out. Stop by there for the best burgers, fries, onion rings, and other meals.
Gil’s Goods is also a good place to stop by for a bite. They have the best wood oven-baked pizzas in town. At Pickle Barrel, you’ll experience the best sandwiches you’ve ever had. They’re so huge, you’ll probably just have half a sandwich and that’s it.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Livingston Yellowstone – 1.9km from Livingston Center
- ($$) Livingston Inn – 2.1 km to Livingston Center
- ($) Country Motor Inn – 0.8km from Yellowstone River
Best Luxury Hotel in Montana
Cedar Creek Lodge & Conference Center is a luxury hotel located just outside Glacier National Park. It has the best amenities such as an indoor pool, hot tub, business center, and sundries shop. Enjoy their cozy rooms and complimentary breakfast. They also have vacation packages to help you easily explore the otherwise large Glacier National Park. They have free winter shuttles connecting to Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Best Boutique Hotel in Montana
At Kandahar Lodge at Whitefish Mountain Resort, you can cuddle by the fireplace in the rooms in winter. There’s a large outdoor hot tub to soak in and relax. It’s located conveniently near Whitefish, Glacier National Park, and Aerial Adventure Park. They offer a variety of room types. The rooms have a microwave, mini-refrigerator, AC comforters, and coffee makers. They have free Wi-Fi and daily housekeeping services. It’s also a good place for intimate weddings and mini getaways. They don’t allow pets in this hotel.
Best Cheap Hotel in Montana
Lupine Inn is a comfortable inn in Red Lodge that offers recreational activities such as biking, camping, horseback riding, and winter sports. The rooms feature king-size beds, coffeemakers, iron, and ironing boards. They’re fitted with a Cable TV, air conditioning, and free internet. The hotel has a spa, indoor pool, sauna, and fitness room. There are also meeting rooms and the inn also offers free local calls. They do not allow pets and there is free parking for guests.
Best Romantic Hotel in Montana
The Bozeman Lewis & Clark Motel is a couple’s favorite in Bozeman, Montana. Besides its obviously gorgeous outlook, it has an outdoor hot tub and serves a continental breakfast. All rooms have a microwave, a small refrigerator, and a coffeemaker. The compound also features free parking space for guests. It’s located just a few kilometers from Bozeman town hence is very convenient. There’s a variety of room offerings to choose from depending on your preferences. The hotel is not pet-friendly.