Havre, Montana is one of the biggest cities in Central Montana, it also boasts some of the most unique attractions in all of Big Sky Country.
Combine this with the town playing host to guests at the Bear Paw Ski Bowl, Havre is a town that is busy year-round and offers plenty of recreation and activities for visitors.
So we know there is plenty to do, but this asks the question of where to stay in Havre on your visit? This guide should help you decide just that and give you an idea of the various attractions you will want to visit.
Best Places to Stay in Havre, Montana – Tips and Advice
- The largest city in Hill County, Havre is the gateway to the rugged and expansive land of Central Montana’s open plains. A key service point on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, the small town offers great fishing opportunities in the Milk River, a base point from which to explore the Bears Paw Mountains, and, of course, Western hospitality.
- Many travelers stay in Havre when visiting the historic Fort Assinniboine or the Wahkpa Chu’gn Archaeological Site. With U.S. Route 2 cutting right through the bustling downtown district, it’s an easy town to navigate. The highway serves as the city’s main road and runs east to west near the northern border.
- Although Havre is a small town, there are several points of interest to explore. Many of the attractions are located in Havre itself, while others are only a short distance away.
Wahkpa Chu’gn Archaeological Site
Also known as the Too Close for Comfort Site, the Wahkpa Chu’gn Archaeological Site has been standing for more than 2,000 years.
Located in Havre, it was once used as a buffalo jump and today harbors fascinating artifacts from three diverse groups of Native Americans.
Large herds of bison once roamed the area, and native peoples used the sudden steep drop as a method of communal hunting. The site was discovered in the 1950s and has been excellently preserved, unlike many of the other buffalo jumps in Montana.
Among the artifacts exhibited at the site are Native American arrowheads and a wall of buffalo bones that stands 20 feet tall.
The site is located behind Holiday Village Mall overlooking the Milk River and admission prices start at $5 for students.
Guided tours run daily and are weather dependent. For more information about the Wahkpa Chu’gn Archaeological Site, please visit the official website.
Havre Beneath the Streets
In 1904, a terrible fire destroyed a significant portion of Havre. As the town rebuilt, several businesses struggled to operate. So they moved underground, inhabiting the subterranean opium dens so they could carry on their trades until it was possible to resume above ground.
Beneath the Streets gives visitors tours of this distinct underground area, where businesses such as a saloon, a bordello, a Chinese laundry, and an opium den once served the city.
Guided tours take visitors through the historical underground area where recreations of the old businesses now stand.
Admission rates start at $9 for kids under 12 and entrance is free for children under five years old. For more information about Havre Beneath the Streets, please visit the official website.
Fort Assinniboine is a must-visit destination for any history buff passing through Havre.
The historic landmark is the largest military post in Montana and was built in 1879. The United States Army operated the fort until 1911.
The Northern Agriculture Research Center, operated by Montana State University, is now run on the site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Guided tours of the site run during the summer months, while special events are also held on the site throughout the year.
There is also a small gift shop on site that sells a selection of books, postcards, and other souvenirs. For more information about Fort Assinniboine, please visit the official website.
Artitudes Cooperative Gallery
The Artitudes Cooperative Gallery is located in Havre’s Atrium Mall. An artist co-op, the gallery exhibits the work of several local artists.
It also supports local artists by hosting events where the artists have a chance to interact with members of the public who may want to buy their art.
The gallery sells and displays art in all its forms, at many different price points. Visitors are welcome to browse everything from large paintings to miniature sculptures and gift cards.
The gallery is open all year and bookings aren’t necessary.
H. E. Clack Memorial Museum
Situated in Holiday Village Mall, the H. E. Clack Memorial Museum is dedicated to preserving the region’s local history.
The community museum is funded by donations and by Hill County, making it a great destination to visit in Havre for free.
The museum is named after H. Earl Clack, a local businessman who was a pioneer of early gas station design.
Displayed within the museum are relics from prehistoric and modern eras, ranging from dinosaur embryos dating back 75 million years to artifacts highlighting the founding and development of Havre.
The museum is also part of Montana’s famous Dinosaur Trail.
For more information about the H.E. Clack Memorial Museum, please visit the museum’s Facebook page.
Tips for Visiting Havre
- Based on the northern Pacific coastal climate, the most popular time to visit Havre is in the summer months, between June and August.
- If you do plan on visiting Havre in the winter, be sure to pack for the cold. The winters are freezing, snowy, and windy, with temperatures regularly dropping to below 14 degrees F.
- The closest major airport is Havre City-County Airport (HVR/KHVR), which is 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the center of town.
- You can also reach Havre by train. The Amtrak Station is located at 235 Main Street and Amtrak’s Empire Builder stops at the Havre station every day.
- North Montana Central Transit offers bus service to Harlem, Fort Belknap, Rocky Boy’s, Box Elder, and Great Falls.
- The Havre Chamber of Commerce on Fifth Ave is the town’s only visitor center.
Havre Neighborhood Guide
With a population of just over 10,000 people, Havre is a relatively small town with only a few districts to explore. Most of the businesses, attractions, and accommodation options are centrally located, making it easy and convenient to get around and see the main sights.
Havre is one of the few Hi-Line area cities where U.S. Route 2 travels right through the center of town.
This makes the downtown area a great place to base yourself when visiting the town. The majority of Havre’s attractions and businesses are also found here.
Much of the architecture downtown has been restored, giving the area a charming aesthetic. Along with the historic buildings, the area is also characterized by attractive tree-lined streets.
The downtown area is home to businesses such as the Cottonwood Cinemas—a theater with stadium seating— Hill County Courthouse, and attractions such as Havre Beneath the Streets and H. Earl Clack House. There are also specialty stores, restaurants, taverns, and galleries showcasing local creations.
On First Street, running east and west of the central business district, there are several unique shops and eateries, including Guadalajara Mexican restaurant and the quaint Coffee Hound coffee shop.
The standout retail centers in the area are the Holiday Village Mall, which houses a total of 45 businesses—including a fitness center, a food court, and the H. E. Clack Memorial Museum—and the Atrium, where visitors will find a bakery, a candy store, and a variety of other unique businesses.
$$ – Best Western Plus Great Northern Inn – 2.9 km from the H. E. Clack Memorial Museum
$ – Siesta Motel – 3.3 km from the Wahkpa Chu’gn Archaeological Site
Residential Historic District
Havre’s Residential Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Containing 36 blocks of classic architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries, the district was once home to local hero and entrepreneur H. Earl Clack.
In the historic district, visitors will see two homes that Clack built with his wife, Margaret Turner Clack, along with a property once owned by Frank and Jane Buttrey of Buttrey Department Store fame.
Walking tours of the district is run by the Havre Hill County Historic Preservation Office, and there are also two self-guided historic walking tours of the area: the Havre Residential Historic District Tour and the Havre Downtown Business and Railroad Walking Tour.
While there are no accommodation options in the Residential Historic District, it is worth visiting for a walking tour.
U.S. Route 2
While not a neighborhood as such, the U.S. Route 2 is a primary destination for accommodation in Havre, with the majority of the town’s hotels placed here.
The section of the highway that runs through Havre also boasts several restaurants and other food outlets, and services like banks, convenience stores, and dry cleaning.
$$ – Best Western Plus Havre Inn and Suites – .9km from Wahkpa Chu’gn Archaeological Site
$ – Super 8 By Wyndham Havre – .5 km from Wahkpa Chu’gn Archaeological Site
Bears Paw Mountains Foothills
Situated less than an hour south of Havre is the area known as the Bears Paw Mountains Foothills. While there aren’t many amenities or commercial outlets nearby, this is one of the best places to stay if you’re seeking a truly remote and rural Montana experience.
Staying in the foothills also gives you access to the Bears Paw Mountains, which extend for around 40 miles. Not often visited by out-of-state travelers, the mountains offer hiking, horseback riding, ATV trails, and in the winter, skiing opportunities.
$$$ – Mountain Lakeview Lodge – 15 minutes from Havre
$$$ – Foothills Lookout Inn – 15 minutes from Havre
Where To Stay In Havre – Conclusion
The selection of accommodation options in Havre is exclusive, adding to the local culture of personalized Western hospitality.
There is the small range of hotels, inns, and Airbnb properties one would expect in a small town, and where to stay in Havre simply comes down to your needs.
Best Accommodation by Type
- Best Luxury Stay in Havre: Mountain Lakeview Lodge
- Best Boutique Stay in Havre: Foothills Lookout Inn
- Best Cheap Stay in Havre: Super 8 By Wyndham Havre
- Best Family Stay in Havre: Best Western Plus Havre Inn and Suites
- Best Romantic Stay in Havre: Mountain Lakeview Lodge