In order to decide where to stay in Miles City, you can follow this guide for tips and advice when taking in the feel of the Old West the town offers.
Best Places to Stay in Miles City, Montana – Tips and Advice
- A relic of Montana’s Wild West legacy, Miles City is the pride of Custer County. Located in the state’s Southeast, right off 1-90, Miles City features a unique landscape characterized by rugged plains, otherworldly Badlands, and stretches of the Yellowstone and Tongue rivers.
- With architecture still standing from the days of the cowboys, a visit to Miles City is like stepping back in time. The city was once a hub of livestock and horse-trading, a history that is still thriving today through popular events like weekly livestock auctions and rodeos (Visit Montana).
- Miles City was founded in 1877, just before the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1881 (Britannica). It began as a camp set by the cavalry campaigning in the area and was named after General Nelson A. Miles, their commanding officer.
- Eventually, the camp became an important stop on the routine cattle drives departing from Texas, and the establishment of the railroad cemented the camp’s transformation into a leading cattle market (Southeast Montana).
- Miles City is renowned for being an authentic Western town and still hosting traditions like the Bucking Horse Sale for stock buyers and breeders. The town is also home to the Range Riders Museum, which exhibits an eclectic variety of artifacts from the Old West.
- There is an abundance of fishing sites along the Tongue and Yellowstone Rivers, in addition to other opportunities for outdoor recreation. An area of natural beauty and wonders, Miles City is also said to have been the location of the largest natural snowflake in history, per the Guinness World Records.
- Between the array of tourist attractions, untouched surrounding landscape, and rich history in Miles City, the town attracts visitors from all over the country. There are several accommodation options available in the city center, many of them within walking distance to the most sought-after points of interest.
Range Riders Museum
For those interested in learning about the Old West, the Range Riders Museum is a must-stop destination. The museum was founded in 1939 and boasts 13 buildings containing authentic artifacts.
It will take a few hours at least to tour all the exhibits, which display guns, farm tools, antique furniture, and vehicles, among other historic remains.
The museum also contains exhibits that educate about the history of the area prior to European settlement. There are displays dedicated to the Native American peoples who once resided in the area and even remnants of dinosaur fossils.
Admission into the museum is $10 for adults with discounts available for seniors and students, and children can enter for free. The museum is open April through October, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Tuesday.
For more information about visiting the Range Riders Museum, please visit the official website.
WaterWorks Art Museum
Housed in the original waterworks facility of Miles City, the WaterWorks Art Museum displays work from the best artists in the United States.
The building itself is a work of art and living piece of history, dating back more than a century and featuring a distinctive red brick and concrete exterior.
The museum contains permanent and temporary exhibits, with a focus on artwork that depicts humanity and culture. Some of the exhibits have an emphasis on Montana, portraying the state through various artworks and vintage photographs.
WaterWorks is a nonprofit organization and also holds exciting events throughout the year, including art auctions and roundups.
Additionally, the museum runs adult and youth art classes and is open for most of the year, from October through April and then May through September.
For more information about the WaterWorks Art Museum, please visit the official website.
Spotted Eagle Recreation Area
Complete with walking trails, horseshoe pits, and a tranquil lake, the Spotted Eagle recreation area is a top local destination filled with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The park is found behind the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds and spans 123 acres (49 hectares).
Spotted Eagle was named after a Sioux chief whose camp resided in the area. The park draws big crowds in the summer months, where visitors enjoy swimming, fishing, and boating on the lake.
Also found in the park are picnic tables and public restrooms, plus grills and life jackets available for hire.
The park is open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information about the Spotted Eagle Recreation Area, please visit the Miles City Chamber’s official website.
Natural Oasis Swimming Pool
On those blazing summer days, there’s no better place to be in Miles City than the Natural Oasis Swimming Pool.
Conveniently located in the heart of town, the pool is also known as Scanlan Lake. While it is technically man-made, the pool has been standing for decades and, with the surrounding vegetation and occasional birdlife visitors, feels just like a natural lake.
The pool boasts diving docks and its own beach, where visitors can lie in the sand and soak up the sun. In the summertime, lifeguards are on duty at the pool and swimming lessons are held for swimmers of all abilities.
Kids under six years old can enter for free, but there are small admission costs starting at $1.00 for older patrons, which contribute to maintaining the pool.
The Natural Oasis Swimming Pool is open every day from June through August, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, please visit the Miles City Chamber’s official website.
Miles City Bucking Horse Sale
The Miles City Bucking Horse Sale is a deep-rooted tradition that can be traced back to the days when Miles City was a center of livestock and horse-trading.
The livestock auction is fun to attend even if you don’t plan on bidding for a horse and takes place once a year, usually on the third full weekend of May.
Much more than just a selling opportunity, the horse sale boasts exhilarating rodeo action including bull riding, horse racing, bucking horses, and a kick-off concert. The event also features a Main Street parade with local floats that capture the spirit of the local horse trade.
Reserved and general admission seating are available, with tickets starting at $20 for adults. There are also discounts available for children.
For more information about the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale, please visit the official website.
Tongue River Winery
Located in a state known for craft beer and distilleries, the Tongue River Winery is a rare find. Nestled in the region’s rolling hills, the winery specializes in making wine exclusively from Montana fruit and grapes. The only ingredients that go into the wine grow, or can grow, locally.
Adult visitors to the winery can enjoy free tastings and the opportunity to purchase unique varieties of wine. Tours are also generally available, with the winery open on all days except Sunday morning.
For more information about the Tongue River Winery, which is found on Morning Star Lane in Miles City, please visit the official website.
Tips for Visiting Miles City
- The Miles City regional airport, Frank Wiley Field, currently does not operate commercial flights.
- The nearest international airport is Billings Logan International Airport, located approximately 140 miles to the west.
- A bus service runs from Billings to Miles City via Jefferson Bus Lines.
- Three car rental companies currently operate in Miles City: Jack’s Body Shop, Notbohm Motors, and Mac’s Frontierland Ford.
- The Miles City Chamber of Commerce runs a visitor center on Pleasant Street.
Miles City Neighborhood Guide
Miles City Central
One of the best things about visiting Miles City is that the downtown area isn’t too big, and most of the accommodation options are centrally located so they are close to the major attractions.
Staying in the city center is the most popular choice for most visitors, as it allows them to easily explore what Miles City has to offer without having to worry about transportation.
The gem of the downtown area is Main Street, a picturesque street that was once an avenue of saloons and gambling dens. Today, historic buildings still line the street, but they now house retail shops and cafes.
Main Street is also home to the Montana Theatre, which was built in the 1930s and hosts regular screenings of the biggest blockbuster hits.
One of the premier shopping experiences in Miles City is Vintage & Rustics, an antique and vendor mall located off Main Street that encompasses 50,000 square feet. The mall features more than 100 antique dealers specializing in vintage, repurposed, upcycled, and also new items.
$$ – Fairbridge Inn & Suites – 3.4 km from the Range Riders Museum
$$$ – Sleep Inn & Suites Miles City – 3.3 km from the Range Riders Museum
$$$ – Miles Inn Hotel & Suites – 3.4 km from the Range Riders Museum
$ – Tongue River Winery B&B – located at the Tongue River Winery
$ – The Love Suite at the Pearl Center – located in downtown Miles City
$$ – Hunter’s Haven – walking distance from downtown Miles City
The Yellowstone Jewel is more than just a guest house. Located seven miles to the east of Miles City, the Jewel is an event center and activity destination, all nestled within a historic Montana venue overlooking the serene Yellowstone River.
The guest house on the premises was built in the late 19th century and is fully furnished. It boasts four spacious bedrooms and comfortably sleeps 12 people, along with a fully equipped kitchen, two bathrooms, a fire pit, a washer and dryer, a flat-screen TV with cable and Netflix, and Wi-Fi.
Horseback riding is also offered at the Jewel, and guests can also see and interact with other farm animals that live on the grounds.
The event center is an ideal location for weddings and other celebrations, while the surrounding land features stunning hiking trails.
$$$ – Yellowstone Jewel – 15-minute drive from Miles City
Where To Stay In Miles City – Conclusion
Miles City is one of the few relics of the Old West still standing, and worth a visit for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
No matter your itinerary or budget, there are accommodation options for everyone here, and where to stay in Miles City will come down to your individual preferences.
Best Accommodation by Type
- Best Luxury Stay in Miles City: Yellowstone Jewel
- Best Boutique Stay in Miles City: Hunter’s Haven
- Best Cheap Stay in Miles City: Tongue River Winery B&B
- Best Family Stay in Miles City: Yellowstone Jewel
- Best Romantic Stay in Miles City: The Love Suite at the Pearl Center