Just west of where I-90 and I-94 meet is Montana’s biggest city – Billings. Road trippers, this is not a place to just stop for food and keep driving… it’s a city chock full of museums, art and recreation opportunities in the great outdoors.
For lovers of the West (as I know you are), you’ll want to make a stop at the Western Heritage Center, a Smithsonian affiliate museum that is packed with Billings history. It’s located in one of the city’s oldest buildings, the Parmly Billings Memorial Library.
Another historical must is the Yellowstone County Museum, which highlights Montana through some 15,000 artifacts housed in an authentic pioneer log cabin. The Moss Mansion is another great attraction. Built in the early 20th century, you can tour the home and learn about the family that resided there, as well as their roots in Billings.
The Yellowstone Art Museum is another downtown favorite. It shows both historic and contemporary art, mostly featuring Montana and Western themes.
Though it’s a good 175 miles to Yellowstone National Park, Billings is in Yellowstone County and the largest city built on the Yellowstone River, a tributary of the even-mightier Missouri.
In the city itself, Riverfront Park is a great place to start a kayaking or rafting journey. Two Moon Park is another. Both offer relaxed atmospheres, and quiet places to hike, bike or hop in the water.