- North America,
- United States
Billings is not on this short list of Montana places to visit. AAAwwww.
Oxford Saloon, Montana
Tel: 406 546 0117
Try closing down this bar, and you'll be here a while. According to myth, the Oxford Saloon hasn't closed in the last 100 years. No one's really sure about that date, but you'll notice some of the doors don't even have locks. The bar is on the corner of Higgins and Pine and draws a mixed Missoula crowd who amuse themselves by playing poker, shooting pool, and bolting down inexpensive hamburgers from the adjoining café.
Big Sky Brewing Company, Montana
Tel: 800 559 2774
Sit down in any bar in western Montana, and pretty soon you'll hear someone order a Moose Drool. A strange-sounding order, but a great beer from this brewery five minutes outside Missoula. The taproom is open until early evening Monday to Saturday. (Brewery tours are available on Fridays.) Besides the Moose Drool, a best-selling brown ale, try the award-winning Scape Goat Pale Ale.
Fact & Fiction, Montana
Tel: 406 721 2881
Montana has a lot of literary types who come out for the solitude and inexpensive living. Most of them, like Jim Harrison and Tom McGuane, live between Big Timber and Missoula. The latter is home to the independent Fact & Fiction bookstore, a great place for signed copies and readings from Big Sky writers like James Lee Burke, Ivan Doig, and David James Duncan.
Iron Horse Brew Pub, Montana
Tel: 406 728 8866
Maybe it's Missoula's northern latitude and long summer evenings that call for lingering downtown, getting an outdoor table, and grabbing a simple grilled burger with a local pint from Kettle House Brewing. The Iron Horse, near Missoula's historic rail station, is a fine place to eat, kick back, and watch the crowds pass. While a 2004 renovation brought a new lounge upstairs and an expanded menu with highfalutin' dishes such as sashimi tuna salad and wild mushroom ravioli, the classic Griz Burger—a half pound of Black Angus topped with bacon, blue cheese, and mushrooms—is still the best thing on the menu.