A Perfect Day in Bozeman

A perfect day in Bozeman, one of Montana’s most exciting destinations, means Big Sky vistas, boutique hotels, and culinary thrills. Bozeman also means hot springs, wine bars, urban hikes, mountain trekking, dinosaur hunting, and donut-dunking. Bozeman is a slice of life in Montana, and the perfect place to spend a day.

29 E Main St, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA
I can think of worse places to be stuck than Bozeman, Montana. And when my flight was recently cancelled, stranding me there for two days, I decided to venture downtown and check out Plonk Wine Bar. Plonk is a term that refers to a poor quality wine. But the 600-plus bottle wine list here was full of surprising selections, like the Celler Cal Pla Black Slate—a blend of Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a bit of Merlot and Syrah from Spain‘s Priorat region. Equally impressive are Plonk’s cocktail and craft beer selections. I snagged a seat at the bar, took in the cowboy-meets-wine country ambiance, and ordered a glass of Torrontes from Argentina. The bartender suggested I pair it with a decadent dish of seared scallops with foie gras and braised short ribs. It was exactly what I needed to make my travel frustrations disappear.
719 N Wallace Ave, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA
The end to a perfect day in Bozeman is waiting for you somewhere on the doorstep of the beautiful Lehrkind Mansion Bed & Breakfast, quite possibly the most picturesque building in all of Montana. The Victorian marvel is a perfect base for a few days of exploring Bozeman, with a great library filled with inspiring tomes and photography books that will stir your Montana wanderlust further. Each of the mansion’s nine rooms has its own unique character, though The Muir Room is where you want to stay if you’re a writer looking for a spark.
3185 Jackson Creek Rd, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA
Seeing wild wolves in Yellowstone National Park is nearly impossible without a guide; amateur wolf watchers in any case need high-powered binoculars and tolerance for cold, as the best observation season is winter, when wolf fur stands out against the snow. But at Howlers Inn Bed & Breakfast & Wolf Sanctuary, just outside Bozeman, guests year-round can observe a captive-bred pack from their bedroom window, and even pet a wolf through the chain-link fence of the inn’s four-acre sanctuary. Owners Chris and Mary Martha Bahn originally opened the federally licensed shelter in 1993 for a single rescued wolf that was unable to return to the wild. Built to fund the shelter as it accommodated more animals to live as a pack, the cozy log B&B sits on 42 acres in Bridger Canyon amid boulder-strewn meadows backed by pine-covered hills. Two wolf enclosures, with a seasonal pond and creek, are currently home to five spayed or neutered timber and Alaskan tundra wolves, born in captivity, whose owners could no longer keep them. The Bahns do not breed or exhibit the animals for profit, but they’re happy to discuss wolf conservation as well as the controversial issues of game farm breeding and hunting. Guests are welcome to photograph the human-habituated animals during their stay.
A course with Bozeman’s PAST Skills Wilderness School is one of the most unique ways to immerse yourself in the traditions of the West. Students are taught survival techniques, indigenous philosophy, and more. Courses range from two days—learning primitive arrows—to six months (residency programs) and can be tailored to suit your needs as a survivalist.
451 E Main St, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA
On Main Street in downtown Bozeman, the Garage is a funky place for a casual meal. Car parts hung on the walls and license-plate-frame menus (not to mention the name of the place) reveal the eatery’s former life as a fix-it shop. Now the space serves suped up diner fare such as bison burgers with grilled mushrooms and Swiss cheese. Be sure to visit the self-serve “soup shack” where the cooks’ latest creations might include sausage and mustard, green chili pork, or Thai coconut soup. Save room for a huckleberry ice cream dessert.
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