Everyone has their list: those spots that remind you that fall is around the corner. Maybe it’s a smell, or the way the sunlight hits at a particular latitude. The most recent locale to reminisce for our family? Bozeman, Montana for both indoor attraction and outdoor adventure as a last hurrah before school started up again.
Seasonality aside, Bozeman is among the most idyllic family-friendly spots we’ve previously visited in our trek across the country on our quest to visit all 50 states as a family by the time our son (now a high school junior) graduates from high school so it was worth a return trip that didn’t disappoint.
Wide open spaces. Massive blue skies. The natural splendor of the region is nothing short of awe-inspiring – and at 20 square miles, Bozeman boasts peaks and valleys in every direction for abundant outdoor activity. There’s fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, river floating, golfing, white water rafting, bird watching.
Indoor endeavors are equally intriguing: arts, museum culture (Museum of the Rockies, Gallatin History Museum), tribal artists and Indigenous design, beadwork, jewelry, painting, symphonies, and year-round theater. Summer rodeos, fall farmer’s markets and festivals, and winter holiday made fairs mean there’s no shortage of activities and every reason to put it at the top of your to visit list.
And where to stay in the state’s fourth largest cityscape? If you’re looking for lodging with personality in the heart of downtown, The LARK (LarkBozeman.com) is a favorite for our family. This 67-room, beautifully renovated boutique hotel focuses its attention beyond its walls – yet never forgets an important interior detail.
Originally built in the 1960s, the Streamline-era architecture features an open-air design, a welcoming outdoor fire pit and wide balconies to showcase everything that downtown has to offer – all within an easy stroll – including the scores of charming restaurants, breweries and boutiques.
Like the Bozeman ethos itself, The LARK simple, yet modern accommodations are defined by the quality of experience. From its carefully curated decor to the expressive wall illustrations that adorn the lobby and guest rooms (created by local Montana artisans), The LARK offers a truly unique connection to the community. Whether it be a reference to Montana’s highways, a representation of Bozeman’s beautiful mountain ranges, or a life-size mural of a full-grown moose, each room is themed to tell a story about the experiences that are waiting just outside the door!
In addition to the allures of downtown, The LARK offers convenient access to explore the mountains, valleys and waters of the Gallatin River Valley in its own backyard – at its heart, a freestone (rather than dam-controlled) river that is open and accessible year-round.