by Michele Kadison
Surrounded by four mountain ranges, the huge expanse of the Gallatin National Forest, and endless streams filled to the brim with trout, Bozeman is a magnet for travelers who want more than just a taste of the great outdoors. Yellowstone National Park is just a short drive away along with hundreds of amazing sights to keep a vacation traveler busy every single minute of the day. As a major winter magnet, Bozeman attracts skiers and snowboarders from around the world.
Just 16 miles northeast of town you can find Bridger Bowl, and 45 miles south you can find Big Sky Ski and Summer Resort, making Bozeman the perfect base for your winter ski trip. Summer is heavenly in Bozeman, with hiking, biking, rafting, fly fishing, horseback riding as just some of the activities you can enjoy.
J. John Bozeman, a miner out to find his fortune during the days of Montana’s gold rush, led a wagon train in 1864. He headed into the Gallatin Valley to meet his friends who had staked out an area in which to create a town. Bozeman township became a draw for some of the early settlers in the area, providing them with a place to hang their hats and raise their families.
As a major gateway to the West, Bozeman has welcomed explorers, ranchers, and miners for over 100 years. Taking a stroll through the town, with its many historic buildings, is a testimony to its roots. Main Street is a true treasure, with its many shops and restaurants providing visitors with endless variety and interest. The excitement of this small town titillates with its varied population of entrepreneurs, artists, sports enthusiasts, professors, and students. Bozeman’s many museums and galleries, rodeo attractions, well-known fairs (the Sweet Pea Festival, the Montana Winter Fair, and the Gallatin County Fair), theatre, symphony, ballet, and opera, additionally makes the town endlessly attractive to tourists and travelers.
The National Register of Historic Places includes nine historic districts in the town of Bozeman. Visiting these districts provide an excellent glimpse into the history of the region. Make sure you explore the Bon Ton Historic District, the Bozeman Brewery Historic District, the Cooper Park Historic District, the Lindley Place Historic District, the Main Street Historic District, the North Tracy Avenue Historic District, the Northern Pacific-Story Mill Historic District, the South Tracy Avenue Historic District, and South Tracy-South Black Historic District.
Montana State University, created in 1893, is home to the Museum of the Rockies where you can learn about some of the most pivotal moments in Earth’s history. With its planetarium, its many paleontological displays, a plethora of artifacts from the Plains Indians, and its pioneer and Western art exhibits, the museum offers some of the most complete insights into life in the region, beginning four billion years ago.
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