As one of the premier hotels in Bozeman MT, it is a privilege to guide you to the best dining, outdoor, entertainment and shopping options for your individual needs and tastes. This involves asking questions and getting to know you; not just pointing to a rack stuffed with brochures. And when you've got a place like Bozeman and an enormous state like Montana to explore, well, let's just say it's one of the best parts of our jobs.
What better way to see Bozeman than through the eyes of a local? And we're not just talking how to make the most of the great outdoors. Our Guides are also expert foodies, with strong—and high—opinions of our fair city's dining scene, including the best breakfast burritos and the strongest cup of Joe around (both conveniently located within The LARK—they're loyal, our crew).
So read on for advice from a few of our Guides on where to fish a winter midge hatch; where to view an epic dinosaur fossil; which hike has the best payoff; and where to enjoy the best cocktails in town. But this is just a start, you'll have to meet the whole Guide team to hear it all.
If your timing is just right—and the weather cooperates—you can experience the best of Bozeman in a single day. It all begins the night before when the snow starts falling right after the lifts close at Bridger Bowl. Wake up at 5:30 a.m. and call the snow phone to hear what the evening storm has brought us. Gear up and head to Bridger on the double, and spend the first half of the day making epic turns until your legs are spent.
Then, if you're lucky (and packed your fishing gear and beer), and the temperature has crept passed 40 degrees in the valley (which happens more often than one would think), you can head to the river for a late afternoon of a winter midge hatch and be back before 5 p.m. for drinks and dinner. Cheers!
Bozeman is always gorgeous, but exploring it in the early morning hours allows you to really enjoy it in a unique and quiet way. Plus, there's no better way to start your day than some invigorating pre-breakfast exercise. Head east to Lindley Park and follow the marked trails along the beautiful green grass and shady trees up to Peet's Hill. Spend a few minutes on your plan of attack for the day as you take in the scenery. It's about a two-mile loop, but if you follow the trails a little further you can add more time to your exploration.
Come back to The LARK for a well-deserved cup of locally roasted Treeline Coffee Roasters coffee and tea from Townsend Teas, or a mug of hot cocoa, and commence with your perfectly awesome Montana day.
Hands down, the best place in town for a well-crafted cocktail is Plonk. Grab your crew and your favorite martini—or one of their many signature drinks, including, but not limited to, an amazing Manhattan and their distinctive sage margarita (high desert meets Mexico), and chill out to some lounge music.
Add on a scrumptious appetizer (get the Montana-raised beef skewers for some local flavor), a decadent dessert (fresh beignets, nom), or both, and you're in for a great night.
If you're looking for THE best dinner spot with a huge variety of choices on the menu, then Montana Ale Works is your jam. Their tagline sums it all up: Everything great about Bozeman. Think bison pot stickers, chicken enchiladas, fish and chips, and a mean burger with cowboy onions. Don't mind if I do. Their dessert menu is also to die for and service is excellent and very fast—a definite win-win.
Café Fresco is a new addition to the downtown Bozeman restaurant scene with fantastic Italian dishes and an exceptional wine list. It's open all day long, which means you can carbo load at your leisure. Cozy up to a big old plate of homemade pasta, indulge in one of their unique paninis, or tuck into a delish salad (which come in family-size portion options, BTW).
For your educational edification, the Museum of the Rockies makes paleontology fun! Check out their huge collection of dinosaur bones (the biggest in the country) and ogle at the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skull ever discovered. The Martin Children's Discover Center will keep the kiddos entertained and the Paugh Regional History Hall may just teach you a thing or two about what life was like for the native population and early Montana settlers infected with gold fever.
Pro tip: Bike the 1.5-mile Gallagator Linear Trail to the Museum. Then hit up McKenzie River Pizza for a well-deserved pie and a pint on your way back to The LARK.
There are more than 3.1 million acres of pristine wilderness right outside our front door in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, making it hard to go wrong whichever way you turn, but its Hyalite Canyon that holds sway over our hearts. Hike one of the four trails and marvel at Grotto and Arch falls, just two of the area's 10 waterfalls, then enjoy a picnic (and the beautiful views) on the shores of the placid Hyalite reservoir.
A little further south of Bozeman is Lava Lake, a lovely, moderate 6-mile hike with a huge pay-off in the form of spectacular views of Jumbo Mountain and other dramatic peaks that encircle the valley. Stop by for a soak in one of the nine pools at Bozeman Hot Springs on way back and you'll understand why people have been taking a dip in these warm, rejuvenating, mineral-rich waters since the late 1800s.
Students at Montana State have been whitewashing a giant M into the mountainside high above the city since 1915. These days, the College "M" Trail is a great, quick hike trail with beautiful views and stellar scenery the entire way up. It is about 3.5 miles and totally worth that old college try (sorry). Bring along your best canine buddy and bask in some Montana State Pride. #GoCatsGo!
To really experience Yellowstone, start your journey early – I'm talking 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. early. Not only do you beat the late morning crowds, but early dawn is one of the best times to see wildlife. I recommend beginning at the North entrance in Gardiner and ending at West Yellowstone. Don't forget to fill up on gas and grab some snacks as that will be your last major port!
Pass through the Roosevelt Arch and drive through Lamar Valley, a wildlife hotspot. Then head south from Tower Junction to see Tower Falls. Get out and explore, but be sure to stay on the marked paths! A must-see is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, and you'll see why. Continue south on the lower loop of the figure eight, drop a line, and enjoy your packed lunch at Yellowstone Lake.
Next up, head from the West Thumb to Madison Junction, and have your cameras ready! You're entering geyser country. Kepler Cascades is your first stop, and I highly recommend the short 15-minute hike to beautiful waterfalls on the Firehole River. And don't forget about Old Faithful, the most predictable and impressive geyser, which shoots up to 8,000 gallons of hot water every hour and a half. On your way through, make a stop in Old Faithful Inn to see amazing woodwork and the old historic building.
Grab dinner at West Yellowstone to fuel up for the last leg of your trip back to Bozeman. Keep an eye out for wildlife and enjoy the scenic, winding road along the Gallatin River. To end your long, adventurous day, stop by Bozeman Hot Springs to enjoy a soak before heading back to your comfy bed at The LARK.
Picking favorites is a personal, subjective thing, and that's how we roll here at The LARK. So here's the inside scoop on where we-our owners, staff and friends-like to go. The best part? These restaurants, coffee shops, breakfast spots, wine bars, bakeries, tea houses and more happen to be just a short walk from this Bozeman hotel's door.
Locally owned and widely regarded as serves up the best breakfast in town.
Local hot spot offering breakfast (served all day), lunch and monthly wine dinners.
Locally owned and operated bakery specializing in organic artisan breads and pastries.
Locally owned and specializing in American home cooking that embodies traditional Montana: simple food, simple environment, simple comforts.
Making everything from scratch using only the freshest ingredients sourced as locally as possible.
Voted "Bozeman's Best Breakfast" for seven consecutive years.
A bright and energetic vibe, Jam! offers unique twists on familiar breakfast fare, breakfast cocktails, and espresso drinks.
A taco joint with a winning attitude. Located at The LARK. Open March through December.
Offering tapas-style, small plate cuisine fusing Spanish ingredients with international flavors.
Wood-fired bread and pizza, salads, pasta, meat. Open nightly.
Neighborhood restaurant, serving home-style cuisine in the Emerson Cultural Center.
Excellent, made from scratch menu and a unique selection of Italian wines and local brews.
Retro-industrial railroad freight house turned award-winning restaurant and bar.
Handmade foods that nourish and satisfy body and soul. Offering lunch, happy hour, and dinner.
Bozeman's favorite neighborhood pub.
Beloved market and deli offering fabulous lunch options (and delicious breakfast bites as well).
An unpretentious, comfortable and friendly atmosphere combining great culinary traditions of the past as well as creative contemporary ideas in food and drink.
Dining, cocktails and an extensive wine cellar in a comfortable and engaging setting.
Over 125 Whiskeys, an American Grill themed menu, and specialty crafted cocktails.
Flavorful spirits produced with only pure Rocky Mountain water.
Confession: We here at The LARK like to shop, too. The good news? Downtown Bozeman is our favorite place to do it. Whether you are searching for clothes that make you feel at home here, looking to check out local art galleries, craving a new book or magazine, or wanting to find a uniquely Montana keepsake, your treasure can be found within walking distance of The LARK - a truly unique feature other hotels in Bozeman, MT can't offer.
A lifestyle boutique offering unique designer women's wear, beautiful jewelry, adorable baby gifts, fine body care lines, travel accessories, fabulous things for your home and more.
Footwear, clothing and gear for passionate outdoor-minded men and women.
A store just for guys.
A premier contemporary women's fashion boutique featuring premium denim, designer attire jewelry, accessories, and shoes.
Handpicked and handmade, wearable goods for both guys and gals created by the raddest makers around.
Offering apparel and equipment for sports minded women.
Offering beautifully designed, multi-use apparel.
An eclectic, contemporary art gallery.
A boutique that blends contemporary art, local and USA made handcrafted goods, ethically sourced clothing, and more.
Specializing in 19th and 20th century American, Western and sporting art.
Gallery showcaseing furniture, paintings, sculpture, light fixtures and jewelry.
Art, clothing, handcrafted goods, and more made by local and regional craftspeople.
Downtown Bozeman is where the heart and soul of the city resides. You can experience it during parades throughout the year, Music on Main, local Artwalks, movies, author readings, live theatre, and so much more. When you dive into our local entertainment, you take away a bit more of this town than meets the eye. Plus, we guarantee you'll have a great time - whether you stay with us or the other motels in Bozeman, MT.
Open June – September offering locally grown produce, local musicians, and artful creations.
Presenting the very best in the performing arts in the historic Ellen Theater.
Studios, art galleries, boutiques, shops and the Crawford Theater.
A world-class museum known for its vast collection of dinosaur fossils.
Getting a handle on where to go and what to do outside in Southwest Montana can be overwhelming. But you're in luck, because we live and play here, and we can help focus your itinerary from motels in Bozeman, MT to the best fly fishing in the West!
Looking to fly fish? No problem. Or maybe you’d like to choose a nearby peak to tackle? The mountain biking here is great, too. Oh, you’d rather tool around on the in-town trails to start?
It’s like that—a conversation we’re looking forward to having with you to pinpoint where your interests intersect with all that this Northern Rockies playground has to offer. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Local fly fishing guides and fly shop.
Montana fly fishing reports, guides and gear.
A full-service fly fishing shop.
Fly Fishing in the Greater Yellowstone Area on some of the most pristine rivers in the country.
Great guides and Montana's largest selection of fly fishing packages.
Ski in the cold smoke and experience 60 years of grassroots community skiing.
The biggest skiing in America.
Premier guide service for ice and rock climbing, with over 20 years of guiding experience in the Bozeman and Big Sky, Montana areas.
A popular local hiking destination.
Located 10.5 miles up Hyalite Canyon.
Located 20 miles north of Bozeman on Highway 86.
Follows Cascade Creek through a thick evergreen forest.
A moderate and dog friendly 2.1 mile loop trail.
Bikes, skis, clothing and more.
Bikes for all terrains, bike accessories, and skis.
A local bicycle repair and rental shop.
A scenic crushed gravel trail heading South from Lindley Park.
A popular family bike and running trail that runs diagonally for more than 1.5 miles.
Not finding what you're after? Check out what our friends at the Downtown Bozeman Association recommend – another great resource for the best of Bozeman!