A Night in Missoula: Where to Go and What to Do

A spectacular view of Missoula from Mount Sentinel. Photo by Prizrak 2084.

Missoula Sunset by Prizrak 2084, CC BY 2.0

Any day-tripping visitor to Missoula is spoiled with things to do, from hiking the wilderness trails to kayaking on the Clark Fork River to mountain biking through a national forest. But what happens when the sun sets, and you want to relax after a hard day’s exploring? Well, Missoula is jam-packed with places to eat, drink and let your hair down.

Let’s start off with food. Missoula is crammed with high-quality eateries to suit all tastes. Mackenzie River Pizza Company has two restaurants in town, one north and one south, but both serve scrumptious gourmet pizzas until late. Be sure to check out their more unusual offerings such as the Thai Pie or the Sequoia. A no-fuss restaurant that caters to a wide range of appetites, Mackenzie River Pizza Company does not compromise on taste or ingredients. Note that they cater well to veggies and offer gluten-free bases, too!

If your culinary tastes lean more toward East Asian cuisine than pizza, head over to IZA Restaurant for green curry or Szechuan vegetable stir fry. All their dishes are made fresh with top-quality ingredients and are, therefore, highly customizable according to preference, mood or dietary requirements. The dishes are beautifully presented, and the atmosphere is warm and intimate. You have to try their delectable Japanese mochi ice-cream, too!

So, you’ve finished your meal and now you’re looking for evening entertainment. Don’t worry, Missoula has lots to offer! The city is home to a great selection of live music venues like the beautiful and intimate The Wilma or the loud and lively Top Hat. Monk’s Bar offers a rough-around-the-edges space to see local bands while the Union Club Bar offers somewhere to let loose during one of their open mic nights or karaoke events.

If sitting down to a chilled game of poker is more your thing, then Missoula has plenty of places. The city is well versed in the game, holding regular live tournaments and laying claim to one of the most successful online players ever. At the 2010 WCOOP Main Event, Tyson Marks, a Missoula native, won over $2 million dollars. For your shot at matching Marks’ prize, head to Flippers for a friendly, hometown feel or the Laughing Grizzly for something a little swankier.

When the wee hours of the night are approaching, you’ll be looking for one of two things: either a neighborhood bar where you can sit and while away the evening with a drink in hand or somewhere comfy to lay your head. Missoula offers both. The Tamarack has a low-key, relaxed vibe to it and has the added advantage of brewing its own beer. The Oxford, however, is a real old-fashioned saloon bar; it’s open 24 hours and has become a beloved local institution over the years. Well worth checking out!

When it comes to somewhere to spend the night, Missoula has plenty of accommodations on offer. If you’re looking for a luxury, tailored experience, then you must try the Gibson Mansion Bed & Breakfast, complete with a gourmet breakfast in the morning! Or for something a little more budget friendly, check into one of Missoula’s charming locally run hotels like the welcoming C’Mon Inn. Wherever you end up, you’re sure to enjoy your stay in Montana’s Garden City.