Philipsburg, Montana's Big Rock Candy Mountain

You’ll find sapphires and a palace of sorts tucked into the gentle folding hillsides and valleys of this swath of southwestern Montana.
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Flower-strewn streets of Philipsburg

Flower-strewn streets of Philipsburg

With flowers and gorgeously restored historic buildings lining its main street, Philipsburg is one of Montana's most charming towns.

It’s a place that makes you want to sit on one of its benches along the sidewalk and watch the world go by. But first, you need to indulge in the town's enormous handmade candy store, The Sweet Palace. It's  a version of the Big Rock Candy Mountain about which Burl Ives sang. Amid the Victorian-era decor, you’ll find 50 kinds of fudge, 20 types of caramel and incredible treats like Dark Chocolate Premium Moose Truffles made with Moose Drool Brown Ale by Big Sky Brewing Co.

The pink interior of the Sweet Palace in Philipsburg, Mont.

The pink interior of the Sweet Palace in Philipsburg, Mont.

Next door is Sapphire Gallery where you can buy a bag of gravel with local sapphires in it for $25. Staff will show you how to use screens to clean and sort the gravel to uncover the sapphires. You can have the gallery heat-treat them to enhance their color or fashion them into jewelry.

“Everyone loves finding treasure," says co-owner Shirley Beck. “It's material that has been waiting for them in the ground for a long time: about 50 million years.”

Hunting for sapphires

Hunting for sapphires

But Philipsburg itself is a treasure, and you may find it hard to get back into the car when its time to leave.

“Philipsburg has activities and shops, eateries and photo opportunities, but at the end of your visit we just make you feel good. It's magic," Beck says. 

For more information:

Get your Philipsburg Travel Package
(888) 793-3896
visitphilipsburg.com

The Sweet Palace
(888) 793-3896
109 E. Broadway, Philipsburg, MT 59858
Closed on Saturdays
www.sweetpalace.com

Sapphire Gallery
(800) 525-0169
115 E Broadway, Philipsburg, MT 59858
www.sapphiregallery.com

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