You’ll find sapphires, a palace of sorts and healing pools tucked into the gentle folding hillsides and valleys of this swath of southwestern Montana.
In Philipsburg, there’s a version of the big rock candy mountain about which Burl Ives sang. It’s made of sapphires and sweets. First, indulge in the handmade candies in The Sweet Palace downtown. 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.
Down the street is Sapphire Gallery where you can buy a bag of gravel with local sapphires in it for $25. Staff will use screens to clean and sort the gravel for you to help you 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.”
Thirty miles away take a dip at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in Anaconda, Mont., where its owners have invested more than $11 million in upgrades to guest rooms, dining room, the indoor pool and beyond during the last 8-9 years. Home to two Olympic-sized pools and two hot soaking pools, you can rest your road-weary muscles or get a workout. A 350-foot-high enclosed waterslide provides adrenaline-fueled fun, and an 18-hole golf course enables you to experience Montana from a different perspective.
For more information:
Get your Philipsburg Travel Package
The Sweet Palace
109 E. Broadway, Philipsburg, MT 59858
Closed on Saturdays
115 E Broadway, Philipsburg, MT 59858
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
(800) 332-3272 or (406) 797-3241
1500 Fairmont Rd, exit 211, Fairmont, MT 59711