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Montana Stops on the Way

7 Places to Find Food and Lore in Billings, Montana

Northeast of Yellowstone, find a brewery district, gluten-free pancakes and Old West charm in Billings, Mont., A city of 110,000.

1. Walkable Brewery Tour

Billings Brew Trail northeast of Yellowstone
Billings Brew Trail northeast of Yellowstone Photo: Courtesy Visit Billings

Reason to Go: Visit six breweries, two distilleries and a cider mill on this 1.5-mile stroll past outdoor patios.

Access: Start at Thirsty Street at the Garage with a Rimrock’d Amber and end with a Skypoint IPA at Montana Brewing Co.

2. Stella’s Kitchen and Bakery

Breakfast at Stella's in Billings, Mont. Photo by Mike Willis via Flickr
Breakfast at Stella’s in Billings, Mont. Photo by Mike Willis via FlickrPhoto by Mike Willis via Flickr

Reason to Go: Legendary among locals, this downtown breakfast establishment serves up traditional morning food with stellar baked goods and even gluten-free pancakes.

Quirky Fact: Pancakes here may be larger than your head.

3. The Northern Hotel

The lobby and fireplace at the Northern Hotel in Billings.
The lobby and fireplace at the Northern Hotel in BillingsPhoto courtesy Northern Hotel

Reason to Go: This elegant historic hotel has been voted “best hotel in Billings” for eight consecutive years. It features two fantastic restaurants: Bernie’s Diner for breakfast and lunch and TEN for upscale atmosphere and innovative Montana cuisine.

Quirky Fact: Break all the rules and order the “Vacation Breakfast” at Bernie’s – it’s chocolate cake coupled with a chocolate milkshake.

4. Swords Rimrock Park

Overlooking Billings at Swords Rimrock Park
Overlooking Billings at Swords Rimrock ParkCourtesy Visit Billings

Reason to Go: Walk, bike or skateboard along the 4.5-mile, ADA-accessible pathway that runs the length of the city-owned park located along the top of the Rimrocks, a geologic formation.

Trivia: These sandstone bluffs surround the city and are estimated to be at least 70 million years old. On a clear day, five mountain ranges can be seen from the trail: Pryor, Big Horn, Bull, Crazy and Absaroka-Beartooth.

5. Pictograph Cave State Park

Pictograph Cave State Park.
Pictograph Cave State Park. Photo courtesy Visit Billings

Reason to Go: See warriors and animals painted on rock walls by ancient people more than 2,000 years ago in Pictograph Cave just five miles south of Billings. The cave is 160 feet wide and 45 feet deep.

Quirky Fact: Archaeologists have discovered more than 30,000 artifacts, including tools and weapons here.

6. Pompeys Pillar National Monument

Pompeys Pillar National Monument near Billings
Pompeys PillarCourtesy Visit Billings

Reason to Go: On their return route after reaching the Pacific Ocean, members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition stopped here and Clark engraved his first initial and last name, along with the date, July 25, 1806, into the rock.

Quirky Fact: The rock is named after Sacagawea’s child, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, also known as “Pomp.”

7. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

Battle Monument at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument near Billings
Battle monumentCourtesy Visit Billings
The site where General Custer was fell at the Battle of Little Bighorn
The site where General Custer fell at the Battle of Little BighornLoren Kerns via Flickr

Reason to Go: See the site recognizing the June 25-26, 1876, battle where the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry fought Sioux and Cheyenne Indians in one of their final armed efforts to preserve their way of life.

Quirky Fact: Sixty miles from Billings, this is the third most-visited place in Montana.

For more information:
Billings Visitor Center
(406) 252-4016, (800) 735-2635
815 S. 27 St., Billings, MT 59107
www.visitbillings.com