O Give me a Home
"Montana: Big Sky Country!"
Montana is one of the most breathtaking and clean places I have ever visited. The skies are so clear there, you might wonder why you choose to live in so much smog each day.... The only two things missing which prevent me from moving there are the ocean and a large city nearby. The small and simple life definitely makes for a relaxing getaway, but would not offer enough variety to suit my needs.
Missoula itself offers much to do in the way of shopping and eateries because it is home to the University of Montana. There is excellent hiking on Mt. Sentinel and other surrounding mountains and there is a lake famous for trout fishing and great for swimming within an hour's drive.
"The Old West"
If you would like to see an old ghost town, no longer inhabited, but incredibly well preserved, I highly recommend a visit to Garnet. It has not been inhabited since the early 1900's, but it is easy to imagine the town functioning, despite the fact that physical walls are missing on many of the structures. This town is similar to what I imagine Laura Ingalls Wilder might have lived in as a young girl.
It takes about an hour and a half to get to Garnet from Missoula, and you will have to take a one lane, unpaved road up a mountain to get there, so I recommend a four wheel drive, although I made the trip in a 2 wheel drive sportscar, so it is possible to be without an SUV.
I can provide directions, and will do so here once I find them again.