A great little town to raise children in
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There is a trail along the Missouri River from which you can see and photograph the middle three Great Falls. It's a long haul so most people either bike it or drive from location to location and stroll on the trail to viewpoints. The middle three are Rainbow Falls, Crooked Falls and Coulter's Falls. Coulter's is now a lake behind one of the...more
If you visit Great Falls, be sure to see the Great Falls and Ryan Dam. Important proviso: the best views are from an island at the foot of the falls, but the power company, which owns the island, closes the island, the park and the viewpoint between Labor Day and Mother's Day. Lewis first viewed the falls on 13 June 1805 and called them the...more
When I was a child we used to be able to drive to Giant Springs along an old road that runs down by the river. They have closed that road to cars now, but you can bicycle there. The steep cliff wall houses many birds. If you choose to drive, there is a nice park for picnics and a fish hatchery. Giant springs is one of the the largest fresh water...more
In the "Golden Age' of railroads, the train station was often considered the gateway to a city, and most towns and rail lines tried to outdo each other in creating the most impressive building in town. This depot in Great Falls is a perfect example of that. Rising high above the prairie, the 135 foot tower still dominates the skyline. While no...more
Black Eagle Falls is probably the least impressive of the 3 major waterfalls in the Great Falls area. But it's still worth a look, and it is the most accessible. It's located right in town along the riverside trail, plus it can be accessed from the north end of the Missouri River as well. There is an island park on the north side that gives a...more
While not quite as dramatic as the Great Falls of the Missouri, Rainbow Falls might actually be a prettier, more scenic waterfall. The red rocks add to the beauty,and sheer dropoff makes Rainbow Falls resemble a smaller version of Niagra Falls. Plus it's a little easier to get to from town. It's located just east of the Lewis and Clark Interprative...more
One of the few things that Merriweather Lewis knew for sure about the uncharted lands he was set to explore with his Corps of Discovery was that there existed a "great falls" on the Missouri River. What he didn't anticipate was that just beyond the Great Falls, there were a series of 4 other waterfalls. His predicted half day bypass of the falls,...more
For hundreds of years, before the arrival of Europeans and the introduction of the horse, the most effective way for the Plains Indians to kill buffalo was through a Buffalo Jump. Simply put, the wild buffalo were herded up a plateau where they were induced to stampede off a cliff. The tribe then had easy pickings of the buffalo meat and hides to...more
Charles Russell was a cowboy artist. This is a dramatic oversimplification of his work. More than a simple cowboy artist, Charles Russell brought to life on canvas the end of an era in the American West. With a supurb mix of humor, pathos and excitement, Russell brought to life the cattle ranchers and Native Americans who occupied the Great Plains...more
Located a few miles east of the city of Great Falls, on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River, this museum gives an excellent overview of the Lewis and Clark expedition. You begin by watching a short film by documentary director Ken Burns, which tells the story of the Corps of Discovery in typical Ken Burns fashion. (This film alternates with...more
Each of these places are of interest and you should put them on your list of things to do while in Great Falls. Don't forget the Charles Russell Museum. It was too dark for a good photo by the time we arrived there. He is a western artist similar to Remington.more
The best thing I was able to do is alot of walking and biking, there is nothing around for miles, and the solitude was wonderful. Most of the area I was in was flat, with a few hills which made it a good place to explore. If you decide to do some exploring, be sure to take warm clothing and a bottle of water, it got very cold and windy.more
1801 Market Place Drive, Great Falls, Montana, 59404, United States
Good for: Families
2520 14th St Southwest, Great Falls, Montana, 59405, United States
Good for: Families
201 3rd Street Northwest, Great Falls, Montana, 59404, United States
Good for: Couples
Small coffeehouse and bakery on 2nd Ave N. A favorite of locals, either picking up coffee and baked goods, or staying awhile to visit with friends. One table had a group of ladies drinking coffee, knitting, and chatting about the week's events.Scones are excellent and rival anything I have tasted in cities around the world. On Saturday mornings...more
After a few stops and starts at other area restaurants that weren't what I was after, I settled on B&E. I would liken this place to a nicer Fridays or Applebees. They had a bar area, and a good sized menu with sandwiches and entrees. They also had live music the night I was there, and the singer was decent. After debating a little, I went with a...more
Well here is the food choice of Great Falls, well there is a few good resturaunts but nothing to rave about, so this is the land of Tacos and fast food. The moment you see a new resturaunt being built up, dont hold your breath, the same restuant is already there but on the other side of town. How many KFC's and TAco treats do you need? Nothing is...more
Dress Code: Casual everywhere, western attire is commonly worn. Dress Western acceptable in nicer places, casual or working western is also acceptable even in nicer places but common on the street. Leave the tux at home, jewelery is commonly and safely worn daily in the area.
Most local bus systems in the United States have a transit hub downtown where many lines converge and make for an easy transfer. These are usually located in a former parking lot, open to the elements, with just a glass canopy and possibly a wind break. The Great Falls Transit District has come up with a novel idea. And it's a good one. They converted a closed down Greyhound station into their Transfer Center. Passengers can wait indoors, out of the elements for their connecting city bus. And the building itself is a neat "Art Moderne" style structure from 1947. More cities can follow this simple, yet perfect idea.
Weather can be unpredictable in winter. Special considerations such as road closures, wind chills to seventy below, actual temps to 35 below are possible though the winter is often generally and deceptively mild.
Once you've discovered what Great Falls has to offer, check out these unique destinations just a short drive from the big town. The scenery alone is worth the drive!
1. Dinosaur History and Digs - begin in the town of Choteau (it’s pronounced Show-Toe). Its history reaches back to the time of the dinosaurs. The area was a breeding ground for dinosaurs millions of years ago. Egg Mountain, 12 miles west of Choteau, is the first site in North America where dinosaur egg shell fragments, nests, and babies were discovered. This one site has provided more information about dinosaur biology than any other dig in the world. Just 15 minutes north of Choteau are Bynum and Two Medicine Dinosaur Center. Two Medicine offers paleontology displays and programs, including dinosaur digs, for adults and children. In addition to Choteau and Bynum, museums in Rudyard, Havre, Chinook and Harlowton offer displays about significant dinosaur discoveries in their area. For more information visit http://www.russell.visitmt.com/dinosaurs/dinotrail.htm. These are a true find for any dino lover.
2. Fort Benton - the birth place of Montana. Travelers can walk along the mighty Missouri River and imagine a time when steamboats were the fastest way to get to the West. As the last stop on the Missouri River before the great falls, Fort Benton was a transfer station for all goods as they came in by steamboat and were sent west on freight wagons pulled by teams of oxen. The town is home to three museums where visitors can get a closer look at artifacts from the glory days of steamboats, as well as, the Grand Union Hotel, the oldest operating hotel in Montana. Spend the night in a historic room with modern living conveniences or stop by the restaurant for a decadent dinner that won’t soon be forgotten. Fort Benton is a gateway to the scenic and geographically unique Upper Missouri Wild and Scenic River.
3. Belt - the first coal mine in Montana. This charming town is set in the rolling hills of Montana. Plan a stop at the Belt Museum, housed in the original city jail dating back to 1895. The museum’s exhibits include a historic jail cell, a coal mine replica, records and photos, and works of local artists. Belt is also home to Harvest Moon Brewery, famous for two award-winning beers and six other varieties. This one-of-a-kind brewery offers tours and samples, as well as a gift shop.
4. King’s Hill Scenic Byway. This is a journey, not a destination. Take a two-hour drive that will lead you along 71 miles of highway that pass right through one of Montana’s most majestic mountain ranges. The byway winds along pristine mountain springs and creeks and is home to abundant wildlife. At the end of this scenic treat, you’ll find yourself in White Sulphur Springs. The town is named for the white deposits caused by hot water bubbling in the city’s public park. Spa Hot Springs Motel taps the water for visitors to enjoy a soak in the naturally occurring warm springs. This is a can't miss treat you have to try!
The United States Air Force. Specifically, the Minuteman Missile. These complexes were located in a 500 mile range of Great Falls (furtherest Eastern site to the furtherest Western site). A launch control facility controlled 10 missile complexes. I had the responsibility for visiting all of these on a periodic basis. My favorite memory is the soup...more
This city part alongside the Missouri River is serene and peaceful. However, the memory it has best for me is in the winter. The shallow duck pond would freeze over and it was transformed into a magical, winterland ice skating rink. Watching my daughter play in this park. A great place to bring your family, summer or winter, and decompress.more