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10 Reasons We Love Summer in Missoula

Missoula is a four-seasons kind of place, and after experiencing fall colors, a winter wonderland, and the wildflowers of spring, we are ready for summer days in Missoula. Caras Park comes alive with weekly events, summer concerts seem to take place nightly, and all three of the rivers flowing through Missoula are ready to be explored.

If you’re planning a stay in Missoula this summer, you’re probably wondering where to start. Here are 10 things we’re looking forward to this summer in Missoula:

#1 Patio lounging

Our first reason is so simple, yet so wonderful. We love grabbing a beer or a bite to eat on the many outdoor patios scattered throughout Missoula. Breweries like Highlander offer giant outdoor pavilions, complete with cornhole, a taco truck and the flowing waters of Grant Creek. Downtown, restaurants like Plonk Wine Bar offer a secret hideaway on their rooftop patio. Finally, top your day off with a cozy night under the stars at the Comfort Inn’s fire pit.

#2 River recreation

Like we said, Missoula offers not one but THREE beautiful rivers for those looking to go with the flow. Grab a tube and a six pack of local beer (cans, no glass on the rivers!) for a lazy float down the river, or find one of our many local guides to bring you on a whitewater adventure! If you’d rather keep your feet on dry land, take a stroll on the Riverfront Trail along the Clark Fork River.

#3 Cold, locally-brewed beer

Missoula’s craft beer scene is a year-round treat, but there’s nothing like a cold beer after a long day in the summer sun. Whether you’re grabbing yours to-go at local grocers like the Good Food Store, or enjoying your pint on a brewery patio, it’s bound to be the perfect cool down. Luckily, you’re surrounded by local breweries when you stay at the Comfort Inn.

#4 Hiking trails around every corner

The trails of Missoula have emerged after a long winter covered in snow, and it’s the perfect time to experience Missoula on foot. Blue Mountain Recreation Area and the Rattlesnake Area are a short drive from your room at the Comfort Inn, offering endless trails to explore. For a short hike that leads to epic views of Missoula, try one of these iconic hikes just miles away from the Comfort Inn.

#5 Family fun in the sun

There is no shortage of family-friendly fun to be had in Missoula, especially in the summer. Venture to Caras Park to explore the Dragon Hollow Play Area and take a ride on the carousel. If you can stand some creepy crawlers, head to the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium. Finally, put the final cherry on top of your family day in Missoula with a scoop from Big Dipper Ice Cream.  

#6 Outdoor summer concerts

It just wouldn’t be Missoula without the endless stream of live music. Between the KettleHouse and Big Sky amphitheatres, the Ogren Park stadium, Caras Park concerts and music-filled patios across town, there’s a show for everyone. Get ready to kick off your shoes and dance!

#7 Local goods at farmers markets

Here in Missoula, we love keeping it local. Stroll through a farmers market to pick up local food, crafts, plants, beverages and more. The Clark Fork Market and Missoula People’s Market take place downtown every Saturday. For something off the beaten path, try heading to Highlander Brewing on a Monday for their summer Monday Markets.

#8 Biking everywhere

Missoula is biker-friendly, whether you want to cruise to your next dinner date or hit the trails on a mountain bike. For all of our visitors who had to leave their wheels at home, we provide free bike rentals so you can ride around town in style.

#9 Summer events

Missoula makes it easy to keep yourself busy in the summer with annual events for locals and visitors alike. Downtown ToNight offers weekly live concerts, food vendors and a beer and wine garden every Thursday in Caras Park. Every Saturday we enjoy multiple farmers markets, and the first friday of each month is always a celebration as local businesses open their door to display art and connect with the community.

#10 Griz and Osprey games

You won’t have to explore Missoula long to realize we’ve got a lot of love for our local teams. Watching a Missoula Osprey home game is about so much more than baseball—they offer everything from kid-friendly activities, to an all-you-can-eat lounge, to wine slushies. Once we start nearing the end of summer, Griz football games bring large crowds and lively celebrations to Missoula.

Photo courtesy of Destination Missoula