Photo courtesy of Destination Missoula.
When you’re lucky enough to live among the stunning landscape and cultural vibrancy of Western Montana, you don’t have to travel far to feel like you’re on vacation. We’ve got mountain backdrops in every view, local events every weekend, and outdoor adventure outside our own backdoor. With Labor Day right around the corner, and a three-day weekend on our radar, many people are planning a different kind of vacation—the “staycation.”
A staycation is all about experiencing the amazing places we live with a new perspective, minus all the work and clutter of our day-to-day lives. Missoula is a magical city overflowing with art and culture, delicious food, outdoor adventure and more, but we get too busy to slow down and take it all in. Get out of the house and treat yourself to a weekend staycation this Labor Day, and see Missoula through a new lens. Here are some ways to make your Missoula staycation one to remember:
Relax in an Enlyten Float Tank
When did finding time to relax become so hard? If you’re juggling family, friends, work and life in general, chances are you aren’t squeezing in enough time for true tranquility. Netflix on the couch won’t cut it for this staycation—try booking something special, like a session in a float tank at Enlyten Lab Float Center. Aside from their innovative float therapy, Enlyten offers massage, yoga, meditation and an infrared sauna.
Hike above the city for a sunset picnic
We live in an exceptionally beautiful place, but are we really taking in the views? Set aside an evening to appreciate Missoula from above, and choose one of the popular hikes surrounding the city. For a classic Missoula hike, head up the M trail by the University of Montana. For a different view of downtown Missoula, try Waterworks Hill.
Sample new restaurants
When you find that special dish at your favorite restaurant, it can be hard to branch out and try something new rather than stick to what you know. But staycations are about breaking free from your usual routine, and that means sampling new local flavors! A lot of new restaurants have been popping up in Missoula in the past year—Saketome, Wally and Buck and Second Set Bistro to name a few.
Trade the microbrew for a handcrafted cocktail
The average Missoulian loves a good craft brew, and many of us frequent local breweries for after-work and weekend hangouts. If beer is your go-to, use this staycation as an opportunity to mix it up! Local distilleries offer unique cocktails made with small-batch spirits, as well as distillery tours and tastings.
Find your new favorite outdoor activity
Do you love to hit the hiking trails every weekend? Or maybe you can’t get enough of floating season? Lucky for us, Missoula offers endless activities indoors and out to choose from. We challenge you to use your staycation for something NEW! Ride through the Bitterroot Valley on horseback with Dunrovin Ranch, or try your hand at fly-fishing with local guides. Your favorite activities will still be there when you go back to normal life next weekend.
Park the car and travel by foot or bike
Missoula is an increasingly easy city to navigate by bike or on foot, but it can be easy to fall into the routine of driving everywhere when we’re strapped for time. Think of your staycation as an opportunity to slow things down and appreciate the journey, even if that journey is a short bike ride to try a new lunch spot. If you don’t have bikes, or simply don’t feel like packing bikes on your staycation, take advantage of the free cruiser bike rentals offered to all Comfort Inn guests.
Bonus Tip: Unplug! We know you’ve heard it before, but unplugging from the endless stream of calls, texts and emails can be the greatest treat of all on your staycation. Your phone, and those emails, will still be there when you get back to the hotel room.