A small mountain town features gorgeous views, local art, and the Montana Winter Fair.
Smack in the middle of Montana, this historic small town with big mountain views attracts visitors from all directions. From January 30 to February 1, the main draws are the livestock, working dogs, fiddlers, quilts, and cupcakes at the Montana Winter Fair (montanawinterfair.com), an annual celebration of rural life in Big Sky Country. Area code is 406.
1 In winter, the nearby Big Snowy Mountains live up to their name. To experience them up close, rent cross-country skis at the civic center and head to popular spots such as Rock Creek Ski Trail and Green Pole. Or if you prefer, glide around Lewistown’s 20 miles of walking trails. Civic center, 309 Fifth Ave. S., 535-3045.
2 Big Spring Creek flows year-round beneath the Montana Tavern, allowing patrons to peer down through a Plexiglas window to spot brown and rainbow trout. Stick around for cold beer and enjoy a jukebox stacked with country tunes. 202 W. Main St., 535-3674.
3 Don’s Store offers Lewistown’s largest selection of brilliant Yogo sapphires, mined in the Little Belt Mountains. Prices range from $100 to $6,000. Too much? Consider cowboy boots or locally made chokecherry jam. 538-9408, dons-store.com.
4 The Lewistown Art Center hosts monthly gallery shows featuring area artists. Browse the gift shop for paintings, sculptures, woolen scarves, jewelry, and ironworks such as pointedly beautiful deer-head coat hooks. 535-8278, lewistownartcenter.org.
5 Locals love the Mint Bar and Grill, an upscale hangout in a brick and neon building that serves walleye fillets, rib eye, and house-made white chocolate cheesecake. 113 Fourth Ave. S., 535-9925.
This article was first published in January 2015. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.