Skip to Content
Saved Flights

Your Saved Flights

No Saved Flights

  • Overview

    The leisurely city of Billings, with its central location and international airport, is the gateway to Montana and the perfect base from which to explore the many attractions of this northwest state. Founded in 1882, the small city is situated on the Yellowstone River at the base of the Rimrocks, a set of distinctive rock formations. It was named for a former president of the Northern Pacific Railway, Frederick Billings, who piloted the railway line across Montana. Today, Billings remains an economic and transport hub for the state, and also serves as its welcome mat for tourism.

    The city is filled with hotels, motels, and B&Bs. Its modern complexes like MetraPark and the Expo Center offers facilities for rodeos, concerts, and variety of other events like the Montana Fair. Its broad, tree-lined avenues also boast a variety of attractions. Museums and galleries such as the Yellowstone Art Museum, the Alberta Bair Theater, the interactive Western Heritage Center, and preserved historic buildings like the Moss Mansion. Within a day's drive of the city are three stunning national parks, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Teton.

    Moss Mansion Historic House

    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Moss Mansion was the home of the Preston Boyd Moss family built in 1903 and has been preserved to capture the family life of the well-to-do. Designed by New York architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh best-known for creating New York's Waldorf Astoria, its most of the original fixtures are still in the house which visitors can view during informative guided tours of the property. The SpringFest is an annual favourite, with many artists, chefs, and artisans showing off their wares. Moss Mansion is also available for private rental.

    Moss Mansion, Billings, Montana Moss Mansion, Billings, Montana Jaydec
    Western Heritage Center

    Affiliated to the Smithsonian Institution, the Western Heritage Center in downtown Billings has a collection of more than 16,000 artefacts documenting the life, culture and history of the Yellowstone River Valley and the Northern High Plains. The building itself is considered its most valuable treasure, having been built in 1901 and existing on the National Register of Historic Places. Alongside constantly changing exhibitions drawing around 22,000 annual visitors, the centre also hosts activities like lectures, storytelling hours and scavenger hunts. Be sure to check the website for schedules.

    Website: www.ywhc.org
    The Western Heritage Center in
Billings The Western Heritage Center in Billings ALH
    Yellowstone Art Museum

    Montana's premier art museum, the popular Yellowstone Art Museum exhibits contemporary and historic art of the Rocky Mountains West region. Established in 1984, it now contains more than 3,000 works, including the Virginia Snook Collection, the largest public display of the drawings, paintings, books and memorabilia of cowboy illustrator Will James. The museum hosts events throughout the year, including art auctions and semi-annual festivals.

    Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings Sara Goth
    ZooMontana

    Montana's zoological park and botanical garden hosts around 70,000 visitors a year and is one of the state's most popular tourist attractions, the only zoo within 600 miles (965km) of Billings. With pristine natural habitats, the complex covers 70 acres (28 ha) to the west of the city. It exhibits animals and plants native to the northern Rockies and high plains, and similar latitudes in Europe and Asia. The grounds have also recently opened up as a concert venue, with musicians and fans alike revelling in the gorgeous surrounds.

    Zoo Montana, Billings Zoo Montana, Billings Montanabw

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Billings has a semi-arid climate, with low humidity all year round. Summers (June to August) are sunny, warm and pleasant, with average temperatures between 52°F (11°C) and 87°F (31°C); and autumn is a particularly lovely season with spells of 'Indian summer'. The first frost usually comes at the end of September. Winter (December to February) brings fairly heavy snowfalls, but snow does not accumulate; average winter temperatures stay between 18°F (-8°C) and 40°F (4°C). Warm 'Chinook' winds, during February and March, keep late winter and early spring mild and pleasant.

    Billings Logan International Airport
    Location: The airport is two miles (3km) northwest of Billings.
    Time: GMT -7 (GMT -6 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
    Getting to the city: Many hotels offer a shuttle sevice, and there is a taxi service available at the airport. A shuttle service also provides a service to and from the airport but should be pre-arranged. Ride-hailing services are also available.
    Car Rental: Enterprise, Thrifty, Dollar, Hertz, National, Alamo, Avis, and Budget have car rental facilities at the airport.
    Airport Taxis: City Cab, MET Transit, Red Lodge Tour and Taxi, Magic City V.I.P. and Yellow Cab service the airport. However, it is a good idea to book airport taxis in advance. Ride-hailing services are also available.
    Facilities: ATMs are situated in the main lobby. There is a fine dining restaurant, deli, gift shop, information booth, play areas for children, and the Peter Yegen Jr. Yellowstone County Museum opposite the terminal building.
    Parking Short-term parking is about $2 for the first 30 minutes, and $1.50 for each additional 30 minutes up to $15 for 24 hours. Long-term parking is about $2.50 for the first hour, and $1.50 for each additional 30 minutes, up to $9 per day.

    Billings' downtown area can be a bit confusing for visitors, as it was designed on a grid system with numbered avenues increasing numerically both to the north and south of Montana Avenue, and numbered streets crossing it from east to west. The central area is compact and can be explored on foot. Most visitors, however, prefer to rent a car to explore the city and outskirts. The city bus service is the Billings MET Transit, which is easy to use. MET buses stop at most corners and at stops with a distinctive blue and green sign. Exact fares are required, paid to the driver. Buses run from 5.50am to 6.40pm on weekdays and from 8.10am to 5.45pm on Saturdays. There are no buses on Sundays or major public holidays.

    Billings, an old railroad town in Montana with humble beginnings, is a unique destination offering a big city appeal as well as access to open spaces and beautiful landscapes.

    History is a key drawcard to this city. Visitors to the Pictograph Cave State Park can venture to the prehistoric era with its cave paintings over 2,000 years old, still in their original state. The Western Heritage Center in downtown Billings, home to over 16,000 historical artefacts from the Yellowstone River Valley, is a popular choice with history buffs, as is the Moss Mansion Historic House. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 1903-built Moss Mansion has been preserved to capture family life as it was way back when in the state of Montana and draws in many visitors each year.

    For those with a penchant for the arts, the Yellowstone Art Museum is a most memorable stop with exhibits of both contemporary and historic art from the Rocky Mountain West. Billings is also home to a Performing Arts Center as well as several theatres and a symphony orchestra.

    Visitors in search of some open space and natural beauty need only take a short drive to the Chico Hot Springs set in the aptly-named Paradise Valley. Chico Hot Springs is home to two open-air mineral pools as well as many outdoors activities such as horseback riding, hiking, white-water rafting, fly fishing, and more. A drive to Missoula will prove a unique excursion filled as it is with hippies and students.

    With a history of providing visitors with much to explore, as well as some incredible outdoor activities, Billings makes for a memorable visit.

    Custer National Forest

    The Custer National Forest is scattered across Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, but the forest headquarters are in Billings, Montana and most hiking and camping is undertaken in the part of the forest located about an hour's drive to the south of the city. Custer is the most ecologically diverse forest in the north of the USA, renowned for its lake and stream fishing and home to mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black bear, cougar and moose. A popular outing from Billings is to follow the spectacular Beartooth Scenic Byway, with the area being one of the gateways to Yellowstone National Park.

    Custer National Forest Custer National Forest Forest Service Northern Region
    Yellowstone National Park

    The world's first national park, Yellowstone was established in 1872. Despite its popularity today, most of the park still remains an undeveloped wilderness of magnificent mountains, waterfalls, alpine lakes, and rivers. It is renowned for its geothermal wonders and abundance of wildlife. Spilling over into Wyoming and Idaho, the enormous park is situated on top of the Yellowstone Caldera, a collapsed volcanic crater that was formed 600,000 years ago and holds within it the greatest geothermal area in the world. This unique environment includes features such as exploding geysers, thousands of steaming fumaroles, hot springs, and bubbling mud pools. The park also includes one of the state's most popular attractions, Old Faithful, a geyser which draws thousands of tourists to witness its regular eruption of steaming water. Yellowstone's wildlife includes grizzlies, black bears, wolves, moose and large herds of bison and elk. The two narrow waterfalls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River cut a striking picture in the yellow-coloured rock that gives the park its name, with superb views and hiking trails for all abilities. Yellowstone Lake fills the eastern part of the caldera and offers opportunities for boating and fishing expeditions in summer. All places of interest are accessible along the loop roads, but the intensity of visitors in summer, especially between July and August, means that one needs to hike away from the main paths to experience the true wilderness of Yellowstone National Park.

    Website: www.nps.gov/yell
    Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National
Park Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park Scott Catron
    Missoula

    The 'Garden City' doesn't have much in the way of gardens, but Missoula is an outdoor sportsman's Eden. Downtown is a collection of unique shops and lively bars where it is easier to walk or bike than drive. The University of Montana starts right where the hill ends and is a beautiful campus to wander or catch a football game to see the university's Montana Grizzlies playing. Tourists often visit Missoula for outdoor activities of all kinds from skiing, kayaking and hiking to rock climbing, hang-gliding and mountain biking. There are a number of festivals in Missoula too, so come ready for celebrations of craft beer, rodeos and a host of country markets.

    Missoula and the surrounding
scenery. Missoula and the surrounding scenery. Prizrak 2084
    Pictograph Cave State Park

    Located just six miles (10km) south of Billings, Pictograph Cave State Park is a wonderfully scenic and historically fascinating day trip. The 93 acre (38 ha) park is a National Historic Landmark home to a complex of three caves (Ghost, Middle and Pictograph) linked by a walking trail. Two contain evidence of habitation dating back over 4,500 years ago while more than 30,000 historical artefacts such as bone tools, arrow heads and beaded jewellery have been discovered within the park. The pictographs themselves date back more than two millennia, and their meanings are still being debated by archaeologists today.

    Pictograph Cave in Pictograph Caves State
Park Pictograph Cave in Pictograph Caves State Park Tbennert
    Chico Hot Springs

    Though they're hardly in a fashionable area, the unpretentious Chico Hot Springs are quickly becoming a popular attraction in Montana, drawing guests from New York and Hollywood. Set in the aptly-named Paradise Valley near the town of Emigrant, the springs contain two open-air mineral pools with temperatures around 93°F (34°C), perfect for relaxing. There's a restaurant and a lively bar onsite, and outdoor activities like horseback riding, dog sledding, hiking, fly fishing, white-water rafting and cross-country skiing are on offer.

    Chico Hot Springs Chico Hot Springs David Coats
    a1

    No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination