Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Philipsburg, Montana

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Philipsburg, Montana

As the dog days of summer creep on, there is no better time to squeeze in a trip to the mountains. I recently visited my family in Montana and am so excited to share one of my favorite places with you–Philipsburg, Montana.

This once sleepy shuttered mining town has had a bit of a renaissance in the past 20 years. With a charming Main Street, unique shopping and tons of recreational activities nearby, I do believe this will be the next Telluride or Park City.

Because both of my parents are from Southwestern Montana, I have been visiting Philipsburg since I was a baby. Some of my favorite memories from when I was younger, are the days when my grandma would take me to the Sweet Palace to buy me as much fudge and candy as I wanted, look at gems in the Sapphire Gallery and finish the day off with root beer floats at Doe Brothers.

Another one of my must-dos when I’m in town is to see a performance at the Philipsburg Theatre. I don’t believe any performances are being held this summer, but this theatre is truly a treasure. It has been perfectly preserved and offers wonderful entertainment. The town has changed a lot since I was younger, but in all of the best ways.

Located just an hour from Missoula and two-and-a-half hours from Bozeman, it is easy to get in and out of Philipsburg from anywhere in the country. I think it is an ideal vacation destination because there is just so much to do. Within 10-15 minutes, you can be at Georgetown Lake or Discovery Ski resort in the winter months. In recent years, celebrities, artists and business owners have brought a creative flair to the town that has added to Philipsburg’s charm.

The food in Philipsburg is mostly traditional and gives you all of the comfort feels. When I’m in town, I love having lunch at Doe Brothers–a traditional soda fountain restaurant or Boheme, which is an adorable bohemian coffee shop. The Silver Mill is a fabulous choice for dinner, but they are unfortunately closed due to coronavirus.

I’ve also heard really good things about the Philipsburg Brewing Company from my family, but haven’t gone myself because I’m not a beer drinker.

Unlike mountain towns in Colorado and Utah, Philipsburg hasn’t fully tapped into the luxury market, yet. The one exception to this is the Ranch at Rock Creek, which has been consistently voted as one of the world’s top resorts and is just a 10 minute drive from town. At the ranch, you will find true mountain luxury and have access to farm-to-table dining, wine pairings, horseback riding, fly fishing and so much more. But it will cost you a pretty penny. If you’re not interested in breaking the bank, there are plenty of incredibly affordable hotels in the area.

If you’d like to stay in Philipsburg proper, the Broadway Hotel, Kaiser House and Quigley Cottage will be great options for you. The Forest Edge Inn and Seven Gables–a motel, are about 20 minutes away from Philipsburg, right on Georgetown Lake. Until last week I would have hands down recommended at least stopping here for fried chicken, as it has been one of my favorite things to do for the last 15 years, but I had a really unfortunate visit last week. Seven Gables is under new ownership and we had a terrible experience with the staff. The food has never been out of this world, but it was always fun. I can’t say the same anymore so for the time being, Seven Gables will be off of my list.

If you’re ok with a roughly 45 minute drive, Fairmont Hot Springs resort is a wonderful family-friendly hotel option. It is affordable, clean and has tons of activities for kids.

If you’re ever thinking of visiting Montana, I hope you give this charming little town a try! Leave me a comment and let me know where your favorite mountain destination is!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Austin, Texas

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Austin, Texas

For the third stop on Brit’s Summer Travel Series, we are heading to the Lone Star state! Until a few months ago, I was just a visitor to Austin, not a resident. Through my visits to Austin over the years and after living here for a while, I have learned a few things about the capital of Texas and am sharing them with you for your next visit!

I’ve always thought Austin is where Texas meets L.A., and it’s crazy to think that nestled in the rolling hills of Texas, there is a burgeoning tech hub with chic restaurants and more outdoor activities than you can imagine. The first thing to figure out for your trip is where to stay and Austin hotels do not disappoint.

The coolest hotel in my opinion is the Hotel Saint Cecilia. This boutique hotel is in the heart of the city, just off of South Congress and a quick jump across Lady Bird Lake from downtown. If you’re interested in proximity to town, the South Congress Hotel and W Austin are both great options.

The Commodore Perry Estate is brand new and I haven’t had a chance to visit yet, but it looks incredible! Auberge Resorts brought the nearly one hundred-year-old Commodore Perry mansion back to life and the storied estate looks better than ever.

Austin’s restaurants are as delicious as they are well designed. My absolute favorite restaurant has to be Clark’s Oyster Bar. It is my vibe to a tee and the food is SO good! If you are a seafood lover like me, then this is the place for you. My husband and I love going for dinner together and it’s also a wonderful brunch spot with your girlfriends! I’m not sure if there is anything better than a dozen oysters with Clark’s famous French fries and a glass of one of their many fabulous wines. Their sister-restaurant, Perla’s, is also fabulous and is a larger space if you’re looking for a group outing.

If you’re interested in Mexican food or TexMex, ATX Cocina and Matt’s el Rancho are my favorites. Matt’s el Rancho is more traditional and great for larger groups and families… you can’t leave without getting the Bob Armstrong Dip! ATX Cocina is a gorgeous restaurant in downtown and they serve modern Mexican food and delicious margaritas.

For sushi, we prefer Soto on South Lamar, we love going for happy hour and getting the Chef’s Choice–it’s five pieces of some of the most amazing and innovative sushi I’ve ever had! We also can’t get enough of Sway…I think about their Blue Crab Fried Rice all of the time and the design of all of their restaurants is just so cool.

For lighter fare with subtle French vibes, I highly recommend Launderette and June’s All Day. The food is incredible and again, the vibe will not disappoint. If you’re looking for the most romantic spot in Austin, I suggest Mattie’s. The food is described as southern and it is delicious. But the setting in out of this world. The restaurant is in an old mansion and the grounds have the most beautiful oak trees that have…Peacocks in them! It is so wonderful and perfect for a date night or special occasion.

Austin is known for its taco scene and for good reason. We are still working on this list, but trying out taco trucks and restaurants in Austin has been one of my favorite things to do with my husband since we’ve moved here. If you’re not interested in driving around to look for a taco-focused restaurant, but still want a taco, you’re in luck. I’ve noticed all of the coffee shops here also sell breakfast tacos, which is something I am more than okay with!

The activities in Austin are endless and if you love the outdoors, you will be in heaven here! Unlike many other parts of Texas, Austin is jam-packed with lakes, rivers, hiking trails and plenty of bike lanes!

Whether you’re a Texan looking for a weekend getaway or from out-of-state, Austin will be the perfect destination for you! Come back next week to see Brit’s next stop on the Summer Travel Series!

XO,

Brit