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!