Whether a local or just coming through on your summer vacation, here are just a few of the many things to do in and around Helena, Montana. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and abundance of outdoor activities, Helena is a destination that offers something for everyone.
Tour the Montana State Capitol building: The Montana State Capitol building is an impressive architectural feat and a must-see attraction in Helena. Guided tours are available, providing visitors with an informative and engaging experience.
Visit the Montana Historical Society Museum: The Montana Historical Society Museum is an excellent place to learn about the state's fascinating history. Exhibits include everything from Native American culture to the state's mining boom.
Explore the Holter Museum of Art: The Holter Museum of Art is a wonderful place to appreciate contemporary and modern art. The museum offers a range of exhibits, workshops, and events throughout the year.
Walk or bike the Helena Trail System: The Helena Trail System is a network of trails that winds through the city's hills and valleys, providing visitors with stunning views and a chance to experience Montana's natural beauty.
Take a guided tour of the Cathedral of St. Helena: The Cathedral of St. Helena is a stunning piece of architecture that is well worth a visit. Guided tours are available, providing visitors with insights into the history and significance of the cathedral.
Hike Mount Helena and enjoy the views: Mount Helena is a popular hiking destination that offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding landscape. The hike is a great way to experience the outdoors and get some exercise.
Visit the Original Governor's Mansion: The Original Governor's Mansion is a beautiful and historic building that has been preserved as a museum. Guided tours are available, providing visitors with a glimpse into the lives of the state's former governors.
Check out the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts: The Archie Bray Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports ceramic artists from around the world. The foundation offers exhibits, workshops, and artist residencies throughout the year.
Take a dip in the Broadwater Hot Springs: The Broadwater Hot Springs is a relaxing and rejuvenating experience that is perfect after a long day of exploring. The hot springs feature a variety of pools and amenities, including a sauna and steam room.
Visit the Helena Farmers Market (summer months): The Helena Farmers Market is a great place to experience the local culture and taste some of the state's freshest produce. The market is open during the summer months and features vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts.
Play a round of golf at one of Helena's golf courses: Helena has several golf courses, each with its own unique charm and features. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf while taking in the breathtaking scenery of Montana.
Go fishing on the Missouri River: The Missouri River is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world, and Helena is a great base for fishing enthusiasts. The river is teeming with brown and rainbow trout, making it an ideal location for fly fishing.
Attend the Last Chance Stampede and Fair (July): The Last Chance Stampede and Fair is a beloved annual event in Helena, celebrating the city's western heritage. Visitors can enjoy rodeo events, carnival rides, live music, and much more.
Explore the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness: The Gates of the Mountains Wilderness is a breathtakingly beautiful area that offers visitors the chance to experience Montana's natural beauty. The area is famous for its towering cliffs, crystal-clear water, and abundant wildlife.
Visit the Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society: Montana is home to many historic ghost towns that have been preserved for visitors to explore. The Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society is a nonprofit organization that works to preserve these towns and educate visitors about their rich history.
Take a scenic drive through the surrounding mountains: Helena is surrounded by stunning mountain ranges, and a scenic drive through these mountains is a must-do for visitors. The drive offers spectacular views of the landscape and a chance to experience Montana's natural beauty.
Go skiing or snowboarding at Great Divide Ski Area: Great Divide Ski Area is a popular winter sports destination near Helena. The ski area boasts over 1,600 acres of skiable terrain and is perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.
Visit the Montana Military Museum: The Montana Military Museum is a fascinating place to learn about Montana's military history. The museum features exhibits on the state's role in military conflicts and its contributions to national defense.
Take a walking tour of the historic district: Helena's historic district is full of beautiful Victorian-era buildings and is a great place to explore on foot. Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour or join a guided tour to learn more about the district's rich history, try some brews, stop at the chocolate shop, and more.
Go horseback riding in the Helena National Forest: The Helena National Forest is a beautiful area that is perfect for horseback riding. Visitors can explore the forest's trails and take in the stunning scenery while riding horseback.
Visit the Montana Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: This center provides care and rehabilitation to injured or orphaned wildlife, aiming to release them back into the wild. Visitors can learn about the rehabilitation process and see the animals up close.
Go birdwatching at the Helena Valley Reservoir: This reservoir is a popular spot for birdwatchers, offering opportunities to see a variety of waterfowl and other bird species in their natural habitat.
Take a scenic boat tour of Canyon Ferry Lake: Visitors can take a guided boat tour to explore the scenic beauty of Canyon Ferry Lake, which is surrounded by mountains and offers views of the Montana landscape.
Check out the Broadwater County Museum: This museum features exhibits and artifacts that highlight the history and culture of Broadwater County, including displays on the area's mining, ranching, and railroad industries.
Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the surrounding area: Helena's surrounding area offers many opportunities for outdoor winter sports, including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Visit the Montana Law Enforcement Museum: This museum showcases the history and equipment of Montana's law enforcement agencies, including the Montana Highway Patrol and the Montana Department of Justice.
Go mountain biking on one of Helena's many trails: Helena has an extensive trail system that is popular with mountain bikers, offering a range of difficulty levels and scenic views.
Take a day trip to nearby Butte, MT: Butte is a historic mining town that offers opportunities for sightseeing, shopping, and dining, as well as a chance to learn about the area's mining heritage.
Attend a concert or event at the Helena Civic Center: The Helena Civic Center hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, plays, and other performances.
Go camping in the Helena National Forest: The Helena National Forest offers many camping options, with scenic spots nestled in the woods or near lakes and streams.