Photo courtesy of billlutzius/Flickr

Whether you’re trying to show visiting friends and family a good time in Zoo Town, or you’re a visitor yourself, you’ll definitely want to make time to experience Missoula’s unique nightlife. Forget flashy clubs and lounges — here in Big Sky Country, we like to keep things casual and simple. Here are five bars where you can get a taste of real Montana culture.


Give visiting friends and family members a taste of real Montana culture at one of these local watering holes.

Photo courtesy of briandeadly/Flickr


The dark, rustic atmosphere of this famous Higgins Avenue watering hole will make you feel like a real Montana mountain man (or woman). Be sure to check out the black and white photo portraits covering the walls — they will give you a sense of the place’s history.


Photo courtesy of masochismtango/Flickr


Country-style swing dancing is a big part of the culture in western Montana, and when it comes to cutting a rug, there’s no place better than the Sunrise. Live musical acts attract huge crowds almost every weekend, which means you should have no trouble finding a dance partner.


Photo courtesy of billlutzius/Flickr


If you’re known for being indecisive, you might have some trouble at this downtown drinking establishment, which boasts more than 50 different beers on tap and Missoula’s widest selection of local craft beers.


Photo courtesy of majcher/Flickr


This place has been around for a long time, and the photos on the walls prove it. Enjoy a burger and a beer — or a milkshake — as you take an illustrated tour of Montana Grizzlies history.


Photo courtesy of ASurroca/Flickr


It’s a bit of a drive to get there, but The Jack is worth every mile. Located about 16 miles west of Lolo off of Montana Highway 12, this bar is the epitome of everything Montana: it’s in the middle of the woods, it was built out of logs and there is a huge fireplace. Oh yeah, and there’s live music every Saturday starting at 9 p.m. Road trip!