The obvious choices for the best Montana vacation sports are Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, but I decided to go in a different direction. Let’s take a look at a few spots to visit that are educational and maybe a bit different.


Photo courtesy of Sean Munson/flickr



Pompeys Pillar Located a short half-hour drive northeast of Billings, it’s one of the most interesting places to visit. This rock is unique, not only because of its odd shape, but also because of the carved Native American rock art, as well as the inscription William Clark carved July 25, 1806. Did you know that Clark’s inscription here is the only physical evidence that shows that the Lewis and Clark Expedition took its route through Montana?


Photo courtesy of Sam_Wise/flickr



Museum of the Rockies – This is a great place to take younger kids to learn about dinosaurs. Located in beautiful Bozeman, it is a must see. Their dinosaur exhibit is up year round, and other exhibits change every so often. They also have a planetarium, which is my personal favorite. If you or your child is interested in the stars and planets, you will love this museum. It is educational and fun.


Photo courtey of Michael @ NW Lens/flickr



Lewis and Clark Caverns – If you’re claustrophobic then this may not be the vacation spot for you. If you’re brave enough, they are truly amazing. Located in Three Forks, the caverns are a truly unique experience. These spectacular caves, lined with stalactites and stalagmites, set your imagination on fire. You can get a guided tour and learn the history of early exploration and gain an insight into the world without light. An added bonus, there is also an extensive trail system to hike or bike there too.


Photo courtesy of Forest Service – Northern Region/flickr



Big Hole National Battlefield – Located 10 miles west of Wisdom, Big Hole National Battlefield is a great stop for history buffs. This is the site of the largest battle fought between the Nez Percé and U.S. government forces. Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce tribe fought against the 7th Infantry Regiment (United States) there on August 9 and 10 in 1877 in a faile d attempt to escape to Canada. This battlefield is not only beautiful but is also an ominous reminder of America’s, and Montana’s, history.


Photo courtesy of jimmywayne/flickr



Old Prison Museum – There is probably nothing creepier or scarier that you will see in Montana. Located in Deerloge, this vacation destination is not for the faint of heart. They offer guided and self-guided tours where you can walk through the intimidating cell house and into the chilling slide bar cells and black box of maximum security. Open to the public for most of the year, this old prison presents a bleak glimpse at life behind bars. You can even see guns, shackles and restraints, along with artwork prepared by former inmates, and lethal weapons fashioned from kitchen forks and simple tools. A creepy, but educational, experience.