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Billings is the largest city in Montana in Yellowstone County, with an estimated 100,000 people. As a destination in itself, Billings does a significant amount of convention business and is also the host to various regional events such as music festivals, athletic contests, rodeos, and outdoor activities. Billings hosts the largest hospitals in a 500-mile radius, as such the medical profession is a major source of employment in the area. Billings also is a frequent overnight or meal stop for westbound visitors to Yellowstone National Park, as it is the last major city for visitors going to the park via the Beartooth Highway.

UnderstandEdit

Billings has the nickname "Magic City" because the city seems to have appeared overnight as a result of rapid growth spurred by the building of a railroad route in the late 1800s. The city is named after an executive of a railroad company, even though the executive never visited the city.

A big portion of the city is next to a cliff that is called "The Rims". The top of The Rims sits the city's airport, and The Rims itself is also frequented by local residents at times.

Get inEdit

There are no passenger rail services to Billings, and despite its location along the river, there are no ferry services to other cities.

By planeEdit

By carEdit

By busEdit

  • Jefferson Lines, 1830 4th Ave N, +1 406 245-5116. Jefferson Lines travels primarily on I-90 (Spokane-Missoula-Bozeman-Billings & Billings-Gillette-Rapid City) on two separate routes and I-94(Billings-Fargo). Passengers transfer in Fargo, Rapid City, Butte and Spokane to get to additional destinations.

Get aroundEdit

  • MET Transit, toll-free: +1 406 657-8218, . MET has 9 lines that provide service on weekdays and Saturdays with additional lines running during peak hours on weekdays. Weekday service 5:50AM–6:40PM. Saturday service 8:10AM–5:45PM, except for a one-hour lunch period. There is no service on Sundays and major holidays. Fares - Regular: $1.25; seniors (62+), Medicare, disabled: $0.50; children 5 and under: free. Long Beach Transit also offers a 10 Ride Ticket for $10. Transfers - Free. Must have exact fare for driver.
  • Yellow Cab - +1 406 245-3033
  • City Cab - +1 406 252-8700
  • Red Lodge Shuttle - +1 406 446-2257 or toll free +1-888-446-2191.

Taxis in Billings charge fares based on a pre-set zone arrangement. Uber and Lyft ridesharing services also operate in the city.

SeeEdit

 
Pictograph Cave
  • 1 Coulson Park, Charlene Street. 5AM – 10PM, daily. In an area bordered by the Yellowstone River and the I-90, the area is site of Coulson, the first modern-era settlement in the area. Little is left of the town, however, at the site. free.
  • Custer Battlefield Museum, Garryowen, Montana, +1 406 638-1876. Summer 8AM-7PM; 9AM-5PM. All of the locations associated with the Battle of the Little Bighorn, known as Custer's Last Stand $5 adults, 12 and under free.
  • 2 Lake Elmo State Park, 2300 Lake Elmo Dr, +1 406 247-2940, . Daily 5AM-10PM. 64-acre reservoir is a popular swimming, boardsailing, non-motorized boating, and fishing area. $5 per vehicle Memorial Day to Labor Day.    
  • 3 Moss Mansion Historic House Museum, 914 Division St. (Exit 450 from I-90 to 3rd Avenue North,a one-way street leading directly to the Moss Mansion. Parking is available on Yellowstone or Clark Avenues), +1 406 256-5100, . change seasonally, check website. Preserved house of the Preston Boyd Moss family. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and was designed by New York architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh. Adults $7, seniors (62 & over), students & military personnel $5, children 6-12 $3, 5 & under free.    
  • Museum of Women's History, 2822 3rd Ave N # B3, +1 406 248-2015, . M Tu Th 1PM-4PM. Exhibits feature women from all walks of life, all professions, all ethnic groups and perspectives locally and internationally. Free.
  • 4 Pictograph Cave State Park, 3401 Colburn Rd, +1 406 254-7342, . Change seasonally, check website. A prehistoric archeological site with 2000-year-old cave paintings. $5 per vehicle.    
  • 5 Pompeys Pillar National Monument, about 25 miles east of (from Interstate 94, use exit 23, or access from State Highway 312), +1 406 875-2400, . May-Sep: 9AM-6PM. The only remaining physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition $7 per vehicle.    
  • 6 Yellowstone Art Museum, 401 N 27th St., +1 406 256-6804, . Tu W Sa 10AM-5PM; Th F 10AM-8PM; Su 11AM-4PM; closed M. Contemporary and historical art from Montana and the Rocky Mountain region. $6 adults, $3 students, children 6-18, under 6 free.    
  • 7 Western Heritage Center, 2822 Montana Ave., +1 406 256-6809.    
  • 8 ZooMontana, +1 406 652-8100.    
  • 9 Zimmerman Trail. A vehicle-only road that connects the Billings West End to the top of the Rims. Created by two brothers who moved to the area from Alsace-Lorraine, the road offers an impressive view of Billings, even if driving on it requires a bit of skill.

DoEdit

  • MontanaFair, 308 6th Ave. N. August. See website for dates and time. Agricultural and commercial product expo combined with amusement fair attractions. $9 Adults, $5 kids 6-12 and Seniors 65+.
  • 2 Oasis Waterpark, +1 406-969-3131. 12PM-7PM daily, June to late August. Public water park with water slides and other water-based attractions. $6 for those under 42" tall, $8 for those over 42" tall, kids 3 and under free.
  • 3 The Reef Indoor Waterpark, +1 406-839-9283. Indoor water park that bills itself as the largest water park of its kind in Montana.

BuyEdit

  • 1 Rimrock Mall, 300 S 24th St W, +1 406-656-3206. 10AM to 9PM Mon.-Sat., 12PM to 6PM Sun.. The Rimrock Mall has over 90 mall shops, restaurants and department stores including Dillard's, Macy's, Herberger's, and a movie theater. There are two Dillard’s units inside the mall; one of them features only women’s merchandise. Free entry.    
  • Gainan's, 502 N 30th St (downtown), 810 Bench Blvd (Heights), 1211 24th St W (West side). Family-owned garden and home stores with nice gift selection.

EatEdit

  • Bernie’s Diner, 19 N. Broadway (Inside Northern Hotel). 6AM to 3PM daily. Upscale diner serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch fares.
  • 1 The Burger Dive (114 N. 27th St.), +1 406-281-8292. Mondays to Fridays: 10:30AM to 4PM. Saturdays: 11AM to 3PM. Closed Sundays. Burger restaurant. Some of its burgers have won national awards.
  • Harper and Madison, 3115 10th Avenue North, +1 406-281-8550. Tuesday-Friday: 7AM to 2PM. Saturday: 7AM to 1PM. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Upscale restaurant serving brunch and lunch fares.
  • 2 HuHot Mongolian Grill (HuHot), 1806 King Ave W, +1 406-656-8822. All-you-can-eat stir-fry grill. $10.99 lunch ($12.99 during weekends and holidays), $12.99 carryout bowl, $14.99 dinner.
  • 3 Juliano's, 2912 7th Ave N, +1 406 248-6400. M-F 11:30AM-2PM; W-Sa 5:30PM-9PM. Original American food with European and Asian influences from chef Carl Kurokawa. Features a nice outdoor patio. Lunch items $7-9; dinner $14-25.
  • 4 NaRa's Restaurant, 3 Custer Ave, +1 406-245-8866. 11AM-2PM and 4:30PM-9PM Mon.-Fri., 4PM-9PM Sat., Closed Sun.. Serving sushi as well as an assortment of Japanese and Korean fares.
  • Pappy's Cowboy Cookout (Western Romance Company) (I-90 and Pryor Creek Rd), +1 406 348-2048. This is an adventure to get great cowboy cooked food and BBQ cowboy style. People and guest from inside and out of state come back just for the food. The Dutch oven dinner is perfect for events and outdoor cookouts.
  • 5 Shanghai Village, 2926 2nd Ave N, +1 406-245-6887. 11AM-2:30PM, 4:30PM-9PM Daily. Chinese restaurant in the downtown area.
  • TEN, 19 N. Broadway (Inside Northern Hotel), +1 406-867-6774. Upscale restaurant serving American fares.
  • Walkers American Grill and Tapas Bar, 2700 1st Ave N, +1 406 245-9291. Dining room hours: Daily 5PM-10PM. Tapas Bar/Lounge hours: M-F 4PM-11PM, Sa 5PM-11PM, Su 5PM-10PM.. Excellent locally-owned restaurant serving seasonal American and international cuisine. Main courses $11-25; tapas $5-9.

DrinkEdit

CoffeeEdit

  • City Brew, Various locations. Check website for details. A coffee chain that has a strong presence in Montana, and can rival Starbucks in Billings.
  • Mazevo Coffee, Two locations. Check website for details. Local coffee chain.

AlcoholEdit

  • 1 Angry Hanks Brewery, 2405 1st Ave N, +1 406-252-3370. 4PM-8PM Mon.-Fri., 3PM-8PM Sat., Closed Sun.. Microbrewery located downtown in an old gas station. Due to restrictions imposed by state law, Each person can only get 3 pints of beer per day. $3 per pint.
  • Hooligan's Sports Bar, 109 N Broadway (next to Montana Brewing Company), +1 406-294-3495. Irish-themed pub offering drinks as well as food.
  • 2 The Loft, 1123 1st Avenue North, +1 406 2599074. Dance club that is considered to be the area's gay bar.
  • Montana Brewing Company (Brewpub), 113 N Broadway, +1 406-252-9200. This microbrewery offers regular and seasonal beers that are made on premise.
  • 3 Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company, 2123-B 1st Ave N, +1 406-245-0918. M-Sa 4PM-8PM. Local microbrewery featuring live music.

SleepEdit

Early reservations are advised during the peak summer months and during weekends when a major event is scheduled. At most hotels, rates are significantly higher during the summer.

  • Crowne Plaza Billings, 27 N 27th St, +1 406 252-7400, toll-free: +1-800-588-7666, fax: +1 406 252-2401. This 23-story hotel is the world's largest free-standing brick building. Restaurant, lounge, exercise room, concierge, courtesy shuttle, 24-hr. business centers, dry cleaning, executive levels, full service Starbucks, renovated 2007.
  • C'Mon Inn, 2020 Overland Ave S, +1 406 655-1100, toll-free: +1-800-655-1170, fax: +1 406 652-7672, . Resort hotel lodging close to many amenities. Summer rates (Apr-Sep): $73-145, Winter rates (Oct-Mar): $70-141.
  • Dude Rancher Lodge, 415 N 29th St, +1 406 259-5561, toll-free: +1-800-221-3302, fax: +1 406 259-0095, . Downtown location, king and queen sized beds, restaurant, coffee makers and coffee in every room, cable TV, microwave and refrigerators in selected rooms, pets allowed. $48-63 double.
  • Northern Hotel, 19 N 28th St, +1 406 245-5121, fax: +1 406 259-9862. Built in 1940, this hotel received a remodel in the late 1990s and reopened in 2013 following extensive renovation. Air conditioning, cable TV, restaurant, saloon, exercise room.
  • Josephine Bed-and-Breakfast, 514 N 29th St, +1 406 248-5898, toll-free: +1-800-552-5898, . Features Victorian decor with modern amenities. The house includes a library, parlor, and dining room for breakfast, and a wraparound porch. A/C, cable TV, wireless network (wireless network cards are available for rent), complimentary snacks, beverages and liqueur. Well behaved children are welcome. No pets. $65-160.

Stay safeEdit

Billings is generally a safe city, but crimes do occur. It is advisable to stay away from portions of the city south of Montana Ave., otherwise known as South Side, at night.

Portions of the city east of N. 27th St., north of Montana Ave. and west of Main St., otherwise known as the North Park area, may not be safe at night as well. However, the area is mainly residential and offers little for tourists in any case.

Rock slides, sometimes involving big boulders, have happened along the Rims, therefore, it is advisable to keep a reasonable distance between yourself and the edge of the Rims.

Due to swift currents, do not get into the city's canals. In the past, people have had to be rescued from the canals.

Roads conditions can be treacherous during and after winter snowstorms. The city has a so-called "Slick Streets" policy, meaning if the city's emergency dispatch center receives too many calls on accidents due to snowy or icy road conditions, emergency crews will only respond to accidents involving injuries. The city's media outlets may make an announcement when the Slick Streets policy is in effect.

Go nextEdit

If Billings is too crowded for you, try its "suburbs" of Huntley and Shepherd, roughly ten miles east.

Two National Monuments are within a reasonable distance: Pompey's Pillar, 32 miles east on I-94, and Little Bighorn Battlefield, 67 miles southeast on I-90. Other than those, you're at the last city of any significant size before rolling out into the vast Eastern Montana prairie – the greatest attraction may be the scenery of the drive itself to your next destination.

Routes through Billings
Bozeman/Yellowstone N.P.Laurel  W    E  Crow AgencyBuffalo/Belle Fourche
END  W   E  HuntleyMiles City
Great FallsRoundup  NW   SE  Crow AgencyBuffalo


This city travel guide to Billings is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.