city in and county seat of Yellowstone County, Montana, United States

Billings is the largest city in Montana in Yellowstone County, with an estimated 110,000 people (2019). As a destination, 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.

Understand Edit

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 in Edit

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

By plane Edit

By car Edit

By bus Edit

  • 2 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 around Edit

  • MET Transit, +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.

Bike trails can be found throughout the city. A map can be found at Billings Trailnet.

See Edit

Pictograph Cave
  • 1 Coulson Park, Charlene Street. Daily 5AM – 10PM. Coulson was the first modern-era settlement in the area. Unfortunately little is left of the town. Offers 13 acres along the river bank to explore. Free.
  • 2 DanWalt Gardens, 720 Washington St (corner of Washington St and King Ave E), +1 406-248-4003, . 9AM-6PM. DanWalt Gardens is a 2-acre botanical gardens and event center in the heart of Billings. Known for its beautiful landscaping, fountains, koi pond, chickens and many thousands of annuals and perennials. The season starts on May 1 and continues to Oct 15th every year. $7.50.
  • 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, . Hours change seasonally, check website. Guided tours M-Sa 10AM-1PM.. 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. Will provide free guide for self-guided tour of historic neighborhood surrounding the house. Guided tours of the mansion are $15 per person. Self paced tours: Adults $12, seniors (62 & over) & military personnel $10, children 6-18 $8, 5 & under free. Special guided holiday tours and events held frequently with varied prices.    
  • 4 Museum of Women's History, 2822 3rd Ave N # B3, +1 406 248-2015, . M Tu Th 1-4PM; appointment times available.. Exhibits feature women from all walks of life, all professions, all ethnic groups and perspectives locally and internationally. Free.
  • 5 NILE Stock Show and Rodeo, MetraPark, 308 6th Ave N, +1 406 256-2495. Yearly event lasting a week in Oct. Trade show open daytime. Rodeo at night first F, then F-Su. NRA-sanctioned rodeo with one of the first opportunities to qualify for Nationals. Also the Northern Range Ranch Roping Finals. Expo showcases cowboy collectibles and Western art. Livestock events.    
  • 6 Pictograph Cave State Park, 3401 Colburn Rd, +1 406-254-7342, . Jun to Oct: daily 9AM-7PM; Oct to May: W-Su 9AM-5PM. A prehistoric archeological site with 2000-year-old cave paintings. 3/4 mile paved walking loop to view the three main caves. Visitor Center with interpretive displays. $8 per vehicle.    
  • 7 Pompeys Pillar National Monument, about 25 miles east of Billings (from Interstate 94, use exit 23, or access from State Highway 312), +1 406 896-5013, . May-Sep: 8:30AM-5:30PM. The only remaining physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The board walk is 1,00 feet long and contains 200 steps. The signature is about 3/4 the way up. Interpretive Center with many displays about the journey, history, and local wildlife. Picnic areas. Be prepared for about 2 hours at this remote location. Pets okay when leashed. $7 per vehicle.    
  • 8 Western Heritage Center, 2822 Montana Ave., +1 406 256-6809. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. Historic building featuring 8-10 exhibits each year. Mostly early Montana artifacts. Past exhibits featured interactive games, fashion, Chinese immigrants, and Montana ghost towns. Walking tours of downtown Billings with different historical topics. These are Fridays Jun-Sep at 10AM and are about an hour and a half. Cost is $10 adults and $5 students. Museum cost is $5 adults, $3 Students/Seniors, $1 under 12.    
  • 9 Yellowstone Art Museum, 401 N 27th St., +1 406 256-6804, . Tu-Su 10AM-5PM, Th 10AM-8PM, first F each month 10AM-8PM. Permanent exhibits of contemporary and historical art including well known artists from Montana and the Rocky Mountain region. Rotating exhibits of a variety of artists. Gift shop with unique art and locally made items. Photos allowed for personal/noncommercial use. $15 adults, $12 seniors, $6 students all ages, under 6 free; Free admission every Th 5-8PM, and first F each month.    
  • 10 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. At the top drive east on Hwy 3 for pull offs to access trails along the Rims.
  • 11 ZooMontana, 2100 S Shiloh Rd (immediately off I-90 Zoo Drive exit, west of Billings), +1 406 652-8100. Daily with seasonal changes to exact hours. Generally between 10AM and 5PM. Indoor and outdoor species on 70 acres. More than 80 animals in 2023, including Grizzly Bears, Canadian Lynx, River Otters, and Amur Tigers. Large botanical garden. Farm area where visitors can feed goats and see peacocks wander the grounds. $11 adults, $9 seniors, $8 ages 3-15.    

Do Edit

Buy Edit

  • 1 Rimrock Mall, 300 S 24th St W, +1 406-656-3206. M-Sa 11AM to 8PM, Su 11AM to 6PM. The Rimrock Mall features shops, restaurants, and department stores like Dillard's and H&M. There is also an indoor batting cage and a nearby movie theater. Free entry.    
  • Gainan's. Family-owned garden and home stores with nice gift selection.
    • 2 Heights Flowers and Gardens, 810 Bench Blvd, +1 406 248-5029. M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-5PM. greenhouse, large selection of plants and trees
    • 3 Midtown Flowers, 17th St West & Grand Ave, +1 406 325-6000. M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-5PM. Fresh flowers, gifts, specialty kitchen supplies.

Eat Edit

  • 1 Bernie's Diner, 19 N. Broadway (Inside Northern Hotel). Daily 6AM to 3PM. Upscale diner serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
  • 2 The Burger Dive (114 N. 27th St.), +1 406-281-8292. M-F 10:30AM to 4PM, Sa 11AM to 3PM, closed Su. Burger restaurant. Some of its burgers have won national awards.
  • 3 HuHot Mongolian Grill (HuHot), 1806 King Ave W, +1 406-656-8822. Daily 11AM-8PM. All-you-can-eat stir-fry grill. Before 4PM $14-16, after 4PM $18.
  • 4 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.
  • 5 Last Chance Pub & Cider Mill, 2203 Montana Ave, +1 406-534-8918. Daily 11AM-10PM. Housemade cider, inventive comfort eats & beer offered in an industrial-chic warehouse space.
  • 6 NaRa's Restaurant, 3 Custer Ave, +1 406-245-8866. Tu-F 11AM-2PM and 4:30PM-9PM, Sa 4-9PM, closed Su M. Serving sushi as well as an assortment of Japanese and Korean fare.
  • 7 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.
  • 8 Shanghai Village, 2926 2nd Ave N, +1 406-245-6887. Daily 11AM-2:30PM, 4:30-9PM. Chinese restaurant in the downtown area.
  • 9 TEN, 19 N. Broadway (Inside Northern Hotel), +1 406-867-6774. Upscale restaurant serving American fare.
  • 10 Walkers American Grill and Tapas Bar, 2700 1st Ave N, +1 406-245-9291. Dining room hours: daily 5-10PM. Tapas Bar/Lounge hours: M-F 4-11PM, Sa 5-11PM, Su 5PM-10PM. Excellent locally-owned restaurant serving seasonal American and international cuisine. Main courses $11-25; tapas $5-9.

Drink Edit

Coffee Edit

  • 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.

Alcohol Edit

  • 1 Angry Hanks Brewery, 2405 1st Ave N, +1-406-252-3370. M-F 4PM-8PM, Sa 3PM-8PM, closed Su. Microbrewery downtown in an old gas station. Due to state law, each person can only get 3 pints of beer per day. $3 per pint.
  • Craft Local, 2413 Montana Ave, +1 406 702-1458, . Tu-Th 4PM-9PM, F Sa 4-11PM. Large selection of Montana crafted beers, ciders, and seltzers. Featuring local art and music.
  • 2 Hooligan's Sports Bar, 109 N Broadway (next to Montana Brewing Company), +1-406-294-3495. Irish-themed pub offering drinks and food.
  • 3 The Loft, 1123 1st Avenue North, +1-406-259-9074. A dance club that was once considered to be the area's gay bar. However, its reputation has been significantly diminished in the late 2010s.
  • 4 Montana Brewing Company (Brewpub), 113 N Broadway, +1-406-252-9200. This microbrewery offers regular and seasonal beers that are made on premise.
  • 5 Thirsty Street at the Garage (formerly Yellowstone Valley Brewing), 2123-C 1st Ave N, +1 406-534-6332. M-Th 4PM-9PM, F Sa 4PM-11PM. Local microbrewery featuring live music that is supposedly family-friendly. Serves cider and wine in addition to brews.

Sleep Edit

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.

  • 1 Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Billings, 27 N 27th St, +1 406-252-7400, 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.
  • 2 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.
  • 3 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.
  • 4 Northern Hotel, 19 N 28th St, +1 406-245-5121, fax: +1 406-259-9862. Built in 1940, this hotel was remodeled in the late 1990s and reopened in 2013 following extensive renovation. Air conditioning, cable TV, restaurant, saloon, exercise room.
  • 5 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 safe Edit

Billings is generally a safe city, but crimes do occur. 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. 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. 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 next Edit

If Billings is too crowded for you, try its "suburbs" of Huntley and Shepherd, roughly 10 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 to your next destination.

Routes through Billings
BozemanLaurel  W   E  Crow AgencyBuffalo
END  W   E  HuntleyMiles City
Great FallsRoundup  NW   SE  Crow AgencyBuffalo
Yellowstone N.P.Laurel  W   E  Crow AgencyBelle Fourche
Great FallsHarlowton  NW   SE  END

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.