state capital of Montana, United States and seat of Lewis and Clark County

Helena is the state capital of Montana, in the Western Central part of the state. Visitors come to see Helena’s historic Last Chance Gulch, and its mansion district once home to Helena’s gold mining millionaires. The city has running or biking 75 mi (121 km) of trails and opportunities for rafting the mighty Missouri River or fly-fishing.

Understand edit

A number of communities surround Helena but have few amenities. East Helena is a completely separate town. The majority of small communities is to the south in Jefferson County.

Tourist information edit

Get in edit

Map of Helena (Montana)

By car edit

Interstate 15 runs north and south through Helena's eastern edge. US-12 runs east-west, and is the quickest connection from the Missoula area; US-12/287 leaves Helena to the southeast, towards Townsend and eastbound I-90 and Billings.

By plane edit

There is no public transportation available from the airport into town. You can go by taxi, ride hailing (Uber is available) or rental car.

By bus edit

The main bus station for the 'Blue Line' route of the local public transportation and intercity buses is at the 2 Helena Area Transit Center/Depot on N Montana Ave (SR-229) & Bozeman St:

Get around edit

A small bus network is provided by Capital Area Transit Service, fares cost $1.50. Also, there's a free shuttle between Capitol Hill Mall and the Capitol Building.

See edit

Montana Capitol Building
St Helena Cathedral
  • 1 Cathedral of St. Helena, 530 N Ewing St, +1 406 442-5825. Daily except during services; Summer tours on Tu W Th.    
  • Gates of the Mountains, 3131 Gates of the Mountains Road (20 min N of Helena, take exit 209), +1 406 458-5241, . Hours can vary monthly, check website for schedule. Enjoy the beauty of the Gates of the Mountains from aboard one of two tour boats - the "Sacajawea" (named after the only woman and indigenous person on the Expedition), and the "Hilger Rose" (named after Nicholas Hilger, who began the tours in 1886 on a vessel named "Rose of Helena"). The 105-minute cruise starts at the marina, just 3 miles off Interstate 15 in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
  • 2 Holter Museum of Arts, 12 E Lawrence St, +1 406 442-6400. Tu-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su noon-4PM, closed M. Variety of art exhibits in 5 galleries. Free.
  • 3 Montana State Capitol, 1301 E. 6th Ave. Summer: M-Sa tours on the hour from 9AM-2PM, Su from noon-3PM; Winter: Sa only 9AM-2PM. Self-guided tours anytime M-Sa 8AM-5PM. Free.
  • 4 Old Fire Tower. Built in 1876.
  • 5 Reeder's Alley historic mining district, Reeder's Alley. Brick complex from the 1870s. Tours available.

Do edit

Buy edit

Eat edit

  • 1 Planet Gyros, 1421 11th Ave, +1 406 449-2550. M-F 10AM-4PM, Sa 11AM-4PM, closed Su. Traditional Greek lunch menu
  • 2 R-B Drive-In, 932 Helena Ave, +1 406 442-7482. M-Sa 11A-7PM, closed Su. Classic drive-in doing business since 1948.
  • 3 Ristorante Bella Roma, 22 N Last Chance Gulch (in the Double Tree), +1 406 495-0677, . Authentic Italian restaurant. Multi-course meals with menu changing to make use of in-season fresh produce. Outdoor seating available. Reservations recommended, can be booked on website.
  • 4 Silver Star Steak Company, 833 Great Northern Blvd, +1 406 495-0677. M-Th 4-9PM, F Sa 4-10PM; Lounge M-Sa 4-11PM. 6 categories of main courses. 5 types of steaks with different portion size options. Extensive wine list.
  • 5 Windbag Saloon & Grill, 19 S Last Chance Gulch, +1 406 443-3520. M-F 11AM-midnight, Sa-Su 10AM-midnight. The last bordello in Helena. Pub-style food. Several microbrews. Outdoor seating available.

Drink edit

Microbreweries edit

Sleep edit

  • 1 Budget Inn Express, 524 N Last Chance Gulch, +1 406 442-0600, toll-free: +1 800 862-1334. Check-in: 10AM, check-out: 11AM. Basic hotel with good location at the city center. Microwave/fridge in room.
  • 2 Ramada by Wyndham, 1714 11th Ave (between 11th Ave and Prospect Avenue at Lamborn Street (next to Capital Hill Mall)), +1 406 442-1770, . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. A friendly hotel in the city center. Maintains 2 hotels at one location. The economy site is a standard no frills room. The main building has breakfast, a fun bar and casino, attached restaurant, an indoor pool, business center, Coffee and microwave in the lobby.
  • 3 The Sanders - Helena's Bed & Breakfast, 328 N Ewing St, +1 406 442-3309. Restored mansion filled with authentic items. Each room has a private bath, gourmet breakfast. Short walk to historic district and downtown shopping.

Connect edit

You will find most restaurants, bars, and coffee shops to have free wifi for customers.

Go next edit

  • Canyon Ferry (20 miles east) is Montana's third largest lake. You can enjoy all the water activities from the marina, or one of several campsites.
Routes through Helena
Great FallsWolf Creek   N   S  ButteIdaho Falls
MissoulaGarrison  W   E  TownsendMiles City
ChoteauWolf Creek   N   S  TownsendThree Forks

This city travel guide to Helena 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.