Travel is different now. Over the last few years, we’ve heard from a number of guests who are opting to extend their vacation beyond rafting the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and continuing their travels by road tripping around Idaho and Montana. We couldn’t agree more; one of the immense joys of traveling is stepping out of our familiar routines and confines and experiencing something different. We asked a few of our Middle Fork Salmon guides who live in Missoula to share some of their favorite things to do in and around the city. We hope the list will add value to your road trip, or intrigue you to plan your own.

Missoula Brewery
Draught Works Brewery

The best Brewery in Missoula is Draught Works (Draft Works). Since we serve Draught Works beer on our Middle Fork Salmon trips, we may be slightly biased, but locals voted Draught Works the Best Brewery of Missoula since 2018. The brewery offers a variety of beers, delicious food trucks, and our favorite; a large outdoor patio with misters during the summer.

IRJ Guide Local tip: Check out Draught Works music and event calendars, there’s a ton of terrific shows happening every week at the brewery. 

Missoula Ice Cream

An iconic handcrafted ice cream store with something for everyone. You’ll know you’re at Big Dipper Ice Cream when you see the line of people. Enjoy the line, it’s part of the experience, and discover why Big Dipper is viewed as the best Ice Cream stand in Missoula.

IRJ Guide Local tip: If you love the Big Dipper ice cream. You can buy pints of the ice cream at local grocery stores.

Hiking M

This steep, semi strenuous hike up to the “M” on the side of Mount Sentinel offers beautiful and expansive views of Missoula. A great way to see Missoula from above and get some exercise.

Local Tip: If you’re looking for a longer hike, you can continue to the top of the mountain past the “M.” There are several different ways you can go and they’re marked on Google maps. Bring water and a snack to enjoy the beautiful view.

Sandwiches that make you go, “wow.” The quality of the ingredients found in the Tagliare Delicatessen is impressive. From using daily fresh made bread, mouth-watering garlic ailio, to incredible specials named after rock bands. Whether you’re staying in Missoula or driving through, a detour to Tagliare Deli is worth it.

Local tip: Tagliare offers more than delicious Sandwiches. A variety of imported and local seasonings, sauces, and Italian wine can be purchased at the deli.

Missoula Music

Located on the banks of the Blackfoot River, the Kettlehouse Amphitheater is the premier concert venue in not just Montana, but the US. Besides the incredible views and atmosphere, the venue has an impressive lineup of musicians every year. View the Logjam calendar for the best information: Log Jam Presents

Local tip: We highly recommend taking the shuttle service from downtown Missoula at the Top Hat Restaurant and Bar to the Kettlehouse Amphitheater. It’s by far the easiest and most fun way to get to and from the event. Learn about the best way to get to the Kettlehouse Amphitheater