There’s something romantic about historic hotels. The architecture is rich in detail, the rooms intimate in space and the stories held within the walls are plentiful. Yellowstone County is full these well-preserved gems, and whether you are energized by relaxation or adventure, you’ll find both in our quaint little towns.
Anthony Bourdain, chef and best-selling author, has named the Murray one of his favorite hotels in the world. Bourdain wasn’t the only famous person to enjoy their stay; historic western figures like Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane rested their heads in what was once known as “the” elegant railroad hotel. The real marble staircases and well-preserved suites are a testament to hotel’s history. The Murray Bar, still one of the most popular bars in town, features live music each week. One of the premier restaurants in Montana, 2nd Street Bistro, pairs techniques of classic French cooking with locally sourced Montana lamb, pork, beef, chicken and produce. Try the Sunday Prix Fixe (we suggest adding the wine pairing).
Livingston is home to writers, artists and anglers, and it’s no secret why. The beautiful Paradise Valley is awe-inspiring. The Yellowstone River is one of the most renowned fly fishing rivers in the country and the surrounding majestic mountains are a welcome respite from the daily hustle and bustle of life.
Tucked up at the base of the famous Beartooth Scenic Highway, Red Lodge, Montana, is worth a trip, and The Pollard, one of the town’s crown jewels, is the place to stay. You’ll want to spend time in the lobby, relaxing in the leather chairs situated in oak paneled rooms and exploring the news articles, guestbook entries and other historic relics. The Pollard offers both fine dining and casual pub fare and has a full line up of live music.
In the summer months, plan your trip to include the Beartooth Highway, known as one of the most beautiful drives in America. The 68-mile byway winds its way to what feels like the top of the world, ending in the tiny mountain town of Cooke City, situated on the eastern edge of Yellowstone National Park. If you are visiting during the winter, Red Lodge Mountain is the quintessential family ski hill. The terrain is challenging enough for the expert skier and has plenty of terrain for those just starting out.
Known by locals as “The Sac,” the first thing you’ll notice is the grand wrap-around porch with plenty of rockers, tables and chairs. Stop and enjoy either quiet contemplation or casual conversation with a cold beverage and good company. The well-appointed interiors are accented with dark woods giving it a rich feel. For casual dining, the Sac Bar is a great place for a burger and a beer, to watch a game or to enjoy live music. If you’re looking for fine dining, Pompey’s Grill, the on-site restaurant, rivals some of the finest steakhouses. Known for their prime rib, people also rave about the king crab legs. (Yes, we said crab legs in Montana.)
The town of Three Forks is just off the beaten path, close enough to a plethora of recreation but far enough to feel like you’re really getting away. Perfect for families, there is plenty to entertain the little ones. Missouri Headwaters State Park, the confluence of the Missouri River, is a great place to see where Lewis and Clark camped or to enjoy fishing or floating along the river. Golfers love the quiet- yet-challenging course, and bikers will find miles of paved bike paths and country roads.
Wherever you venture, historic hotels are rejuvenating, relaxing and quite simply interesting. We highly recommend stepping back in time and enjoying a stay.