With the Yellowstone River flowing alongside it and the Paradise Valley as a backdrop it’s easy to see the appeal of Livingston, Montana. And, with Bozeman growing at an astonishing rate heading over to Livingston can give the small-town feel that we are starting to lose on this side of the hill. With its proximity to Yellowstone National Park, it's a tourist hot spot and for good reason, there’s a lot to do in Livingston! It also shouldn’t be overlooked by Bozeman residents as a day trip adventure. Especially in the summertime. Whether you are a tourist or a local, here are the top ten things to do in Livingston, Montana.
1. HAVE BREAKFAST OR LUNCH AT GIL’S GOODS
The food at Gil’s is worth the 20-minute drive from Bozeman. With a wood-fired oven, their baked goods and pizza are out of this world. They make everything in house with a focus on local, organic ingredients. The space itself is adorable with a modern farmhouse vibe and nice outdoor seating space. If it’s too crowded you can grab a table in the Murray or just start there if you’re looking for an old Montana bar vibe.
Photo courtesy of Gil's Goods
2. VISIT THE LIVINGSTON DEPOT
This historic depot was built in 1902 and is a great museum to check out in the summer time (they are open Memorial Day to Labor Day). You can’t miss the large brick building right on Park Street next to the train tracks. The space also serves as a community center for events such as film conferences, movies on the lawn, music and more.
3. GRAB A MILKSHAKE AT MARK’S IN & OUT
There’s a reason this place has been around since 1954. When you drive into town and see a line of people on the corner, you’ll know you’re at the right spot. Their milkshakes are the best, as are the onion rings and fries, and well…pretty much everything.
Photo courtesy of Mark's In & Out
4. FLOAT/KAYAK THE YELLOWSTONE
All the rivers in Montana are beautiful but floating the Yellowstone through the Paradise Valley is spectacular. If you’re not comfortable doing this on your own, there are guided floats available. However you get on the Yellowstone, this is one to put on your summer bucket list every year.
5. GO TO A LIVINGSTON ART WALK
While the Bozeman Art Walks are awesome, they can get a little overrun with tourists. The Livingston Art Walks happen the fourth Friday of the summer months and have a much more laid back vibe. There are many fantastic art galleries in Livingston that open their doors for the Art Walk and it’s a fun time to stroll around their historic downtown area.
6. TAKE A PICNIC TO SACAJAWEA PARK
When the backdrop of the park is the Yellowstone River and mountains, it’s hard to go wrong! Pack a lunch (or grab some Mark’s In & Out as suggested above) and throw out a blanket under one of the many huge trees for a picnic. There’s a playground, tennis courts and trails to wander around afterwards.
7. VISIT A BREWERY
Livingston has two fantastic breweries. Neptune’s Brewery has great beers and a low key atmosphere. If you are looking for more than just beer, head to Neptune's Taphouse for food, beer and sushi. Yep, you read that right, sushi. Whether you feel like some sashimi or a hamburger they’ve got you covered! Bonus-the rooftop deck gives you dinner with a view. Katabatic Brewing Company is the newer of the two breweries and is right in downtown Livingston. They have live music a couple nights a week, Sunday Fundays and beers for a cause on Tuesdays.
Photo courtesy of Katabatic Brewing Company
8. GO TO THE LIVINGSTON ROUNDUP RODEO
Fourth of July would not be complete without the Livingston Rodeo. This will be the 94th year and it takes place on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of July. This is the premier rodeo in the state of Montana and sells out almost every year. There are fireworks each night and it is quite a show.
Photo courtesy of Livingston Roundup
9. CHECK OUT MUSIC AT THE ATTIC
The space in this historic Livingston building is so cool. They’ve preserved much of the original building while updating the space making it a perfect music venue. It’s right on Main Street and they have a full bar. Click here to see their summer lineup.
Photo courtesy of The Attic
10. HAVE DINNER AT 2ND STREET BISTRO
This is the perfect way to top off a day in Livingston. 2nd Street Bistro is a delightful restaurant that makes everything from scratch. During the summer they use many ingredients from their urban farm and they also handcraft cocktails with house-infused liquors. A jalapeno pineapple margarita sounds awfully refreshing after a day on the river.
Photo courtesy of 2nd Street Bistro
BONUS-STAY AT THE MURRAY HOTEL
If you are visiting Livingston from out of town, then you have to stay at the Murray. This is an authentic Western hotel with all the modern amenities you need. You can’t help get caught up in the history of this place if you stay here. Everyone from Buffalo Bill to the Queen of Denmark have spent time at the Murray Hotel!