Are you thinking about moving to Livingston, Montana? Livingston is a beautiful town just 30 minutes from Bozeman with a lot to offer. But, life in Livingston is not without its drawbacks, which is why we’ve put together this list of things you should know before you decide to move to Livingston, Montana.
1. The commute to Bozeman isn’t as easy as you would think
If you look up the distance between Livingston and Bozeman, it seems like a quick and easy commute. What’s the big deal, right? Well, what Google Maps fails to mention is that the road between Livingston and Bozeman is a winding mountain pass that is subject to pretty terrible driving conditions like high winds, white outs, snow, and ice. On a good day, the drive can be a quick 30 minutes or so but on a bad day, it could take hours. On top of that, the pass is frequently shut down due to weather, which makes it tricky to get where you’re going. If you’re going to live in Livingston it’s best to either work there, work remotely, or have a job that allows some flexibility. Photo credit: Pinterest - Katherine Pond.
2. It’s a town of its own
As Livingston’s neighbor Bozeman faces a fast-growing population and rising home prices, many people quickly look to Livingston as a more affordable place to live while they play, socialize and work in Bozeman. But here’s the thing, Livingston is not a bedroom community to Bozeman. It is a town completely its own, with a unique history, vibrant community and independent businesses. Yes, Livingston is Bozeman’s neighbor, but the two towns stand completely on their own. If you are thinking of moving to Livingston, you have to be ready to fully embrace the town and community. Sure, you’ll take your weekend trips to Bozeman, and maybe even make the daily commute, but if you live in Livingston you better be ready to embrace the place.
3. It’s a celebrity hotspot
Celebrities are scattered all over this area of Montana, with many choosing to call the scenic Paradise Valley home. Just a few minutes from Livingston, Paradise Valley is a beautiful place with the Absaroka Mountains rising dramatically from the valley floor and the Yellowstone River winding its way through. Dennis Quaid called this area home for more than 25 years, John Mayer has a place on the banks of the Yellowstone River, Jeff Bridges owns a ranch in the valley as did Tom Brokaw and James Cameron. What’s great about Livingston is that no one really cares which celebrities live there. The people who call Livingston home are very unassuming and honestly, most of them couldn’t care less whether there’s a celebrity next to them or not.
4. You have to be ok with the wind
Montana winters can be brutal, but in Livingston, you are faced with a whole new problem. The relentless wind. Livingston has been named Montana’s Windiest City, wind advisories are a weekly occurrence, and it’s not uncommon for the interstate to be shut down due to the wind. As the cool winds from Yellowstone National Park’s high plateau meet the warmer air in lower elevations the wind funnels through the Paradise Valley heading straight for Livingston. Wind speeds average between 8-10 mph but can easily reach over 50 mph. But it’s not just the wind’s speed, it’s the relentlessness that makes it feel like it’s hard to catch a break. But when the wind does settle, an incredible sense of peace (and maybe a little relief) comes over the town, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Photo credit: www.yellowstonevalleywoman.com
5. Livingston is quirky
The vibe in Livingston is a funny mix of cowboy roots with an eclectic vibe. It’s where you have long-standing fly shops next to art galleries, and where you often see posters for things like energy healing and astrology readings next to advertisements for the rodeo. Tourism is one of Livingston’s largest industries. A steady stream of fishermen heading to the Yellowstone River and tourists heading to Yellowstone National Park keeps things interesting around here. Livingston is also home to the Printing For Less headquarters, one of Livingston’s largest employers. This growing company brings hundreds of tech-related jobs to the area, adding one more piece to Livingston’s interesting mix.
6. You better like the outdoors
If you’re moving from an urban area, you should know that Livingston is a long way from any big city amenities. Really, all of Montana is far away from city life. So, if you’re looking for shopping, professional sporting events or Broadway-style entertainment, Livingston is not the place for you. But, if you are looking for fishing, mountain access, hiking, camping, and rafting, then you will be perfectly happy living in Livingston, Montana.
With the Absaroka mountains as a dramatic backdrop and the Yellowstone River running through the edge of town, Livingston is one of the most beautiful small towns in America. If you can handle the wind, the commute, and the celebrities, there’s a chance you will really love living in Livingston, Montana. Click here to see home prices in Livingston, and click here to download our guide to moving to Livingston.