Bozeman is one of the top destinations for people who are moving to Montana. And it's easy to understand why! Life in Bozeman is pretty great, although not without its challenges. Here are the top questions people ask before moving to Bozeman, Montana.
1. Is it as great as everyone says?
As much as we’d like to keep it a secret, the truth must be told. Yes. Bozeman is truly one of the best places to live. Whether you are a college student, raising a family, a retiree or a young professional, Bozeman is an amazing place to call home. Click here for the pros and cons of living in Bozeman.
2. What do people do for work?
So many things! Bozeman is a great place for start-ups, and many Bozeman residents exercise their entrepreneurial spirit and open their own businesses. Bozeman has a non-profit organization called Prospera that does a fantastic job helping people start and grow their own local businesses. Montana State University and Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital are the largest employers in Bozeman, providing thousands of jobs for Bozeman residents. Bozeman also has a growing tech industry with companies like Oracle, Schedulicity OnX, and more that call Bozeman home. Bozeman's growing tourism industry has created a large number of service industry positions. And as growth keeps booming, there are a large number of jobs available in the construction industry as well.
3. How is the housing and rental market?
With all of the growth Bozeman has seen recently, the cost of homes and rentals have increased significantly over the past several years. Rent prices have also increased due to the growth. Bozeman's competitive rental market can be discouraging and frustrating for newcomers (click here for some rental resources). The good news is that many new apartment and condo complexes are under construction, bringing supply more in line with demand. The surrounding areas are also great options for people looking for an affordable alternative to Bozeman. Belgrade, Montana is only 8 miles away and Livingston, Montana is 25 miles away and both offer lower housing prices. If you are looking to purchase a home, click here to see what homes cost.
4. What are the schools like?
The Bozeman School District is one of the best in the nation. There are eight elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. Bozeman schools offer fantastic athletic departments, a top-notch music program, and great teachers and administrators. Bozeman students get to take advantage of opportunities to learn to ski, try theater, take field trips to the opera or study a language and perhaps take a school trip to Europe to further their studies. Click here for more information about school districts in the area.
5. What do people do for fun?
Most people move to Bozeman because of the endless possibilities for recreation, and once you get here you will not be disappointed! With some of the biggest skiing in America less than an hour away, some of the best fly fishing rivers in the nation, and hundreds of thousands of acres of public land for hiking, biking, camping, rock climbing, and trail running you can try a little bit of everything here in Bozeman. Bozeman also has a thriving downtown full of local restaurants, shops, art galleries, and bars. We have a great music scene with several venues and an amazing symphony and theaters. There are year-round farmers' markets, art festivals, and other community events. You will never be bored in Bozeman!
6. Is Bozeman safe?
Thanks to the efforts of our police department, community groups and local residents, the crime rate in Bozeman remains extremely low. Of all the major cities in Montana, Bozeman has the lowest crime rate with 59.74 crimes per 1,000 residents as of the year 2020. With the population growing in Bozeman, there are valid concerns that more crime will come with it. Hopefully, Bozeman will be able to remain the type of town where it feels safe enough to leave keys in the car and the front door unlocked (although we can't actually recommend that).
7. How do you meet people?
Moving to a new town can be intimidating. Luckily Bozeman is a very welcoming and friendly place! There are always events going on, tons of meet-up groups, social media groups, and opportunities to make new friends. We also recommend volunteering in our community. You won’t stay a newcomer for long!
8. How do you get around?
People often say Montana is the kind of place that requires your own set of wheels, especially if you plan to make the most out of all the outdoor recreation. A vehicle is necessary to get yourself to the mountains after work, or out exploring on the weekends. Luckily in Bozeman, we don’t have what anyone from a big city would consider traffic. The average commute time is less than 15 minutes. People also take advantage of the fact that everything in Bozeman is relatively close and walk or bike places all year long (fat tire bikes are a must in the winter). Bozeman also has free public transportation via the Streamline Bus System that services throughout Bozeman as well as to Belgrade, Four Corners, Livingston, Big Sky, and even straight to the ski hill at Bridger Bowl.
9. How bad are the winters?
We’re not going to lie, winters in Montana can be rough. Oftentimes, the snow starts flying in September and will stick around well through May. Spring snowstorms can really bring you down! The temperatures fluctuate, we can have 40 degree days in the middle of winter, or it can get down to -20. You just never know! But winters in Bozeman are beautiful, even if they are cold! People who live in Bozeman spend the winter months on the ski hill, sledding, ice climbing, and ice fishing, which makes it all worth it. Click here to find out how to survive your first winter in Bozeman.
10. What are the surrounding areas like?
As Bozeman grows, more people are looking to the surrounding areas for more affordable living and smaller communities. This way, you can get the best of both worlds enjoying small-town living but still being close to everything Bozeman has to offer. Belgrade is the closest town to Bozeman and the one where many people chose to live while commuting to Bozeman. Beyond Belgrade is Manhattan and then Three Forks. Both of these towns have charming communities with plenty of wide-open space. On the other side of Bozeman is Livingston which is turning into quite the happening place! With breweries, art galleries, and nightlife to rival Bozeman along with the Yellowstone River running through town and the beautiful Paradise Valley. Click here for more on Bozeman's surrounding areas.