With the cost of living in places like California, particularly home prices among San Francisco real estate, it’s no wonder so many have been putting their homes on the market, packing their bags and heading elsewhere.
If you own property in the Golden Gate City and sell it, with the typical price of a home there at $1.3 million, odds are you’ll be able to afford a spectacular place with acreage in a beautiful state like Montana, famous for its scenery and outdoor adventures like fly-fishing, hiking, skiing and much more. But Big Sky Country also offers plenty of indoor pursuits, including cultural attractions like museums – these institutions are some of the very best and well worth a visit.
Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman
This museum is often ranked among the most popular in Montana, offering something for all ages. Even the kids will like it, thanks to the exceptional dinosaur exhibits that include the country’s largest collection of dinosaurs. But it also features a Living History Farm in its Tinsley House for a glimpse at life around the turn of the 20th century, a fantastic early Native American art exhibit and a laser planetarium.
C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls
Charles M. Russell is considered by many to be the foremost artist of the West, capturing its spirit, culture and landscapes. Referred to as the “cowboy artist,” the collection at this Great Falls museum spans his entire lifespan and includes his home which is furnished with period pieces and items from the Russell family, as well as his art studio. It showcases over 2,000 works of art, artifacts and personal objects as the world’s only place where visitors can be immersed in Russell’s art and life. Families, including children, can also enjoy art activities, an Indian Village, chuck wagon and a store with books, museum-quality gifts, clothing and collectibles.
Nevada City Museum, Virginia City
The Nevada City Museum contains the largest collection of historic music machines as well as a vast collection of preserved history buildings. While there are only a little over 100 people living in this town, there are more than 100 historic buildings to explore, complete with artifacts and period furnishings. This was once the biggest town in the inland northwest, with a population of around 10,000 in the mid-19th-century thanks to gold-mining opportunities. Preservation efforts were started in the 1960s to keep it as authentic as possible, and entirely free of commercialism, so walking down the streets is like walking through history. Visitors can catch a melodrama and vaudeville in the opera house, which was the most popular form of entertainment back in the day too; ride a stagecoach and hop aboard a narrow-gauge train for a ride on the rails.
Glacier County Historical Museum and Archive, Cut Bank
This museum is focused on the local history of Glacier County. It hosts a replica of a farm and homestead house, a 1917 schoolhouse, and an oil worker’s house. It’s best to visit on a weekend when you can chat with characters in period costume circa 1915 – they also demonstrate what daily life was like for Montana homesteaders.