Once a skip-over town for Yellowstone country, Bozeman has a lot more than awe-inspiring alpine backdrops. Fueled by rampant relocation amid the pandemic, the city of some 55,000 residents is turning into a Rocky Mountain hub. Downtown is experiencing a growth spurt, with boutique fitness and yoga studios, alternative health-care outposts like Good Medicine Acupuncture; and high-end beauty stores like Glove Beauty setting up shop. The increasingly global dining scene rivals that of Denver or Park City, and the hottest table lately is at JW Heist Steakhouse.
Beyond the city center, visitors will soon get a chance to check out the completed North Black Pocket Park, outfitted with a red ski chair from the local ski area. An alleyway beautification project is also in the works; focused on infusing side streets with artsy flair via murals, greenery, and sculptures, it’s another reason this mountain town feels so modern.
When it comes time to pry off your cowboy boots, choose from the recently unveiled AC Hotel Bozeman, to The Lark, a hip property in the “redesigned motel” vein, to the Kimpton Armory Hotel; The only four-star hotel in Bozeman, it was built on a former armory bomb shelter, and come summer, the year-round rooftop bar, The Sky Shed, is the place to be for a motley swirl of far-flung tourists and local barflies alike. (There’s an indoor pool on the rooftop, too.) As you soak up the best view of the valley in town, raise a glass by the fire pit to The Last Best Place.