Five Charming Montana VRBO’s WAY Off the Beaten Path
Western Montana gets most of the vacation attention when travelers explore Big Sky Country. Naturally, it's easy to see why. Paradise Valley, Whitefish, Bozeangles, Kalispell, etc. are all beautiful mountainous areas, which many tourists think of when they envision Montana. <Cough> Thanks, Yellowstone. Of course, the western half of Montana includes access to two of the country's greatest national parks which obviously draws more tourists than places like Miles City.
Eastern Montana is filled with a different kind of beauty.
For the purpose of this story, we'll draw an imaginary line from approximately Big Timber to Canada, splitting the state into two pieces based loosely on Mountains vs. Plains. One attractive quality about eastern Montana is that the population is far less dense. In fact, you can drive for MILES without seeing another soul in a large portion of the state. If you don't love crowds, traffic, pretentious restaurants, and gentrified condos, check out some of these vacation rentals I found that are certainly off the beaten path. Some are listed on VRBO and others I found on AirBnB (noted in each example, with links).
The old school house in Redstone, MT.
I've lived in Montana for the majority of my life, yet I still had to Google Redstone to verify its location. The unincorporated community is on Highway 5 in the far northeastern corner of the state. A stone's throw from the Canadian border, the nearest neighboring towns are Scobey and Plentywood. This charming school-turned-rental offers room for up to seven guests. Looking at the first weekend in June, Airbnb has it available for $195 per night. A recent review said,
Very cozy and warm. Great little space carved out in northeast Montana. Really cool piece of history rescued from Father Time. - Zach, November 2022
Fort Peck Family House
Fort Peck is a fairly well-known fishermen's paradise, yet I've only been there one time. Mainly because even from Billings it's a bit of a drive to get there. However, it's mind-blowingly big. Like, when you get out into the main part of the lake, you cannot even see the shore on the far side. Talk about big water. I encourage everyone (sportsmen or not) to see Fort Peck at least once.
This vacation rental sits near the north shore of the lake in the town of Fort Peck, which offers a surprising amount of summertime activities. The 3-bedroom property sleeps up to 8 and is located across the street from a city park. It's within walking distance of Fort Peck Lake. Early June weekend rates are listed at $225 per night.
Mountain home near Lewistown.
Lewistown is located in the geographic center of Montana, and it's one of my favorite smaller towns in the state to visit. Surrounded by ranches, mountains, and rolling plains, the area is rich in Montana history. It's a great place to chill out for the weekend and this listing in the hills east of town looks pretty awesome. Reviewer Brett L. wrote last fall,
My crew was in the Lewistown area to film a TV show. We travel extensively and much prefer VRBOs over hotels. This property is the hands-down favorite of the year. Great hosts, really cool house and you can't beat the location!
This listing (there are actually three rentals available on the property) sits on 160 acres, so you've got plenty of room to spread out and explore. The main house is priced at $279 per night for June 2023 dates and you can check it out HERE.
Visit Makoshika State Park in Glendive.
Glendive is oftentimes just a stop for gas for many travelers, and that's too bad because this little town on the Montana/North Dakota border has a lot to offer. Fans of fossils should check out the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum. While its Creation-based version of the history of the earth may be a little off-putting for some, you can always take it with a grain of salt and enjoy the exhibits. The otherworldly landscape at Makoshika State Park is definitely worth checking out too.
The vacation rental seen above is a 4-bedroom home that sleeps up to 8. Views of Makoshika can be seen from the backyard, according to the listing. It's going for $180 per night in June and you can check it out HERE.
Wide open skies in Geraldine.
East of Great Falls, and south of Forth Benton is the small town of Geraldine. If you are looking for brilliant stars and wide-open spaces, this rural vacation rental could be perfect for you. It's a walk-out basement unit that sleeps up to 7 with magnificent views of Square Butte from the property. Geraldine is just 20 minutes from Fort Benton which is a fun, historic town to spend a day or two putzing around. This rental is currently listed for $139 per night for early June. Find out more HERE.