Who Has The Better Downtown? Bozeman or Missoula?
One of the hardest decisions I've ever had to deal with, and I think some folks aren't going to be happy with me.
Bozeman or Missoula? It's a question that has had Montanans argue for years on which town is better. Usually, locals will use the universities as the focal point, on which place is better. Some locals will use Yellowstone National Park, or the two world-class ski resorts, as a reference on what city is better.
I think the better city comes down to the downtown area, and this is a tough argument.
Let's start with Bozeman's downtown area. It's essentially Main Street from Grant Street to Wallace Avenue. The downtown area of Bozeman is interesting. There is a great mix of old Bozeman architecture with new businesses. There is also a great spread of restaurants and bars. There is some decent shopping and is a great walk from end to end.
Bozeman's downtown area seems too tough to beat, right? Well, not exactly.
Missoula's downtown area is fantastic. First off, their downtown area includes a beautiful river. You can see locals on the river during the summer, floating, fishing, paddle boarding, or even surfing the rapids. Missoula's downtown also has a better range of restaurants, bars, and one of the most iconic music venues in the Pacific Northwest.
Instead of one street for downtown Missoula, it's a whole area. Missoula's downtown includes four top-tier breweries, a basement billiard hall, and fantastic shopping at local boutiques.
A downtown area should not only be the identity of a city but the heartbeat of what's going on.
So who's downtown area is better? Sad to say, but Missoula has this debate in the bag.
At least we all can agree that the Billings downtown area is the worst in Montana.