A day in Paradise (Valley)

If you have ever been to the Paradise Valley you will immediately understand how it got its name.

The stunning Absaroka Mountains sprawl from Livingston to the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

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Highway 89, which will take you right to the park is traveled heavily by tourists in the Summer who have landed at the Bozeman Airport and are embarking on a trip to Yellowstone. But what they may not know is that journey on Highway 89

has so many unique and fun spots to spend the day and get a true taste of Montana.

I have written about Chico Hot Springs before, but seriously STOP THERE! The outdoor hot springs pool is the perfect way to relax, enjoy a beverage, and soak in the mountain air.

You can stay the night at Chico or just stop for a soak after a day of activities at the park. They have towels, locker rooms, and three places to eat. So, you could make a day out of it.

The dining at Chico is great, but if you are looking to get a real sense of small town Montana, drive the 2 miles from Chico to Emigrant where Follow Yer’ Nose BBQ and the Old Saloon bring the outdoor venue to a whole new level.

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Follow Yer’ Nose BBQ was just a smoker and a tent when they first opened. Now you can sit outside on a unique patio and listen to a local band while enjoying some of the best BBQ in the state.

Get the ‘Don’t Mine the Yellowstone’ sandwich for two reasons. One it’s dang good! And two because $1 from every sandwich sold goes to the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition***.

*** There is a group that wants to mine for gold near Emigrant just outside Yellowstone. The effects of the mine could completely alter the area including the stunning views. To learn more go to http://dontmineyellowstone.com/ ***

In the same parking lot as Follow Yer’ Nose is the Old Saloon. You can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner here! Go for the food, but stay for the live music.

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The Old Saloon has an old school outdoor stage and this summer have pulled some pretty good musical acts including Turnpike Troubadours (sorry, this concert is sold out)!

There’s plenty of room for dancing and enjoying a cold one. It’s the perfect place for tourists and locals to meet!

Paradise Valley truly is paradise, just ask John Mayer.

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So, on your way to Yellowstone, stop meet the locals and take in the beauty of paradise.

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#keepwandering

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Last minute MDW trips

Memorial Day Weekend is 24 hours away, and for those of you still trying to figure out some ideas…don’t sweat I got you covered.

I love MDW. Growing up my mom always threw a big party and it truly is the kick off to summer. So, here are my ideas for some last minute getaways. This will really only help my Bozemanites, as they are all an hour or less away!

  1. Yellowstone National Park 
    This is a no brainer in my book. This is a great time of year to head to the park. Everything is open now, so if you head in from the Gardiner entrance you can get to Old Faithful and all of the other awesome attractions that are normally closed in the winter. Plus, it’s still early in the Summer season, so you won’t be dealing with the insane crowds. For more on how to plan this trip I will refer you to my previous post about a weekend getaway to YNPS. 
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  2. Camp at the Pine Creek Lodge
    The Pine Creek Lodge is located in the AMAZING Paradise Valley. This funky little place has campsites along with cabins. There is also a restaurant, bar, and outdoor music venue. It is rumored that John Mayor will sometimes stop by and play his music for those lucky enough to be there that evening! This weekend the lodge has live music on Friday night starting at 7:00 pm. On Saturday and Sunday they will feature artists during Brunch. Also close by is a hike in the Pine Creek Recreation Area if you would like to get outdoors during your stay.

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  3. Virginia City & Nevada City
    For those history junkies, Virginia City would be a great overnight trip! Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the ghost town’s season. Virginia City is also about a mile away from Nevada City, another one of Montana’s first mining cities.

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    You can ride the train to get between the two, which I highly recommend if you have kiddos with you. There are a few restaurants in both Virginia and Nevada City. For a fancier fare head to the Wells Fargo Steak House. There is not a bad thing on the menu! You’ll find great nightlife at the Bale of Hay Saloon. And for breakfast you will want to hit the Star Bakery! There is so much to do in these two ghost towns that I definitely recommend an overnight trip!
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    (You can also pan for gold!)
    You can stay at the Historic Fairweather Inn. If you are feeling adventurous ask to stay in the haunted room! Since it is opening weekend there are plenty of special events happening too!
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  4. Hot springs day trips
    Finally, if you aren’t feeling an overnight and just want a fun daytime activity you can easily hit the hot springs. The first option would be to head to Chico Hot Springs in Pray. For a day soak it will cost you $8.50. There is also a bar and restaurant by the pool. I recommend bringing your own towels. They will charge extra for that!

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    Another great hot spring is Norris Hot Springs (also known as Water of the Gods). Norris is SUPER funky, but sooo much fun! To soak at Norris it will cost $7 for the day. There is also live music every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Live music begins at 7:00 pm and will cost you an extra $2.

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No matter what you decide take this weekend to get out and explore! I would love to see your adventure pictures, so use the hashtag!

#keepwandering