Located in Central Montana, on the Missouri River, the Great Falls is a one-of-a-kind vacation destination. It is the third-most populous city in Montana, boasting a population of about 60,000 residents (which still isn’t much compared to other states’ city hubs). The city offers incredible access to Montana’s beautiful wilderness and fishing opportunities with a blend of entertainment, a fantastic arts scene, and fascinating history.
Great Falls is a wonderful place to stay if visiting Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks since it only takes under four hours’ drive to get to either of the destinations. A great adventure can still be had without leaving the city limits, though. Here is the ultimate travel guide to Great Falls and things to do there.
When To Visit Great Falls, Montana
A view of the Missouri River in Great Falls MT
If visiting the city for its great outdoors, vacationers should target September. It is the perfect time to enjoy the best this region of Montana has to offer. The weather is warm and the crowds have thinned out.
October is perfect for budget travelers since the prices of accommodations and flights have been reduced. Since the weather is still fairly mild, it is a great time for last-minute tourists to enjoy the beauty of the Great Falls.
Vacationers looking to take advantage of the shopping opportunities in the city of Great Falls should target the holiday season. At this time of the year, there are all kinds of goods.
For events and festivals in Great Falls, August is the ideal time. At this time, the city is brimming with live music, incredible shows, and numerous outdoor events that an entire family would have a fun experience.
Winter is the city’s low tourist season. The city doesn’t experience much snow, but it can get pretty cold. December is when the Great Falls receive the most snow.
- Best time for sightseeing: September
- Best time for budget travelers: October
- Best time for shopping: the holiday season, from November
- Best time for events and festivals: August
How Can You Get Around Great Falls?
Great Falls, Montana, USA
Located between Glacier and Yellowstone National Park, Great Falls offer numerous options for getting around. One flies into the Great Falls International Airport (GTF), which is served by Allegiant Air, Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines. The cost of flying to Great Falls is one of the lowest in Montana.
- The average cost of a flight ticket to Great Falls: $211
Tourists can use bus services to get to Great Falls. There are a good number of companies offering transportation services to different destinations in and beyond Great Falls.
The Salt Lake Express runs along 1-15 and transports travelers from and to the Great Falls Transit District.
- The average cost of transportation to Great Falls via Salt Lake Express: $155
Greyhound offers national bus services between Montana cities and across the country. Their buses arrive and depart from the Great Falls Transit District in the city’s downtown area.
When it comes to getting around the city, vacationers have several options to choose from.
Public buses connect different parts of the city and are an affordable and convenient means of transportation. The Great Falls Transit District (GFTD) is the authority in charge and has been offering services since 1982.
Seven bus routes are running from Mondays to Saturdays. Day passes allow vacationers to have unlimited rides on all bus routes in a day.
- The cost of public buses in Great Falls: $1 per ride
- The cost of a day pass: $4
Uber and Lyft both operate in Great Falls – and are a perfect option for vacationers looking for a bit of privacy.
Best Things To Do In Great Falls, Montana
Great Falls, Montana, USA
There is a reason why Great Falls has a tagline, “Genuine Montana.” It boasts some of the most beautiful natural attractions in the world to visit at least once in a lifetime.
But that’s not what Great Falls is all about. It boasts a vibrant arts scene too. It’s no wonder it’s referred to as the Museum Capital of Montana. So, what is there to do in this wonderful city?
Walk The River’s Edge Trail
It is always delightful to explore this beautiful part of the Great Falls. The trail runs along the beautiful Missouri River, which is known for offering some of the most scenic canoe trips in the U.S., and links different places, including the city’s downtown district and some of its most iconic attractions.
One of the parks that vacationers will spot along this trail is Gibson Park, the most impressive park in the city. Other attractions to see here include the Giant Spring State Park and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. There are several adventure opportunities to enjoy in these incredible natural spaces.
Experience Amazing Art At The C.M. Russel Museum
Named after one of the most iconic Western painters, Charles M. Russell, this museum showcases the largest collection of Russell’s work. Visitors will find everything here, from paintings to sculptures to illustrated letters. The museum offers fascinating exhibitions from both Russel and other nationally recognized talents.
Learn Some History At The Lewis And Clark Interpretive Center
At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, vacationers will learn about the journey of two of the most famous explorers, Lewis and Clark, dating back to 1805, when they passed through the present-day Great Falls. It is found within Giant Spring State Park, one of the best parks in the state.
The Interpretive center covers an area of more than 25,000 sq feet, housing beautiful galleries, a movie theater, and an area for hands-on edutaining activities. This is one of the best places that travelers can visit with kids.
Go Shopping At Holiday Village Mall
This shopping center was built in 1959 and covers two stories. It has more than 60 colorful shops and stores, offering all kinds of products. Vacationers into shopping should not miss out on this mall. The mall offers wheelchairs to guests who request them.
There is a kids’ play spot, a food court, and Wi-Fi available throughout the mall’s hours of operation.
Where To Stay In Great Falls, Montana
Great Falls, Montana, USA
Great Falls, MT might be relatively small, but it has ample accommodations for visitors.
Best Western Plus Riverfront Hotel and Suites
If looking for a relaxing stay in Great Falls, Montana, The Best Western Plus Riverfront Hotel and Suites are where to find it. Located near the Great Falls International Airport, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, and several attractions in the city, staying here vacationers plenty of adventure opportunities.
- Address: 600 River Drive South, Great Falls, MT 59405
- Amenities: Indoor pool, fitness center, free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee maker, coffee machine, free parking, free, airport shuttle, shuttle service (free), and business center.
Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites – Great Falls
Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites – Great Falls puts vacationers near the airport and entertainment opportunities, including the Meadow Lark Country Club. The hotel offers fantastic amenities and facilities, including a business center, airport shuttle rides, and newspapers available in the lobby.
- Address: 3701 31st Street Southwest, Great Falls, MT 59404
- Amenities: Indoor pool, fitness center, free Wi-Fi, coffee machine, coffee shop, free parking, free airport shuttle, shuttle service (free), business center, and a flat-screen TV.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Great Falls
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Great Falls is located a mile away from the Great Falls International Airport and a short distance from numerous shopping and dining opportunities.
This hotel is an incredible choice for families since there are several kid-friendly amenities, including a hippo-wading pool for children.
- Address: 1625 Marketplace Drive, Great Falls, MT 59404
- Amenities: Indoor pool, fitness center, free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee maker, coffee machine, free parking, business center, Wi-Fi available in all areas, and a flat-screen TV.
Where To Eat In Great Falls
Great Falls, Montana, USA
Great places to eat in Great Falls MT include Wheat Montana Great Falls, Roadhouse Diner, and Jakers Bar and Grill.
- Wheat Montana Great Falls: This is one of the best breakfast spots in town. The restaurant is known for its fresh baked pastries, healthy sandwiches, and delicious soups.
- Roadhouse Diner: This is an award-winning restaurant that has been featured in Travel & Leisure, Food Network, and TripAdvisor as one of the best-hidden gems in the United States. Their food is prepared with locally sourced ingredients, which results in uniquely prepared meals that honor the eatery’s name.
- Jakers Bar and Grill: This is a great dining spot to dine out with a loved one. The dinner menu includes Jakers Cap Steak, Tenderloin Filet, Fish & Chips, Cheeseburger, and more items that are guaranteed to satisfy all tastes.
Spending A Perfect Day In Great Falls, Montana
Glacier National Park
Wondering what to do in one of Montana’s best cities in 24 hours? Well, vacationers should accept the fact that they won’t be able to explore everything this great city has to offer.
One of the best places to visit on a day trip to Great Falls is the Giant Springs State Park. The park is massive and offers numerous things to see and do, including the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, located within the park.
This is one of the most popular parks in Montana and offers miles of hiking and biking trails. Vacationers can also enjoy fishing and hunting here.
Spend some time exploring the city’s great falls and dams, including Black Eagle Falls and Dam, Crooked Falls, Rainbow Dam, and Cochrane Dam.
Q: Is Great Falls worth a visit?
Great Falls offers incredible access to Montana’s beautiful wilderness and fishing opportunities with a blend of entertainment, a fantastic arts scene, and fascinating history.
Great Falls is a wonderful place to stay if visiting Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks since it only takes under four hours’ drive to get to either of the destinations. It is a one-of-a-kind travel gem that’s definitely worth visiting.
Q: What is Great Falls known for?
Great Falls is widely recognized for its rich heritage, including being part of the 1805-06 Lewis & Clark expedition. It is home to some of the most iconic tourist attractions in Montana, including Lewis And Clark Interpretive Center, Giant Springs State Park, and C.M. Russell Museum complex.
Q: How far is Great Falls from Yellowstone?
Great Falls offers incredible access to the world-famous Yellowstone National Park, thanks to its location about a 328-mile drive away, and takes about six hours and 15 minutes to get there.