Ask just about anyone who lives in Livingston, Montana and they will tell you that there is no other place on Earth where they would rather live. Of course, not everyone can handle the cold and snow and wind, but once you have been here just one time (especially if it is during the summer months!) you just can’t help but come back.
A lot of what makes Livingston and surrounding areas so wonderful is the amazing beauty everywhere you look. It is there the minute you walk out the door in the form of expansive blue skies, snow capped mountains and quaint streets lined with beautiful old trees and houses built a hundred or more years ago. People around here take pride in their homes and as soon as the sun comes out in May you start to see pots fill up with colorful flowers lining fronts of houses, along walkways and hanging from porches. For local photographer, Lindsay Wells, the landscape is a photographers dream come true. She says, “I love the mountains. Period. But Livingston has so much more to offer. I love it’s originality/ uniqueness, the people, the abundance of art and the multitude of outdoor activities.” As Lindsay points out, along with the natural beauty comes a variety of activities for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy, including skiing, hiking, rafting, fishing, horseback riding, cycling, and the list goes on and on. Local fly fishing guide, Eric Paramore says, “I appreciate the slower pace of life here and how friendly everyone is but mostly for me what I love about Livingston is the fishing. It really is some of the best fly fishing in the world and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
With all of that being said, what is it that really sets Livingston apart from every other beautiful location? For some it is the people – the “eclectic mix of visitors and residents in our fair community” is exactly what local contractor Mark Murphy loves about this town. Livingston is one of those places most people these days think only exists in movies from the fifties. Walk down any of the residential streets on a nice day and you will see children playing and parents conversing and you are guaranteed a “hello” even if you are a total stranger. Kelley Myer, elementary teacher at Montessori Island School remembers initially being struck by all of the people who would stop their cars in the middle of the street to chat with someone riding their bike or driving in the other direction. And this is so commonplace that no one honks their horn or shouts angrily at the stopped cars; they just drive around them or sometimes even join the conversation. This is the kind of place where people really do help each other out and look after one another.
Sure we have our share of problems just like anywhere else, but overall we are a community of warm, friendly people who live here because we like to move at a slightly slower pace than the rest of the world. The Murray Hotel’s own Dan Kaul summed Livingston up perfectly with this quote: “For me, the thing about Livingston that stands out above all is that it is still real…….and that is a rare and great thing.”
Photo Credit: Lynn Weaver