Anthony Bourdain, a chef, bestselling author and winner of multiple Emmy awards, travels the world and spends about 200 nights a year in hotels. So finding a good one is important….”Here are some of my favorites.”
Tony explores the snow-capped mountains, majestic big skies, winding rivers and roaming cattle of Livingston, Montana, once was an inspiration for adventurous Americans and locals alike. He says Livingston’s Murray Hotel one of world’s best along with ones in London and Los Angeles. Tune in to The Travel Channel’s No Reservations on February 18th at 8am Central/7am Mountain to catch this episode. Also view the articles featuring this visit:
Actress Margot Kidder narrates a fascinating history of the Murray Hotel and the town of Livingston, Montana.
This is NOT a complete list of our events, please check with the front desk for current events. Here’s a sample listing of what Livingston and the surrounding area offers:
Livingston Holiday Stroll – Annual event celebrating the upcoming holidays with downtown Livingston stores and galleries open much later than normal. There are also hay rides, carolors, live music, pictures with Santa and more.
Western Sustainability Exchange Holiday Farmers’ Market – Annual market setup with unique gifts for the upcoming holidays. At the Civic Center on River Drive in Livingston. Call 406.222.8155 for more information.
Annual Old Fashioned Christmas Fair – Annual event with vendors from local and surrounding areas offering various services or goods for great shopping in preparation for the upcoming holidays. Come bring the family and enjoy pictures with Santa, homemade food and goodies and much more. Contact Park County Fairgrounds at 406.222.4185.
Livingston Roundup Parade – every July 2nd at 3pm, Second St. to Park St. to Main Street, Livinston
Livingston Roundup Rodeo – every July 2, 3, and 4th at 8pm, Park County Fairgrounds
Depot Center Festival of the Arts – July 2, 3, and 4th every year at the Rotary Park, next to the Depot
Yellowstone River Boat Float – from Livingston to Columbus, generally on the 2nd weekend of July
Summerfest – third weekend in July each year at the Miles Park and Bandshell next to the Yellowstone River
Livingston Classic PBR – Park County Fairgrounds, last weekend in July
Livingston Art Walk – Last Fridays in June, July, August and September. Downtown Livingston and some other private galleries/studios have open hours later than normal to entertain and accommodate visitors.
Park County Fair – Annual Park County Fair at fairgrounds. Generally days surrounding the first Weekend in August. See recent posting: Annual Park County Fair
Livingston HOOT – New Annual event in late summer with guest concert bands on Main Street, Livingston. Website: LivingstonHoot
More information on any of these events may be found at Livingston Chamber of Commerce website or with a call at 406.222.0850.
As an old railroad town, Livingston has a rich history and the Murray Hotel, being situated right downtown, has been lucky enough to be a part of much of it. Originally known as the Elite Hotel in the early 1900’s, the hotel was later purchased by Josephine Kline who renamed it the Kline Hotel. She bought the adjacent building with money borrowed from James A. Murray and expanded the hotel. When Murray died his heirs used legal manipulations to gain possession of the hotel. Josephine Kline was evicted and the Murray Hotel got the name that it still has to this day.
One of the best things about downtown Livingston is that people have worked hard to preserve our history, especially in regards to the old buildings and houses. We are also lucky to have access to an enormous collection of wonderful photographs documenting the history of our small town. These photos can be found at the Yellowstone Gateway Museum’s website in the Bill and Doris Whithorn Online Database. The Friends of Yellowstone Gateway Museum have also just come out with a book called Photo History of Livingston. It is a great book with amazing photos. As you walk through downtown you can still find many of the buildings shown in photographs in the book.
Anyone interested in history should go take a look at the Whithorn Collection online and consider buying the book before you come out to visit. We also have a few copies available at the hotel.
This is the view at sunset last week from the pond at DePuy’s Spring Creek. The Spring Creeks just outside of Livingston (Armstrong’s, Nelson’s and DePuy’s) are world famous for their fly fishing and can be a nice option for fishing in the spring. They also have gorgeous views, great scenery and tons of wildlife. For more information you can go directly to their individual websites or contact any of the local fly shops here in town.
This is the time of year when people start planning (or at least dreaming about) their summer vacations. Here is a list of websites and blogs that can help you in this endeavor. Whether you are just looking for some ideas and inspiration or are already starting your planning these are all useful resources.
Lonely Planet – The publishers of the Lonely Planet travel books have a great website with lots of information on traveling all over the world.
National Geographic Travel Blog – Beautiful photos and interesting trip ideas.
Official Government Travel Information:
The TSA Blog (did you know they had one?) – Stay up to date on all of the latest news from the Transportation Security Administration.
Fast Lane – The official blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
General Travel Information:
Bing Travel Farecast – Searches other sites for best fares and also predicts when fares will go up or down.
Consumer Traveler – All around travel news and tips written for the consumer.
Weather Underground – It’s always a good idea to check the weather when heading to a different part of the country (especially Montana where it is very unpredictable). Take a look at the extended forecast when deciding what to pack and keep in mind that it can go from sunny and warm to snowing in no time at all around here!
Montana and Livingston Information:
Montana’s Official State Travel Site – This website is a great resource for anyone traveling to Montana and has beautiful photos of our state.
Go Livingston – Offers some nice ideas for those planning a vacation in Livingston.
Livingston Chamber of Commerce – Check out their visitor guide for all of the information you need on what to see, what to do, where to go in Livingston.
A couple of weeks ago we wrote about downhill skiing and snowboarding in this part of Montana. For those of you who prefer skiing on relatively flat terrain, there are a multitude of options around Livingston. There is such a variety of trails in this area that you are sure to find something to suit any level skier.
For the complete beginner, we recommend Bohart Ranch, which is located in the Bridger Mountains about 30 miles from Livingston. They have everything that you need right there, from ski rentals, to lessons, to groomed trails. They teach both classic and skate skiing techniques. Their day pass rates and rental rates are very reasonable but according to their website they do not take credit cards so be sure to bring cash or check with you!
If you already know how to cross country ski and would like to get out and see some beautiful scenery you can choose to stick close to Livingston and ski one of the many trails in Paradise Valley or head into Yellowstone National Park for the day. Either way you will need equipment so make sure to bring your own if you have it, or if you do not, stop in and see the friendly folks at Timber Trails for some rentals. They are located at 309 West Park Street and you can call them for more info at 406.222.9550.
From Suce Creek to Mill Creek to Bear Creek, there are ski trails throughout Paradise Valley. GoLivingston.com has a great write up of many of these trails with directions on getting there and levels of difficulty. You can read it here. As an added bonus, at the very end of Mill Creek (about 11 miles up Mill Creek Rd.) there is a sledding hill right next to the parking area! So, if you have children and decide to head in that direction for your skiing you may want to bring a sled along as well.
For more information on cross country skiing in Yellowstone visit the National Park Service website where you will find maps of trails with a key telling you the difficulty level of each trail.
This has been a great year for skiing so far with all of the snow that has fallen in Livingston. Cross country skiing is an excellent way to take advantage of that and a great activity for the whole family! Just make sure to do your research ahead of time and dress for the ever changing Livingston weather.
Whether you plan all of your winter vacations completely around skiing or snowboarding, or you are planning on coming to Montana for other reasons but would like to fit some skiing in as well, you will find that you have some options once you get here.
The favorite amongst locals because of its proximity to Livingston and its very reasonable prices, Bridger Bowl is actually a non-profit that was started back in the 1950’s by local ski enthusiasts. The mountain is located 30 miles from Livingston and boasts 2000 ski-able acres with the longest run being 3 miles. Currently they have the snow base listed as 61″ and continue to get fresh snow almost daily! As mentioned above, the pros of skiing Bridger are that it is the closest ski area to Livingston and the prices are better than you will find anywhere else nearby. For a full day lift ticket the cost is: Adult – $47, Child (7-12) – $16, Child 6 & under – free, Senior (70-79) – $21, Super Senior (80+) – free. The cons of Bridger are that it is a fairly small mountain, thereby limiting the amount and length of runs and it is also not the best option for snowboarders because there is a lot of traversing between runs with long flat stretches.
Moonlight is located in Big Sky, just 76 miles from Livingston and is situated on the northern edge of Big Sky Resort. They have 1900 ski-able acres with their longest run coming in at 2.8 miles. Currently their base is listed at 50″. Pros of Moonlight include much less expensive lift prices than Big Sky. Full day prices are: Adult – $58, College, Junior, Senior and Active Military – $49, Children 10 & under – free. They also have several areas of freestyle terrain which include jumps, hits, ramps, fun boxes, jibs and rails. The main con of Moonlight is that most of its runs are located on the opposite side of Lone Peak from Big Sky which leaves it in the shade for most of the day.
Big Sky Resort
Big Sky Resort is located right next to Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, MT. It is by far the largest of the three ski areas listed here with 150 named runs covering over 85 miles on three separate mountains. Their longest run is 6 miles and their current snow base is between 47-70″. They also have a Terrain Park and they have an online interactive trail map. Pros of Big Sky Resort are its size which offers a wide variety of runs for all levels and great for snowboarding as well. It is also located on the sunny side of the mountain, which can be huge on a cold Montana day. The main con is the price of lift tickets which is comparable to some Tahoe ski resorts. They do offer a discount if you purchase your tickets online but regular full day price is: Adult – $81, Junior or College – $61, Senior – $71, Kids 10 & under – free.
There is also the option now to get one pass to ski both Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin. You can find more info on that at either one of their websites.
All three of these ski areas can be day trips from Livingston if you wish, with Bridger being a much more reasonable day trip. Of course if you spend the day skiing in Big Sky you can always stop in Bozeman for dinner on your way back to Livingston. If you are flying in to Montana you will have to rent a car to get to any of these resorts and you will want to make sure and rent one with either four wheel drive or all wheel drive! As always, if you have any questions about local activities just give us a call or stop by the front desk.
When most of us think of winter activities we think skiing, snowboarding, maybe even snowshoeing. But how many of you have ever been dog sledding? Winter is a beautiful season here in Montana and one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty is by getting away from the roads and towns and people. In order to really get deep into the wilderness where you can see a variety of wildlife, you must find an alternate method of transportation. Cross country skiing can be a great way to do this. Another amazing option is to take a dog sled tour.
One great company in the Paradise Valley region that offers a range of dog sled tours is Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures. They have half day tours, full day tours and even a Full Moon Mush nighttime ride! If you have never been before and just want a little taste of what dog sledding is like or if you have children who you would like to take with you, there is also a “Sampler” option which lasts just 1-2 hours. Their website is full of information about the different tours that they offer, the dogs that they use and special multi-day trips.
If you are thinking about visiting Livingston during the winter months and looking for a unique activity that the whole family can enjoy then definitely consider taking a dog sled tour! You will be guaranteed to take home some incredible memories.
Photo courtesy of Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures