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Ideas for the Perfect Holiday Gift

News, Updates, & Moreon November 23rd, 20103 Comments

It is almost Thanksgiving and that means that the mad shopping rush is almost upon us!  So often, before we know it, the holiday season turns into a frantic, hectic shopping spree.  We all do it, with our lists of friends and family members to whom we want to show our gratitude with the “perfect” gift.  And on that list there are always people who are impossible to buy for.  Well this year, why not do something a little different?  Why not donate to a charity or non-profit in that special someone’s name?  If you think about it, it really is the perfect gift.  Many of us don’t really need more little gadgets and knick knacks but there are many people out there who do need basic necessities.  There are so many wonderful organizations helping other people in a variety of ways that it makes it easy to customize each and every gift by donating to a group that matches the recipient’s interests.  From teen programs, to animal shelters, to food banks, the possibilities are endless.  Give a gift and give back to your community all at the same time!  Here is a list of just a few of the organizations to consider (if there are others that you want people to know about, please list them in the comments!):

Big Brothers Big Sisters: This organization pairs children with adult mentors who they can look up to and spend time with in order to help them realize their full potential.  Check out all of the programs they offer.

Community Closet: A non-profit thrift store providing low-cost, pre-owned clothing and household items.  They also distribute profits to charitable activities in this area.

Counterpoint: Counterpoint has been helping adults with disabilities since 1976 by providing residential, vocational and transportation services.

Livingston Food Pantry: Help the Food Pantry with their mission to eliminate hunger in Livingston and Park County.  They accept donations of food and money and you can read more about them at their website.

Manaia: A local organization that provides empowerment and personal development workshops for youth.  You can read more about what they do at their website and also donate directly through the website.

This is obviously just a very small sampling of what is out there.  Park County Community Foundation has an extensive list of non-profits if you would like to see more.  And don’t forget that if you do not have a lot of money to give you can always give back by volunteering your time as well!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Facebook Deals

News, Updates, & Moreon November 22nd, 2010Comments Off

If you are not already a fan of The Murray Hotel on Facebook we would love for you to check out our page.  It is a great way to stay up to date, not only on what is going on with the hotel, but also on all sorts of Livingston events and happenings.  We even have specials that are only available to our Facebook fans.  So, next time you are logged in head on over to our page!

Halloween at The Murray Hotel

News, Updates, & Moreon November 10th, 20102 Comments

Halloween Murray Hotel

People in Livingston take Halloween very seriously!  From the local Haunted House, to the annual Halloween Bash at the Depot, to the entirety of Yellowstone Street, which gets blocked off so that all of the children in the town can trick-or-treat together in one area, we are a town full of Halloween loving people.  And here at the hotel is no exception.  We love Halloween and we wanted to share some photos with all of you of our decorations from this year.

Murray Hotel Halloween Decorations


Murray Hotel Lobby Halloween

And hopefully next year you will come visit our lovely town and partake in the festivities in person!

November Happenings

News, Updates, & Moreon November 4th, 2010Comments Off

It is really amazing how much goes on in and around this community!  Even as the busy summer season dies down and we all prepare for ski season, there is still so much to do every single week.  Here are some announcements you might be interested in:

BOGO begins!  Believe it or not it really is already time to start thinking about Christmas and Holiday shopping.  If you are looking for a great deal, you don’t want to miss out on this event.  Every Friday and Saturday in November participating downtown Livingston businesses will offer a “Buy One Get One” special.  Look for the BOGO posters in store windows to see who is participating.  Happy shopping!

The East Side Arts Center is now open and presenting CATS through November 21st.  It is supposed to be an amazing new venue for performances and is located in the newly renovated old East Side School building.  Let us know what you think if you go check out one of the shows.

Getting excited for ski season to finally be here?  If you are looking for ski gear or wanting to get rid of some old gear there is no better place to go than the Bridger Ski Foundation annual Ski Swap.  It is this Friday-Sunday at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds in Bozeman.  Consignment day is Friday and the sale starts Saturday at 10 a.m.

Celebrate Fall in Montana

News, Updates, & Moreon October 22nd, 2010Comments Off

Rocky Creek Farm, Montana

The leaves have all changed color and many of them have fallen off of the trees.  While the days have been absolutely beautiful, the nights and mornings are becoming increasingly chilly.  That’s right, it’s fall here in Montana and that means that the snow and cold could be upon us any day now.  It means we should all be getting outside as much as possible.  It means that it is a perfect time to come visit this beautiful part of the country, and it also means that it’s time for pumpkins and apples from Rocky Creek Farm!

Petting Zoo

Rocky Creek Farm is located off of Bear Canyon Road and can be accessed coming from both Livingston and Bozeman on I-90.  Depending on the time of year, they offer different “pick your own” crops including raspberries and corn.  This time of year is pumpkin and apple time.


While you don’t actually get to harvest your own pumpkin or pick the apples off of the trees, Rocky Creek Farm does offer a fun filled experience, especially for the little ones, including a hayride to the “pumpkin patch” and the chance to turn your apples into apple cider!  Or you might want to take your apples home and turn them into homemade applesauce.  If you do, check out this website for very thorough instructions!

Baby pigs, Montana

They also have stacks of hay bales for the kids to play on, a petting zoo, baby pigs to feed, and brand new this year is the haunted swamp!

Haunted Swamp

The haunted swamp will be taking place in the evenings this weekend and next weekend in celebration of Halloween.  If you would like more information, directions,  or to find out what the exact hours of operation are you can call Rocky Creek Farm at 406.585.0225.

Get out there and enjoy this beautiful Montana fall that we are having!

Wedding Planning Season

News, Updates, & Moreon October 14th, 2010Comments Off

Wedding Rings Chieko Horn Photography

Well it isn’t exactly wedding season here in Montana anymore.  But it is the start of wedding planning season!  There are many people who begin planning their wedding anywhere between one year and 6 months before the actual wedding date.  If you fall into this category and have a wedding coming up next summer, here is a little information that you might find helpful about the Livingston area.

Starting with your venue choices, since those usually need to be booked the furthest in advance, here are a couple of options in or close to Livingston.  The first place to consider for a venue if you are looking for something right downtown is the Depot.  It can be a great spot for a wedding with a very urban feel.  If you are looking for a venue that showcases the natural beauty of Montana, be sure to take a look at Deep Creek Range which has a beautiful field with a view of the mountains or Yellowstone Valley Lodge which is right along the Yellowstone River.  Many people also choose to have their ceremony in one of the churches in town and then have the reception at one of the places already mentioned.

Livingston Depot Wedding

Most people who get married in and around Livingston have a lot of friends and family coming in from out of town.  That being the case, most of them want to make a full blown vacation out of their trip.  We all know that it is not cheap to fly into Montana which makes it hard to justify a quick weekend trip, even for a wedding.  One thing to consider when looking at flights is Allegiant Airlines.  They do fly into Bozeman now from Las Vegas and Phoenix or to Billings from Los Angeles and their prices are incredibly low!  There are also some great websites that will compare all of the fares from other travel sites for you, such as

Once your guests are here you will want to give them an authentic Montana experience!  Book a block of rooms at the Murray Hotel for them and they are guaranteed to have a good time.  They will be within walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, the movie theater, fly shops, galleries, everything they could want.  Plus they get to stay in an historic building with unique character. We even have suites if families want to stay together.  We will gladly recommend places to eat and things to do if they ask us and be sure to tell your guests to keep checking our website for updates on what is going on in Livingston.

There are so many aspects to planning a wedding that it just isn’t possible to delve into all of them in this post.  If you are looking for some great vendors we suggest you pick up a copy of the Montana Wedding Guide or go to their website.  Or if you already have one or two vendors picked out, ask them who they recommend for other vendors.

We will give you two tips though:

1.  Check out Bittersweet on Second Street in Livingston for some amazing alternatives to the traditional wedding cake.

2.  Live bands can change the whole feel of a wedding and really get people in the mood to dance.  Two bands that we love that you might want to check out are Hilary and the Foulhooks and The Max.

Get planning and give us a call if you have any questions about blocking off rooms for your wedding or fun things to do around here!

Photography courtesy of Chieko Horn Photography and LW Photography.

The Wild West at Its Civilized Best

News, Updates, & Moreon October 5th, 2010Comments Off

Murray Hotel Billboard

The next time you are driving into Livingston from Paradise Valley on Hwy 89 you will pass our new billboard!  We collaborated on this one with the wonderful Murray Bar and the always fabulous Second Street Bistro.  Both of those businesses, as well as the hotel, were featured in the “No Reservations” episode where Anthony Bourdain visits Montana.  If you haven’t seen it yet, go find a copy and watch it!  We are very proud to have an authentic Montana bar, where you can get great drinks and listen to good local music, and a fine dining establishment with delicious food featuring many local ingredients, all in the same building as our hotel.  It truly is “the wild west at its civilized best”!

Yellowstone Park and Beyond

News, Updates, & Moreon September 24th, 2010Comments Off

Hebgen Lake

While we are quite partial to our neck of the woods here in Livingston, there are many other beautiful and interesting places to visit in the state of Montana.  There is a great loop that you can do if you have a few days and would like to see a variety of landscapes and wildlife.  It starts and ends in Livingston and takes you through Ennis, West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park and Gardiner.  This loop is perfect for this weekend as they are offering free entrance to Yellowstone on September 25th in honor of National Public Lands Day.

Starting in Livingston (perhaps after breakfast at Pinky’s) take I-90 to Bozeman.  Get off at the Main Street Exit and make your way all the way through the town of Bozeman.  When you get to the stop light at Four Corners keep going straight.  You will now be on MT-84/Norris Road.  Take that to Norris (home of Norris Hot Springs) and then take a left at US-287 and make your way to Ennis.  Ennis is a great place to stop and grab a bite to eat.  Stay on US-287 South and it will take  you past Quake Lake which is an amazingly eerie sight and then on to Hebgen Lake (shown above) where there are several options for camping ranging from National Forest campgrounds with only the basics to RV campgrounds with all the amenities including wi-fi and showers.

After spending some time at Hebgen Lake take US-191 South into the town of West Yellowstone.  If you are in need of some good coffee your first stop should be Morning Glory Coffee at 129 Dunraven Street.  They  always have great baked goods and they roast their own coffee, so grab a pound to take home with you!  For lunch if you are lucky the Taqueria Las Palmitas bus will still be parked in the center of town.

Taco Bus West Yellowstone

This Taqueria bus is located on the main drag in West Yellowstone and is a must if you are a fan of Mexican food.  The kitchen and dining room are all located inside of the bus and they offer a wide variety of Mexican dishes.  There is also an identical bus in Dillon, Montana if you are passing through there at any point.

Mexican Food West YellowstoneTheir spicy pork tacos are delicious!

Now that you’ve eaten and had a nice cup of coffee, it’s time to prepare for a little fly fishing.  The best way to learn about the local fishing in an area is to stop in at one of the fly shops.  Blue Ribbon Fly Shop is a good place to start.  It is a tiny shop right as you enter town with an amazing selection of locally tied flies and an extremely knowledgeable staff.  You can also buy a fishing license at the shop and don’t forget that you need a special license to fish in the park.  Heading into Yellowstone in the Fall (or Spring) is a great idea if you are looking to fish the Firehole as it only fishes during cooler months due to the naturally warm temperature of the water.

Firehole River

Once you are ready to leave West Yellowstone, follow the signs to the entrance of Yellowstone National Park and make your way toward Madison Campground.  This is a nice stopping point if you do want to spend the day fishing the Firehole.

Upon leaving Madison Campground get onto HWY-89 toward Mammoth.  Now the loop will take you on a scenic tour of Yellowstone.  You will be sure to see lots of bison and elk, if nothing else, plus some beautiful scenery.   Passing through Mammoth Hot Springs you can get out and admire the amazing colors of the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces which are formed from heated water moving along the Morris-Mammoth Fault and are constantly changing shape and color.  As you leave the park and wind down the road that takes you to the park entrance you can see mountain goats dotting the hillside to the right.  Of course their is still plenty of scenery and wildlife to view on the drive from Gardiner to Livingston.  Depending on your timing, you might want to stop at Chico Hot Springs for a soak and dinner or if you just want dinner, Paradise Valley Grill is a great option.  Then, thoroughly exhausted, make your way back to Livingston and enjoy a good night’s sleep in one our super comfy beds!

All photos ©Chieko Horn Photography

Ambassadors’ Tour of Montana comes to Livingston

News, Updates, & Moreon September 20th, 2010Comments Off

Ambassadors at Murray Hotel

On September 11th of this year, Livingston had the honor of hosting ambassadors from around the world as part of the Ambassadors’ Tour of Montana.  Montana U.S. Senator Max Baucus led the tour which aimed at promoting Montana agriculture and was the lead-up to the Economic Development Summit in Butte.  The ambassadors are pictured here, in the Murray Hotel lobby from left to right:  Ambassador Zhang Yesui from the People’s Republic of China, Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki from Japan, Ambassador Arturo Fermandois from Chile, Ambassador Mike Moore from New Zealand and Ambassador Michael Collins from Ireland.  They visited the Big Sky area, Yellowstone Park, Livingston and Butte.  While in Livingston they enjoyed a breakfast and roundtable discussion with members of the Montana agricultural community and then were given a tour of Hayhook cattle ranch outside of Livingston where they enjoyed a beef BBQ lunch and were able to see first hand how Montana ranchers produce their beef.  It was a great pleasure to have them here in Livingston and at the Murray Hotel.

This weekend in and around Livingston

News, Updates, & Moreon September 9th, 2010Comments Off

It sure feels like summer is over but apparently the list of great things to do in the area is not getting any shorter.  In fact, there are so many things going on in and around Livingston this weekend that we felt it merited a blog post.

For the beer drinkers out there, we have the Second Annual Montana Brewers Festival over at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds in Bozeman, Friday at 5pm.  With beer from breweries all over the state and music by Keegan Smith, the Hooligans, and the Growlers.  For more info about it check out their website.

????If you are looking for some fun for the whole family you will not want to miss the Museum of the Rockies “Community Free Day” on Saturday starting at 9am.  The tickets are free but are on a first come, first served basis so get there early.  It will also be the last day to see their amazing Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion exhibit.

Any music lovers will be happy this weekend as well.  Friday night finds The Dirty Shame at the Murray Bar, Oakhurst at the Mint Bar, Tumbledown House at Pine Creek Café and the Shufflebums at Chico Saloon.  Saturday  Frogs Gone Fishin’, a high energy rock band out of Colorado, will be at the Murray Bar.

Boulder, Montana is hosting its Third Annual Music and Art Festival this Saturday and Sunday at the Veteran’s Park on Main Street in Boulder.  The event is free to the public.  You can find the music schedule here.  For those of you wondering where Boulder is located, it is a little less than 2 hours from Livingston on HWY 69 about 30 miles before you reach Helena.

And finally, on Sunday, Pine Creek Café will have their Annual Friends of Pine Creek Show featuring the Dave Walker Band, Montana Rose and The Fossils.  Call 222-3628 for more info.

Whatever it is you choose to do this weekend, you have no excuse to sit around and be bored, so get out there and enjoy everything that Montana has to offer!