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Billings visit Labor Day weekend

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Minnesota
posts: 10
reviews: 7
Billings visit Labor Day weekend

A coworker and I have decided to visit MT and specifically stay in Billings during the upcoming Labor Day weekend. We have decided to spend that Saturday touring Cody, WY. What kind in interesting/history based things are there to do/see in Billings? My friend definitely wants to go to the foothills of the mountains and possibly rent ATV's or go horseback riding in the area. We are also looking for a bar that has good nightly "boot-scooting" entertainment? Any suggestions on "local" spots to eat at will also be greatly appreciated as this is vacation and we would rather not eat at McDonalds and/or Dennys. We already have a hotel and rental car so any and all suggestions will be very much appreciated. Also what is the weather typically like during this time of the year - early September?

Thanks everyone!!

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,809
reviews: 14
1. Re: Billings visit Labor Day weekend

Did you already pay for your hotel or just reserve it?

If it is just a reservation, you might consider switching to a stay in Red Lodge. It is a more colorful place to stay.

I don't know where the country dancing is happening right now, but I'm sure there is a place and will look around.

Saturday in Cody is a great idea. It is a much shorter drive from Red Lodge, and you could go the Beartooth Highway / Chief Joseph route.. (hint, hint).

It will probably still be quite warm, maybe up into the hundreds even, by day. At night it always gets cool and you might need a sweater.

For real local cuisine in Billings, get a steak at Gusick's. This used to be the steakhouse at the auction yards.

There are an abundance of chain restaurants in Billings, so you'll have to do some digging. There are not a lot of reviews on Yelp but there are enough to get a look at what is getting good ratings. Then delete the chains (like Famous Dave's).

In Cody, go to the Buffalo Bill museum (a must -- spend all morning, or even more time), and have lunch at the Irma.

Edited: 8:34 pm, August 12, 2010
Minnesota
posts: 10
reviews: 7
2. Re: Billings visit Labor Day weekend

Hey you!! Thank you so very much for responding - no one else did.So why Red Lodge? Why? - is it more colorful? You have definitely "peaked" my interest. Not sure about the reservations but all is not lost - after today at work - hell anything is game in my eyes. I may end up traveling solo so all thoughts are so very greatly appreciated.

It is funny I traveled alone to Jamaica last year and wasn't nearly as unsure and "iffy" as I am on this trip. Don't really get it but whatever.

Love ya tons for your help - thanks, really.

Michelle

Louisville, KY
posts: 15
reviews: 39
3. Re: Billings visit Labor Day weekend

As soon as you land, get out of Billings. Other than having a Cabela's, it's a terrible town. I would spend one night at the Comfort Inn in Red Lodge and then Saturday or Sunday in Cody. Be sure to eat dinner at Bridge Creek in Red Lodge. It's awesome! If you're up for an adventure, be sure to drive the Bear Tooth highway and Chief Joseph scenic byway between Red Lodge and Cody....

Minnesota
posts: 10
reviews: 7
4. Re: Billings visit Labor Day weekend

Hi,

Billings terrible as in? Murders, rapes, car-jackings? Boredom?

Please tell me about your experience(s) in Billings as I leave tomorrow night.

I have heard about great things Red Lodge and already have plans to spend all day this Saturday in Cody, Wy....

??

Michelle

Bozeman, Montana
posts: 18
reviews: 8
5. Re: Billings visit Labor Day weekend

Billings isn't terrible, but it sure isn't the heart of the MT experience. It's a small city with the things small cities have--it's a fine place to live, but not a vacation destination by any stretch. I used to live there. Do Red Lodge so you can at least see some mountains up close and personal. Take the Beartooth Highway from Red Lodge and then head to Cody. If you are staying in Red Lodge, I recommend a trip to the Roscoe Bar or the Cowboy Bar in Fishtail if you want to see tried-and-true MT. Enjoy!

Louisville, KY
posts: 15
reviews: 39
6. Re: Billings visit Labor Day weekend

Hmmm...extremely boring...tons of crappy casinos...dining scene is non-existent...and for one of the highest rated 'best places to live in America,' it seems to have a huge amount of public housing projects which seem a bit seedy.

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,809
reviews: 14
7. Re: Billings visit Labor Day weekend

Oh my goodness. No murders, rapes or carjackings to speak of, so please do not have any concerns about your personal safety in Billings, Red Lodge or Cody. Everyone in Billings is very nice and friendly to a fault.

Billings is kind of like the hospital and mall of the great northern plains. It has some interesting cultural things like the Yellowstone Art Center, the Billings Studio Theater, and the historic Babcock and Alberta Bair Theaters downtown (two separate places, if you want to look them up). The Rimrocks which surround the city are beautiful. The Petroglyph Caves south of town are interesting and have a nice new museum. The Molt Cafe is nationally known for weekend morning bluegrass. Chief Joseph swung through Laurel on his way north, and there is an interesting monument describing the battle held there.

There are mainly chain restaurants to eat in, with a few exceptions, and chain stores to shop in. It is a city, so it isn't cowboy country particularly.

Red Lodge is just more geared for visitors who don't need to buy school clothes or take care of a medical need. It is more fun, I would say. There are art galleries, an art center, and regular festivals for visitors. The Beartooth Highway is the big draw and it is worth the trip. In addition to the hotel mentioned by the other poster, you could stay right on Main Street in the historic Pollard Hotel, or go a little out of town for a luxurious stay at Old Piney Dell. There are many hikes, both short and long, to enjoy the area.

I hope you have a fun weekend! If you aren't having fun, then move along and try something new. There is a lot to do if you keep going.

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,809
reviews: 14
8. Re: Billings visit Labor Day weekend

Billings doesn't have public housing projects as seedy as many cities I've been in by far. The part of town on South 27th is where they are, and that's the route up to the airport from the east end of town on the interstate so they're visible. It doesn't define the town.

The life of the town certainly does not occur on South 27th. There's no comparison to say, downtown Cincinnati in your neck of the woods, Randy. I'm no Pollyanna and every city has its downtrodden side. Billings is no exception, but stay away from late night partying south of 27th and you'll be perfectly safe. Can't imagine you'd want to go there in any case!

Most of the interesting and lively things are downtown, and the major chain shopping and dining areas are on the west end.

9. Re: Billings visit Labor Day weekend

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