9 nights in Helena & Southwest Montana

Sep 5th, 2016, 11:46 AM
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9 nights in Helena & Southwest Montana

I'd appreciate some help from knowledgeable people on an area on Montana we will be going to in about a week from now which is Helena and the whole southwest Montana area. As I'm busy with work I've been trying to figure out a nice trip for a 60+ year old couple who enjoy the outdoors and moderate hiking as well as historical museums or areas. I've read thoroughly the section on this area on Montana in the current Moon "Montana & Wyoming" book and think we can come up with a enjoyable trip for 9 nights limiting ourselves to this area they outline as we are the types that enjoy seeing things thoroughly and not rushing or driving too much in a day. The Moon section is called "Butte Helena and SW Montana" and we already have our first two nights booked in Helena. My question here is about how to divide the other 7 nights we have left and where to stop at.

I thought after we left Helena we would go west and stop and see the Powell Museum Complex and then drive on to Philipsburg and stay either 1 or 2 nights. Which would be a better idea? The place the Moon book speaks of that sounds good to me is Broadway Hotel...opinions or recommendations for this town? Then I thought we would go south to Big Hole Battlefield and then go over to Elkhorn Hot Springs (stay?) and after that head to Nevada City and Virginia City (stay?). From there go back up to Lewis and Clark Caverns and then to Butte to see the museums there. Can we drive to the airport in Helena from Butte if we stay there the last night to get our 3pm flight? Where would people recommend we stay the other 7 nights we have in this area (other than the first 2 nights we have in Helena)?
Jackisback9 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2016, 11:31 AM
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Does anyone have any useful replies for me? All I am getting is spam/off topic but no reply to my question.
Jackisback9 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2016, 11:40 AM
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I haven't stayed at the Broadway in Phillpsburg, but friends who have stayed there liked it.

Elkhorn Hot Springs is pretty rustic. The Big Hole Valley is beautiful.

Check out Beaverhead Brewing Co. in Dillon and the Patagonia Outlet.

If you don't find anywhere to stay in Virginia City, then consider Ennis. Willie's Distillery is a fun stop in Ennis.

Lewis & Clark Caverns is a great stop. I used to be a tour guide there. The tour takes about two hours, 600 hundred steps (mostly down), it's about a 1/2 mile walk through the caverns, a 3/4 mile uphill walk to the entrance, and then half a mile level walk back to the visitor's center.

Maybe check out the Sacajewea Inn in Three Forks for a place to stay.

It's about an hour drive from Butte to Helena. The Mining Museum in Butte is excellent. Headframe Spirits is a fun stop.

In Helena, we like to eat at Lucca's and the Big Dipper has the best ice cream. They are located next door to each other on the walking mall downtown. Blackfoot Brewing Co. has great beer.
kureiff is online now  
Sep 7th, 2016, 08:58 AM
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Thanks so much kureiff for your input. That's helpful and I have saved it in my trip notes so as to make use of your locals info.
Jackisback9 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2016, 10:06 AM
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We loved the tour of the Montana State House in Helena and the Historical Society museum -C.M. Russell gallery is right across the street.
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