Hidden Gems

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Havre did not rise from the cinders like a mythical bird, but it did something arguably as impressive as a Phoenix: it moved under the ashes and rubble instead.

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Inquisitive and observant eyes may, however, spot the purple squares on the pavements that indicate the underground city. Spreading out over, or rather under, six blocks, the tunnels connect basements of properties that were burnt down at the start of the 20th century. Rather than admit defeat, local traders and service providers began to operate from their basements while above-ground buildings were reconstructed. Out of the watchful eye of the authorities, the tunnels and basements also helped to facilitate the opium trade and to sneak illicit liquor to speakeasies during the prohibition era.


Although located in plain sight, and seen by many people as they travel to and from Three Forks, few people really pause to take much notice of the huge metal horses that stand high up on a ridge looking down over the road. Indeed, so fleeting are the glances that many people afford these statues that they may actually think they are real horses grazing above.

A total of 39 horse sculptures in various sizes and positions grace the ridge. The tallest ones reach up to eight feet tall. Foals get sustenance from their mothers, adults graze or stand on the grass, and some horses stand alone while others loiter in twos or small groups. Their shaggy manes and tails, which move realistically in the breeze, are made from fine rope. There are several other buildings within the grounds too, including a pioneer homestead, a red wooden railway car that once houses the train crew, and an old steam-heated outhouse.

On the fringes of the badlands and all their majestic raw beauty, the museum peers intently into the lives of early pioneers. Learn more about the challenges and triumphs of the early settlers, as well as their regular day-to-day existence.

The archives let people trace family histories and there are many old photographs. Guides often inject their own tales and insights into tours, adding more depth to a visit. They may even tell you of more local historic gems to visit. The Evelyn Cameron Gallery contains a stunning selection of photographs that perfectly capture life and the land back in the late s and early s, taken by a once-wealthy lady who gave up her privileged lifestyle in Mother England to move to Montana with her husband.

Business has been booming here since the start of the 20th century, meeting the retail needs of both locals and people passing through town. The store is licensed to sell alcohol and you can also pick up fishing and hunting permits here. The surrounding forests and mountains add to the remoteness and the eerie air.

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Garnet sprung up in the s as a mining town and, like so many other such towns, it was quickly abandoned when the mining stocks ran out. It was originally called Mitchell. The population here was always pretty unstable, with inconsistent gold found in the land leading to people leaving disheartened and fresh batches arriving to try and make their fortunes by—literally—striking gold. The town was noted for its lively saloons, with many a story unfolding on the bar stools.

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It is also rumoured that the town had a house of ill repute, though nobody is complete sure where it was. Providing a window into times long past, Philipsburg, unlike Garnet, is still home to a modest population. Although Philipsburg also once relied heavily on the mining industry, the town managed to survive following the closure of local mines and mills. Step into an era that has long been all but forgotten with a wander along Main Street. The town also offers visitors the chance to try their hand at mining for sapphires, with trips up Gem Mountain. Purchase a bucket of dirt, wash it off, and sift through the stones to see if you have any worth keeping.

This is maybe a rare opportunity to find that a pail of soil might actually turn out to be a valuable buy! Or, grab a glass or bottle of your favourite tipple and chillax for a while in friendly surroundings. The current name comes from the mascot of the local high school. A family-run and family-friendly bar, the vibe is convivial and welcoming. In addition to a wide selection of drinks, the grill keeps punters happy and full with dishes like burgers, stuffed mushrooms, chicken wings, an extensive selection of sandwiches, fish and chips, and salads. The biggest state park in all of Montana, a lot of visitors tend to skip the regular parks and head straight for the big-name attractions of Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

With a name that means the Land of Bad Spirits in the language of the Sioux people, Makoshika State Park is mysterious, awe-inspiring, attractive, and a touch ethereal. It boasts some of the best badlands scenery in the state too. Huge and unusual sandstone formations are scattered throughout the park, sculpted and shaped by hundreds and thousands of years of rain, wind, and snow. The ancient rocks also contain dinosaur fossils, and there are terrific trails that follow in the footsteps of triceratops, T-Rex, and more.

Activities in the park include camping, hiking, picnicking, and archery. A popular spot for locals but not so well-known to outsiders, Missouri Headwaters State Park is, as the name suggests, the origin of the Missouri River. Pretty cool, right? The terrain is largely flat, making it perfect for people who want to enjoy some hiking and fresh air without all the ascents and descents of the mountainous areas. The acre park offers a range of fun and active adventures, such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating, hiking, cycling, camping, wildlife watching, picnicking, and photography.

The land was traversed by Lewis and Clark, famous explorers, on their epic journey across the western part of what is now the USA. The area is almost exactly as it would have been back in the days when Native Americans herded huge groups of buffalos over a high cliff as a means of slaughtering the beasts for food and leather.

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Many buffalo bones have been discovered at the bottom of the high cliff, along with evidence of teepee villages. Follow the interpretive trail to the top of the cliff, peer down, and imagine the frenzy, fear, and drama during a jump. The open-pit mine once played an integral role in helping America to see the light … copper mined from here helped in electrifying the nation. Water now fills the gigantic hole, creating a breeding ground for rare and new organisms.

The huge site is incredible. The pit stretches for a mile, and is around half a mile wide. The water shimmers in the sunlight, its multi-coloured layers rather enchanting. The surface is a reddish colour, caused by high concentrations of iron. Moving down, however, the water takes on a pale green tint.

A waterfall filled with iron flows over the rim.

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Moving away from toxic water and harmful bugs, Country Bookshelf is a pleasant sanctuary in the centre of Bozeman. It is the biggest independent bookstore in all of Montana; bookworms will certainly find plenty to excite them here! Established in , the local gem has won several awards. The two-floor store is packed to the gills with books of all types.

The inside wrap-around balcony lets you feast your eyes on all the paper treasures, imagining devouring the words in a single sitting. The store has its own book club too, and regularly hosts book signings, meetings with authors, and other events. As well as being able to purchase a mammoth selection of books, visitors can browse and buy a selection of local souvenirs, greeting cards, stationery, crafts, novelty items, and more. A local gem in Gallatin County, the Inn on the Gallatin is a delightful boutique getaway on the banks of the Gallatin River. Guests can benefit from top-class fly fishing experiences at the heart of nature.

The nearby area offers hiking, rafting horse riding, zip lining, and more. Settle down in a vintage all-American setting to savour tasty American comfort food. Lunchtime menu items include burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, and more inventive meals like fish tacos, turkey apple brie panini, and grilled vegetable quesadilla. Service is swift, portions are hearty, and ingredients are, where possible, fresh and locally sourced.

Put a spring in your step, great food in your stomach, and start your day in the right way with choices like crepes, waffles, omelets, pancakes, and eggs. Named after a significant local Native American chief, Chief Four Dances, the area was used in the past by the powerful man when he wanted to fast in solitude and a tranquil place.

The soaring cliffs tumble away down to the scenic Yellowstone River, the raised area provided terrific views down over the gushing water. A looped trail leads through the wild landscapes for a mile and a half, leading you through native grassland and dense patches of trees. In the winter, explore the landscape with the help of skis or snowshoes. The lack of traffic from cars, bicycles, horses, scooters, and the like helps to preserve the peace and quiet.

It was busy and prosperous in the s, built on the back of a local silver rush. Along with the miners and service people came the saloon workers, shop owners, and prostitutes that sought to keep the workers happy and make their own livelihood from the mining boom. In its heyday, records indicate that Castle Town had several stores selling an assortment of goods, a school, a jail, a post office, and a bakery. There were also, naturally homes, and the town had a number of fraternal groups.

The town reportedly had as many as 14 inns. There was also not one, not two, and not even three, but a whopping seven brothels in the town. Those miners sure liked to have some fun in their downtime! Neglected and unloved since the s, the haunting remains of the town today stand silently, the raucous laughter and banter of gruff miners no longer filling the air and the giggles and coquettish smiles of women of the night no longer tempting men into their beds.

Do note that the town is now private property. Should you wish to stroll the deserted streets, you will need to arrange a convenient time for a visit. Old Pitt was the name of an elephant who worked in the Cole Brothers Circus. Old Pitt, along with three of the other elderly elephants, was, however, kept. Life became a bit more leisurely for Old Pitt and her three friends. They rarely needed to turn tricks anymore and could spend their days wandering around a farm.

Old Pitt as the last of the four remaining elephants to survive, even outliving Mr.


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Forced out of retirement and made to perform once again, Old Pitt was only with the circus for a year before she died. She was believed to be years old when she passed away. She was struck by lightning! Of all the quirky accommodations you can expect to find in the Dutch capital, staying on a boat in Amsterdam is the quintessentially Dutch experience you never knew you needed.

Imagine waking up each day on the water, ready for a day of exploring the canal-lined city. Check my best recommendations for Amsterdam houseboats you can rent here. Check prices and availability here. Once upon a time, the Oude Schans the widest canal in Amsterdam would have been the gateway to inner Amsterdam.