During the colder months Great Falls offers a wide selection of cold weather sports to enjoy. From May until September accommodation tends to be pricier due to the numbers of visitors who arrive to enjoy the extensive outdoors scene that the region offers. January offers the Montana Pro Rodeo Finals, one of the finest events of its kind in the country. The Montana State Fair in July offers entertainment for the whole family, and the same month brings a highlight for music lovers in the form of the Bluegrass Festival. Art, entertainment and culture are featured at the RiverFest, also in July and there’s a great Blue and Brews festival that takes place in September.
Close to the centre of the picturesque state of Montana, on the Great Plains, can be found the city of Great Falls. Named after the closely placed series of waterfalls on the Missouri River basin, the city is steeped in the traditions of the Old West. With its fine old buildings and important landmarks, the city is something of a living museum of this fascinating period of American history. Outdoors enthusiasts are spoilt for choice as Great Falls offers over 50 parks along the Missouri River, along with the scenic River’s Edge trail. There’s mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, skiing and snowmobiling. The city also offers arts, culture and live entertainment. Gibson Park features live music from May to September. Some of the finest contemporary and western art in America is on show at the Paris Gibson Square Museum. The C.M. Russell Museum houses the most complete collection of the art and memorabilia of the western artist Charles Russell to be found in the world. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Centre recreates the period when the USA was expanding to the west and brings to life the daily experiences of the pioneering expedition that did so much to open up the American frontier. Also delving into this rich seam of history is the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park. Boasting the largest buffalo jump cliff in North America and a state of the art visitor’s centre, this is a fascinating archaeological site. A great day out for all the family is provided at the Electric City Water Park where a fun filled range of attractions await, including Lazy River, Flow Rider and the Little Squirts Soak Zone.
Great Falls Transit District offers seven bus routes throughout the city. Buses will stop at any street corner along the route, provided it is safe to do so. A wonderful way to explore the city is via the Great Falls Historic Trolley. The options are a one hour city tour, or a two hour historic tour that follows the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Great Falls International Airport (GTF) is located about 3 miles (5 km) to the southwest of Great Falls. From here to the city there is a choice of various ground transportation options, including taxis, car rentals and city transit public transport. A very reasonably priced option is the airport shuttle minibuses that run on a regular basis.