Helena is a beautiful capital city in Montana. Situated near the Missouri River, it is an underrated gem in the United States.
Looking at the historical perspective, Helena was recalled as ‘Queen of the Rockies.’ The name was given after considering the gold strike that happened in 1864. It was a prosperous city, both economically and culturally.
Today, Helena stands out as a gorgeous city with innumerable historical monuments, a 24/7 downtown life, natural retreat spots and so much more. It is a heaven for every traveler and consists of every element that a wanderer would look for in a perfect place.
Since it has many places to explore and a plethora of things to do, let’s segregate the top 15 things you must do while in Helena. So, let’s wander in the historic streets and quiet alleys of Helena!
Light a Candle at The Cathedral of St. Helena
The historic hub of Montana, Helena, has a lot of historical places to explore and admire. The Cathedral of St. Helena is the oldest and finest example of intricate historical monuments in the city.
The architecture is carved out of Geometric Gothic patterns. It contains specific sacred elements such as stained glass windows, marble altars, and valuable marble statues.
The place appears magical, and the atmosphere is serene. The interiors are vibrant and beautiful. You may spend for an hour or so, light a candle at the altar and take in the quiet. The Cathedral is a great spot to start your trip around Helena.
Tour the Montana State Capitol
Helena is the capital of Montana State, so the State Capitol building is an essential. The building in itself is a must-visit spot because of its architectural significance.
You may opt for a building tour, Montana State’s capital, of essential facts about the city. The architecture and murals are absolutely mesmerizing. It is a traditional building that preserves the history of Helena.
You can take your own sweet time to explore the interiors. The property also has a lush green lawn to laze around. In short, the tour will make for a good plan for your afternoons.
Trail the Mount Helena City Park
Enjoying in nature’s arms is never a bad idea. And Mount Helena City Park is all ready to take you in its embrace. It is the perfect spot for your nature retreat plans.
Also, the park offers alluring looks of Helena. You must know that there are several trails that you can take up to venture deep into the woods.
There are almost 12 trails with different routes and leading to various destinations. This park will offer a tranquil atmosphere amid the bustling city. The hike is strenuous but makes for quite an experience. Viewing the city from a high altitude will be worthy reward for your efforts!
Walk Into the History at The Montana Society Museum
The Montana Historical Society Museum is a pathway to the older times and lifestyle of Montana. The museum has successfully preserved many historical artifacts, art, and everything associated with Helena’s history and rich culture. The displays date back to the 50s and 60s era.
You can hire a local tour guide who can offer great insights about the place and tell historical stories. You will have to spend a couple of hours understanding and see the whole site. It will be a worthwhile trip for all the history buffs. And those who want to gain information about the bygone era.
Admire Art at The Holter Museum
From contemporary to fine arts, Holter Museum has fabulous artworks on display. While most pieces are the work of local artists, the museum also has a few renowned art pieces. It’d be a blissful place with an insight into art.
The museum is small and easy to navigate so you won't have to take out too much time out of your itinerary to make the visit. They also provide refreshments if you are to spend a lot of time inside.
Satisfy the Sweet Tooth at The Parrot Confectionery
Parrot Confectionery is the oldest sweet shop in town. They serve gooey soft candies and pastries. They also sell old candies and chocolates that won’t be available anywhere else in the city. Oh, and the shop comes with its own classic soda fountain!
This is a nostalgic place that will take you back in time. The ambiance is vintage and friendly. The owner will suggest the best candies for you. The shop is located in the heart of the city, so it is easily accessible. Even though it is too old, its popularity hasn't waned one bit and the locals visit it often.
Meander in The Helena National Forest
The Helena National Forest covers a vast area of land and is a natural habitat for a the regions unique flora and fauna.
The forest area here is spectacular and surrounded by mammoth canopies and canyons. Also, there is a rivulet that flows through the forest that acts as an oasis for animals.
You can drive right up to the forest and spend a whole day in the vicinity. There are several guided tours too. Do note that you should not make much noise, as it may scare away the animals. It is a scenic place to meet nature at its most intimate.
Venture into the forest early in the morning as the atmosphere is pleasant and birds are chirping. It is a great place for a family trip as well!
Snap Instagrammable Pictures at The Reeder’s Alley
Located in the downtown region of Helena, Reeder’s Alley is an aesthetic place to snap pictures. Covered by red walls, it emanates vintage energy.
Originally it was used as a mining service center. But now, it is used as an office for non-profit organizations. The architecture is preserved well and still looks the same as it was.
The history is evident in the architecture, and the street is quirky and a suitable place for great pictures. It is an excellent place for old-school souls and the ones who are fond of old-fashioned streets. Visit the area in the evening for a comforting atmosphere so you can click pictures in abundance.
Retreat at The Gates of The Mountain
Losing yourself in the wilderness always makes for a pleasant experience. The Gates of the Mountain is a gorgeous place. It is a great spot to spend your afternoons.
There are a lot of activities that you can do in the area, with the highlight for many being the boat ride. You can row your own boats and explore the mountains and the swift river. There are guides to accompany you as well so that you have a good experience.
The surroundings are serene and tranquil. Tourists love it here as this place is raw and natural. You get to see the best of the natural landscape that Helena has to offer right here. So, do not miss out!
Sip Beer at Lewis & Clark
Are you looking for a delicious dinner with a pint of beer? You've got Lewis and Clark at your service!
This is the best restaurant in town that brews smooth beers and serves a variety of delectable food. They have an industrial ambiance that is too unique. They also have an outdoor patio if you want to sit out in the cold breeze.
Their pizza is the chef's specialty, and people love it. So make sure you try one of their pizzas along with fine beer. The ambiance is lively and visitors often strike a conversation with locals here. Make sure you reserve one night for dinner plans here!
Rejuvenation at Broadwater Hot Springs
If you want to loosen up your tense muscles, Broadwater Hot Springs is the best option for you. Their services are of premium quality and the waters are enriched with minerals, which are good for your skin.
After a day-long of excursion and hiking, this place will feel comforting and homely. Their charges are nominal and you can make a booking for an evening session here.
A session is of an hour or an hour and a half. It is suitable for every age group. After the session, you will feel rejuvenated and a lot better. It is almost therapeutic.
Ski at The Great Divide
Skiing in the snow is a dream for almost all of us. It is an exciting activity to take up. It is an excellent place for family outings as well. The Great Divide area offers long stretches for skiing and equipment for it too.
The terrain is smooth and available for snowboarding. The area is vast, so you can ski for as far and as long as you want. Even kids enjoy it a lot. If you do not know how to ski, there are instructors on the spot who will teach you the basics. You will have the time of your life here.
Channelise Your Inner Scientist at Exploration Works
Exploration Works is a science exhibit in Helena. It is a fun place where you can gain a lot of knowledge. It is primarily an exhibition showcasing various aspects of science.
With a volunteer’s help, you can tour the property and get to know some amazing facts about science. Acquiring knowledge never goes to waste. And learning innovative facts in a foreign land is undoubtedly productive.
Along with the tour, they also offer different activities and experiments to try for the visitors. You get hands-on experience while performing distinctive experiments. It is suitable for kids and adults alike.
You can choose any activity that interests you and can complete it under the guidance of the volunteer. Do not worry about safety. They take all the precautions before taking up any activity.
Stroll the Downtown
The downtown is a quaint and historic area. The streets are vibrant and showcase medieval architecture. Cute cafes, roadside shops, and antique shops frequently appear on the road. You can shop local products from here. The items are largely affordable and the area has a cheerful vibe.
You may stop by a local cafe and try out the State’s cuisine. They serve delicious food with a personal touch. The architecture is preserved perfectly, and you would love to admire it for hours.
In the evening, there is live music being played in the area. You will thoroughly enjoy your evening here and will get a glimpse of the local lifestyle of Helena.
Gawk at Ceramic Arts at Archie Bray Foundation
The Archie Bray foundation houses the finest products in ceramic arts. The sculptures are cautiously curated and are perfect. You’d be amazed by the craft.
The art is modern with a tint of medieval-style etched to it. You can walk the area and marvel at those precious artworks. It is an offbeat destination, so it is less crowded. It is a hidden gem in the city of Helena. You should visit it to know more about the rich culture of Helena.
This brings us to the end of our list traveler. We hope you have a nice vacation. Bon Voyage!