In one of the fertile valleys of the Rocky Mountains lies Livingston, a charming town with an inviting community.
It’s called the Original Gateway City to the Yellowstone National Park, as it was served as a centralized point for train tracks back when the US relied heavily on locomotives.
But as highways became more prevalent, visitors no longer had to make a stop at Livingston to access the national park.
That doesn’t mean that the city has lost its charm.
Since it’s flanked by mountains and bordered by the Yellowstone River on its eastern edge, the town still has plenty of nature-related activities.
There are also manmade attractions and historical destinations where you can learn more about the community’s past.
So for your next vacation, why not make this place your top choice?
Here are the 15 best things to do in Livingston, MT:
Visit the Art Galleries Along Main Street
Aside from nature and history, human talent and creativity are celebrated here in Livingston.
In fact, there are many art galleries scattered along the neighborhoods, particularly on Main Street.
Check out these attractions and bring home a beautiful artwork as a souvenir of your Livingston trip.
Livingston Center-Art Culture is one of the more well-known facilities, and they display paintings, wearable art, ceramics, and other works by regional artists.
At Visions West Contemporary, you’d find modern sculptures, artworks, and other pieces that feature the life and views of the Rocky Mountains.
For those who are looking for something intriguing and whimsical, Parks Reece Gallery has parody artworks and original pieces that are as unique as the artist himself.
Tour the Halls of Yellowstone Gateway Museum
As mentioned, the city once served as the main access point into the Yellow Stone National Park.
This legacy is still celebrated and remembered at Yellowstone Gateway Museum, which is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
Here, you’d find an enormous collection from each era of Livingston.
The artifacts from native societies that lived here from 12,000 years ago are on display on the permanent exhibit.
You’ll also learn about the deeds of early settlers and how the city became a center for railroad transport in the region.
There are also outdoor exhibits with interactive buildings and structures, such as a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and a fleet of vehicles from bygone eras.
Don’t forget to check out the rotating exhibits that usually talk about ancient wildlife, geology, and other topics related to the area.
Shop Fresh Produce at Livingston Farmers' Market
For those who are looking for quality veggies and fruits during your trip to the city, make sure to visit Livingston Farmers' Market.
Open from May to September, this seasonal destination is where local farmers and gardeners drop off their fresh harvests.
And the market is located next to Yellowstone River, so you’ll be treated to wonderful views while perusing the stalls.
Shop for seasonal vegetables, various fruit cultivars, fragrant flowers, and premium root crops.
There are also baked goods, preserves, beers from local breweries, and artisanal furniture by local makers.
On occasion, there will be live music by talented performers to serenade you as you buy farm-fresh produce.
Mingle With the Community at Livingston Depot Center
The Livingston Depot Center once served as the Northern Pacific Railroad’s launching point for travel to Yellowstone National Park.
But as modernity happened, railroad transport became less favored, and highways were all the rage.
So now, the once-bustling station was evolved into a vibrant museum and theater beloved by the Livingston community.
Of course, you’re welcome to visit here too.
The museum is seasonally open, and the exhibits showcase the railroad history of Livingston and other related topics.
At the community center, you can catch live music concerts, historical talks, card nights, and other activities that bring the city folks together.
So while here, you’ll not only learn the rich history of the location but also be able to mingle with the community and make new friends.
Have a Fun Family Day at Sacajawea Park
The first outdoor destination on this list is Sacajawea Park, a scenic attraction sitting right next to Yellowstone River.
It’s an expansive park with play structures, sports facilities, and many modern amenities that will make for a convenient stay.
All these are framed with a backdrop of the distant Absaroka Range and its snowcapped mountains and lush forests.
Add Yellowstone River to the mix, and you get a postcard-perfect scenery.
It’s no wonder that many people come to stay at the park just to admire the panoramic vistas of the nearby natural features.
You can also play a few rounds of tennis or explore the trails to the park's river banks and wooded areas.
Set Up a Camp at Mayor’s Landing
Mayor’s Landing is another scenic attraction located upriver from Sacajawea Park, and it has similar beautiful sceneries.
The main difference is that this location also serves as a launching point for watercraft into Yellowstone River.
So you can bring kayaks, rafts, canoes, and other small boats to get into the rushing body of water.
In addition, there are campsites here that can accommodate both RVs and traditional tents, making Mayor’s Landing an excellent base for your adventures in Livingston.
You’re also welcome to bring your pooches to the dog park section, but remember to keep them on a leash!
Bring them along as you explore the vast walking trails that bring you to the riverbanks, wide grassy areas, and wooded corners.
Brave the Currents of Yellowstone River
Yellowstone River is as historic as it is beautiful, and it’s one of the most economically important resources in the area.
From Mayor’s Landing and other launches along the easter borders of Livingston, you can access it via kayaks, boats, and other watercraft.
Brave the turbulent waters as you explore downriver, which brings you nearer the mountain ranges that flank both sides of the city.
It’s a fun and exhilarating way to see all the beautiful sights awaiting.
But if you want to test your angling skills, you can simply try fly fishing along with the seasoned fishermen of the town.
This practice is a specialty here, so ready yourself for a wet and wild experience that will have you waist-deep in the waters of Yellowstone River.
Purchase Quality Angling Supplies at Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop
As mentioned, fly fishing is something of a specialty in Livingston.
And one of the chief contributors to the development of this technique is Dan Bailey, a notable figure who innovated new fly patterns.
He established Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop, which manufactured mail-order fly patterns and outfitted the visiting fishermen.
During the 1980s, his company became the largest manufacturer of artificial flies in the whole country, producing upwards of 750,000 items annually.
The shop is still operating today, and you’re welcome to visit it and check out some of the best products they have in store.
You can also join the fishing trips they offer to some of the best spots in Yellowstone River, where you’ll learn fly fishing techniques and strategies.
Trek the Trail to Pine Creek Lake
Set in the Absaroka Range, Pine Creek Lake is an oasis surrounded by towering mountains and pine forests.
The trail is a bit difficult—a 5-mile route that brings you to the hidden wonders of the range, which are often overshadowed by the more popular Yellowstone National Park.
The route follows Pine Creek and eventually ends at Pine Creek Lake.
Along the way, you’d see heavily forested areas with mountains looming in the background, patches of wildflowers, and the majestic Pine Creek Falls with its cascading waters.
After a few hours of strenuous hiking, you’d reach the peaceful, pristine, and magnificent high-elevation attraction that is Pine Creek Lake.
Fishing, camping, and backpacking are just some of the favorite activities to do here.
You’re also welcome to try landscape photography to capture the fantastic vistas.
Be sure to visit between July and September, as the route proves too treacherous during other months for regular hikers.
Watch a Concert at Music Ranch Montana
Another scenic attraction within the Livingston borders is Music Ranch Montana, a well-loved local events venue.
It’s located south of the city proper in Paradise Valley and is much nearer the Pine Creek Trail.
So it’s an isolated little haven with marvelous views of the nearby mountain ranges.
The only mark of civilization here is the huge barn and roads; the rest are just sweeping plains of verdant grass framed by snowcapped mountains.
These views are to die for, so it’s no wonder this place is a favorite destination for weddings, parties, special events, and other celebrations.
But the highlights here are the live concerts held right on the terraced theater of the barn.
It’s actually been acoustically engineered so the sounds and music won’t get scattered out into the vast plains, creating a great entertainment experience.
Reach the Summit of Livingston Peak
One of the mountains you’d see while on the aforementioned parks is named after the town itself.
It’s one of the nearby summits accessible from the opposite bank of the Yellowstone River.
So if you’re feeling adventurous, then definitely make the trek to the peak of this majestic mountain.
Rising to more than 9200 feet above sea level, Livingston Peak can be quite the challenge for amateurs.
But all skill levels can trek the steep and often snowy route, which begins at the Livingston Peak Trailhead.
The views at the top and along the way are absolutely worth every slip and fall or sore muscle.
You’d see colorful wildflowers, endless expanses of pine forests, and the city of Livingston glistening with the waters of the Yellowstone River.
Avoid climbing during the winter, as unexpected blizzards and heavy snowing can pose hazards even to the most experienced hikers.
Play a Few Rounds at Livingston Golf & Country Club
Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, you’ll have a great time playing at the scenic Livingston Golf & Country Club.
Golfing here is quite the experience, as you’d be treated with views of the Absaroka Range in the background.
The nine-hole course is fairly gentle, with an undulating terrain that’s made easy by the well-planned layout, verdant greens and fairways, and the occasional hazard.
But don’t get too overconfident, as some holes offer quite the challenge for the uninitiated.
Otherwise, this course is ideal for all skill levels and ages.
Don’t forget to visit the well-stocked pro shop if you need equipment like clubs, balls, and even golfing apparel.
Catch a Show at Blue Slipper Theatre
Blue Slipper Theatre is the center for performance art in Livingston, and it has been that way for more than 50 years.
Located in the historic downtown district of the city, this attraction holds five full productions each season.
The lineup includes comedic and dramatic plays, which are guaranteed to entertain both locals and visitors.
What’s remarkable about these productions is that they are all funded by past ticket sales since the theater is a nonprofit.
The fact that they’ve kept going for decades is a testament to how well-loved they are by the community.
So if you want to catch one of their stunning shows, check out their calendar and schedule your itinerary to your preferred dates.
Stay Awhile at Osens RV Park & Campground
While the grounds of Mayor’s Landing can serve as adequate accommodations for your trip, Osens RV Park & Campground is the most recommended location for camping.
It’s an expansive, quiet, and convenient destination sitting beside a road that offers easy access to Livingston’s attractions.
This campground specializes in RVs, with electricity and water hookups as well as cable and Wi-Fi connections—it’s almost like you never left home!
Aside from that, the whole place is generally serene and completely safe, so you won’t have to worry about anything while staying here.
Not to mention the beautiful trees, verdant grounds, and mountain views that elevate your whole stay.
Sip a Cold Drink at Whiskey Creek Saloon & Liquor
To cap off your Livingston trip, make a stopover at Whiskey Creek Saloon & Liquor.
Nothing beats a mug of cold beer after a whole day’s worth of adventuring, after all.
This facility is a well-loved destination by both locals and tourists because of the Wild West ambiance, beautiful buildings, and refreshing beverages.
So visit the location to see the nightlife of Livingston, mingle with a few locals, and try some of their alcoholic drinks!
Flanked by mountains and irrigated by a river, Livingston is a picturesque destination that also boasts a rich history and vibrant art scene.
There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a mountaineer, fly fisher, art aficionado, or history buff.
So reference this list if you want to include all the top spots in your itinerary.