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Missoula, Montana

The charming city of Missoula was founded in 1866 as a trading post. When the railroads arrived in 1883 the Missoula population began to grow rapidly. Lumber was the town's primary work for years but today the city and its economy are centered on the University of Montana - named as the "most scenic campus" in Rolling Stone magazine.

Tour UM's beautiful car-free campus. Stop for a picnic on the lawns alongside the Clark Fork River or hike the "M" trail for panoramic views of the valley. Spend an afternoon exploring the collections of the Missoula Art Museum, including a Hmong textile exhibit. The Montana Snowbowl is about more than just winter skiing - fish, hike, and camp along the sparkling lakes and streams that line its emerald-green hills. Head east to experience the old gold mining ghost town of Garnet.

Greet the morning with a stack of huckleberry banana pancakes or a plate of steak and eggs at The Shack. Have a pizza pie - Montana style - with a meat-filled Rancher pizza at Mackenzie River Pizza Co. Sip organic wine while you watch the sunset at Ten Spoon Winery.