Welcome to Missoula, known as the “Garden City” because it has mild winters compared to the rest of the state. Although outdoor activities are plentiful, there is much to offer in this friendly, literate city. Missoula is also home to the University of Montana and Montana Museum of Art & Culture. For nature lovers, forests abound. You can also visit nearby Yellowstone National Park. If you are looking for a more laid-back life, Missoula may have the answer.
Wear bells around your ankles, don’t have any leftover food, don’t sleep in the clothes you cook in, and carry some pepper spray.
Okay, so you aren’t doing backcountry camping in bear country—yet. You are, however, going to school in bear country if you attend the University of Montana in Missoula. Because this campus isn’t quite swarming with bears, you might be able to get away with eating things that aren’t canned. Instead of bears, the school is swarming with wild roaring students hungry for knowledge, and luckily there is much to satiate their appetite. With a liberal arts education students find that they have the ability to dabble in any subject and to delve deep into a particular area of study that they feel passionate about. UM is known for its journalism and creative writing programs, their art studios and facilities, and for having majors like forestry that you wouldn’t usually find at a state school. Grizzlies and Lady Grizzes also love to be a part of the Griz Nation mania and growl with pride and joy whenever their basketball team takes a win!
Though you are in the same state as Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park you will probably want an off-campus apartment while attending school, not a tent. Living in Missoula is perfect place to live if you are looking to camp, hike, and generally discover the wilderness; if you want to be a part of a city with tons of activities for all types of people; if you want to find culture and an artist/literary community; and especially if want to go fly fishing! No wonder 75% of undergrads choose to find off-campus apartments and immerse themselves in this heavenly place. People often move to areas like downtown, Pattee Canyon, or the Rattlesnake, and enjoy the feeling of independence and privacy while still being a part of campus life. For help searching for your new place, check out our apartment search guides, and then all our delicious Montana listings.
During the weekends, Grizzlies like to relax from the hard work of the week and go for a nice hike, perhaps experience the bar scene at night. For dancing, check out The Badlander at 208 Ryman, and for a cheap drink, take some friends down to the Iron Horse 501 North Higgins Avenue. Missoula has tons of non-alcoholic events to partake in as well. Every month is “First Friday” where a strip of galleries opens to display the work of local artists and writers. Cafes also stay open late on weekends and are great for studying as well as seeing live performances by local bands!