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Monday, April 27, 2015


I love Billings Montana. No it’s not my hometown, which will always be Omaha Nebraska, but Billings is my home now, and I couldn’t be more grateful to live in this beautiful place.  Billings doesn’t get enough credit.  It’s often overlooked as merely a place to fly into, or gear up before heading off to Western Montana where all of the mountains and beautiful national parks and forests are located. Even the city slogan “Montana’s Trailhead” implies that Billings is just a convenient starting point and not the final destination.  Granted, few places on earth can stand out from the long shadows cast by Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, and being relatively close to those places is what attracted my wife and I to Billings in the first place. But Billings is it’s own place, and has it’s own charm that goes beyond it’s proximity to beautiful places. 

Billings the biggest city in Montana and it’s the only city in Montana that really feels like a city and not a college town or resort community. It actually has a city culture, complete with all the hustle and bustle that Montana can offer. It has a real downtown, where business goes down, and not just shopping like some of the more touristy downtowns of Montana. It’s a beer town.  Downtown Billings has 6 micro-breweries and two distilleries, with more popping up across the city.  There is a great food culture to go with all of our beer too, with everything from artisan fine dining, to street food, and a massive seasonal farmer’s market.  There are several ethnic restaurants, including Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Thai and Montana’s only Indian restaurant.

Beyond food and commerce, the natural geography of Billings is quite pretty too.  In this photo you can see downtown Billings and the Yellowstone river valley behind it, followed by the Pryor Mountains even further in the distance.  To the West we have a view of the Beartooth Mountains, while the North and East are encircled by the cliffs of the Billings Rims.  The weather is mild, sitting in a bowl that borders on arid prairie and badlands to the East and the Rocky Mountains on the West, we’re sheltered from the extremes.  For all of these reasons and more, it’s no wonder that the population of Billings is growing fast, attracting over twice as many newcomers per year than any other city in Montana.  I was sold on Billings right away just because of the proximity to the Beartooth Mountains, Yellowstone, Glacier, and all of the mountain wilderness of the West.  But the city of Billings has grown on me too and I don’t think there’s any other place I’d rather live in Montana.  www.paulbellinger.com

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