Helena is the capital city of the state of Montana. This city is unique due to its proximity to miles of unsoiled natural landscape. Enjoy a romp in the wilderness by day and the joys of the city life by night. Experience the charm and atmosphere of the Old West all while enjoying the freshness of a contemporary city.
See and do in Helena, Montana
The Montana State Capitol building is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is home to the Montana State Legislature. The exterior features a copper covered dome and a statue of “Lady Liberty”. The inside is characterized by its rotunda bordered by four circular historical paintings. The paintings portray the story of Montana: a gold miner, a cowboy, an explorer and a Native American. Take a tour and explore the ornate décor and history of the city and state.
Visit Exploration Works, a science and culture museum and learn about health, energy, nature, space and much more by delving into its various interactive displays. When you’re done, visit the Great Northern Carousel and Ice Cream Parlor. The carousel is hand carved in the shapes of animals indigenous to Montana. Also, while at the ice cream parlor you must treat yourself to some ice cream! The parlor features mouth-watering homemade ice cream, a must for the whole family.
Another must-see in Helena is the Cathedral of Saint Helena. The dazzling gothic-style church began construction in 1908 and began operation in 1914 and was styled after the Votive Church in Vienna, Austria. The house of worship has fifty-nine stained glass windows depicting several events in the New Testament. The church provides guided tours in the summer to whoever would like to visit.
The Old Fire Tower in Helena was built in the 19th century. Giving watchmen a full view of the city, the bell tower was used to alert residents of fire and to indicate the children’s curfew. The tower has been deemed a historic landmark in Helena.
The Great Outdoors in Helena, Montana
Pack a picnic or hike the extensive trails of the Lewis and Clark Caverns state park. The most popular state park in Montana is home to the limestone caves first discovered by Lewis and Clark. Tour the caverns at your leisure and study the natural geological wonder the multicolored limestone has to offer.
Another great place for hiking is the Mount Helena City Park. There are several trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Most trails take you around the mountain but some take you all the way up to the peak of Mount Helena at 5,468 feet above sea level. One of the most popular trails, the Hogback trail, though strenuous and rocky, offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.
The Gates of the Rocky Mountains, named by Lewis and Clark provide is a striking view of the natural phenomena in the region. The limestone cliffs, stunning river canyon, caves, valleys, ridges and wildlife provide a brilliant nature excursion for visitors. Taking a boat tour is highly recommended for a wonderful look at the surroundings.
Out and around Helena
For a bigger taste of the Wild West, check out the Elkhorn Ghost Town and Cemetery an hour’s drive outside Helena. In the ghost town you’ll feel like you’re in an old Western film with the remnants of an old saloon, a shoemaker’s shop and an old mine. If you feel like being spooky, visit the cemetery for a spine-chilling look at the people who lived in this now deserted town.
While in the area take a soak in the Boulder Hot Springs. Get some relaxation time in Peace Valley. Enjoy the luxury of a spa-like atmosphere surrounded by peaceful nature.
Explore, hike and relax on your trip to Helena, Montana!