Looking for a change of pace and scenery? Put Billings at the top of your list. This southern Montana city has everything you’re looking for in terms of quality life. Outdoor recreation opportunities are everywhere, neighbors feel more like family and jobs are plentiful. Plus, you can actually enjoy your free time in Billings, since your money stretches further and you won’t be stuck in traffic jams — the average commute time is just 17 minutes. The city is experiencing steady growth, thanks to its laid back, small-town attitude, advanced healthcare services and resilient economy.
Top Industries and Employers: Energy, healthcare, health supply chain, manufacturing and agriculture
Best Coffee Shop: The Annex Coffeehouse and Bakery, where you can also get fresh, handmade breads, pies, cookies, doughnuts and other treats.
Best Local Beer/Brewery: Thirsty Street Brewing, which has a family-friendly taproom complete with a game room and snacks.
Must-Have Meal: Unquestionably, a burger from Burger Dive, which has an old-school diner vibe. You may also want to save room for a milkshake, like the oatmeal cream pie, the flaming s’mores or the cinnamon bear.
After-Work Meetup Spot: Walkers Grill, a downtown favorite with tasty eats and craft cocktails.
Creative Hub: Art House Cinema & Pub, a community-focused nonprofit theater where residents can catch movies, live music and other events.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Hiking or mountain biking at spots like Zimmerman Park, Swords Park and Four Dances Recreation Area.
Free Way to Have Fun: Picnicking, playing volleyball or just watching the geese and ducks at Riverfront Park, a lovely spot along the Yellowstone River.
Local Dream Job: Horseback trail-ride guide, so you could spend most days outside soaking up as much of Billings’ natural beauty as possible.
- Sarah Kuta