Want to Move to Montana? This Cool City Is Welcoming, Fun — And Affordable

Great Falls is a great place to live and work, at a price point that won’t break the bank.

By
Sarah Kuta
On Monday, March 8, 2021 - 06:00
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Picture this: Instead of an exhausting hour-long commute back to your pricey, cramped apartment; you’re taking a pre-happy hour float down the Missouri River before sipping a flight of local craft beers and heading back to your house on a spacious plot of land to stare up at the stars.

This isn’t just some dreamy, far-off fantasy. For residents of Great Falls, MT, it’s a daily occurrence — and it could be your reality, too.

Intrigued? Here are six reasons people love living in Great Falls — and why you might feel compelled to join them.

1. Great Falls is affordable.

This central Montana community with 58,000 residents is a budget-friendly city that will help you make the most of your money. Case in point: The cost of living in Great Falls is 89.7 percent of the national average and the median home value is around $200,000, making it the perfect place to reach your personal and professional goals.

“Paradise doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg — or your sanity,” says Soren Chargois Ebbasi, talent attraction director for the Great Falls Development Authority. “Great Falls’ affordability means less hard-earned cash spent on rent or mortgages, utility bills, groceries and other expenses, and more time and money for real adventure. A great set of snowshoes or a nice pair of hiking boots aren’t free, but they’re sure more accessible with Great Falls’ low cost of living.”

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Visit Great Falls

2. Adventure is just outside your door.

If you’re tired of staring at skyscrapers all day or driving an hour to get to the nearest park, you’ve come to the right place. 

Great Falls is like a breath of fresh air — literally — thanks to its easy access to nature and abundance of outdoor recreation activities. Whether you’re into hiking, camping, ATV riding, off-roading, fly-fishing, snowboarding, skiing, running or cycling (or all of the above!), you can do it all in Great Falls. This community is located halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier national parks and has tons of local features to explore, too, including nearby Sluice Boxes State Park and “Bob,” the locals’ nickname for the 1.5-million-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex

3. You’ll have actual work-life balance.

Whether you want to go rock climbing or wander through the latest exhibit at the C.M. Russell Museum, you’ll actually have time and money to do what you love thanks to Great Falls’ accessible work-life balance. The average commute time in Great Falls is just 13 minutes, and you’ll quickly find your crew of people who share your enthusiasm for whatever hobbies you choose to pursue in all that free time not spent sitting in gridlock.

“Most people don’t have to work two jobs to make ends meet or sit in traffic for over an hour each way on a commute,” Chargois Ebbasi said. “People leave work at 5 p.m. and are on the river or running trails by 5:30 p.m.”

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Andy Austin/Visit Montana

4. Neighbors become friends. 

It’s not just a cliche — people in Great Falls really are friendly, compassionate and welcoming. Your friends, neighbors and co-workers are always willing to lend a hand, and they’ll show you their true colors right off the bat. 

“If I could sum up Great Falls in one word, it would be authentic,” Chargois Ebbasi said. “People here are not trying to be anyone other than who they are. They’re spunky or serious or bold or colorful or sometimes all of the above. And we love it that way.” 

5. You can jump right in and make a difference.

Great Falls is growing right now — and you can get in on the action. Whether you’re an entrepreneur hoping to launch a small business or a dedicated volunteer who wants to improve the lives of others, you can start making a difference right away.

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Amber Fern Photography

6. Great Falls is fun.

Whether you join a summer kickball league, float down the Missouri River on an innertube with friends or meet up with co-workers for craft beers after work, Great Falls offers options for everyone to let loose and enjoy life. 

“It is affordable, fun, and there’s something to do every weekend,” Chargois Ebbasi said. “We have unique bars, farm-to-table restaurants, ax-throwing, virtual reality venues and so much more.” 

If you'd like to learn more about the Great Falls area, check out the latest edition of Livability Great Falls, MT.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Kuta is an award-winning Colorado writer and editor. She regularly writes about travel, nature, education, personal finance and other topics.