Best Places to Live

Bozeman, MT

Population: 40,319
iStockPhoto/DianeBentleyRaymond

Bozeman is more like a giant outdoor playground than a city. This southern Montana community has an average commute time of less than 15 minutes, which means there’s more time to spend together as a family skiing, fishing, rafting, golfing and hiking (plus, it’s not far from Yellowstone National Park). A tight-knit city with endless opportunities for outdoor fun, Bozeman makes frequent appearances on Livability's Top 100 Best Places to Live list. 

Bozeman is home to Montana State University, which is the city’s largest employer, as well as a burgeoning tech scene. On top of that, the population is still under 50,000 people, so you can easily get to know your neighbors and feel a genuine sense of community in Bozeman.

Best Way to Keep Everyone Entertained on a Saturday Afternoon: If your kids are obsessed with dinosaurs (as many are), you’ll want to visit the Museum of the Rockies, an award-winning Smithsonian affiliate with a massive collection of fossils and a giant T. Rex skeleton.

Kid-Friendly Restaurant: The Nova Cafe, an all-day breakfast joint popular among kids for its Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes.

Best Date Night Spot (for frazzled parents): Grab a cocktail at Bozeman Spirits Distillery in the city’s historic downtown, then peruse the shops and art galleries before dinner at Plonk.

Where to Score the Sweet Stuff: You’ll be the coolest parent ever if you make a trip to The Candy Jar, where kids can design (and then eat) their own custom candy bar.

Coolest Indoor Playground: Spire Climbing and Fitness, an indoor rock climbing gym with routes for every member of the family — from beginner to advanced.

Dog-Friendly Hangout Spot (because they're part of the family too!): The aptly named White Dog Brewing Company has a dog-friendly Bozeman taproom. But that’s not all: each label on their cans was inspired by a real-life dog.

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I love my town because it’s so beautiful. I like skiing and sledding and ballet classes." -Maren, age 4