Missoula’s Best Christmas Lights Tour — Including Turn-By-Turn Directions
(Update 12/8/14: Although this article is about two years old, we are excited to announce that many of the homes along the tour below have returned this year! It would be real helpful if you could add (or omit) others that you've found in the comment section below. What other places deserve to be on this tour? Let us know. Merry Christmas, Missoula!)
Over the past few years we asked our listeners to help us locate the absolute best Christmas displays in Missoula. Armed with your suggestions and tips (plus a GPS tracking app) we gassed up the rig with camera in hand and proceeded to go in search of the finest this town has to offer over the holiday season.
As a bonus, we've added a turn-by-turn map to help locate some of these amazing displays below. Just click on the highlighted links to jump to a Google map for directions.
1. Linda Vista
We begin our tour heading down Lower Miller Creek past the golf course. Take a left on Linda Vista, and simply follow up the road until you can't any longer. Odds are you'll end up seeing many homes like these in the photos below, but don't be afraid to travel off the beaten path. Just follow the lights! You simply cannot go wrong with this festive neighborhood.
2. Simons Avenue, Lower South Hills
When you make the loop down the east side of the hills from Linda Vista, keep your eyes to the rightand you'll see one street that has some houses all decked out with some very pretty lights, including one that is guaranteed to give you seizures if you stare at it too long. Click the video below to see some serious holiday cheer.
3. Off Russell and 8th Avenue
Pass 39th Street and proceed south down Russell Street about 2.5 miles and take a quick left loop around 8th Avenue. This quaint little neighborhood block is all decked out with some pretty lights and festive cheer. With rows and rows of homes all joining in on the holiday fun, it's something to certainly make a loop through on your way toward the grand finale of our tour.
4. 320 Washburn Avenue
Back on Russell Street, head south until you see Red's Towing on the left hand side of this busy street. This one-of-a-kind Christmas display deserves our top honors. Operated by Dave and Ricki Koch, this couple has been adding to this festive landscape since the early '80s, and continues to wow families from all over with their extravagant arrangement. Open 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
5. Darlene Avenue, Behind Gilly's Gas and Grocery
Return to Russell, backtrack to 3rd Street (same street as the Good Food Store) and head west. Before you land on Reserve Street, hit up this bright and cheery little house nestled deep within a dimly lit neighborhood round-a-bout on Darlene Avenue near Gilly's Gas and Grocery. But don't worry, it won't be dim for long. Trust me, you'll certainly see this place when you pass by it. You simply can't miss it.
6. Three Blocks West of Big Sky High School on South Avenue
And now, for the grand finale. Head south on Reserve and take a right onto South Avenue, go past Big Sky High School three blocks and look to your right. Every night at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., this humble home lights up to synchronized music that you tune into via a low-power FM station on your car stereo. The show is approximately 25 minutes long and is quite the sight to see, and hear.
This concludes our tour! We hope you enjoyed this interactive adventure featuring some of the best Christmas displays in Missoula.
And now, over to you:
Sure, there are some we may have missed, which is why we would LOVE it if you add to the list in the comment section below. With your continued help, we can make this a one-stop-shop for all of the lights worthy of showing off in Missoula. Either way, we must say we are awfully impressed with what we've seen this year, and hope that this page might inspire you to load the family up in the ride and take them on a tour. Happy Holidays, Missoula!