Whether you’re trying to show visiting friends and family a good time in Zoo Town, or you’re a visitor yourself, you’ll definitely want to make time to experience Missoula’s unique nightlife. Forget flashy clubs and lounges — here in Big Sky Country, we like to keep things casual and simple. Here are five bars where you can get a taste of real Montana culture.

  • Photo courtesy of briandeadly/Flickr
    Photo courtesy of briandeadly/Flickr

    Charlie B's

    The dark, rustic atmosphere of this famous Higgins Avenue watering hole will make you feel like a real Montana mountain man (or woman). Be sure to check out the black and white photo portraits covering the walls — they will give you a sense of the place’s history.

  • Photo courtesy of masochismtango/Flickr
    Photo courtesy of masochismtango/Flickr

    The Sunrise Saloon

    Country-style swing dancing is a big part of the culture in western Montana, and when it comes to cutting a rug, there’s no place better than the Sunrise. Live musical acts attract huge crowds almost every weekend, which means you should have no trouble finding a dance partner.

  • Photo courtesy of billlutzius/Flickr
    Photo courtesy of billlutzius/Flickr

    The Rhino

    If you’re known for being indecisive, you might have some trouble at this downtown drinking establishment, which boasts more than 50 different beers on tap and Missoula’s widest selection of local craft beers.

  • Photo courtesy of majcher/Flickr
    Photo courtesy of majcher/Flickr

    The Mo Club

    This place has been around for a long time, and the photos on the walls prove it. Enjoy a burger and a beer — or a milkshake — as you take an illustrated tour of Montana Grizzlies history.

  • Photo courtesy of ASurroca/Flickr
    Photo courtesy of ASurroca/Flickr

    The Lumberjack Saloon

    It’s a bit of a drive to get there, but The Jack is worth every mile. Located about 16 miles west of Lolo off of Montana Highway 12, this bar is the epitome of everything Montana: it’s in the middle of the woods, it was built out of logs and there is a huge fireplace. Oh yeah, and there’s live music every Saturday starting at 9 p.m. Road trip!

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