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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Explore City and Country in Missoula

Head to Big Sky country in western Montana for rugged adventures without giving up the creature comforts of urban life.


1. Where to Stay

Travelers interested in "glamping" can stay in a tent at the Resort at Paws Up.  

Wake up to French toast and omelettes on the banks of the Clark Fork River, which runs through the heart of Missoula, at Goldsmith's Bed and Breakfast (from $124). Dating back to 1911, the house's seven rooms feature down-home country touches like hand-stitched quilts and antique light fixtures, a welcome alternative to the bland box hotels in town.

Experience Victorian grandeur at the Gibson Mansion Bed & Breakfast (from $125), where the 1903 home's stained-glass windows, parquet floors, cast-iron fireplace, and oak staircase have all been kept in mint condition. Despite the property's vintage look, there are modern amenities like WiFi and gym passes available, but be sure to spend a few hours lazing in the secluded garden filled with flowers and migratory birds and enclosed by a 40-foot-tall poplar hedge.

Get a taste of true Western living at the Resort at Paws Up (from $885 for two adults, all-inclusive), a fully operational cattle ranch that sits on 37,000 acres of beautiful Big Sky land 45 minutes outside of Missoula. The price includes three meals a day, transportation to and from the airport, and, for some packages, an overwhelming list of outdoor activities to choose from, including fishing, mushroom-foraging, and archery. The most important choice you'll need to make, however, is between staying in one of the well-appointed timber homes and one of the luxury tents that come with a personal butler.

Published on May 3, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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