creek outside of Missoula, Montana
Courtesy of Destination Missoula

No. 43

Missoula, Montana

With equal amounts of outdoor adventure and an artsy, fun, college town feel, Missoula boasts being able to catch a fish and a concert in the same day.

Many on their way to Glacier National Park will drive through Missoula, located deep within the mountains of the Lolo and Flathead National Forests, just south of the Flathead Indian Reservation. It's become a hot place to stop for a craft brew, delicious local fare, or a walk through unique downtown shops, where people can take advantage of the city's zero sales tax.

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Residents themselves seem to have it good: The Missoula area saw a 12.4% increase in job growth between 2010 and 2018, and just over 15% of residents walk or bike to work.

The Clark Fork River runs directly through the downtown district, and is one of three rushing rivers that offer famous trout fishing (it was the eponymous river featured in A River Runs Through It starring Brad Pitt).

Countless trails start from any part of the city, and can meander for miles through endless forests. All of that time outside can make anyone work up an appetite, and luckily there's plenty of worthy spots to choose from; locals favor Caffe Dolce, Plonk wine bar, and Biga Pizza. — Chloe Wilt

Missoula, Montana population, median household income and home price, projected job growth, average commute and clear days per year

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