Livingston, MT is quintessential small-town America. There are nearly 8,000 residents in the quaint city near the North Entrance of Yellowstone. At the writing of this blog, the north entrance of Yellowstone is closed because of the historic flooding that was experienced in early June 2022. It is approximately 30 minutes to Bozeman, which is where the closest airport is located. 

downtown livingston mt

The moment I pulled into town, I was enamored with this place. The people are friendly, the vibe is very unique. This town is populated by real cowboys, true hippies, and eclectic neighbors. Within my first week in town, I met 4 people who became fast friends. One of my favorite things to do in Livingston was walk my pup through town to the river. The views are amazing and folks were out and about saying hello to each other. If you are looking for a wonderful small town with a great vibe, Livingston MT is your place! 

The best time of year to visit Livingston is the summer

I really know nothing about winter sports since I am a Florida girl, so I can only imagine this town is gorgeous in the winter months (and COLD) but all my recommendations are for a summer visit to Livingston. I was in Livingston the month of June and the weather was just spectacular (aside from the rare flood that occurred during my stay) Temps range from the high 40s to 70s. Perfect weather for hiking and adventuring. 

There are so many things to do near Livingston MT if you love adventure, rivers, and the mountains. Yellowstone National Park North Entrance is about 1 hour from Livingston. I was lucky enough to arrive before the flood so I was able to visit Yellowstone twice. It is a straight shot down 89A from Livingston to the North Entrance of Yellowstone.

Livingston is 1 hour from North Entrance of Yellowstone

Yellowstone North Entrance

As you make your way to Yellowstone, you will travel through the small town of Gardiner MT. It has some cool souvenir shops, white water rafting trips, coffee shops, and even a local photography studio, where he has wildlife photos inside the park. We spent a couple of hours in Gardiner eating and doing a little shopping after we visited the sites in Yellowstone. 

I highly recommend heading to the park early in the morning. We were on the road by 6:30, so we entered the park at 7:30 and had Mammoth hot springs to ourselves for the better part of an hour. The crowds start picking up around 8:30/9 am. So arrive early to avoid the throng of people. After checking out Mammoth hot springs hop in your car and head toward Norris Geyser Basin. There will be multiple pull-offs along the way to capture the beauty of the park and get pics of the wildlife. We saw a ton of Elk, Bison, and a few 

The Norris Geyser Basin includes Steamboat Geyser which is the tallest geyser in the world. It is a dynamic area full of erratic thermal changes. The features of this area change daily due to seismic activity. All that to say that it is super cool to be a part of this display from mother earth. We did not venture down to Old Faithful as we were very content with Old Unpredictable (Steamboat Geyser). Since Livingston is so close to Yellowstone, it is a great place to stay when visiting the park. (note that as of June 2022 this northern entrance is closed due to historic flooding in the area). 

Bozeman is the Closest Airport to Livingston

Bozeman Airport is 30 minutes from Livingston and likely the airport you will want to fly into for your stay in Livingston. One of the cool things to do when visiting Livingston is check out Bozeman. It is a beautiful 30-minute drive. Bozeman is home to Montana State University so it is well populated and has all your necessities like Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods. Fun fact, Bozeman is the fastest-growing small city in the US. 

When you are in Bozeman, park downtown and check out the cool-themed shops. You can grab hiking gear, Montana t-shirts, huckleberry vodka, cute casual clothes, and accessories. They have a few cute coffee shops for you to check out as well. My favorite shop for all things Montana is Barefoot Bozeman. Be sure to check out Main Street Market for a little bodega feel. 

visiting Bozeman
Farmer's Daughter cafe in Bozeman

Activities Near Bozeman

One of my daughter’s favorite things to do near Livingston was the Goat Farm Experience. The farm is about an hour from Livingston. It is a 1-hour experience where you can literally play with hundreds of goats from babies to mamas and a couple of boy goats. They are friendly and playful and you can’t help but smile when you are playing with them. 

goat farm near Bozeman

Farmers Daughters – This place is by far my favorite restaurant in Bozeman. Everything is fresh and I love the story of the sisters and how the restaurant came to be. It is only open for breakfast and lunch and very popular with the college crowd. However, it is kitschy and cool and the food is outstanding. Almost everything on the menu is gluten-free or can be made gluten-free. They have awesome bakery items that are made fresh and all of them are gluten-free. Check out the chocolate chip cookies for a real treat! It is located on 7th Ave and shares a parking lot with the coolest little hotel in town. RSVP hotel. 

Museum of the Rockies is located in Bozeman. We spent an afternoon there while it was storming outside and we were really impressed with what we learned about Montana and our Native American friends. It is also home to an original Montana homestead that was really cool to visit. 

Grizzly Encounter – located about 15 minutes from downtown, you won’t miss seeing it on the way to Bozeman. There are 3 bears who live at the rescue facility. It is an interesting way to learn bear safety as well as view the bear from a safe distance. 

Where to Stay in Livingston

Where to stay in Livingston – A Stones Throw Bed and Breakfast. It was located just across the street from my Airbnb. The owner’s Mic and Donald are wonderful. They have created a wonderful oasis for visitors to Livingston. It is 3 blocks from downtown so it’s perfect to walk around town.

Murray Hotel is a historic hotel located right in the heart of downtown. 

Farmer’s market on Wednesdays  – If you are in town on Wednesdays during the summer, don’t miss the Farmer’s Market. It is located right along the Yellowstone river in Sacjewa Park. The market features fresh, healthy food from the region. It also features food vendors, local craft beer, baked goods, flowers, and arts and crafts. There are all kinds of artists and food and local entertainment at the Farmer’s Market. It was truly a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.

farmers market is a fun thing to do in Livingston

Downtown Art Walk on Friday evenings – located downtown, the retail shops, and art galleries remain open late, serve wine, and live music. The art walk is a wonderful way to see the shops in the city and become part of the local economy. 

Places to visit in downtown Livingston

Calamity – really fun t-shirts, shoes, and fun ladies’ clothes

High Trash – some unique pieces of clothes as well as quirky items.

Curated Closet – a great consignment store that benefits local charities

Dan Bailey – I love the fresh flowers and bikes that line the sidewalk outside this outdoor shop. They have all things you need for hiking, fishing, etc (including bear spray and obtaining a fishing license)

Murray Hotel  – must check this out for the history and cowboy flavor of this original hotel.

Train museum – learn about the history of Livingston at the train museum. It is, after all,  the reason Livingston became a town. 

Movie theater – only 2 movie options and 2 movie times (small town). But the movies are first run, the theater is cheap and the bathrooms are funny! One of the fun things to do in Livingston MT if it’s raining or HOT is checking out the movie theater.

Hiking is one of the best things to do near Livingston, check out my post on all the hikes I did while I was in Livingston. 

Gluten-Free Restaurants in Livingston

Neptunes – rooftop bar. Go for the gluten-free sushi and stay for the rooftop bar that overlooks Livingston Peak. It is a marvelous place to have happy hour. 

Gil’s Goods in Murray Hotel has gluten-free pizza, a great vibe, and friendly locals. They also have gluten-free buns for their burgers. I don’t eat red meat but my fiance said the bison burger is legit one of the best burgers he has ever had. It is a typical pub scene with wonderful people. 

2nd Street Bistro – If you are looking for an incredible (high-end) meal then you MUST visit 2nd Street Bistro. This restaurant is reservation ONLY! The menu offers Prix fix Four-course meal options that are different each month. Trust me when I tell you that the food is divine! There were several gluten-free options for me that were delish! I visited twice and both times I was equally impressed.

2nd Street Bistro in livingston mt

Ferdinands – tapas Spanish food. Lots of fun options but not much for the gluten-free palate. 

Livingston Bar and Grill – great staff and the drinks are strong! I found a couple of options for gluten-free but you will need to ask the server. We enjoyed a quiet evening with great drinks. 

The Mint – It’s a great bar, lots of local fun.

Tru North – YOU MUST VISIT! The breakfast items are delish, my favorite was the Tru Jam Sammie on the gluten-free toast. It was very unique and filling! I loved every bite. The atmosphere is homey and quirky (note the signage and your silverware can be found in the tool chest near the restroom;)) Just visit, trust me, you will love it!

Tru North Cafe is a great place to eat in livingston mt

Pinky’s Cafe – local diner with yummy breakfast and fresh squeezed Orange Juice!

Take a Roadtrip to Big Sky, MT from Livingston

Big Sky, MT is located about 1 ½ hours from Livingston and it’s a fun place to visit while you’re in Livingston during the summer months. It is a really beautiful road trip from Livingston.

big sky resort scenic lift near Livingston MT

On your road trip to Big Sky, make a stop at The Coffee Pot Bakery Cafe. It is located right on Gallatin Rd outside of Bozeman. You will see a big sign for this little, near-perfect shop. The coffee pot has handmade pottery, candles, jewelry, and delightful food. I was very excited to find they have an array of gluten-free goodies. They have a small cafe where you can sit and enjoy your coffee, breakfast, or bakery goodies. I just loved this little place to stop while out adventuring! 

Big Sky Resort is a huge resort with a ton of options for fun in the summer!

Scenic lift – all three open after June 15. The scenic lift is also known as the ski lift (in the winter). Taking the lift will afford you gorgeous views while taking a leisurely ride up the mountain and back down. You can hop off at the top and look around, take a hiking trail or do a loop. 

Eat at Westward Social – We were surprised at how good the food was! Beautiful view of the mountains and the staff is really friendly!

Ousel falls is just a short drive from the resort. It is a super easy “hike” along a creek to a waterfall! You will be among a lot of other travelers so be prepared to search for parking.

Ousel Falls is a fun thing to do near Livingston

Water sports are available to enjoy at the resort and so is ziplining. Ziplining through the mountains?! Yes, please!

There are so many fun things to do in Livingston, MT. It has become one of my very favorite places to be in this country! There is so much to do and the beauty of the mountains is just surreal. If you are looking for a wonderful place for summer fun, take a trip to Livingston, MT.