Helena is full of opportunities for summer fun. It’s known for easy access to the outdoors, with a 600-acre mountain park on the edge of town, miles of hike-and-bike trails, and a perfect lake for swimming and picnicking. Yet Helena has also been called the Best Little Art Town in America, and we have dozens of galleries and museums to prove the point. If you come to visit, we hope you can spend time to look around, take in the sights, and check out the cultural activities. When you register for a Habitat X conference, we’ll send you a packet of information so you can start planning your trip.
This is among the largest city parks in the nation, and it’s the backdrop for our conferences. An extensive system of trails have been developed for both hiking and mountain biking, and we’ll organize informal walks and rides in the evenings for those who are interested. And most trailheads are located within a ten-minute walk of the conference facilities at Carroll College.
It’s here that Meriwether Lewis said in 1805, “This evening we entered the most remarkable cliffs that we have yet seen; these cliffs rise from the waters edge on either side perpendicularly to the height of 1200 feet. I called it the gates of the rocky mountains.” The Gates of the Mountains is located 20 minutes from Helena. We’ve arranged an optional boat trip to the Gates on the Saturday after the conference.
If you like summer music festivals you might consider spending the weekend – either before or after the conference. Both festivals are about a 2-hour drive from Helena.
The Red Ants Pants Festival, July 25-28, is a truly unique Montana experience. The setting is spectacular and the music is world class – Merle Haggard, Robert Earl Keen, The Wailin’ Jennys, Greg Brown and more. And the party is for a good cause. The mission of the Red Ants Pants Foundation: To develop and expand leadership roles for women, preserve and support working family farms and ranches, and enrich and promote rural communities.
The first weekend of August the community of Bozeman, Montana comes alive to celebrate the arts with its annual Sweet Pea Festival. Sweet Pea Festival highlights include: music of all genres, performances by local theatre and dance troupes, workshops, family-friendly entertainment and activities, a flower show, and over 100 unique arts and crafts vendors to stroll through. Definitely worth sticking around for.
The stretch of the Missouri River that’s located 40 miles north of Helena includes some of the finest blue-ribbon trout fishing in North America. We’d be happy to help arrange a guided fishing trip for you. There’s also plenty to do on the river for the non-fisherman, including bird-watching and sightseeing.
Turman Larison Contemporary Gallery is the site of the Tuesday night social event at the National Conference. It’s located in downtown Helena, and within a short walk of all the conference venues. The evolving exhibits showcase works in a variety of media that are produced by some of the world’s most respected artists and craftsmen.
The Historical Society Museum houses artwork and artifacts that span Montana’s 125-year history. Don’t miss the chance to see the dozens of Charlie Russell original paintings, or the legendary albino buffalo known as Good Medicine.
By popular demand, this year we’re offering logistical support for an optional three-day trip self-guided trip to Glacier National Park. Click here to learn more.
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