A Weekend in Butte, Montana

The annual Montana Folk Festival is upon us this weekend, July 12-14, 2024, and we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to highlight things to see and do in the host community, Butte, Montana. After all, with a festival that draws a crowd of nearly 150,000, there are bound to be a couple of you looking for additional things to do while in the area! And the best part, these highlights will be applicable far after the Folk Festival has come and gone!

Montana Folk Festival | Butte
Montana Folk Festival in Butte, Montana

A Quick Highlight of What to Expect at the Montana Folk Festival

The Montana Folk Festival is an annual event hosted every July in Uptown Butte. The festival got its start in 2008 when Butte won the bid to host the National Folk Festival, which would call the community home for three consecutive years from 2008 to 2010. Since that time, the the people of Butte have rallied together to continue what has become a long-standing tradition. At the event, you will find SIX stages spread across Uptown Butte with an incredible lineup of performers from across the globe! To top it off, you’ll find two outdoor markets, a number of food vendors, and all of the great businesses of Uptown! Learn More about Navigating the Montana Folk Festival in this post. Getting excited for this year’s event? Check out this recap from 2023:

Things to See & Do in Butte

Like so many of the communities across Southwest Montana, Butte offers a wide variety of experiences for visitors. From its rich history as the “Copper City” to the endless outdoor recreation available, we truly mean there is something for everyone in Butte! Let’s kick it off with some of the history you can find in town:

Explore the History of Butte America

Butte America boasts a rich and storied history as one of the most significant mining towns in the United States. Established in the late 19th century, Butte quickly grew into a bustling hub of industry, primarily driven by the discovery of immense copper deposits. This “Richest Hill on Earth” attracted a diverse population of immigrants seeking fortune and opportunity, contributing to Butte’s vibrant cultural melting pot. Today, you’ll find glimpses of the past in the city’s historic architecture and ongoing traditions, all of which offer visitors a unique glimpse into its colorful history.

Have a Little Family Fun while in Butte

Are you traveling with the whole family? Check out some of the more family oriented activities that can be found in and around Butte, Montana!

  • Ridge Waters Water Park
    • Stodden Park is home to Ridge Waters Water Park, Highland Golf Course, and the Spirit of Columbia Gardens Carousel! There’s plenty to do for the entire afternoon, not to mention the opportunity to grab a delicious scoop of ice cream!
  • World Museum of Mining
    • This incredible museum offers interactive displays, buildings and displays to wander through, and the crown gem is the underground mining tour – trust us, this is not something you want to miss!
  • Fairmont Hot Springs
    • Fairmont Hot Springs is just a short drive outside of Butte, offering a resort like vacation with both indoor and outdoor pools and a water slide! There’s also a golf course on site, in addition to a spa, and multiple restaurants. It’s fun for the whole family!
  • Silver-Bow Drive In
    • If you thought Drive-In Movie Theaters were of the past, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn of this hidden gem! The Silver Bow Twin Drive-In will take you back in time as you enjoy a movie under Montana’s Big Sky!
  • Bonanza Freeze
    • Speaking of nostalgic destinations, the Bonanza Freeze Drive-In will have you thinking about afternoons spent with your grandparents, or maybe that first date back in high school 😉 The Bonanza Freeze menu features burgers, hot dogs, and of course a few specialties but the ice cream is where it’s at!
  • Montana Zip Line Adventures
    • If you’re up for a short drive just past Anaconda, you’ll have the opportunity to strap in to an unforgettable adrenaline rush overlooking the Pintler mountains! Book online for the best experience!
  • Drizzle Sips + Scoops
    • Finding yourself a little tired and hot as you traverse Uptown Butte? Swing in to Drizzle Sips + Scoops for ice cream (sourced from the Philipsburg Creamery) and coffee!!!
World Museum of Mining Underground Mining Tour
World Museum of Mining Underground Tour

Quick Guide to Butte’s Food & Drinks

There’s absolutely no way for us to provide a full guide to dining in Butte, so use this as a starting place and don’t be afraid to explore the bars and restaurants you stumble upon while in town. This guide is by no means the end-all-be-all of what is available in the Mining City!


  • Sparky’s Garage
  • Bonanza Freeze
  • Pork Chop John’s
  • Joe’s Pasty Shop
  • Shawn O’Donnell’s Irish Pub
  • Cristina’s Cocina
  • Pekin Noodle Parlor
  • La Casa Toscana
  • Casagranda’s Steakhouse

Bars & Drinks:

  • Headframe Spirits
  • Butte Brewing & Pizza Co.
  • Slainte
  • Speakeasy 51 Below
  • Metals Sports Bar & Grill
  • M&M Bar & Cafe
  • Cavalier Lounge
  • Montana Axe Bar & Throwing Co.

Breakfast & Coffee:

  • Hummingbird Cafe
  • Hanging 5 Restaurant
  • Annie’s Cafe
  • Blacksmith Coffee & Grill
  • Mountain View Coffee
  • Copper City Coffee
  • Oro Fino Coffee
  • Florence Coffee
  • SheBrews
Girl enjoying a slice of pizza at Butte Brewing & Pizza Company in Butte, MT
Butte Brewing & Pizza Company

Outdoor Recreation In and Around Butte

If you’re looking for a little outdoor recreation to make the most of your time in Big Sky Country, there is plenty of that available within an easy drive from Butte’s center. Check out some of these areas for hiking, biking, disc golf, and so much more!

Family Exploring the Milwaukee Trail – Thompson Park | Rick and Susie Graetz

Scenic Drives from Butte

Montana Highway 2

If you are interested in a scenic drive that doesn’t require getting out of the car for some stunning views and incredible geology, why not hop on Montana Highway 2 from Butte and head toward Whitehall, Montana! If the unique geology on this drive isn’t enough to fill your bucket, take a side trip down Montana Highway 41 to pass through some incredible farmland before heading back toward Whitehall. Once you get to Whitehall, it might be time to grab a coffee before making your way back. Check out Sweet Things & Coffee Beans!

Butte to Philipsburg

Another of our favorite drives takes visitors from Butte to Philipsburg. Make your way from Butte to Anaconda where you will take Montana Highway 1. This route, known as the Pintler Scenic Byway, will take you through stunning landscapes as you pass by Georgetown Lake and traverse this beautiful two lane highway. Once you arrive in Philipsburg, take some time to explore this charming downtown, try your hand at sapphire mining out at the Gem Mountain Mine, and perhaps indulge in a sweet treat at the famous Sweet Palace!

To say that there’s a lot to see and do in Butte is an understatement. As you explore Southwest Montana, consider making Butte your Basecamp to Montana! For more information, visit: VisitButte.com