The Helena Walking Mall is a staple in the Helena community. Whether you are looking for live music, a simple stroll, window shopping or a bite to eat, you’ll find a little bit of everything. If you are looking for things to do on your trip through Helena, the Walking Mall won’t disappoint.
In 1974, as part of an urban renewal plan within the city of Helena, the Walking Mall’s creek was added to the landscape. The creek runs the length of this block, meandering through the sidewalk culminating at the Miner Fountain located beside the Base Camp. The fountain commemorates the gold rush of the late 19th Century when a group of men known as the “Four Georgians” gave it one last chance to strike it rich along the banks of Helena’s gulch. Along the creek, you will find shops like the Pan Handler, Lasso the Moon Toys & Gifts, Eureka and Birds and Beasley’s. If you are looking to grab a bite to eat, the Windbag sits in the building which once housed Big Dorothy’s, a brothel that finally closed in 1973.
Art Along the Way
As you stroll through downtown, you’ll find a variety of art installations and exhibits. There are a number of art galleries in the area including the Holter Museum of Art, the Ghost Art Gallery, Kevin League’s photography studio, and 1 + 1 = 1. If you are more of a passive observer, there are a couple of installations outside that you may find yourself face to face with; here are some of the highlights:
- Montana Women’s Mural (across from the Base Camp)
- The Miner Mural (Parking Garage on N. Jackson)
- The Bullwhacker (near Taco del Sol)
- The Newspaper Boy (Outside the Big Dipper)
- Anchor Park (by the Library)
- Legendary Last Chance Gulch (Western Bar)
Meet Among Friends
With so many restaurants and shops, the Walking Mall has become a community gathering place. Looking for a place to meet up with friends and rest your feet? You may want to consider the Hawthorne Bottle Shop or Ten Mile Creek Brewery. Both locations have patios that spill onto the walking mall where you’ll often find food trucks and live music. You may be thinking that this doesn’t sound very kid friendly, but these two establishments are flanked by The Big Dipper Ice Cream Shop and the Parrot Soda Fountain, making this block perfect for visitors of any age!
Maybe you are out for a leisurely morning of shopping and what goes better with shopping than a little caffeine in hand? Coffee shops downtown include The Hub, Firetower, Dive Bakery and the General Mercantile. Each of these establishments offer their own flair, but if you are looking for a unique experience and maybe a place to grab a few gifts, the Merc is the place to go!
We can’t wait to see you on the Helena Walking Mall.
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