Explore The Best Things To Do In Fort Benton MT

Things To Do In Fort Benton MT

Searching for that perfect small town to explore can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. We’ve felt that same mix of excitement and frustration. That’s why we were thrilled when our journey led us to Fort Benton, MT.

Nestled on the banks of the Missouri River, this gem boasts the Museum of the Northern Great Plains and is rich in history and full of opportunities for outdoor adventure. Join us as we explore all the captivating activities this charming town has to offer!

Key Takeaways

  • Fort Benton, MT is the oldest settlement in Montana that has had people living in it since 1846.
  • The Fort Benton Museums & Heritage Complex and White Cliffs are top attractions for visitors.
  • Outdoor activities include floating trips on the Missouri River and exploring at Signal Point Golf Club.
  • Nearby small towns like Big Sandy, Loma, and Geraldine offer peaceful explorations close to Fort Benton.
  • Dining options range from local restaurants like Union Grille to breweries offering craft beers.

Why Fort Benton, MT is Among the Best Small Towns in the West

Things To Do In Fort Benton MT - The historic streets of Fort Benton at sunset, capturing the bustling atmosphere and architecture in vivid detail.

Fort Benton, MT stands out as a prime spot in the West for those of us craving quiet exploration and rich history. It’s not just any town; it’s the oldest settlement in Montana that people have continuously lived in since 1846.

This little gem near Great Falls offers more than its fair share of stories from America’s past. Here, every corner and cobblestone whispers tales of the days when gold fever hit in 1862 and steamboats ruled the Missouri River.

The heart of Fort Benton beats with memories of its peak times during the 1880s, serving as a vital transportation hub that connected various parts of this vast country. From historic sites like Old Fort Benton to natural wonders such as Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, it crafts a unique blend of beauty and history you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

Top Attractions in Fort Benton, MT

A photo of the White Cliffs of Fort Benton against the Missouri River with a bustling atmosphere.

Discover the Fort Benton Museums & Heritage Complex – a treasure trove of history and artifacts. Marvel at the grandeur of the White Cliffs, an iconic natural wonder along the Missouri River.

Explore the rich history and natural beauty at the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center. Cross over to new perspectives on the historic Fort Benton Bridge. Pay homage to Shep Memorial, a touching tale amidst this scenic town’s charm.

Fort Benton Museums & Heritage Complex

We love exploring Fort Benton, MT, for many reasons, and the Fort Benton Museums & Heritage Complex tops our list. It shows off the fort itself, shining a light on its rich past. With a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Tripadvisor, it’s clear we’re not alone in thinking this place is special.

This complex sits at 1205 20th St and welcomes visitors with open arms during its seasonal openings.

The museums take you back to days when fur trading posts were bustling along the inland routes of the Pacific Northwest. Inside, you’ll find artifacts that speak to Fort Benton’s title as “Bloodiest Block in the West.” Exhibits also honor figures like Lieutenant John Mullan who blazed trails such as the Mullan Wagon Road through tough terrain.

Here, history isn’t just read; it’s felt through stories of steamboats on the levee and tales from when buffalo roamed free across America.

White Cliffs

We take trips to White Cliffs with Missouri River Outfitters. These cliffs offer breathtaking views that many visitors, including stumack on September 24, 2022, find stunning. The journey is thrilling but known as “dangerous”.

Our guides ensure everyone stays safe while enjoying the scenic beauty.

Exploring these cliffs gives us a chance to see why they’re so special. Their sheer faces glow under the sun, making every photo look amazing. We always recommend this adventure to friends who want something out of the ordinary in Fort Benton, MT.

Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center

Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center sits in the heart of Fort Benton. The center offers a firsthand experience of the ever-evolving American West, delving into the realm of inland of the Pacific Northwest.

It is an educational venture designed to enhance our suite of historical knowledge, unveiling secrets from history. Visitors can unlock these secrets through bespoke exhibits and displays showcasing the complexities and nuances of this region’s landscape and wildlife.

The Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center provides an excellent opportunity for those seeking more than just regular museum visits. As we embark on this journey in understanding the world of Lewis and Clark, Sacajawea, and American buffalo, it’s not merely about learning but living through history.

Throughout its meticulously tailored displays, visitors gain insight into not only the past but also understand how it underpins our present-day society.

Fort Benton Bridge

The Fort Benton Bridge offers stunning views of the Missouri River. Constructed in 1888, it stands as a historic testament to the town’s heritage. The bridge provides a picturesque setting for leisurely walks and photography, making it an ideal spot to soak in the beauty of Fort Benton.

With its rich historical significance and captivating river vistas, the Fort Benton Bridge is a must-visit attraction for anyone exploring this charming small town.

Shep Memorial

Shep Memorial in Fort Benton, Montana commemorates the loyalty of a dog named Shep. In the 1930s, Shep faithfully awaited his deceased owner’s return at the railway station for almost six years.

The touching story captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike, leading to this beautiful memorial that honors Shep’s unwavering devotion. It stands as a heartwarming reminder of companionship and loyalty.

This memorial is an emotional tribute to the unbreakable bond between humans and animals. Visitors can reflect on Shep’s story while taking in the serene surroundings at this poignant site, which continues to inspire all who hear about it with its timeless message of loyalty and love.

Historical Landmarks and Monuments

Explore the citadel rock, Lewis & Clark Memorial, and Thomas Francis Meagher Monument. Discover the rich history behind these prominent landmarks in Fort Benton.

Citadel Rock

Citadel Rock, a historical landmark in Fort Benton, Montana, boasts an important connection to the town’s history and heritage. The rock offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Visitors can delve into its historical significance and its integral role in Fort Benton’s development. History enthusiasts and nature lovers find Citadel Rock equally captivating due to its unique amalgamation of rich history and natural beauty.

The rock provides a distinctive opportunity for exploring the area’s rich history while enjoying captivating scenery.

Lewis & Clark Memorial

The Lewis & Clark Memorial stands proudly near the river, commemorating the famous expedition. The statue captivates with its depiction of these explorers’ historic journey. We can visit this monument to honor their pioneering spirit and gain insight into their remarkable adventure.

This significant landmark offers a powerful reminder of exploration’s enduring legacy, showcasing how discovery shaped the region’s history. Here we have the opportunity to appreciate the courage and determination that defined Lewis and Clark’s expedition as we explore Fort Benton’s rich historical tapestry.

Thomas Francis, Meagher Monument

The Thomas Francis, Meagher Monument honors the Irish revolutionary and his remarkable story. It adds historical depth to Fort Benton’s charm, showcasing the town’s connection to significant world events.

The monument invites reflection on a pivotal figure in history while blending seamlessly with the town’s serene ambiance. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the past and enriches our understanding of this tranquil community.

Outdoor Activities

Explore the scenic Missouri River, offering activities such as fishing, boating, and river walks. To discover more outdoor adventures in Fort Benton MT, keep reading!

Missouri River

The Missouri River offers a range of outdoor activities, including floating trips and solitude in the Missouri Breaks. It’s perfect for those who want to explore nature and unwind amidst stunning landscapes.

The river also provides opportunities for adventure like exploring nearby small towns and historical landmarks such as Citadel Rock and Lewis & Clark Memorial.

Known for its historical significance, the Missouri River is an ideal spot to delve into the region’s past while enjoying present-day tranquility. By incorporating this waterway into your trip, you can make lasting memories in one of America’s most picturesque settings.

Signal Point Golf Club

Signal Point Golf Club offers a stunning and well-maintained course suitable for all skill levels. The club’s picturesque location provides an ideal setting for outdoor recreation and relaxation, capturing the essence of Fort Benton’s charm.

It is associated with a host of outdoor activities, enabling a unique experience in this quaint area.

Missouri River Outfitters

Missouri River Outfitters offers exciting float trips recommended by Ted Lapis. Nicolle’s exceptional service has earned praise. The outfit provides a memorable experience for those looking to explore the Missouri River and its awe-inspiring surroundings, tailored toward outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and natural beauty.

MRO’s knowledgeable guides ensure a safe and informative journey down the river, showcasing the area’s rich history and diverse wildlife. Their dedication to providing personalized experiences makes them an excellent choice for anyone wanting a unique and immersive outing on the water.

Additionally, their expertise in navigating the complexities of the ever-evolving river landscape underpins their commitment to ensuring every trip is not only safe but also steeped in local knowledge and authenticity.

Upper Missouri River Guides

Upper Missouri River Guides provide a range of outdoor experiences in Fort Benton, MT. They offer guided fishing trips, bird watching, and wildlife viewing along the Upper Missouri River.

Their knowledgeable guides lead scenic river tours and float trips while sharing insights into local history, geology, and ecology. Visitors can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area through these well-informed excursions and appreciate its significance in American history.

These activities cater to those who seek an authentic exploration of nature with a touch of historical context. The guides’ expertise enhances the overall experience by offering a deeper understanding of the region’s past and present significance.

With their guidance, visitors can engage meaningfully with the landscape and history that surrounds them.

By combining adventure with education, Upper Missouri River Guides create opportunities for visitors to appreciate both nature’s beauty and historical richness.

Exploring Nearby: Small Towns Near Fort Benton, MT

  1. Big Sandy – A small town located just 35 miles away, known for its peaceful surroundings and the historic Big Sandy Historical Museum showcasing the town’s rich heritage.
  2. Loma – Situated approximately 12 miles from Fort Benton, offering visitors a glimpse into rural Montana life and featuring the Loma Club, a local gathering spot for residents and tourists alike.
  3. Geraldine – About 24 miles southeast of Fort Benton, this quaint town provides an opportunity to explore the Old Trail Museum and enjoy a tranquil atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

That’s all about nearby small towns near Fort Benton, MT!

Dining and Lodging Options

Discover a range of local eateries and cozy accommodations suited to various preferences. Indulge in delectable cuisine and immerse yourself in the comfort of unique lodgings, promising an unforgettable experience that complements your exploration of Fort Benton, MT.

Want to learn more?

Local restaurants and breweries

When visiting Fort Benton, you can savor a delightful array of dining and beverage options at local restaurants and breweries. Here’s a curated list of places to explore:

  1. Union Grille: Offering a cozy ambiance and delectable steaks, this spot is perfect for a relaxed evening.
  2. Wake Cup Coffee House & Restaurant: Enjoy artisanal coffee blends and mouthwatering pastries in a charming setting.
  3. The Public House: Indulge in locally sourced cuisine paired with an extensive selection of craft beers in a laid-back atmosphere.
  4. Club House VFW Post 4047: Experience the welcoming vibe while relishing classic American fare and refreshing drinks.
  5. The Banque: Delight in an eclectic menu that includes hearty comfort food, complemented by signature cocktails and local brews.

Accommodation choices

Looking for the best places to stay in Fort Benton? Here’s a list of accommodation choices that offer comfort and convenience:

  1. Grand Union Hotel: Experience historic elegance at this iconic hotel, featuring luxurious rooms and modern amenities.
  2. Pioneer Lodge: Enjoy a cozy stay at this lodge with charming Western decor, nestled in the heart of Fort Benton.
  3. Lark and Laurel Bed and Breakfast: Immerse yourself in a tranquil atmosphere at this quaint B&B, offering personalized hospitality and a delightful breakfast experience.

Explore these options for a memorable stay during your visit to Fort Benton, MT.

RV parks and campgrounds

When exploring Fort Benton, MT, don’t forget the convenient RV parks and campgrounds. Here are some top choices for your stay:

  1. Benton RV Park – A well-equipped park offering full hook-ups, laundry facilities, and easy access to local attractions.
  2. D & S RV Park – Situated in a peaceful setting with spacious sites, this park provides a tranquil retreat with modern amenities.
  3. River’s Edge Trail RV Park – Nestled along the scenic Missouri River, this park offers stunning views and a relaxing environment for nature enthusiasts.
  4. Midtown Campground – Located near downtown Fort Benton, this campground provides easy access to dining and shopping while being surrounded by natural beauty.
  5. Virgelle Mercantile and Cabins – Experience a unique stay in charming cabins alongside the Missouri River, complete with modern comforts and historic charm.
  6. Loma Bend RV Park – Enjoy a serene riverside setting with ample space for RVs of all sizes, along with fishing and boating opportunities nearby.
  7. Historic Cow Island Campground – Immerse yourself in history at this campground situated on an island where Lewis and Clark once camped, offering a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
  8. Willow Creek Reservoir Campground – Escape to this peaceful lakeside retreat offering camping facilities amidst picturesque surroundings perfect for outdoor adventures and relaxation.

Things To Do In Fort Benton MT Conclusion

In Fort Benton, MT, you can explore a variety of attractions and activities. The Museum of the Northern Great Plains offers a comprehensive history. Don’t miss out on the Fort Benton Museums & Heritage Complex with its 4.5 rating on Tripadvisor.

The White Cliffs provide spectacular float trips while the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center gives an informative experience.

You can also visit impressive sites like Citadel Rock, Lewis & Clark Memorial, and Keelboat Mandan for historical and natural experiences. When it comes to accommodations, there are various options such as hotels and vacation rentals available for visitors to stay in during their trip to ensure a memorable experience.

So prepare for an enriching adventure as we embark on exploring the best things in Fort Benton, MT!

Things To Do In Fort Benton MT FAQs

1. What can we see at the steamboat levee in Fort Benton, MT?

At the steamboat levee, we can step back in time… It’s like walking through history. We’ll see where boats once docked, bringing goods and people to this bustling trade center. Now, it’s a place for quiet walks and learning about the past.

2. Are there any museums we should visit in Fort Benton?

Absolutely! The town is home to specialty museums that tell stories of its rich history. For example, you might explore exhibits dedicated to figures like Robert Scriver or William T. Hornaday. These places are treasure chests of knowledge… just waiting for us to open them.

3. How does Mullan Road fit into Fort Benton’s history?

Mullan Road was a vital path west… Think of it as an artery pumping life into Montana during its early days. Starting from Fort Benton, this road helped settlers move across rugged landscapes towards new beginnings.

4. Is there anything special about US-87 when visiting Fort Benton?

Driving on US-87 brings us closer to nature and history together… It connects us from modern highways to historic trails leading right into the heart of Fort Benton – gateway to adventure and discovery along Montana’s landscapes.

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