A dispatch from Kristen Blanton, 2016 Wildsam Travel Fellow, who spent 10 days driving the loop from Denver north to Glacier and back. Her first stop was in Livingston, MT, foothills town in the Paradise Valley.
My first dispatch comes from Livingston, once a railroad town that served as the gateway to Yellowstone National Park, today the hub for 21st century pioneer types. The Murray Hotel is a historic 30-room, 700 square foot marble oasis enjoyable for the likes of both the coming and the going. Locally sourced goods are priority for this energetic village. Livingston Bodega and Bakery offers these options from homemade sweets to breakfast pocket sandwiches. Go to for Montana raised beef is Follow Yer Nose BBQ. The staple of Paradise Valley for its spare ribs and beef brisket started with a man and a smoker. Live music follows the setting sun every Thursday. Picnic tables are first come first serve and packed, an ideal setting to cozy up to a new neighbor. Allot yourself leisure time in Livingston. Downtowns’ magic is veiled in unassuming storefronts and once abandoned ally ways. Paper Airplane Designs features ceramics and art from local artist and is the co-op brainchild of local leather worker Jessi Conley. A few doors down you might stumble into Out of the Blue Antiques discovering your very own chaps, or over to The Livingston Depot for a thorough 100 year historic tour of the North Pacific Railroad. As the heat disappears to the night’s fair breeze, wood fire pizza calls under neon lights at Gil’s Goods. Livingston’s bones are historic and richly delicious. It’s charm plastered on the sweet gazes of local people and travelers alike.
6.03 square miles
Tim Cahill, Calamity Jane, John Mayer
LOCAL TO KNOW
“I like the way people tell stories around here. The most common person will tell the most beautiful story. Their storytelling is a skill. I think it’s all about that cowboy poetry thing. It kind built of the magic of this place for us.”
- Greg Reed Mechanic and Jack-of-all-Trades