Our Go. Do. series continues with a trip to Western Montana. Philipsburg is an absolutely quaint and totally vibrant mountain town, tucked away between Missoula and Butte. It’s a true gem, with lots of colorful restored buildings and happening businesses along it’s main street. An all-season town, Georgetown Lake is just up the road through a colorful rock cliff drive, which has great fishing all year (you’ll see lots of ice fishing huts speckling the lake in the winter). And Discovery Ski Area is just a little further up the road, with skiing in the winter and biking in the summer. Keep going down through Anacanda, and you’ll run into Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, with both indoor and outdoor naturally-heated hot spring pools (and a super cool slide for ALL ages).
But let’s stay in town for a spell… We arrived on the main drag just in time for lunch at Doe Brothers Soda Fountain for a delish lunch. You can guess what they’re known for… yep, milkshakes, malts and ice cream.
Then we headed across to the street to the absolutely magical Sweet Palace. This place is a serious destination in our book, and there is no other word than magical to describe it. We get mentally prepared to just let go and eat some sugar, and head though the doors. Once you pass the old-fashioned taffy machine in the window, the walls boast nearly any candy you can think of. In the middle of the shop are hand-made chocolates galore, made right there. And upon checkout are dozens of homemade fudge flavors. Again, magical.
Next door is the Saphhire Gallery, a long-standing, beautiful shop of jewelry and handmade items featuring the sapphires and other gems found right in the area. It’s serious loveliness.
We wanted to try our hand at finding our own gems, so we walked down the street to Montana Gems of Philipsburg where we were able to mine for sapphires. We each purchased a bag of unwashed rock, and went at it, where everything was set up for us, and ended up with a nice handful of sapphires. Afterward we chose an uncut geode, and it was split open on the spot to see if there were crystals inside. So fun for kids and adults alike.
Next up, beverages and a bit of shopping. The Daily Grind has a lovely garden spot for an afternoon iced coffee, and is connected to a sweet, sweet boutique shop full of darling finds.
Across the street is a little antique shop Stuff & Such worth a peek around. The outside couldn’t be more darling. Philipsburg boasts a few antique shops, so have a few extra minutes ready to duck into each.
Next door is the stellar Philipsburg Brewing Company with a cool atmosphere and their well-known in-house dog Bruce to greet you.
If you have some extra time, look into a live performance at the Opera House Theatre. Head up the mountain to the real-deal, fascinating Granite Ghost Town, which was once the richest silver mine on earth, and is now eerily quiet. Or maybe you’ll like to stay longer right in the middle of it all at the Broadway Hotel. However long your stay in Philipsburg, it will be memorable. And you’ll be back.