When I was in grade school, my brother attended a sleepaway horsemanship camp at the Double Arrow Ranch in Seeley Lake, Montana. I only saw him at the beginning and the end of the week, but I can say it's probably one of the coolest things he got to do growing up in Montana.

When we age, "sleepaway camp" becomes having a "staycation." There are varying degrees of staycation, though. The staycation I had last summer involved day trips to and from Missoula, and even just enjoying activities in the city. Depending on your budget, there are some fantastic options nearby if you want to have a staycation that requires an overnight. In order from most to least expensive, here are my picks for the best staycations or vacations within two hours of Missoula.

A Very Comfortable Place to Stay Outside of Missoula

Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, Montana

White Water Rafting
Photo by Jackalope West on Unsplash

Since 2018, the Triple Creek Ranch has been named the #1 hotel or resort in several major publications, including US Today, US News & World Report, and Conde Nast Traveler. This is likely in part because of the experiences they offer. Unless you own a ranch, you may not have the chance to be part of a cattle drive, and there aren't a ton of places to go dog sledding in the winter. Plus, they have a cowboy hat-shaping workshop, which is a unique experience on its own.

A Definitely Comfortable Place to Stay Outside of Missoula

Flathead Lake Lodge, Big Fork, Montana

Cliff Diving at Flathead Lake
Photo by Josiah Gardner on Unsplash

Considered a 3-star hotel and boasting a 4.8 average Google Review the Flathead Lake Lodge is a Dude Ranch that offers a well-rounded Montana experience with activities like horseback riding, mountain biking, and various activities on Flathead Lake. You will have to call for a reservation as prices for lodging aren't listed on their site.

A Comfortable Place to Stay Outside of Missoula

Quinn's Hot Springs Resort, Paradise, Montana

Quinn's Hot Springs Resort, Paradise Montana
Credit: Google Maps

With mountainside cabins, a restaurant, a tavern, and of course the pools, Quinn's Hot Springs Resort is a great option for a getaway without having to travel too far or spend too much money. And if you can get away on a weekday, their rates are lower.

Not Necessarily Comfortable, But a Fantastic Option for Staying Outside of Missoula

Go camping

Camping inside a tent
Photo by Scott Goodwill on Unsplash

If you don't mind sleeping on the ground, obviously, the best staycation a person can take in Montana is to go camping. Try the Salmon Lake Campground which is just under an hour from Missoula.

If You Need to Relax, Here's What Montanans Recommend

Sure people come to Montana to relax, but what do Montanans do to relax? Here are a few suggestions:

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