Sometimes you just need a reason to smile. The change of winter to spring in Montana always gives me hope. Almost more than heading into a new year. We have so much to look forward to with concerts, golf, rivers, lakes, bike riding, and more. With so much to look forward to, we don't have to be an "angry" state. If you have had a long winter and are looking for a reason to smile, here is a list of shops and businesses in Missoula that can help turn that frown upside down.

Rockin' Rudy's- A Missoula tradition like none other. Rockin' Rudy's the "Original Hipster Department Store". It would take an entire book to list everything they sell. Every time I go into that store, it puts a smile on my face. It is also my go to store whenever I need to pick up a gift for that hard to shop for person.

Montana M Store/U of M Bookstore/Paddleheads Post- Sports fans unite. If you are a Griz fan hit up the U of M Bookstore or the Montana M Store. For Paddleheads fans,go to the Paddleheads Post store you will find what you need to show your team colors and make that fan smile.

Last Best Store- The award winning store locate in the Southgate Mall. The Last Best Store focuses on all things Montana. You will find original Montana Made gifts for everyone, artwork, gift boxes, that will make you smile.

Ice Cream- There is fantastic ice cream being made in Montana, we are so lucky to have multiple stores in Missoula. Big Dipper Ice Cream with two locations in Missoula on Higgins and on Paxson. Sweet Peaks Ice Cream located on West Front Street downtown. Every time I have gone into an ice cream shop I have had a smile on my face.

Cookies- Similar to ice cream shops we are lucky to have a couple cookie stores to choose from. Mary's Mountain Cookies on Higgins and Crumbl Cookies on North Reserve Street. Just walking up to the stores and smelling the cookies will make you smile as your mouth begins to water.

Board of Missoula- Walking into Board of Missoula always makes me smile. It reminds me of my carefree youth and makes me feel like I am still "hip". I am not sure if that word is still used, but it works for me.

Vinyl- Missoula is very lucky to be able to have multiple record stores that have amazing selections of vinyl and knowledgeable staffs to help you find what you are looking for. Ear Candy Music located on the "Hip Strip" on Higgins, Rockin' Rudy's Record Heaven on Ronan Street, and Slant Street Records located on South Higgins, all offer amazing collections of records just ready to find new homes. Music is something that always makes me smile.

We Are Lucky to Have So Many Stores to Make You Smile in Missoula

If you are ever in need of a smile, maybe try a little "retail therapy" in Missoula. I have said it more than once, that Missoula is very lucky to have so many stores that have the ability to put a smile on your face, enjoy.

Adorable Dogs of Missoula

Missoulians submitted pictures of their dogs for National Dog Day. Enjoy!

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