Fall is one of the best times to travel in Montana, not only because of cooler weather but also because many of Montana's most popular destinations and attractions are seeing fewer tourists. This can be the ideal time for locals to explore their own backyard.

In an age of Airbnb and VRBO, you might find a cheaper and more character-filled stay if you try one of Montana's many historic hotels. Many are on the National Register of Historic Places and are destinations in and of themselves.

At the time of this writing, the following hotels showed availability on sample dates I checked in October, but this is not a guarantee that they will have availability should you choose to plan a trip.

Boulder Hot Springs and Spa, Boulder, Montana 

Located in Peace Valley, which is roughly a 40-minute drive from Helena, Boulder Hot Springs and Spa is one of Montana's best-kept secrets. Given its long history, it also has a bit of a famous past with visits from multiple presidents.

Calvert Hotel, Lewistown, Montana

The hotel was once a dormitory but was transformed to a hotel in 1928 and is currently on the National Register of Historic Places.

Copper King Mansion, Butte, Montana

Even if you don't want to stay at the mansion-turned Bed and Breakfast, there are tours available daily through September 30.

Dude Rancher Lodge, Billings, Montana

Built from the bricks of an old hospital, the Dude Rancher lodges is both on the National Register of Historic Places, and it's considered haunted and has been featured the Travel Channel's "Hotel Impossible."

Hotel Finlen, Butte, Montana

Another Butte historic hotel, this one will feel more like a traditional hotel than the Cooper King Mansion but still has a vintage feel.

The Grand Hotel and Restaurant, Big Timber, Montana

Those who have stayed at The Grand Hotel say that it's a great option for when you're planning a visit to the Yellowstone River or Beartooth Mountains. The town of Big Timber will also have a "historic vibe" in addition to the hotel.

Grand Union Hotel, Fort Benton Montana

The Grand Union's claim to fame, according to their website, is that it "was once proclaimed the finest hotel between St. Louis and Seattle."

Historic Hotel Arvon, Great Falls

The Historic Hotel Arvon is, according to the history on their site, the oldest commercial building in Great Falls. Today, the block houses the hotel as well as several other businesses.

The Historic Murray Hotel, Livingston Montana

This hotel has also had some famous guests and claims it has hosted Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane, and even the Queen of Denmark.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel, Yellowstone National Park

(Note: I only found availability in September) You may not know, but Lake Yellowstone Hotel is actually the "oldest standing hotel in Yellowstone" (not Old Faithful Inn, as one might assume from the Inn's aesthetic).

Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

(Note: I only found availability in September) This hotel, according to US Park Lodging, was actually built by the Great Northern Railroad.

Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park

Though the lodge is more than 100 years old, it has been recently updated. But don't expect Wifi, TV, or radios (or a coffee maker or air conditioning). A truly historic experience.

The Pollard Hotel, Red Lodge, Montana

Located in downtown Red Lodge, The Pollard has both a modern and classic feel. They say it has a "rich and mysterious history" and like other hotels in Montana, it hosted famous guests.

Sacajawea Hotel, Three Forks, Montana

This hotel was actually closed for a short period from 2001 until 2009 when it reopened under new ownership. By 2011, the hotel won a Historic Preservation Award of Excellence.

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