Just as Montana has idiosyncratic things like "Second Winter," there are also places in Montana that feel like "summer places." Some, of course, are only the kinds of places that are open in the summer, but others are the kinds of places that just feel summery, even if you visit during other times of the year. And as we are only days away from the unofficial kickoff to summer, here are 10 places you can visit around Missoula and Montana to get you into summer mode.

Visit Flathead Lake, Seeley Lake, or Any Montana Lake

Flathead Lake feels really summery because of its size and the ample opportunities for water sports, waterside dining, and outdoor adventuring. But don't forget Montana has tons of lakes that will make you feel like it's summer.

Visit Lewis and Clark Caverns

This is one of those things that easily marks a season. You know it's summer when the Caverns open for the season on May 1. There's nothing like the extreme temperature difference between the sweaty walk to the Cavern opening, to the dark, cold inside the caves.

Eat Ice Cream at Big Dipper, Sweet Peaks or Dairy Queen

Yes, Dairy Queen in Missoula opens on Valentine's Day, but riding your bike to get a cone is definitely a sign of summer.

Go to Out to Lunch or Downtown Tonight in Missoula

Before food trucks were everywhere, Out to Lunch and Downtown Tonight is where you went to enjoy Missoula's food trucks and stands.

Visit the Farmer’s Market

 Even if you don't buy anything, it sort of has the same vibe as Out to Lunch, just in the morning instead. You say hi to friends you haven't seen in a while and stop to listen to guitar players on street corners.

Attend a City Band Concert or Symphony in the Park

Band and symphony music don't have to be your jam for you to enjoy concerts in the park. It's hard not to enjoy a Sousa march or the theme to Star Wars. If you're sitting on a picnic blanket eating a cone from Big Dipper, that's two summer experiences in one.

Hike the "M"

Sure, you can hike the "M" at other times of the year, but if you're not athletically inclined, you might find yourself saying "I think I want to climb the 'M'" and then you'll realize, no, it's just summer.

Visit the Blue Mountain Observatory

 There are Open Houses in July, August, and September, otherwise, you'll have to check their site for event information, which gets posted two weeks before each event.

Drive Going-to-the-Sun Road or Beartooth Pass

 It may be a little difficult to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road without a Park Pass, but if you're willing to drive across the state the Beartooth Highway is one of the most scenic drives in the country.

Buy Candy at the Montana Candy Emporium in Red Lodge or The Sweet Palace in Phillipsburg

 You can buy candy in Red Lodge, then eat it as you drive over the Bearthooth Highway, or you can buy candy in Phillipsburg and head to Moose Lake. Again, you can't go wrong with two summer experiences in one.

Keep reading for free things you can do in Montana.

LOOK: Highest-rated free things to do in Montana, according to Tripadvisor

Stacker compiled a list of the highest rated free things to do in Montana from Tripadvisor.

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