I can't believe I missed this news until now. Did you hear about this? Ignore for a minute that Montana is collectively feeling very shy about all the attention it's getting. But I think this latest honor is amazing.

A Montana town has been included in TIME Magazine's "The World's Greatest Places of 2023: 50 Extraordinary Destinations to Explore." Let that sink in. This is a list of places across the entire world, and a Montana town made the list. I think this is absolutely incredible.

TIME says that to compile the list, "...TIME solicited nominations of places from our international network of correspondents and contributors, with an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences."

To put this in perspective, here are some of the other places that were honored in this list:

  • Barcelona
  • Aqaba, Jordan
  • Budapest
  • Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Dijon, France
  • Timisoara, Romania

Given that the focus was on new and exciting experiences, it may not be hard to guess which Montana town was selected for this list. The honor goes to Bozeman, Montana.

Now, before you decry that Bozeman doesn't deserve the honor (and there might be myriad reasons why Montanas might think that), I'm putting aside my own Grizzly pride to recognize that this is pretty cool. The writer who describes Bozeman for this list points out that Bozeman is becoming very modern, even claiming that, "The increasingly global dining scene rivals that of Denver or Park City..." When I read the full description, forgetting that it was in Montana, I found myself thinking, this sounds like a place I'd want to visit.

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You might say that the modernization of Montana is exactly what is making our state feel less special but I'd like to think that Montana can be a little bit of everything. It can be the dive bar 50 miles out of town that's been around for 70 years, and the millions of acres of public land, but it can also be a place with growth.

Congratulations to our neighbors to the east.

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