Love is in the crisp winter air of Montana. When the temperature drops and snow begins to fall it's time for a romantic trip to the Treasure State. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventure, a fun night in a lively mountain town or a scenic winter retreat with a warm fireplace, Montana has you covered. Avoid the cliché "dinner and a movie" dates this winter and instead go for the unforgettable with these five romantic vacation ideas.
Sleigh Ride Dinner at Lone Mountain Ranch
Lone Mountain Ranch is a great escape for couples looking to get away from the hustle of big city life. Located in Big Sky and nestled in the mountains, Lone Mountain Ranch is just an hour drive from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport and the entrance to Yellowstone National Park – and if you don't want a car, the Lone Mountain staff will gladly arrange airport transport. For more than 100 years, this rustic guest ranch has been the symbol of the American West. Nordic skiing on 85 km of trails or snowboarding at Big Sky Resort provides outdoor adventure with scenic views. Inside, private cabins at the Ranch, restored and renovated in 2016, offer a classic western feel with all the necessary accommodations for a romantic winter retreat. For a dinner and night out that matches the intimate environment, Lone Mountain Ranch offers sleigh ride dinners -- a moonlight sleigh ride through the snow-covered forest to the North Fork Cabin for a romantic, oil-lantern-lit dinner.
Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs
Soak away the cold this winter in the geothermal waters of the Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs. The only hot springs in northern Montana, Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs has been serving up tranquil getaways since the 1920s. With multiple pools that are naturally heated to a perfect 108 degrees, couples can enjoy a spa experience the Big Sky way. Even as the snow falls outside, the artesian well water, flowing at a rate of approximately 900 gallons per minute and providing beneficial and essential minerals, will always feel just right. Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs also offers private cabins on site, so couples can roll out of bed and into the warm and soothing waters almost immediately. Looking for a peaceful, yet invigorating, stay this winter? Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs should be near the top of your list. Located just off Highway 2, it's worth the scenic drive.
Snowcat Tour at The Ranch at Rock Creek
World-class views await couples at the world's only five-star guest ranch, the luxurious Ranch at Rock Creek. Located in the heart of the mountains of western Montana this 6,600-acre cattle ranch is the ultimate winter getaway for couples and offers ranch-style suites, log cabins, canvas cabins and lofts in a revamped barn. The ranch has become a top retreat for celebrities and discerning travelers who want to experience Montana with five-star service, accommodations and cuisine. Complimentary transport to and from the Missoula International Airport, about 90-minutes from the ranch, is part of the package. There's no shortage of ways to fill the day at The Ranch at Rock Creek, with 20 winter activities including ice skating to cross-country skiing on the ranch's extensive trail system. Guests looking for new heights can take a snowcat tour through the sprawling Montana backcountry. Couples will be comfortable and warm as they are driven up 1,000 feet in elevation to the ranch's main peaks – Top of the World, Mary Beth's, and Hidden Peak. This three-hour tour offers jaw-dropping views of Big Sky Country's mountain ranges blanketed in pristine snow.
Montana Dinner Yurt at Big Sky Resort
For a destination-worthy dinner experience couples will want to check out Montana Backcountry Adventures at Big Sky Resort, a world-class ski area just a short drive from Yellowstone National Park and the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. Visitors can spend the day on the mountain before heading off for dinner on a snowcat ride under the stars, passing picturesque forests and blanketed backcountry before arriving at their own private yurt. There, couples will be treated to a candle-lit, three course meal while enjoying the soft music of a live band and spectacular scenery of snow-capped mountain peaks at night. When it comes time to hit the hay, Big Sky offers a variety of cabins, hotels, condominiums and B&Bs perfect for couples including Alpenglow Condominiums, Rainbow Ranch Lodge, Bucks T-4 Lodge, Big Sky Cabin on Gallatin River and the Misty Chalet.
Billings is a great Montana destination to spend a night out on the town. Book the everlasting love package at the Northern, a historic, but recent luxuriously renovated hotel in downtown that offers perfectly intimate accommodations for any romantic getaway. A great way for couples to start their night is with a wine tasting at Yellowstone Cellars & Winery, which hosts free wine tastings as well as a selection of cheeses and meats to pair. This local winery serves a collection of delicious wines inspired by Big Sky Country, including the signature Rimrock Red, which gets its name from the unique sandstone cliffs carved by the Yellowstone River. But don't stop there, as Billings is known for its thriving craft beer scene and walkable brewery district, which includes six breweries, two distilleries, and a cider house. Couples can explore as much as they want, and are sure to discover a perfect night in one of Montana's most entertaining and lively cities. Afterwards come back to have dinner at either of the two unique restaurants at the Northern that are sure to delight your taste buds.