SENIORS VISIT MONTANA



Seniors Find Magic in Billings

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Billings, the largest city in Montana with a population of 165,361, is the only city in “Big Sky Country” to surpass 100,000 people. Called Montana’s Trailhead, Billings was nicknamed the Magic City because of its rapid growth from its founding as a railroad town in March 1882.

The city is named for Frederick H. Billings, a former president of the Northern Pacific Railroad. With one of the largest trade areas in the United States, Billings is the trade and distribution center for most of the state. The Rimrock, or sandstone cliffs, that rise on the city’s eastern and northern sides help to make Billings a very scenic prairie town.

The Alberta Bair Theater has been an integral part of the cultural scene in Billings for more than 80 years. The Moss Mansion, designed by a prominent architect, is a huge, red-sandstone, turn-of-the-century mansion that combines several architectural styles. All Billings residents are well acquainted with the Moss Mansion, a massive structure and on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Built in 1902, the mansion sits on two acres and features 28 charming rooms. The cost to build the Mansion was $105,000, which was over 30 times the cost of the average home back in 1902. It is fabulous. Plan a tour and see first hand the opulence and extravagance the wealthy enjoyed a century ago.

 Senior Golfers, Theater Goers and Gourmets, Attention Please

Gardens, museums and parks attract hundreds of senior visitors to Montana and in particular Billings. And golfers, bring along your clubs; Lake Hills Golf Club is a championship club. While in town, senior visitors can take in the famed Babcock Theater. Filled with Vaudeville type performances, its rich history is reminiscent of the early days of the city.

Senior gourmets… your attention please. Juliano’s is an award-winning restaurant, and one of the most revered restaurants in Montana. And along with Julianos is the Windmill Club, another elegant restaurant.

Image 1Located in the heart of what is called the Yellowstone Valley and rimmed by several hundred foot high cliffs of sandstone, Billings offers senior visitors a pleasant city to base themselves for accessing the abundance of recreational opportunities that Montana has to offer.

I well recall visiting the battlefield is where General George A. Custer and 263 of his soldiers died in 1876, marking a victory for the Cheyenne and Lakota tribes. “Custer’s Last Stand” was also a last stand of sort for the Plains Indians, and the battlefield is a national monument today.

The Western Heritage Center is located in the historic Parmly Billings Memorial Library in downtown Billings. Another must-see museum in Billings is the Yellowstone County Museum. Watch Turk and the Boys drive a herd of cattle right through downtown Billings. Now that’s the real West.

Billings is an ideal base to see Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. So put on your cowboy hat, a big belt buckle, some shiny boots and join the fun in Billings. jeb

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