A little farther from Ennis, Virginia City is nearly a two-hour drive from Big Sky. This historical town is often paired in interest with Nevada City, approximately three minutes away. The two cities are stationed along the Alder Gulch, which, during the Gold Rush, Struck it rich, and Virginia City became the territorial capital of Montana in 1865. A day trip to Virginia City is a trip packed full of historical tidbits and the culture of the Old West.
If you visit between Memorial and Labor Day weekend, you’ll have the best chance of exploring because most lodging, restaurants, saloons, and shops are open. Bring the kiddos to the River of Gold, where you can pan for gold and learn about the town’s gold mining history. Ride the Alder Gulch Short Line Train- which departs from the Bovey Visitor Center- before checking out the shops downtown, including many jewelry stores, for a souvenir. Stop at the Wells Fargo Steakhouse & Eatery for dinner with a side of Old West at the restaurant’s location on the historic Buford Block.