"A capital and a boomtown" Top 5 Page for this destination Helena by melissa_bel

Helena Travel Guide: 50 reviews and 72 photos

Queen City of the Rockies

This was my second visit to Helena, the Queen City, and this time, with more time on our hands, Justin and I could explore a little more of Montana's capital.
So far, Helena is my favourite city in the State. Because it is the capital and thus the showcase for the State of Montana, Helena is a very pretty town filled with public spaces, nice mansions, historical buildings and museums.
Helena is located at the centre-west of the state, in a hilly area close to the continental divide.
Born during the Gold Rush of 1864, the Helena area was a transit point for Natives. In 1805-1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition crossed the valley. But the real story starts when the "Four Georgians" discovered gold in the Last Chance Creek in 1864. The city boomed quickly and soon, a lot of wealthy people made Helena their home.

When the gold ran out, Helena became a center of trade and distribution, thanks to its location and trade and banks settled here. In 1875, Helena became the capital of the territory of Montana. It remained so in 1893 when Montana became a State (and pitted a bitter fight against Anaconda for the title).

Today, it;'s a dual city where 3-pieces suits meets cow-boy boots and VW-wagons.

With lots of outdoors activities, a beautiful downtown area and Capitol, Helena is a charming town that should not be missed.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small town but it's the capital with all the advantages it implies. Great outdoors close by...
  • Cons:It's a small town ;o)
  • Last visit to Helena: Nov 2004
  • Intro Updated Dec 23, 2004
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Reviews (10)

Comments (7)

  • chanoc2003's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2008 at 7:14 PM

    I think you are talking about Ray's The General Mercantile. Ray is a long-time family friend.

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Mar 18, 2006 at 6:32 AM

    Hi Melissa. Nice page on Montanas capital. I like the pic of the Crazy Mountains. Its very poetic.

  • Tourtech's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2005 at 9:21 AM

    We have been to Helena, and enjoyed our time there. Great people and a great stake dinner. Safe travels from travelling Canadians!!

  • 850prc's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2005 at 5:08 PM

    That statue story sounds like the turn of the century version of getting a free sample in the mail. Nice little page, Melissa. Montana is so beautiful.

  • EllenH's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2005 at 9:38 PM

    The cathedral is the most beautiful I have seen outside of Europe. We were amazed to see it in Helena.

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    Jan 6, 2005 at 8:50 AM

    Excellent pages on one of my favorite parts of the country. The photo of the Crazy Mountains reminded me of hiking and horseback riding there many years ago.

  • jamiesno's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2004 at 5:09 PM

    The opening picture made me thing of Helena as being very similar to Alberta, Canada and the Calgary Stampede with the horse rider! Great shot as well Melissa. Then the state buildings, I thought politics, arrg :-) The travelogues are cool too!

melissa_bel

“I came, I saw and I can't stop going.”

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