Helena is Montana's capital city, and a very pleasant capital it is, too. The neoclassical State Capital building is a handsome example of that style, and tours are free. The Kumamoto Plaza is a welcome surprise, and features a Japanese art and culture gallery to celebrate Montana’s connection with Kumamoto, its sister state. The Holter Museum of Art features touring exhibits and works by regional artists, and is also free.
There is no shortage of good spots for outdoor adventure around Helena Montana. Hiking and biking opportunities abound in nearby Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, with its 1 ½ million acres and 1,800 miles of trail leading all the way to Glacier National Park.
Blackfoot Meadows and the Continental Divide Trail are also popular hikes, and the winding trail up Mt. Helena in City Park lead bikers and hikers to great views of Helena.
In the winter visitors to the Helena area can utilize the 3 major snowmobile systems that are within ½ hour of the city, or the 4 groomed cross-country skiing trails at Stempel and McDonald Passes. Downhill skiers can go to Great Divide Mountain to enjoy their 60 ski routes, 30 of which are for advanced skiers.
The many lakes in the Helena area are havens for water sports enthusiasts. Trout fishing, boating, swimming and more are available at Holter & Houser Lakes, and the Compton Ferry Lake, only 20 miles east of Helena, is used for ice-sailing in winter. There are campgrounds at many of the lakes, as well as good birding to be had at Spring Meadow Lake.