Things to See & Do
Small Town, Big Personality
Charming Downtown, Shopping, Dining, Libations, Events, and the Arts
Downtown Stevensville is a vibrant place, with street festivals, music, a farmers market, and many special events. Savor the hospitality of local shopkeepers, browse art galleries and gift shops, taste local food and brews in establishments featuring family fare to fine dining, linger at a coffee shop, or breathe fresh air in a downtown park.
Got kids? Enjoy a show at the Stevensville Playhouse, activities at the library, or outdoor fun at the Bear Mountain Playground, “SK8” Park, or Stevensville swimming pool.
If you have only a few hours, you might visit some of these highlights...
- St. Mary’s Mission and Living History Center - A Legacy of “Firsts”
The extraordinary history of St. Mary’s Mission begins with repeated trips made by Salish and Nez Perce tribal members to bring “Black Robe” missionaries from St. Louis. In response, Fr. Pierre DeSmet and his fellow missionaries founded St. Mary’s Mission in 1841. Fr. Anthony Ravalli arrived in 1845 and is the namesake of our county. Experience living history at St. Mary’s Mission!
- Stevensville River Park
The 23-acre River Park is adjacent to the Stevensville Fishing Access Site north of the Bitterroot River bridge. River Park contains a pavilion with charcoal grill, nature trail, and pebble beach for swimming and floating
- Stevensville Historical Museum
Photographs, artifacts and displays illustrate the unique history of Stevensville and the surrounding area. Learn about the early Salish (Flathead) Indians and their homeland, Lewis and Clark’s journey, Fort Owen, local schools, the historic Creamery Picnic, and the era of the Apple Boom.
- Bitter Root Cooperative Creamery (now an antique store)
In 1907 more than fifty local dairymen formed a cooperative creamery managed by John Howe. “Gold Bar Butter” and “Howe’s Premium Blue Ribbon Ice Cream” were well known as two of the Creamery’s outstanding dairy products.
- Fish, Float, Frolic, Pedal, and Hike: River Recreation, Birding, and Trails
Stevensville sits along the sparkling Bitterroot River, truly a fisherman’s paradise, and is surrounded by the awe-inspiring Bitterroot Mountains on the west and the Sapphire Range on the east. Trailheads to many hikes in the Bitterroot National Forest are within minutes of town. This spectacular outdoor playground offers endless hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, floating and wildlife viewing for outdoor enthusiasts of every age and ability.
- Thornton Hospital (now a hotel)
Stevensville physician Dr. William Thornton established a hospital and surgical center. When it was built in 1910, it was the only hospital in the Bitterroot Valley.
- Lewis and Clark Park
This recreation jewel is a community gathering place and event venue, located only two blocks from Main Street on west 2nd Street. It contains the Bear Mountain Playground, swimming pool, “Sk8” Park, swings, basketball/pickleball court, two pavilions with charcoal grills, public restrooms, and plenty of shade trees and grass.
- Fort Owen State Park - Peaceful Trading Post
The third location (of four) of St. Mary’s Mission closed in 1850. The site with improvements was sold to John Owen, which he developed as Fort Owen Trading Post. View the remnants of the original adobe and log fort with interpretive panels and imagine a bustling trading post.
- Bitterroot Trail
The Bitterroot Trail is a 50-mile paved path that connects Missoula and Hamilton–and the quaint towns along the way (including Stevensville)–following U.S. Highway 93 and the rugged Bitterroot Mountains. A paved path connects downtown Stevensville with the Bitterroot Trail, beginning here at Veterans Park and following the Stevensville Cut-Off Road 1.5 miles northwest to U.S. 93.
- Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge
Immerse yourself in wildlife and wildlife habitat right on the edge of Stevensville. The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is home to diverse wildlife from warblers to wapiti. Established in 1963 for the management of migratory birds and focused on waterfowl and waterbirds, the Refuge hosts over 235 species of birds, 37 species of mammals, and 17 species of reptiles and amphibians. There are abundant opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife, learn about native and managed habitats, hike, hunt, and fish at the Refuge.
The Refuge Visitor Center is open Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.