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Butte Travel Guide, Montana

Even if it is not considered a top touristy destination, Butte is worth at least a days visit and you will discover the hidden soul of Montana.

Settled along the sides of steep hills and built from a desire to extract gold in the 1860s and later silver and copper, Butte started as a wide-open mining town that attracted many miners from around the state to work here. Most of them settled in the area thus the population of the city became a mix of racial and ethnic groups. The mining industry thrived and the city was known for its large production of copper, silver, and other precious metals. The massive open-pit mining of copper also brought an undesired pollution problem.

The city has found a way to use its colorful history and its location as a tourist attraction with many historic attractions offering a glimpse in the Old West while its proximity to Big Hole River, the Highland Mountains, Discovery Basin Ski Area, Georgetown Lake and Boulder Hot Springs offer an abundant choice of outdoor activities.

See history come alive as you enjoy the area's special monuments and tributes to mining wealth. One of them is Copper King Mansion, Victorian style, the first building listed on the National Historic Register in Montana. You can marvel at decorations like stained glass, frescoed ceilings, and handmade mantles while you walk around the rooms that include a ballroom, a billiard room, a chapel and a library.

Arts Chateau is another historic mansion comprising 26 rooms hosting a permanent collection and a variety of art education classes, lecture and workshops. Also in the arena of the arts, the Main Stope Gallery of Original Art is a must see gallery housing original works of art by professional artists from Montana.

For the history, culture and heritage of the Asian people in the Rocky Mountains visit the Mai Wah Society you can find in the old Chinatown.

Make sure you also check out the Piccadilly Museum of Transportation Memorabilia and Advertising Art and the World Museum of Mining tracing the historical legacy and culture of mining.

The city thought of having a protective saint and they choose Mary, Mother of Jesus whose statue, known by the locals as Our Lady of the Rockies, stands on the Continental Divide overlooking Butte.

Besides historical sights in the city, the nearby area boasts a great range of outdoor activities including river floats, fly fishing, golf, horseback riding, skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, dude ranching, camping, biking and hiking provided by places like Bannack State Park (one of the best preserved of Montana's ghost towns), the Big Hole River and other.

Buttle can also be a base for an exploratory visit to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park.

Butte mixes history, colorful citizens and culture with a picturesque landscape to deliver a vacation destination like no other.

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