If you've never been to Philipsburg, Montana, you're missing out! With stunning mountain views, quaint shops, a charismatic town center, and easy access to some of the best outdoor recreational areas in the West, our charming town is a place you'll be proud to call home. Old World magic and modern living blend harmoniously in this distinct town, which is proud of its history and its universal appeal, including occasional celebrity sightings. On that note, here's a fun fact: actress Scarlett Johansson chose Philipsburg for her wedding!
A History Of Philipsburg
Philipsburg MT was settled in the late 1890s. Like many neighboring towns, Philipsburg was once a vibrant mining town. It also contained a number of sawmills, and it was also a regional center for ore smelting. In fact, the town is named after an ore smelter named Philip Deidesheimer, who single-handedly brought the mining industry to town. Philipsburg's prosperity came from nearby mountains filled with minerals and precious metals. Gold, silver, manganese, and sapphire have all been harvested from the lands around Philipsburg. For awhile, the mines and saw mills supported the town's economy. Eventually, both industries collapsed, causing Philipsburg to become a ghost town. The town's luck changed in the 1990s, when a new wave of people arrived with a mission to restore the town's center and infrastructure. The plan was successful, and they revitalized the town with renovated commercial buildings and restored historic buildings. Thanks to their hard work, Philipsburg is now a place where people want to live, work, and visit. It's also designated as a National Historic Business District, which means that special care has been given to keep mementos of its unique history intact.
Shops and Businesses
One of the things I'm most excited to tell visitors about is the great shopping opportunities in downtown Philipsburg MT. If you're visiting the town for the first time, you'll probably head to the Sweet Palace candy shop, which opened for business in 1998. The store sells many kinds of candy, which are proudly displayed in clear glass jars along the store's shelves. There's also a tantalizing display case filled with gourmet chocolates, fudge, taffy, caramel, and much more. After Sweet Palace opened, word of its sinfully delicious goods spread quickly. Soon, it was the place where curious friends and family went after hearing “you've got to check this place out!” Now, Sweet Palace is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the region.
Along with candy, Philipsburg is also a shopping mecca for beautiful jewelry. The surrounding area is rich in minerals, which naturally means that there are wonderful jewelry shops in town. Sapphire, which is one of the most abundant gems in the region, appears in jewelry sold around town. The gem has been professionally extracted and heated for decades, which produces sapphires of brilliant hues. Other funky, tourist-oriented shops you'll find in town include pottery stores, shops selling local and handmade gifts, and toy stores.
The Dining Scene
In addition to the retail sector, Philipsburg also has a vibrant culinary scene. There are a number of fine restaurants to choose from in town, which offer everything from burgers, fries, and freshly cooked fish to artisan hand-tossed pizzas. Of course, there's always the option for getting a hearty meal of meat and potatoes, which is especially appealing after a long day of hiking or skiing. After a good meal, you may be wondering if there are good beers in town. The answer is yes, absolutely! Philipsburg is proud to have its own brewing company, which treats visitors and residents alike to a diverse and ever-changing selection of beers produced from locally sourced ingredients.
And if you're up early in the morning to get a head start on the day's activities, don't worry about missing your chance for some caffeine, as there are several quaint local coffee shops to go for freshly brewed coffee and baked goods.
Attractions and Events
Don't be fooled into thinking Philipsburg is just a sleepy Western town. With a population size of less than 1,000 people, Philipsburg falls into the category of “small town.” But it's far from boring! I find that there are always events going on, even in the middle of winter. This means that there's always something to look forward to on the weekend. Philipsburg's social events are also a great chance to catch up with friends and neighbors or meet new people. In the wintertime, there are plenty of things to do, both inside and outside. After a day of skiing, snowboarding, or snowmobiling, you will have earned the right to enjoy a scrumptious dinner and leisurely browse the downtown shops. In the summertime, I look forward to the live theater performances, which are held at the Opera House. Sometimes, you'll also find a great live concert to check out at the Winninghoff Park, which is a large outdoor amphitheater. There are also a number of other occasional events that keep you on your toes, such as holiday celebrations and car shows.
Where to Stay
If you're visiting town, don't worry about not finding a place to sleep at night. As you might expect from a revitalized ghost town, there are some wonderful historic places to sleep. One of the most popular destinations is the Broadway Hotel, which re-opened for business in 2003. The hotel is centrally located downtown, and it is a perfect starting point for exploring the town and the surrounding area. In fact, the Broadway Hotel is one of the premier lodging facilities for people coming to southwestern Montana. Staying at the hotel will also give you a sense of the effort that's been made to keep the town's rich past alive, while also making room for modern living. Since Philipsburg is known for its warm, cordial atmosphere and hospitality, you will also have several choices of bed and breakfast establishments in which to stay. Some are located downtown in beautiful Victorian homes, while others come in lodge-like settings that are a bit farther removed from all the action. If you're looking for an authentic Western experience while in town, it's only fitting that you would stay in a ranch or cabin. One ranch where visitors often stay is the Ranch at Rock Creek. The Ranch at Rock Creek features a stunning natural setting where you can enjoy living, at least temporarily, in the main granite lodge, which has spacious and luxurious modern rooms. Other equally appealing lodging options at the ranch are the luxe "glamping" cabins and luxury townhouses. There is also a marvelous renovated 19th century barn that has been converted from a working barn to lovely modern accommodations. When you're not sleeping in a warm, comfortable bed, you can enjoy one of the ranch's many guest activities, such as horseback riding, fly fishing, and archery. The ranch is also a prime destination for a wedding or other special event.
If you're seeking a simpler and less expensive alternative, there are plenty of camping sites and RV parks around the town's perimeters. The amenities available in these places vary, which means you'll find everything from bare-bones accommodations to a modern RV park with heat, electricity, and running water.
Area Recreational Activities
Now that you've gotten a sense of where you can eat, stay, and shop in town, I'll fill you in on the many exciting recreational activities available around town. Like Philipsburg's events, recreational activities are available year-round. And with such a diverse natural landscape, there are activities to participate in that suit a wide range of interests. For the outdoor enthusiast, there are great places to explore in all seasons. A hidden gem in the surrounding area is Discovery Ski Area. Here, you'll be able to ski and snowboard all day long with a beautiful natural landscape to admire and few crowds to contend with. There is also a plethora of hiking trails in southwestern Montana, which makes it unsurprising that hiking is as much of a way of life as it is a means to get exercise. Sportsmen will find no shortage of places to go fishing and hunting. If water sports are your calling, rest assured that even though you're miles from the nearest ocean, Philipsburg won't disappoint. Close by is Georgetown Lake, which has plenty to offer for water sports and recreation. Nearly as beautiful as the lake itself is the drive up to it, which includes stunning scenes of cascading waterfalls and rock cliffs. The area is also a prime area for wildlife, which comes in the form of elk, deer, big-horn sheep, bald eagles, and much more. Rock Creek, which the famous Ranch at Rock Creek is named after, lies about 15 miles to Philipsburg's west. There are also several Blue Ribbon streams in the vicinity.
Another “must try” activity is mining for gold. Or garnets, opals, and sapphires, for that matter. There are several places that you can get your hands dirty mining, including Gem Mountain and Montana Gems of Philipsburg. Gem Mountain, which is located about 20 miles from the town, is open during warmer weather. It also has a gift shop downtown and offers the chance to mine for sapphires inside. Montana Gems is conveniently situated in the town's center. You can try your hand at mining onsite using authentic tools. If you come up empty-handed, you'll still be able to get a sapphire of your choice at the adjacent gift shop.
Finding a Place to Live
Perhaps after coming to visit Philipsburg, you fell in love with it and now need a place to live. The great news is that I can help you out! There are a variety of housing options available, including traditional single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. Most of the residential homes are made in a timber-style of housing. Along with a main residential home, some properties also include guest cottages and cabins. In addition to residential homes, the real estate options in and around Philipsburg also include ranches and properties that are suitable for farming and agriculture. This includes stream-side properties that offer prime opportunity for raising fish. If you plan to raise livestock, keep in consideration the amount of haying and pasture land you will need, as well as the type of animal you plan to have on your property (such as cows or horses). If you prefer to start from scratch, you'll also find that there are options for buying land. Wherever you choose to live in town, you'll be treated to stunning natural beauty in all seasons.
If you're new to Montana and the area in general, snatching up a piece or land with a magnificent vista or finding that dream log cabin in Philipsburg is the perfect way to experience a new place and be able to take advantage of the many activities that the town and surrounding communities have to offer.
Where to Work
Unless you're coming to Philipsburg to retire, moving here means that you'll be looking for a place to work. There are jobs available in both the private and government sectors here, including the hospitality and tourist industries. The biggest sources of economic income (and employment) in Philipsburg are the food and hospitality industry, education, social work, and healthcare. Most jobs fall into the categories of management, business, science, creative arts, and sales. Standard desk jobs are available in Philipsburg, but you can also find places to work outside (such as by working on a farm or a ranch) if that's your preference. Since the mining industry has come back to life, mining and its related operations, including construction, construction management, planning, and clearing land, are other job possibilities.
In the private sector, one of the biggest employers in town is the Ranch at Rock Creek. The ranch is a vast operation with numerous lodging facilities and activities. If you like to be outdoors and working in a fast-paced setting, a job in the hospitality industry might be your calling. Another one of the town's largest private employers is the Sunshine Station, which is a historic tavern located downtown. Given the town's enthusiasm for good food and local beer, you're bound to find employment opportunities in the culinary sector as well. As with any town, there are also personal services jobs and opportunities, such as banking, law, and finance.
When you've decided to make the move the Philipsburg, just get in touch, and I'll help you find the home or land of your dreams. I look forward to making you feel at home!