I know what you might be thinking after reading this title: “what the heck could you possibly do for a whole weekend in a place called Butte, Montana?”
Well, my curious friend, quite a bit!
We took a little weekend trip to Butte this past weekend to celebrate Austin’s birthday and had a blast!
Austin and I love staying at old mansions that have been turned into bed and breakfasts, so that’s what we set out to find.
We found a place called Copper King mansion which looked super interesting in town. So, we decided on Butte and I set out to find things to do for the rest of the weekend once we actually got there.
If you’re going to be passing through Butte, or just live anywhere near the area, here’s what you need to check out:
1. Rent a couple ATVs and ride through the mountains
This activity is first for a reason! I found an ATV tour company called Montana ATV Adventures which takes you on a full day tour of ghost towns near Butte. This sounded AWESOME, but unfortunately, they were booked for the weekend we would be in Butte.
So, I looked a little further out and found Beaverhead Adventures in a town called Dillon, MT. It’s about an hour south of Butte. This appeared to be less of a tour and more of a rental where you get a couple of ATVs for the day and just ride.
I knew Austin would be more into the freedom of the rental, so Beaverhead was perfect for us.
I worked out the details with Mark, the guy that runs the show. When we arrived in Dillon, he explained how the ATVs work and then lead us to the base of the mountain and let us go for the day.
It was truly one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had. I always look up at the mountains in Montana and think “how do I get up there to see everything from those heights?” This is how. We came across some amazing views that day.
So, if you’re more into tours, I’d suggest booking with Montana ATV Adventures in Butte. If you’d rather do your own thing and explore on your own, Beaverhead Adventures is for you.
Just a few tips before you go (so you don’t make my same mistakes):
- Bring food in a cooler. There are no restaurants or stores on the mountain.
- Wear and bring sunscreen. Just do it.
- Wear or bring layers. It can get chilly at the top of the mountain, so it’s nice to have if you need it.
- Wear goggles or at least sunglasses. If you’re riding behind someone (like I was), you’ll have dust in your face/eyes almost all day.
This activity will probably take up an entire day, so half of your weekend in Butte, Montana.
2. Visit or Stay at Copper King Mansion
This was the sole reason Austin and I decided to go to Butte in the first place. We LOVE old mansions that have been converted into bed and breakfasts, and this is one we found that was relatively closeby.
You can choose to stay the night at the Copper King Mansion and have a tour included, or you can stay somewhere else and reserve your tour separately.
The history of this place is so cool! The mansion was built in 1884 and then donated to the church some years later. Even later on, a woman by the name of Mrs. Cote bought the mansion. She cleaned it up and started to raise her family there while she turned it into a bed and breakfast.
Well, her granddaughter, Erin, who was raised in the mansion, still lives there and runs the bed and breakfast, today. We had the privilege of having breakfast with her on Sunday morning while she told us about all the holiday parties they had growing up in this house.
She said it was all she knew – she thought everyone lived in houses like this.
It can get kind of pricey if you stay for more than a couple nights, so that’s why this mansion is PERFECT for a weekend trip to Butte, Montana.
Interested in why we moved to Montana and how I convinced my job to let me work remotely? I’ve got the perfect blog post for you!
3. Visit the World Museum of Mining
Butte is an old mining town, so of course there’s a World Museum of Mining here! This is one of the activities that we wanted to do, but ended up skipping because we were too sunburned to enjoy anything else after ATV riding the whole day before.
It’s definitely on our list the next time we visit, though. Just make sure you plan to visit Tuesday-Saturday since they aren’t open Sunday-Monday.
4. Visit the Berkeley Pit
This was the other activity we had planned that we didn’t make it to because of the sunburn. The Berkeley Pit is a HUGE open-pit mine (as opposed to underground).
It’s now filled with highly acidic water and heavy metals which can be dangerous to drink, but not dangerous to look at. The owner of Copper King Mansion told us all about the different ways the town has tried (and failed) to clean this water and pump it into a different river or lake before it over flows.
If you want to behold this massive, toxic pit, you can drive to the Berkeley Pit viewing point. You’ll then buy your ticket, hop on a trolley, and it’ll take you right over.
Just like the Mining Museum, this is on our list for our next visit.
A few more things that might interest you:
- Visit Our Lady of the Rockies
- Tour the Dumas Brothel
- Mai Wah Society Museum
- Granite Mountain Speculator Mine Memorial
- Butte Historic District
Butte isn’t a world-wide famous destination, but it does have some pretty interesting things to see if you’re in the area.
If anything, seriously, those ATV rides were unlike anything I’ve ever done and I’d recommend coming just for those.
Planning a weekend trip to Butte, Montana or any other small town soon? Let me know in the comments below!