Population: 2,455

Land Prices in Red Lodge: $129,000 (listed) will get you almost 7 improved acres (utilities at the property line) with sweeping mountain views and a 10-mile drive to town.

Why we love it: Because it’s still somewhat affordable, looks like a Western movie set, and you can get an award-winning India Pale Ale in Sam’s Tap Room at Red Lodge Ales. And, oh yeah, and there’s the soaring, snow-kissed Beartooth Mountains as a backdrop.

The product of a coal-mining boom in the 1880s, Red Lodge has done a fine job of preserving its 19th-century history—The Pollard Hotel, which hosted the likes of Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane and the colorfully named Indian scout Liver Eatin’ Johnson, was renovated in the ‘90s along with many of the other Victorian-era buildings and homes dotting the town’s streets.

The Red Lodge Mountain Resort is another bonus with skiing and snowboarding in the winter (lift tickets under $50) and golfing at the base of the Beartooth Mountains in the summer.

Why you’ll love it: Less than an hour from Billings Logan International Airport, Red Lodge and its environs offer easy access to transportation, chain shopping and the state’s best medical care. Plus, just 60 miles from Yellowstone National Park (via the storied Beartooth Highway), this is a recreation mecca with opportunities for fishing, whitewater rafting, hiking, climbing and hunting. But act fast. This place is on the media’s radar, and prices are nosing upward.

Red Lodge Web Resources: www.redlodge.com

Photos by: Donnie Sexton/Travel Montana


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