Situated right off 1-94 in Montana, one might just zoom by a bridge and the mighty Yellowstone River, not realizing if they went over the bridge they could admire the width of the river which runs through a small, older town called Glendive. Glendive makes a great stop for a meal and gas stop. However, there is much to discover in this small town with a population of approximately 5,000 people such as, how important it was to the development of opening the western side of the country from Minnesota to the Pacific Ocean by the Northern Pacific Railway. The town became an agricultural and ranching hub of eastern Montana between the Yellowstone River and the famous Badlands. Some locals referred to themselves as "good people surrounded by Badlands".
In this fast paced world of 2023, sometimes we all need to take a break, take a deep breath, relax and appreciate how America was developed from wilderness to small town America to the big cities. Small towns, like Glendive, are great examples of what America looked like in the 19th and 20th century. Glendive has a range of American domestic architecture such as bungalows, classic and craftsman architecture as opposed to apartment complexes, high rises, and towering buildings that almost reach the sky. Take a stroll on North Meade and North Kendrick Streets to see houses of the past with bungalows that have rustic stone work, tudor-style stick work, and patches of grass front lawns. As well, you will see beautiful Victorian and Queen Anne style homes with 3 or 4 floors, front porches for sitting and waving to neighbors. A glimpse into the past!
A great thing to do in Glendive is to walk the Black Bridge, otherwise known as the historic Bell Street Bridge. Once upon a time it was for cars but now it is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Yellowstone River. It is a great place to see wildlife from the 1300 foot long truss structure. During the winter months, it will be cold so dress warmly. Depending on the weather, you might see people putting kayaks, canoes or boats into the river, enjoying some paddling or fishing, which is why Glendive is dubbed the PADDLEFISH CAPITAL of the world!
Nearby is MAKOSHIKA STATE PARK, also known as Lakota: "land of bad spirits". The park has unusual rock formations which were formed from the elements over thousands of years. Cap Rock Trail is 2.5 miles from the park entrance and introduces visitors to the features of the badlands landscape with sights of rills, pinnacles, cap rocks, complete with its own unique microclimate. There are spectacular views from the top of the park. The trail is approximately one mile long. The park is Montana's largest state park!
The winter months will be cold and after a busy day, sightseeing, visiting friends and family, and if you like locally crafted beer, check out Cross Country Brewery. The Brewery and Tap Room is located in the Old Cross Petroleum building which has helped revitalize Glendive's Railyard District. Some of their flagship beers are Otelia Wheat, Einstein's Beerd IPA and Trans-Sybeerian Stout.....two of their rotating taps are Cemetery Hill Strong Ale and No Trousers English Bitter! Intriguing!
If you are hungry, check out Beer Jug Inc. aka Paddlefish Headquarters which has been in business for over 70 years. They have a full size entree menu and boast the best nachos in town. Beer Jug is smoke-free, has a sports bar, poker and keno machines, ample parking and is warm and cozy!
The staff at Stay Astoria Hotel welcome you to their eco-friendly hotel which is 100% smoke-free, has a casino and restaurant and is conveniently located in downtown Glendive. Enjoy your stay!