The sprawling Red Lion Inn (700 W. Broadway, 406/728-3300 or 800/733-5466, www.redlion.com, $109 and up) is in a good location near downtown; it has a pool, a hot tub, a restaurant, and a meeting room. Rates include a good continental breakfast; pets are allowed.
Once the home of the university’s second president, Goldsmith’s Inn (809 E. Front, 406/721-6732, www.goldsmithsinn.com, $129–165) is Missoula’s topflight bed-and-breakfast. Relocated to the north bank of the Clark Fork and renovated to its original 1911 splendor, Goldsmith’s boasts a total of seven rooms: four suites with private sitting areas (one suite has a private deck and hot tub) and three queen rooms. All rooms have private bathrooms and include breakfast. The dining room at Goldsmith’s is open to the public; a summer breakfast on the deck overlooking the river is a Missoula tradition. During the off-season prices drop to about $90, making it an excellent value.
The university district and downtown also has some of Missoula’s nicest and most expensive lodgings. The Doubletree Hotel Missoula/Edgewater (100 Madison, 406/728-3100 or 800/222-8733, www.missoulaedgewater.doubletree.com, $156 and up) is right on the Clark Fork across from the university. Facilities include a pool and hot tub, and some rooms are accessible for guests with disabilities. This is a quiet and sophisticated place to stay, with a good restaurant.
Right downtown and also on the river is the Holiday Inn Missoula Parkside (2005 S. Pattee, 406/721-8550 or 800/399-0408, www.himissoula.com, $152 and up). The hotel, which was recently remodeled, offers an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, and fitness center. Rooms come with irons and ironing boards, flat-screen TVs, and free movie channels.
The historic Gibson Mansion B&B (823 39th St., 406/251-1345 or 866/251-1345, www.gibsonmansion.com, $115–135), located in a residential neighborhood not far from the university, is a very comfortable Missoula home base, with sumptuous breakfasts.
The C’mon Inn (2775 Expo Pkwy., 406/543-4600 or 888/989-5569, www.cmoninn.com, $109 and up) is a very attractive newer log-design motel a few miles from town at I-90 exit 101 with an indoor pool, waterfall, rustic decor lounge area, hot tubs, an exercise room, and a popular Ping-Pong table.
Although its airport location is far from central, the Wingate Inn (5252 Airway Blvd., 406/541-8000, www.wingateinnmissoula.com, $125 and up) is popular with families because of the two waterslides that empty into its relatively large indoor pool.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition