Welcome to Missoula Montana
Missoula Hell Gate Elks Lodge 383
Our Main Festival Venue
Built In 1911 lodge members contracted with Montana’s premier architectural firm of Link and Haire to design this Neoclassical style building.
One of the most outstanding examples of institutional Neoclassical architecture in Missoula, the three-story brick lodge features a recessed, arcaded gallery; monumental columns and balconies; large, scrolled brackets; and extensive use of terra cotta. Decorative terra cotta graces the cornice, window surrounds, scrolled brackets, and the massive, Ionic style fluted columns. Like many fraternal organizations, the Elks chose to meet on the second floor, for privacy, while earning income by renting the first floor.
The Missoula Mercantile implement store occupied the prime retail space. A 1950 remodel transformed the first floor, but the upper floors’ exterior look much as they did in 1911. In addition to meeting rooms, the Elks Lodge contained two bars, thirty-two apartments, a swimming pool later transformed into a basketball court, a weight room, locker room, shooting range, and bowling alley now a third bar.
Across the Street from the Main Venue, and also Secondary Dance space for classes.
A new Missoula hotel offers an intuitive experience that ensures you won't miss a beat during travel. Rest well in our guest rooms with work stations, modern decor, and city views in select accommodations. Fuel up with European-inspired dining and drinks at AC Kitchen, AC Lounge, and our rooftop bar or try nearby restaurants like The Camino, Second Set Bistro, and 1889 Steakhouse.
Head to Clark Fork River just a short walk away for outdoor recreation. Experience the best of Missoula with a visit to top attractions like The Wilma, KettleHouse Amphitheater, and University of Montana.
The AC will be offering Discounted Rooms for the Tango festival (details coming soon)
Thursday Night Milonga
Argentine Tango aficionados and facilitators of long-lasting tango connections, Patrick Marsolek and Lori Mitchell, invite festival dancers from far and wide to experience the once-in-a-lifetime magic of dancing amongst the tall pines the Potomac Valley in their yurt, at Second Chance. The yurt is specially designed and used for hosting regular milongas for those fortunate enough to call Western Montana home, and getting there is an adventure in itself.
Dancers will enjoy a scenic twenty-minute drive along the World-famous Blackfoot River from Missoula. Once there they will find themselves tip-toeing along the well-trodden path toward the sounds of their favorite composers mingled with the laughter and murmur of a crowd of tango friends. Life-long memories are guaranteed to be formed in the magic found dancing here under the big sky.
Missoula has 67 Scenic Trails accessible by foot or a quick car ride! Some local dancers who are regular hikers have volunteered to lead hikes ranging from leisurely to moderately hard so that visiting dancers can experience the Western Montana beauty from an awe inspiring vista and experience chances to see wildlife.
Climb Mount Sentinel and touch the M for Missoula. Amazing views of the valley, the Clark Fork River, and the Bitterroot mountains. See plants such as bitterroot, balsam root, paintbrush, Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, and animals such as deer, falcons, and maybe even black bears.
Pattee Canyon is popular for birding, hiking, and mountain biking. The Nez Perce and Salish once traveled through this area to avoid Blackfeet attacks in nearby Hellgate Canyon.
The Rattlesnake was once an old logging road. Enjoy quiet forests of Western larch and Englemann spruce, and Beaver dams.
Clark Fork River
Within two blocks of the main festival venue is The Clark Fork River. Riverside trails will allow you to enjoy sunsets and sunrises, take leisurely strolls with tango friends, watch river surfers, or enjoy any number of delights that abound where nature meets the light urbanness of our town. Photo ops galore for visitors!
In case your luggage will be filled with only dancing shoes, you can pull on your tango shoes to walk the extensive network of paved trails!
The river trail connects to both the Bitterroot Branch of the Milwaukee Trail (paved) and the beautiful Kim Williams Trail (not paved). Any of these can be taken at various lengths, and difficulty levels.
Norman Maclean's book, A River Runs Through It, is written about Missoula! In the book-turned-movie starring Brad Pitt, Maclean chronicles fly fishing tales of his youth. Since the 1990s when the movie came out, people have flocked from the world over to fish the rivers of Western Montana.
September is one of the best times to fly fish in Western Montana. River’s are cooling, there are a variety of hatches, and much of the summer’s crowds are gone. Missoula is near some of the finest trout streams in the country with the Clark Fork at you doorstep and within less than an hour are the Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers as well as a stellar Blue Ribbon stream, Rock Creek. It just doesn’t get any better. Local fly shops offer rental equipment, solid advice and excellent guide service. Our favorites are Missoulian Angler and Missoula Fly Fishing Outfitters! Check online for fishing reports and details about their services.
Local tango dancer AND fly fishing guru, Charles Harris, is happy to help you if you would like more detailed information. Please feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tight Lines! Charlie looks forward to some great fishing and fun dancing!
Fun Things to Do in Missoula
1. Art Galleries - Missoula much fine art made by local and Native American artists. Visit the Missoula Art Museum at 335 N. Pattee Street, or the Dana Gallery 246 North Higgins.
2. Local Distilleries and Breweries - We make our own whiskey, vodka, gin, and beer in Montana. Visit the Montgomery Distillery at 129 W. Front Street or the Big Sky Brewing Company is at 5417 Trumpeter Way
3. Missoula's Farmers' Market - When the weather is warm, you can enjoy delicious fresh produce and local crafts and arts, in the beautiful fresh air. Saturday Mornings - Downtown Higgins Street.
4. Museums - Montana has fascinating history. We recommend the Historical Museum of Fort Missoula at 3400 Captain Rawn Way, or the Montana Natural History Center, at 120 Hickory Street.
6. Fine Jewelry - Montana is home to some of the world's most beautiful sapphires. Check out the Sapphire Gallery on 115 E. Broadway.
7. Best of all, take a ride on our Carousel. All the ponies have names! 101 Carousel Dr.
For more information on local attractions, check out our festival partner Destination Missoula, at https://destinationmissoula.org/.