QUALITY OF LIFE
If you dream of living in a mountain town, chances are you dream of a place like Missoula. Situated at the convergence of three trout-laden rivers, with snow-capped peaks in every direction and a designated wilderness area less than 20 minutes from downtown, Missoula combines all the amenities of 21st century life with a sense of family-oriented community and a connection to the natural world reminiscent of time past.
This is a place where bankers and bikers alike find the true meaning of abundance in the graceful curl of a fly line over quiet riffles or the whispering slice of skis through waist-deep mountain powder. Soul is, literally, our middle name.
We aren’t the only ones who think highly of this place. Every few months a new “best-of” list comes out ranking Missoula among the finest living communities in the nation. In July 2012, the Milkin Institute called us one of the best small cities in which to grow old; less than two months later, America’s Promise Alliance designated us one of America’s “100 Best Communities for Young People.” That same month, Outside magazine picked us as one of the 12 Best River Towns in America.
The list goes on: best place in America to raise a budding naturalist (according to Backpacker magazine); one of the 14 most bike-friendly communities in America (League of American Bicyclists) — and on and on.
Those quality-of-life spotlights and rankings reflect a simple fact about this town: It is a great place to live, do business, raise a family and retire.
- Cost of living is about the same as the national average with a composite index of 96 (vs. 100 for U.S.), with utilities slightly lower and transportation slightly higher.
- A 21st century education initiative has been implemented throughout Missoula’s public school system, composed of nine elementary, three middle and four high schools.
- More than 50% of the working population commutes less than 15 minutes to work (compared to 25% for the U.S.).
- Outdoor recreation opportunities nearby include three major rivers, an extensive trail system, million of acres of U.S. Forest Service land, the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area and more.
- Cultural and urban opportunities include museums, The University of Montana, more than 250 restaurants, movie theaters, live theater, three concert auditoriums/venues, a vibrant downtown shopping area, major retail corridor and an extensive city park system that includes a skate park, water park and swim center.
- Selected as an “Any Given Child” community by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which will provide guidance on enhancing arts education resources in Missoula.
- Climate offers four distinct seasons with average highs ranging from 32˚ in January to 84˚ in July.