I spent high school and college in this lovely town that is now more like a city. This liberal town in the western part of a predominately Republican state is funky and fun. Missoula is known for the University of Montana campus and of course their football team The Grizzlies. If you are ever in Missoula in the fall it is mandatory to check out a game. The tailgating itself is a sight to behold but the beautiful stadium and kick-ass team are a must see.
When I am not attending a game I always find myself downtown or at the Southgate Mall. No sales tax on items is pretty awesome. Also, Jackson WY doesn't really cater to the local crowd. Finding nice yet inexpensive clothing and other items is a challenge in Jackson. That is why Missoula is a great place for any type of shopping you need to do, clothes, shoes, jewelry, phones, games, gifts, books and the list goes on and on. My heart though lies in downtown Missoula. I love walking in the park by the river and seeing the Wilma Theatre. It stands stoic and beautiful on the park's edge which begins the downtown promenade. The shops are what I seek and all the styleish and trendy things inside. This trip I found myself at Cloth and Crown looking for a specific necklace. I found it and about four more pieces of jewelry for gifts to others, ugh don't leave me alone with myself downtown! Cloth and Crown is a very chic place. The clothing, jewelry, and ambiance just have a very cool yet elegant vibe. I highly recommend a stop at this shop ladies. Later, because I needed a few things to go with my new jewelry, oops I mean my gifts, I found myself at Bathing Beauties Beads shop. This place has been here since I can remember. I used to buy beads here and make all sorts of little necklaces or bracelets until, of course, I was too cool for that crafty stuff. Pffft what was I thinking! I love this shop! It's cute and funky and it has so much more to offer than just beads. They have jewelry and handmade crafts and they hold classes there for numerous things including metal work. Katie was so nice and helped me add clasps and change chains all while I stood there. She was fast, efficient, and I didn't have to send anything to a jewelry shop. Katie gave me her information so that I can send jewelry to her for future purchases and repairs.
After much-needed shopping therapy, I spent some time eating in a few of my favorite places. I met a friend at the Desperado Bar, a hole in the wall sports bar, which has been my favorite hang out since college. They boast they have the best hot wings in town and everyone agrees. If spicy is not your thing they have several options such as Teriyaki and BBQ, all of which can be ordered sissy style (not spicy). Great bar food with beer to wash it down makes this a favorite locals spot. In the mornings I have to have a coffee from Loose Caboose. They have hands down the best frappes in the world. Yes I said world. Starbucks cannot hold a candle to the deliciousness of Loose Caboose. My favorite is this mint, oreo, white chocolate, and two shots of espresso. Thankfully I only have this maybe twice a year. Lastly, I finished the final day off with a Big Dipper ice cream cone. This place is near downtown and sometimes, in the summer, it will have a line down the block. This is the first place I tasted the most delicious ice cream in the world. Everything is homemade, even their waffle cones. I suggest the white mint oreo and a scoop of huckleberry, and pumpkin when fall comes, but everything there is worth trying. So there you have it, after shopping and eating my way through Missoula with great friends, I'm off to Helena for some family time.