Did you know that on most VBT vacations there is an optional pre- or post-trip extension meant to ease you into your vacation and help you explore a city that won’t necessarily be on your tour? If you are traveling on—or thinking about reserving a spot on—our Yellowstone in the Winter: Skiing America’s First National Park this winter we want to suggest adding the Pre-trip extension to the wonderfully western city of Bozeman, MT. Spending a couple days in Bozeman is the perfect way to acclimate to the elevation change before you head to Yellowstone, which is over a mile above sea level.
Bozeman is a great, little city in Big Sky country located in the middle of a gorgeous valley surrounded by the peaks of the Bridger, Gallatin and Madison mountain ranges. Perhaps best known as the home of Montana State University, Bozeman also offers fantastic shopping along main street, great restaurants—we’re a fan of Montana Ale Works, a retro-industrial railroad freight house that was transformed into a restaurant & bar—museums and access to some of the world’s best downhill skiing (both Bridger Bowl and Big Sky are within an hour).
Since you’ll be leaving for Yellowstone right after your stay in Bozeman, we wanted to tell you about a great exhibit running through January at the Museum of the Rockies called “Welcome to Yellowstone: Tourism in America’s First National Park”. This fascinating exhibit features artifacts, photographs and movie footage from the National Park Service and other historical collections. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the fabulous planetarium and the museum’s most well-known collection: dinosaur fossils. In fact the Museum of the Rockies houses the most Tyrannosaurus Rex specimens anywhere in the world!
During your 2-day pre-trip extension you’ll be staying at the Lehrkind Mansion Bed and Breakfast, which provides a comfortable base from which to explore the Bozeman area. Located within walking distance of Bozeman’s historic Main Street, the Lehrkind Mansion is well situated in a quiet neighborhood. The Lehrkind, originally built in 1897 as the home of Bozeman Lager Beer master-brewer Julius Lehrkind, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Legend has it that each brick in the home was cured in large vats of beer before being set, making it “the house that beer built.” The home itself is a classic representation of Queen Anne Victorian architecture and one of Montana’s finest.
The current owners of the Lehrkind Mansion, Chris and Jon, turned the classic Victorian home into Bozeman’s finest bed and breakfast. Both owners are former Yellowstone National Park Rangers and are excellent resources for information as you prepare for your winter vacation in Yellowstone. For more information about the Bozeman Pre-trip extension, please visit our website.