The best towns and small cities in the US: Missoula, Montana

With forests, mountains and Native American reservations nearby, this town is a goldmine for the adventurous, and there’s a homespun arts scene, too

In this series: Eugene, Oregon | Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Portland, Maine

Ten years ago, if you wanted to live in a town on the edge of a mountainous wilderness, surrounded by people prepared to let you be whoever you wanted, you moved to Boulder, Colorado. Everyone did, and property prices became unaffordable. Now you raise your eyes a little further north, and keep your wagon rolling on up to Missoula, Montana, a town about as isolated as the most voracious reader of Henry David Thoreau could hope for.

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