Bozeman, Montana, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

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Bozeman, Montana
This material courtesy of Jeremy Soldevilla

Bozeman is nestled in the Gallatin Valley of South Central Montana, which for thousands of years was a sacred healing place known as the Valley of the Flowers to many Native American tribes including the Blackfeet, Sioux and Nez Perce. Today it is home to a broad spectrum of people from professors, artists and ranchers to outdoorsmen, students and active retirees. The population is diverse but predominated by descendents of European settlers from Germany, Norway, Ireland and Holland.

With a population of around 35,000 and easy access to numerous cultural, historic and outdoor sites and opportunities, Bozeman has been named by various magazines as one of the Best Small Towns in America and one of the top ten ski towns by Ski Magazine. Although located in a predominantly conservative state, both liberals and conservatives are politically active in this college town. Montana State University provides a center for many cultural events including concerts by leading musicians, opera, theater and art exhibitions. MSU sponsors the Museum of the Rockies which traces the rich history of the area from the age of the dinosaurs through the days of Native Americans and pioneers up to the modern era.

Bozeman is surrounded by several mountain ranges including the Bridgers, Beartooths and Gallatins offering world-class recreational opportunities. Tourism and year-round outdoor recreation are a big part of what attracts visitors and residents alike. Blue-ribbon fly fishing, hiking, mountain and road biking and hunting in the thousands of acres of nearby National Forest lands are enjoyed by people from around the world. Skiing or snowboarding the powder of Bridger Bowl or Big Sky resort is a thrill for snow lovers of all ages. Ice climbing up Palisades Falls, hang gliding or rock climbing are some of the more adventurous activities enjoyed locally. Other favorite pastimes include whitewater rafting, kayaking, camping, snowmobiling and wildlife viewing.

Elk, deer, moose, bear, eagles and mountain sheep are only some of the many species of animals and birds that can be seen within a short distance from town. Bison, bears and wolves can be viewed in spectacular Yellowstone National Park, just a short drive from Bozeman.

The climate is considered moderate. Average annual temperatures are around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the moderate combined heat and humidity the summers are generally comfortable with average high daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s and nighttime in the upper 40s. Winters can seem long, but mild winter weather is common. There can be very cold below zero periods but they often are short-lived. Average annual snowfall is about ninety inches.

Because of all it has to offer, Bozeman is realizing a development boom and housing prices can be expensive. The median home cost is around $400,000. The cost of living in Bozeman runs about 14 % higher than the national average. There are few large industries in Bozeman, however, the unemployment rate is lower than the national average. Salaries tend to be lower than larger municipalities around the country. There is currently no sales tax in Montana. While Bozeman is proud of its pioneer heritage, it offers excellent modern amenities including quality restaurants, shops and educational and cultural opportunities that residents and visitors of all ages can enjoy.


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