Moving to Billings
Set your compass towards the Big Sky Country, because charming Billings, Montana is calling your name! Woven with rich history, outdoor adventures, and vibrant culture, stopping in Billings smells of anything but decision regret. As one of the most populous cities in Montana, Billings offers a blend of urbanity and coziness that makes for a perfect relocation destination. For first-time visitors, long-term dwellers or future residents like you, our comprehensive Billings relocation guide offers a lantern leading towards your potential next home. So roll up those sleeves, and let's dive into the magic of moving to Billings, Montana.
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1. On Pioneering Footsteps and Big Sky Dreams
Billings, named after the president of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, was once a railroad town in the late 19th century. Nestled beneath the Rimrock cliffs, this big surprise in the big sky country of Montana has more to offer than meets the eye. Today, the industrial past is still evident, blended seamlessly with the city's evolving culture and thriving nature that shrouds its stunning setting.
2. The City Beneath the Rimrocks
One of the striking aspects of the Billings landscape is the Rimrock cliffs - majestic sandstone formations serving as the city's backdrop. The "Rims" not only add a unique beauty but also bring a diverse range of recreational activities like biking, hiking, and rock climbing. For that Instagrammable sunset shot, head over to Zimmerman Park, offering a captivating view of the city skyline enriched by sunsets.
3. The Surge in Craft Beer Scenery
Montana might not be the first thing that pops up when thinking of beer, but Billings seems adamant about changing this perception. It is becoming what locals call the 'brewery district', with over six breweries and two distilleries surrounding downtown. An added bonus: the creation of the 'Walkable Brewery District', a one-mile loop in downtown Billings where beer lovers can wander from one brewery to the next. Just hop on a bike and quench your beer pang with a locally crafted brew.
4. Strong Economy and Job Market
Billings has a burgeoning economy favoring diverse job opportunities. It's not just about cowboys herding cattle, albeit that is quite a sight. The local economy is fortified by the health care, education, and oil industries. The unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and the city is considered a regional hub for business and healthcare.
5. Step Back in Time with the Little Bighorn Battlefield
On an hour's drive from Billings lies the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, popularly associated with 'Custer's Last Stand'. This major tourist draw is a hauntingly beautiful spot, commemorating one of the last armed hostilities between the US Army and the Northern Plains Indians tribes. The cultural and historical significance of this place adds an interesting dimension to this city's environment.
6. A Culinary Hub That's Surprisingly Vegan Friendly
Unbeknownst to most, Billings holds a variety of vegan-friendly food havens. Restaurants offer vegan-friendly options that are as hearty and flavorful as their carnivorous counterparts. Spots like Sassy Biscuit and Fieldhouse Cafe are a must-visit for vegan voyagers or anyone looking to experiment with their cuisine. And for those non-vegans, no worries, there's also Ted's Montana Grill, a bison-burger bistro co-founded by media mogul Ted Turner.
In the end, moving to a new place is about embracing new experiences, and Billings, Montana, is surely packed with them. It's a place where the old world mingles with the new, where the trails of the pioneers still linger in the air, where the sky seems infinite, and where life, just like the ale in your mug, is definitely worth a hearty cheer!
Pros and Cons of Living in Billings
Pros of Living in Billings
Billings provides a variety of outdoor activities for all seasons. With the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park nearby, and plenty of hiking and biking trails, there's always a way to enjoy Montana's natural beauty all year round.
Small Town Feel with City Amenities
While Billings is the largest city in Montana, it still retains a small town feel. Nonetheless, it offers city amenities such as good restaurants, shopping centers, and quality healthcare services, giving residents the best of both worlds.
Strong Community Spirit
Residents in Billings are known for their friendly nature and strong community spirit. Regular community events and a general atmosphere of neighborliness make Billings a pleasant and welcoming place to live.
Compared to larger cities, Billings experiences less traffic congestion. This leads to shorter commute times and a generally less stressful driving experience.
Culture and Arts
Billings has a vibrant art scene with museums, art galleries, and annual art walks. In addition, the city hosts several theatre, music, and film festivals, offering plentiful cultural experiences.
Cons of Living in Billings
Winters in Billings can be quite harsh with heavy snowfall and low temperatures, which can be uncomfortable for those not accustomed to cold weather. Also, it can sometimes hinder outdoor activities.
Limited Public Transportation
While Billings does have public transportation, the services are somewhat limited. This can make getting around the city more difficult for those who don't own a vehicle.
Because of its location, Billings is somewhat isolated. The closest major city is several hours away, which can be a downside for those who frequently travel or crave big city excitement.
Compared to many U.S. cities, Billings lacks in cultural, ethnic, and culinary diversity. This might be a con for people accustomed to a more multi-cultural environment.
Cost of Living
While the cost of living in Billings is lower compared to other big cities, housing costs have been on the rise. Additionally, the wages in Montana tend to be lower than the national average. This gap can make it challenging for people moving from states with higher wages.
Is Billings a Good Place to Live?
Billings, MT is a great place to live because it boasts a spectacular natural environment with endless outdoor adventure opportunities, a low cost of living and a robust job market. It's also rich in history with plenty of cultural attractions, like the Yellowstone Art Museum and the Western Heritage Center, to keep you entertained. So, pack your bags and head to Big Sky country for a big slice of the good life!
What Is Billings Famous For?'
Also known as the "Rims", these geological rimrock sandstone formations are one of the city's most popular natural attractions. Visitors flock here for the breathtaking city and valley views and the numerous outdoor activities like bird-watching, hiking, and rock climbing.
The Yellowstone Art Museum
Established in 1964, the Yellowstone Art Museum (YAM) in Billings showcases notable contemporary art, much of it centered around the region's culture and heritage. It's not just about viewing art at YAM, though; the museum hosts a variety of art events and educational programs for all ages to promote art appreciation and creativity.
Pictograph Cave State Park
Around 6 miles south of Billings, the Pictograph Cave State Park holds an important place in local history and archaeology. The park gets its name from the pictograph, or rock painting, found on cave walls estimated to be thousands of years old, serving as a reminder of the earliest inhabitants of the region.
The Western Heritage Center
The Western Heritage Center, housed in a historic building that was once the Parmly Billings Library, celebrates the rich history of the Yellowstone River Valley and the Northern Plains. As a regional museum, it features interactive exhibits and special events that offer a fascinating look into the past, from the stories of early settlers to native tribes, railways, and ranching.'
Overview of Tax Rates
As of 2023, the average property tax rate in Billings, MT is around 0.87%, lower than the national average of 1.07%. The city has one of the more moderate property tax rates when compared to other large cities in the U.S.
In Billings, MT, there is no statewide sales tax as of 2023, which is a stark contrast to the national median of 7.0%. However, there may be some local sales taxes applied in certain circumstances.
Resident's income tax in Billings, MT varies from 1% to 6.9% as of 2023, depending on income levels, which is comparable to national income tax rates. However, Montana's statewide system makes the income tax structure less progressive than in other states.
The housing market in Billings, MT remains relatively affordable compared to other parts of the U.S. The median home value in Billings currently stands at $265k, significantly lower than the national average. The average rent in Billings is also relatively low, at around $1000 per month. Home values in Billings have appreciated at a moderate pace indicating stable local economy. However, both buyers and renters should note that supply in local markets varies considerably, potentially impacting price and availability. Overall, Billings offers a balanced housing market with opportunities for both buyers and renters.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Billings, MT is generally lower than the national average, making it a comparatively affordable city. Essential elements like housing, groceries, and health care are less expensive. Yet, the rates differ with locations. For example, Billings appears more affordable compared to larger cities like Los Angeles or New York, and is marginally costlier than few smaller cities. Nonetheless, Billings offers a balanced equation of affordability and lifestyle, giving residents access to cultural, recreational, and educational resources, along with a stable economy.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Billings, Montana features a semi-arid continental climate characterized by cold, dry winters and hot, occasionally humid summers. Typically, the area's temperature ranges between -1degF and 89degF. The city experiences an average of about 13 inches of precipitation annually, including both rainfall and snow. High winds tend to frequent the region, often resulting in windstorms. Moreover, Billings is situated in "Tornado Alley" and thus has a moderate risk of encountering tornadoes. Despite not being prone to earthquakes, it does face potential seismic hazards due to its vicinity to the Yellowstone Supervolcano. This location also grants Billings the sight of the occasional volcanic ash fall-out. Flooding is another prevalent natural disaster, typically occurring in the latter part of spring and early summer when mountain snow melts and raises the water levels of the Yellowstone River.
Economy & Job Market
* Healthcare and Social Assistance
* Retail Trade
* Accommodation and Food Services
Billings, Montana, has a rich history of thriving in a variety of industries. Historically, the city thrived on the energy sector, including coal mining and oil extraction. However, in more recent years, its economy has diversified. Presently, the Healthcare and Social Assistance industry is leading the way, offering a wealth of career opportunities for residents. Next in line are the Retail Trade and Accommodation and Food Services sectors, which are constantly looking for employees to handle the city's active tourism scene. The Construction and Manufacturing industries are also substantial contributors to the local economy, benefiting from the city's consistent growth and development.
If you're considering a move to Billings and intending to look for a job afterwards, it's a good idea to know a bit about the local job market. Billings boasts a low unemployment rate, meaning plenty of opportunities are waiting to be discovered. The Healthcare and Social Assistance industry is your best bet if you want to hit the ground running after your move. But don't forget about the Retail Trade and Accommodation industries if you like a dynamic working environment. The city also offers plenty of options in the Construction and Manufacturing sectors. So regardless of your skills or experiences, you're sure to find a job in Billings!
Traffic and Transportation
If you blink, you might miss rush hour in Billings, Montana! The average commute time is an envy-worthy 18 minutes, way below the national average. But don't think traffic is the only game in this town. MET Transit, Billings's public transportation system, beams a smile from ear to ear with bus routes that adorably cover the whole city. Why waste time finding a parking spot when you could be browsing cat memes on a MET bus? When you have the need to spread your wings, remember Billings Logan International Airport is just a layover away. It's not every day you get to go to an "international" airport in the middle of Montana. It offers flights to most major US airports, and you might meet some friendly local folks on the way!
Best Neighborhoods in Billings'
1. Downtown Billings
Come on down to the heart of Billings where you\'ll find the central hub of business and entertainment: Downtown Billings. This district\'s personality is the ideal blend of old and new, where historical buildings coexist with contemporary loft apartments, giving this area its unique charm. In terms of amenities, it\'s got plenty to offer, from ArtWalk, a walking tour that displays the creative side of the city, to the Brew Trail, perfect for beer enthusiasts. This neighborhood is not just an entertaining place to visit but a delightful place to live.
2. West End
Ah, the West End, arguably the most popular neighborhood in Billings. It\'s serene, safe, and just a short drive from downtown. Families especially love the West End because of the excellent school system and the countless parks available for weekend picnics and playdates. It boasts a thriving retail scene too, with Rimrock Mall and a plethora of independent boutiques scattered throughout. Living in the West End surrounds you with a little bit of everything, making it a delightful place to call home.
The Heights neighborhood is located on the edge of the city, with a tranquil ambience unspoiled by typical urban hubbub. It still offers quick access to downtown, so you can enjoy the city\'s attractions without getting caught up in the hustle and bustle. The real draw of Heights, though, is the outdoors. Enjoy breathtaking vistas from the Zimmerman Park or embark on a scenic hike through the Phipps Park trail system. For those craving a combination of city convenience and natural splendor, Heights is the place to be.
4. Terry Park
Fondly referred to as the "Garden Suburb", the Terry Park area is a delight for those with a green thumb. Its leafy streets are lined with mature trees and well-maintained gardens that add a vibrant splash of color to the neighborhood throughout the year. It\'s a quiet and welcoming community with spacious lots and ranch-style homes that exude a charming, small-town feel. Terry Park is also conveniently located near schools and shopping areas, which makes daily life just a little bit easier.
5. South Park
If community events and historic charm are your thing, then South Park might be your perfect fit. Home to the annual summer festival known as Strawberry Fest and a charming park complete with a public swimming pool, this neighborhood is often buzzing with activity. The architecture here is largely historic with homes dating back to the early 1900s, presenting an aura of nostalgia. Despite its history, South Park is very much alive and kicking, appealing to those who enjoy a slower pace of life with a sense of community.
To wrap it all up, whether it\'s the dynamic downtown, the family-friendly West End, serene Heights, the verdant Terry Park, or the historical South Park, one thing is sure: Billings has a neighborhood suited to every preference and lifestyle. So pack your bags and prepare to explore and fall in love with one of these unique neighborhoods!'
Things to Do'
Billings, Montana, fondly referred to as the Magic City, is an urban gem nestled in the heart of the American Wild West. Whether you're moving here for the clean, mountain air, or seeking new adventures, we have the top seven must-do things to make your transition and living in Billings an unforgettable experience.
1. Pictograph Cave State Park
This isn't just for history buffs or lovers of all things ancient. Pictograph Cave State Park, located just five miles south of Billings, is a step back in time, about 2,000 years to be exact! Uncover the mystery of the Pictograph, Middle, and Ghost caves, scattered with historical signs of prehistoric life, including wall paintings (pictographs), to stoke your imagination.
2. Explore the Rimrocks
A geological wonder and local landmark, the Rimrocks are sandstone formations that provide breathtaking views of the city and surrounding wilderness. These formations were once the shore of a great inland sea, making it a place of profound geological and historical significance.
Enjoy a family day out at ZooMontana, home to a wide variety of animal species from across the globe, including the elusive Red Panda and Siberian Tiger. Spread over 70 acres, this zoo is a sanctuary for wildlife and a fantastic place to gain insights into animal behavior.
4. Montana Brewing Company
No move to Billings would be complete without a trip to the historic Montana Brewing Company. Sample their award-winning craft beers or taste the delectable local cuisine. This is a true Montana tradition that you'll adore.
5. Take a Historic Walking Tour
Billings oozes history and what better way to soak it all up than by putting on your walking shoes for the Historic Walking Tour? Discover the architectural gems and learn about the city's rich Western history.
6. Moss Mansion
This entry might be a hidden secret even for some locals! The Moss Mansion is a stunning property built in 1903 that gives an up-close experience of life in the early 20th century. With original furnishings and artifacts still intact, every visit to this mansion is like stepping into a time capsule.
7. Seek Out the Yellowstone Art Museum
This one's for the art lovers. The Yellowstone Art Museum houses contemporary American art with an emphasis on regional art. The museum offers a dynamic array of educational and outreach programs, making it a central gathering place for the artistic community.
As you explore these options, you'll undoubtedly stumble across the special spirit that makes Billings remarkable. There's a perfect mix of culture, history, recreation, and natural beauty that makes it not just a city, but a community. Have fun getting to know your new city, and welcome home to Billings, Montana!'
Find Movers for Your Billings Relocation
As you finalize your plans for your big move to Billings, MT, remember, it doesn't have to be a daunting task. Take advantage of resources like Great Guys Moving, who aim to make your relocation smoother and stress-free. This service aligns your unique moving needs with trusted, licensed, and insured movers at affordable prices. In just a few effortless steps, you can obtain quotes tailored to your specific move. So why wait? Kick start your move to Billings on the right note by requesting a free moving quote through Great Guys Moving today.
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