1. Have a Drink of Authentic Montana Moonshine at Willie’s
Willie’s Distillery is known for miles around as the legendary small batch craft distillery right on the banks of the gorgeous Madison River in Ennis. Tourists come from all areas of the country just to try out Willie’s special Montana Moonshine and Honey Moonshine + Bighorn Bourbon.
2. Take the Ennis Outdoor Art Tour
Ennis is known for its abundant outdoor art that represents the culture of Montana and its citizens. Because Ennis is considered both a blue-ribbon fly fishing destination and an authentic cowboy town rolled into one, the art that comes from the area’s artists is entirely unique to the region. If you have an eye for breathtaking art, Ennis has a complete Outdoor Art Tour waiting for you!
3. Gear Up for your Fishing Outing on the Madison
At The Tackle Shop, Troutstalkers, or the Madison River Fishing Company, you can get all the fishing tackle and supplies you need for a satisfying day of fly fishing on Madison River, Quake Lake, Jack Creek and anywhere in the Madison Valley. Everything from fishing lures, reels, waders and flies to great advice on the hot spots and guides to take you drifting.
4. Gear Up for your Hunting or Camping Outing in Montana
Shedhorn Sports is known around Ennis as the top supplier of hunting equipment and camping supplies. If you’re in need of any outdoor recreational gear, Shedhorn is the place to stop. Their helpful and friendly staff are ready to assist you with any questions you have regarding hunting, fishing, camping or backpacking the Madison Valley and Southwest Montana. Or check out the full-service Ennis True Value Hardware for coolers, pet toys, RV supplies and duplicate keys – all those needed “on-the-road items”.
5. Go Golfing among Mountain Views
In Ennis, one of the biggest attractions is undoubtedly the Madison Meadows Public Course – and why wouldn’t it be? It features gorgeous views of the Gravelly Mountain Range, and at 5,000 foot elevation, the views never cease to amaze each golfer, every time they hit these links.
6. Feed your Foodie
Gravel Bar & Restaurant on Main Street in Ennis that offers a unique menu of traditional bar entrees with a touch of southwestern Mexican food. Excellent Margaritas and Mojitos from the Gravel Bar to compliment your meal. Other local restaurants include the Alley Bistro, Bear Trap Express, and McAllister Inn Steakhouse.
7. Get Authentic, Old-Fashioned Soda Pop
If you’ve never had real sodapop, then you’re missing out. At the Ennis Pharmacy, you can get sodapop just like your grandfolks drank it. And, don’t forget an order of the famous cinnamon sugar fry bread for a morning treat, and the hand-scooped ice cream for dessert at lunch.
8. Stay at a Dude Ranch or a Bed and Breakfast
Head into the Spanish Peaks and spend some time at a true Montana gem. The Diamond J Guest Ranch has been serving up western adventure for more than 60 years. Horseback, fly-fishing, hiking, mountain climbing and the restoring peace and quiet of the mountains and forest will give your family memories for a lifetime.
There are Bed and Breakfasts throughout Montana, but none come close to the gorgeously restored Jeffers Inn. This authentic, victorian bed and breakfast has been maintained to the optimum quality, features authentic 1800’s furniture, and features rides in horse-drawn carriages. If you want to experience what it would’ve been like to live in the horse and buggy days – this is your chance!
9. Uncover some wild west history
What is a “ringdocus” or “shunka warak’in”? Is it still roaming our forests? You can find out at the Madison Valley Historical Society Museum! The museum also features a working blacksmith shop that was used in Ennis in the 1800’s during the gold rush days.
10. Stay in Authentic Western Cabins
If you want an authentic western vacation, make sure to book your lodging stay at the El Western Cabins & Lodges. These are the most authentic cabins around the Ennis area, and are maintained to the highest degree. You won’t find views like the ones at El Western anywhere else in Southwestern Montana. It’s a great getaway for couples, where you’ll experience true western hospitality at these legendary cabins.
11. Get Some Comfort Food
The food in Ennis is as abundant as it is unique. But sometimes you just want some comfort food – and boy, does Ennis have a lot of that! For some classic pizza head to the Alley Bistro at dinner or head over to the convenient Gravel Bar for Buffalo burgers, barbeque sandwiches and an upscale bar menu at lunch or dinner. Or try the Bear Trap Grille for home-cooked dinner with fantastic hot sandwiches and burgers. And don’t miss the home-baked goodies at the Pic-a-nic Basket…mmmm.
12. Shop Montana Made gifts
You can’t go to one of the most historic cowboy towns in Montana without picking up some authentic western gifts for they folks at home or the kids with you! Head to the award-winning My Home in Montana gift shop for an astounding variety of Montana made gifts, toys, books, jewelry and more! Or stop in the Trading Post, the long time mainstay of Ennis’ Mainstreet. Western-wear with today’s flair!
13. Take the Kids Swimming
If you’re staying in Ennis, the only lodging in town that features a pool on the property is the Rainbow Valley Lodge and Tackle Shop. If your kids love swimming on vacation then hurry and book your room here before it fills up. If you’re a fisherman with kids – well even better! Or if you are looking for a little bigger body of water, try Ennis Lake. Just 7 miles north of Ennis take a right at McAllister to the beach area.
14. Go For a Picnic
There are several restaurants in town, such as the Pic-A-Nic Basket, that offer to-go options, so you can grab some food, a blanket, and your family and head out to the millions of surrounding acres of national forest and enjoy a beautiful day under the warm, Big Sky sun.
15. Play on the Playground at the Lion’s Club Park in Ennis
Take the kids and head out to Lion’s Club Park in Ennis for a few hours of fun on the huge playground, or stretches of walking paths. This area even features a dog park if you’ve brought along your precious pup! Throughout the year, there are special events that take place in the park, so make sure to check our events calendar to stay up-to-date!
16. Go Bowling
If you’re looking for some fun for both adults and kids, head over to the Fish Bowl, Ennis’ very own bowling alley. The restored bowling alley also features a great video arcade room to keep the little ones entertained for hours (granted you don’t run out of quarters quickly!) After you bowl and game, head into the adjoining restaurant for some tasty burgers and fries.
17. Buy your Wife Some Jewelery
There’s nothing your wife would love more than some authentic jewelry from one of the local jewelers in Ennis. At RiverStone Gallery, for example, the resident and local artists create custom jewelry that you can done upon your mother, wife, or daughter for a souvenir they won’t soon forget. Or bargain hunt at Benjies for incredible prices on silver and stone pieces or a gift for the dog-sitter. Visit the Trading Post and newly opened Plain Janes on Main!
18. Get Thrifty
If you’re a bargain hunter, you’ll have a lot of fun at our non-profit thrift store, the Nearly New Shoppe. Operated by the Madison Valley Women’s Club, the thrift store is full of treasures donated by the local community. It wouldn’t be odd to find an entire wardrobe of authentic cowboy clothes and top-notch, brand name fishing gear in the same trip!
19. Catch a little shut-eye
The Lure Me Inn cabins, Fan Mountain Inn and Sportsman’s Lodge all offer western hospitality and economical rates. Plenty of local information from owners ready to help you enjoy your time in the Madison Valley.
20. Prepare for Your Trip to Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is only a short drive from Ennis – only about an hour away. If you’re planning on visiting the famous national park, consider preparing for your trip in Ennis. We have everything you need, from food + water basics, to camping, fishing, and hunting gear, to car repairs and emergency help. If you’re on your way to Yellowstone, don’t forget about the less-travelled, more beautiful and all-around more fun, Backroad to Yellowstone on HWY 287 in Montana!