Family Vacations in Montana

Family Vacations in Montana: Virginia City

Virginia City, Montana
Virginia City, Montana, invites visitors to relive the historic
Gold Rush of the nineteenth century.

Virginia City is a Gold Rush boomtown that is remarkably well preserved. It was built and settled in the rough-and-ready days of the Old West when about $30 million in gold was panned from the area's rivers and streams in three years. The town grew quickly as prospectors flooded the area seeking their fortunes. When gold fever died down, Virginia City fell into decline. The residents who stayed could not afford to remodel or rebuild. The town attracted the early interest of the preservation-minded Bovey family in the early 1940s. After decades of restoration, Virginia City was named a National Historic Landmark.

At its peak, Virginia City was populated by vigilantes, villains, and desperados. Visitors today can walk the same wooden boardwalks these colorful characters strolled in the town's heyday. More than 100 historic buildings replete with artifacts and furnishings are open to the public. Visitors can poke into 1860s barbershops and saloons or take a stagecoach ride around town. They can also see a gunfight reenactment or an old-fashioned melodrama. Children can even try their hand at panning gold, just as the prospectors once did.

Virginia City Information

Address: Downtown Virginia City at MT-287 and Wallace St., Virginia City, MT
Telephone: 406/843-5300

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Montana State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Montana, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.


Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.