One and a half centuries ago, Helena became the "Queen City of the Rockies" with the boom brought on by the 1864 gold strike. Helena grew along Last Chance Gulch and in 1875 became the Montana territorial capital. Today the state capital’s grand architecture, numerous museums and historic sites offer a real glimpse into the rich and deep history of the city. Helena also boasts a vibrant cultural center with a busy event calendar, eclectic shopping, art galleries, terrific local bands, great restaurants, local microbreweries, and an epic trail system. For more information, visit the Helena website at www.helenamt.com.
Halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, under the shadows of Mt. Helena and Mt. Ascension, lies Montana’s picturesque capital city. “Helen-a,” as locals say it, was born in the gold rush of 1864. She was dubbed the Queen City in the late 1800s, when more millionaires lived here, per capita, than anywhere in the nation. The leather-clad Montana Club, with its exclusive brotherhood of men who were millionaires, registered a cool 140 members. Today, Helena’s gold rush gulches have been transformed into a scenic downtown area, with lively parks and a walking mall dotted with interesting shops.