Paradise Valley, Montana wasn’t named by accident. With the Yellowstone River cutting through the valley flanked by vertical, forested mountain ranges, Montana’s beauty has quietly been attracting billionaires, celebrities, and fly-fishermen for years. Having been home to people like actor Jeff Bridges, poet and novelist Jim Harrison, and musician John Mayer, it’s amazing that more people don’t flock here. The valley — which has its cultural hub, Livingston in the north, Yankee Jim Canyon at the south, and the Absaroka and Gallatin Ranges on the east and west — has plenty of accommodations, so naturally, we’ve gathered a few of our favorites.
Some fifteen minutes outside the center of Livingston, Cliff’s Cabin is built within the hills and mountains that create Paradise Valley’s borders. So named because some guy called Cliff built it by hand, the cabin is a traditional log cabin made from the trees that surround the area and assembled by the original owner/builder. While it may look just about as rural as it can get, we encourage the less adventurous not to worry, as there is central heating and hot water. Those eager to connect with nature can wander the endless forested land here.
Possessing serious modern, chic cabin vibes with numerous types of wood, stone fireplaces, and decorated with the antlers of various animals, this home may look rustic but has every amenity anyone could need. Outdoors, guests can climb into the hot tub, a romantic spot for two, or as the hosts say: a good place for “four well-acquainted folks”. The master bedroom continues the cabin feel with a bright red metal fireplace and wooden furniture, while the other bedroom is a bit more modern with quirky decorations and charming windows.
“The Murray has a personality of its own, a thing as tangible and real as its marble stairways, yet as hard to define as music or an aroma.” Now 115 years old, the Murray Hotel is the king amongst the already-legendary downtown Livingston. Having hosted Queens, patron saints of the Wild Wild West like Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane, as well as the traveler of the people Anthony Bourdain, anyone finding the Murray unsuitable may just be run out of town.
A beautiful luxury cabin that combines stone and wood features, the Wildflower Cabin also boasts unobstructed views of the valley below. The owners of this rental have creatively added entertainment throughout the house to keep couples and/or families occupied. Outside is an inflatable hot tub with jets, above the family room fireplace a projector screen pulls down (which coupled with the surround sound is a true movie experience), and finally on the top, porch a rocking swing chair is the best place to enjoy the sunsets.
Getting its name for its vantage point over the town of Livingston below, the sites from the city to the mountains to the stars at night are unbeatable here. Inside, there is an impressive collection of houseplants that even in the frigid winter create a lively green presence. The home is only 60 miles from Yellowstone and 30 minutes from Chico Hot Springs.
While this special spot may be a little outside of Paradise Valley, its uniqueness warrants inclusion on this list. Visitors here can stay in an authentic restored train car from the Northern Pacific Railroad. The new interior is meant to reflect its Victorian origins, being decorated with leather, wood, and other features that hark back to the turn of the previous century. Outside, a brief walk from the train, guests can enjoy a private, sandy beach on the Yellowstone River.
Advertised as the perfect place to experience the sunrise, we can’t argue with the idea of sipping a warm cup of coffee from the confines of the outdoor Jacuzzi as nature provides the light show entertainment. Inside, the coziness continues with an old school free-standing metal fireplace and natural wood cabinetry. The hosts here also happily stock the kitchen with fresh chicken eggs.
Designed to accommodate families, this four-bedroom house can sleep up to 10 people a night. The highlight of this home is its back patio. Tucked amongst a garden of wildflowers with views of the pine forest on either side, sitting outside next to the fire pit is ideal on any day of the year. On a clear night, the stars add the magical experience.
With six private acres, this home has plenty of room to explore, and guests are never disappointed by the views ranging from the mountains, meadows, and the Yellowstone River. In fact, if a guest were to follow the Yellowstone River, which the property borders, they would end up in the world-famous Yellowstone National Park.
Only a few blocks from the kitschy downtown area of Livingstone, this house is a prime spot for a winter getaway, being only a few minutes walk to both Sacajawea Park and Works Park — home of a legendary sledding hill. In the summer, during the still nights, listen closely for the sound of the babbling creek that the home’s backyard borders.
Built on stunning 20 acres of land, this home is known as Whispering Acres and has access to endless rolling grass hills. Included in all this land are unobstructed mountain views and a private duck pond. Even the 60-inch television isn’t able to pry people’s eyes away from the giant windows that give sweeping views of Big Sky Country.