For a city that didn’t even exist 150 years ago, there is a lot to do and see around Great Falls. The first thing visitors might often ask is where are those “Great Falls,” and actually there are several nearby waterfalls on the Missouri River, and many are just as scenic as they were during the time that Lewis & Clark first saw them in 1805. Among the most impressive falls are the Black Eagle Falls near the Giant Springs Heritage State Park, and the Crooked Falls and Rainbow Falls, both of which can be seen from the River Drive just outside of the center of town. The original “Great Falls,” is actually the site of the Ryan Dam, and this can also be visited today.

Overlooking the Missouri River is the Lewis and Clark National Historical Trail Interpretive Center, which was opened in 1998. The center includes live programs, exhibits from the expedition and other artifacts from the region. The Center is open daily.

The city is home to several fascinating museums, notably the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, named for the founder of the city, and founded in 1895. The sandstone building is itself a National Historic Landmark, and it houses the state’s collection of contemporary art. Nearby is the Historical Society Museum in the High Plains Heritage Center, and here visitors can discover a connection with the frontier past of the state. While the Cowboys’ Museum looks back at the days of cowboys, pioneers and settlers, with numerous artifacts from the Old West.

Outside of town is the site of the Malmstrom Air Force Base, which was one of the nation’s Minuteman Missile Complexes. Today a museum provides history of the base, and includes numerous aircraft on display, along with a Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile from the Cold War.