Billings, Montana Neighborhoods

A Local’s Guide to Billings’ Diverse and Vibrant Communities

With a population of over 110,000 people, Billings is Montana’s largest city. This guide provides an in-depth look at some of Billings’ most popular neighborhoods, including history, attractions, housing, and what it’s like living in each unique area. Whether you’re new to Billings or a longtime local looking to relocate, use this neighborhood guide to find your perfect fit.

Downtown Billings

Downtown Billings is the heartbeat of the city. As the central business district, downtown offers shopping, dining, arts and entertainment all within a walkable urban core.

History

Downtown Billings traces its roots back to 1877 when the area was first plotted out. Many of the historic buildings date back to the late 1800s during Billings’ early expansion due to the railroad. Downtown went through ups and downs during the 20th century, but recently underwent a revitalization. Today it’s a vibrant urban center with strong ties to the past.

Things to Do

Some attractions and activities found downtown include:

  • Alberta Bair Theater – performing arts center
  • Pub Station – live music venue
  • Joseph’s Greenhouse – botanical gardens
  • Western Heritage Center – regional history museum
  • Skypoint Sculpture Walk – outdoor sculpture exhibits
  • Farmers Market – Saturdays June thru October
  • Brewery district – craft beer destinations
  • Restaurants, shopping and galleries

Housing

Downtown has seen growth in residential living with older warehouses converted to lofts and new apartment buildings added:

  • Lofts – Contain modern interior finishes while preserving historic exteriors
  • Apartments – Offer upscale living with amenities like fitness centers and rooftop lounges
  • Condos – Provide owned spaces from quaint studios to sprawling penthouse units
  • Single family homes – Few historic properties and some modern infill homes

As an urban environment, housing tends to be higher density with smaller spaces compared to outer neighborhoods. However, downtown living allows walking to abundant destinations.

Livability

Downtown offers convenience and locally-owned businesses in an architecturally diverse setting. It appeals to young professionals, creatives, entrepreneurs and empty nesters. While compact, revitalization has brought more green space through parks and street gardens. Drawbacks include limited parking, higher noise levels and lack of traditional residential amenities.

North Park

North Park offers a peaceful residential area just northeast of downtown. It’s known for its affordability, mature trees and easy access to McCarthy Park.

History

North Park saw most residential development occur 1920s-1950s, offering working and middle class family homes. These older neighborhoods retain mid-century charm and character.

Things to Do

Attractions and activities nearby include:

  • McCarthy Park – Large neighborhood park with pond, walking paths, sports fields
  • Dehler Park – Home of minor league baseball Billings Mustangs
  • North Park Bear Creek Trail – Paved trail follows creek
  • Moss Mansion – Historic home from late 1800s now a museum
  • Downtown Billings – 10 minutes away

Housing

Housing stock includes charming craftsman bungalows, traditional cottages, stately tudors, and cozy ranch homes.

  • Cost: Affordable for Billings, average home $175k
  • Lot sizes: Typically small lots around 5,000 sq ft
  • Many residential streets lack sidewalks

Home remodels and new infill construction are common, creating a diverse blend of old and new residences. The area offers starter homes for first-time buyers plus move-up residences. Multi-family housing is limited.

Livability

North Park provides a pleasant residential setting plus easy proximity to North Park’s abundance of amenities. It appeals most to young couples, families and professionals tied to downtown. Light traffic and infrastructure improvements increase livability. However, some streets flood during heavy rainfall.

The Heights

The Heights neighborhood upholds Billings’ most affluent tradition set by founders who built sprawling homes overlooking the city. This westside community continues that legacy today.

History

Many original homes built 1890s-1930s still stand as historic estates, joined through the decades by large custom homes and upscale subdivisions as development marches up the Rims.

Things to Do

Area attractions include:

  • Pioneer Park – Picnicking, disc golf, tennis and more
  • Stewart Park – Sweeping views and The Heights at Stewart Park commercial center
  • Zimmerman Trail – Iconic hike with city overlooks
  • Billings Studio Theater – Community theater group
  • The Garage – Innovative new dining and entertainment venue

Housing

Properties found among The Heights’ hills showcase wealth with amenities like:

  • Large lots, many over acreage
  • Mountain and city views
  • Pools, sport courts and private parks
  • Smart home technology, theaters and wine cellars
  • GUEST homes, carriage houses and extensive garages

Home styles vary from old world Mediterranean to rustic mountain lodges, prairie-style to angular modern. New developments continue raising the luxury standard.

Livability

The Heights is highly desirable for its views, custom estates, amenities and prestige. Families flock to the area for its reputable schools, safety and room to grow. However, its hillside location can mean winding, inconvenient commutes during snowstorms.

South Side

Billings South Side refers to several attached neighborhoods located in the southern portion of the city below the Rims. It’s an affordable area with parks and a small town community vibe.

History

Development first expanded to the South Side in response to the booming economy and population growth of the 1920s. Quiet tree-lined streets were constructed to provide homes to railroad workers and middle class residents employed in Billings’ sectors like oil, healthcare and finance.

Things to Do

Recreational attractions include:

  • South Park – Large park with pool, sports fields, disc golf and more
  • Phipps Park – Tennis courts, playground, flower gardens
  • Rose Park – Neighborhood park and athletic fields
  • Stewart Park – Also easily accessed from South Side

Housing

Variety exists from older craftsman, cottage and bungalow styles built 1920s-1940s to more contemporary homes constructed through present day.

  • Cost: Very affordable, average listing $210k
  • Lot sizes: Average around 7,500 square feet
  • Mostly single family residences, some duplexes

Homes cater towards young couples, families and retirees with mostly ramblers, one and half stories and two-story designs. Yards offer great garden potential.

Livability

South Side appeals to those wanting a laidback residential setting in proximity to parks while avoiding congestion points farther north. Home prices offer great value and appeal to budget-focused buyers. However lack of newer construction and few walkable amenities reduce convenience.

Shiloh Corridor

The Shiloh Corridor refers to the Shiloh Road vicinity bordering Billings’ west edge near the Airport. It upholds some of Billings’ most rapid expansion with convenient airport access.

History

This area remained largely undeveloped ranch land until the late 1990s brought retail big box growth, followed by housing subdivisions as developers tapped into open pasture potential.

Things to Do

New amenities cater towards suburbia:

  • Shiloh Crossing – Strip mall featuring chain restaurants, stores
  • Airport Common Park – Community park
  • Pathways Church – Modern religious campus
  • Shiloh Conservation Area – Riparian preserve

Housing

Recent construction means most homes were built after 2000 ranging from production tract homes to luxury custom estates.

  • Cost: Mid-range, average list price $325k
  • Lot sizes: Average 6,000-8,000 square feet
  • Mix of apartments, townhomes and single family residences

Home styles embrace “Santa Fe” inspired adobe and prairie themes. HOAs maintain rules on architecture elegance and landscaping.

Livability

The Shiloh area provides contemporary suburban living, attracting young professionals and families. New schools address rapid growth in youth population. Quick highway access and proximity to the airport prove convenient but also increase traffic. Lack of overall community history and pedestrian infrastructure reduce small town character.

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Directions

  • Start out going northwest on Main St toward N 28th St. Take the 1st right onto N 28th St. Turn right onto Grand Ave, then quickly turn left to merge onto I-90 W toward Sheridan. Follow I-90 W for approximately 70 miles, then take exit 442 for Blue Creek Rd toward Billings. Turn right onto Blue Creek Rd and the destination will be on your right after about 0.3 miles.
  • Head west on Main St toward N 29th St. Turn right onto N 29th St, followed by a slight left to merge onto I-90 W. Stay on I-90 W, driving for roughly 70 miles, before taking the Blue Creek Rd exit on the right. Take the ramp onto Blue Creek Rd and go straight for 0.3 miles until you arrive at 3910 Blue Creek Rd on your right.
  • Start by getting on I-90 W from Main St. Drive on the interstate for about 70 miles then take exit 442 to merge onto Blue Creek Rd. As soon as you exit, turn right to continue on Blue Creek Rd. 3910 Blue Creek Rd will be around 0.3 miles down the road on your right side. The travel time should be just over an hour from downtown Billings.