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Road Trip Ideas for Billings

Here's what you need to know...
  • Billings is located near Yellowstone National Park
  • Montana has specific laws regarding insurance coverage and proof of financial responsibility
  • Check with your company to ensure that you have the right protection for a rental or a travel trailer

The town of Billings was founded in March 1882, and it is currently home to more than 110,000 people. It’s growing rapidly and has a strong economy. The region was explored by Lewis and Clark in July of 1806, and a rock bearing Clark’s signature is the only remaining physical evidence of this historic event.

Billings started out as a railroad town due to its strategic location. Prior to the railroads, goods moved through the region on paddle riverboats. It was a typical Wild West town with plenty of saloons and an absence of churches.

The presence of the railroad allowed the town to grow over the following decades.

Homesteaders arrived in the area to claim the free land, and they eventually developed successful farms despite the first few years that were very difficult. Abundant natural resources also made it easy for people to develop the land and thrive.

If you are looking to visit Billings, make sure you are covered before hitting the road. Enter your ZIP code above and start comparison shopping today!

Things To See and Do in Billings

Montana is known for the wide open spaces, and there’s plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy. The area has something for everyone in the family, including plenty of outdoor activities, beautiful gardens, an ice arena, historic centers, and shopping districts.

Great area attractions include:

  • Downtown State Park
  • PAYS Auction Yards
  • The Reef Waterpark

One of the best-known attractions in this area is Yellowstone National Park.

Established in 1872, this historic and nationally known park spreads through Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

If you decide to tour Yellowstone by car, be sure that your insurance is updated and has the right coverage. This region is home to grizzly bears, bison, elk, and wolves. The animals generally leave people alone, but you may want to invest in the highest level of coverage with a comprehensive plan.

Yellowstone National Park

Generally considered the first established national park, Yellowstone encompasses more than 3,450 square miles. The park features lakes, canyons, rivers, geysers, and impressive mountain ranges that have been enjoyed by countless people through the years.

More than 900 miles of hiking trails are available, and you can drive your vehicle into several areas of the park.

There are many different mammals, birds, fish, reptile, and amphibian species living in this park, including several endangered or threatened species. Overall, the park is 63 miles long and 54 miles wide.

There are several roads going through Yellowstone, and you can easily access the park off Route 212 just southwest of the city. You can follow the Grand Loop to see a good deal of the park, including visitor centers, museums, scenic paths, and boardwalks.

If you’ve traveled to the region by air, then you may want to rent a car for your excursion.

Planning A Road Trip to Billings

Planning a road trip requires more forethought than just booking a few hotels and packing your bags. There are several considerations you’ll need to keep in mind, including meals, rest breaks, and sights you may want to see along the way.

Here are some tips to help you safely travel through the state and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

  • Break out the map to break up the trip – Identify the areas you want to visit along the way. Some of the best breaks involve a little tourist attraction where you can stretch your legs, pick up some local culture, and maybe even learn something new. You’ll need more time to get to your destination, but you’ll make the most of your trip along the way.
  • Discuss the plans with traveling partners ahead of time – You like to go through a full tank of gas before stopping, but your wife wants to set stops according to the clock. This contradicting schedule can lead to problems if you don’t have a discussion before heading out. The trip can be more enjoyable when everyone knows the traveling plans ahead of time.
  • Keep it loose and flexible – A plan is a great thing until you start stressing out over staying on the schedule. Let yourself have some flexibility to skip an attraction that turns out to be a dud or stop for an unexpected find along the way.
  • Pack lightly – You’ll save on gas and you’ll have room for new collections along the way. You may find that it’s worth it to wash your clothes at a local laundromat rather than trying to pack an extra suitcase.

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To Rent A Car or Not

Billings is in a sprawling area, so you’ll definitely want to be prepared with some transportation. There are several transportation companies offering services within the city and surrounding areas, and the fees for the MET Transit system are generally quite affordable.

However, you may want to have your own car so that you can set the schedule without worrying about bus times.

It will also be easier to take some outdoor gear and meals along when you can pack a trunk. Take some time to determine what attractions you’d like to visit, and then ask yourself if public transportation will work or if you need to rent a car.

Even if you’re driving to the city, you may still want to go with a rental car rather than your own daily commuter. When making this decision, consider your:

  • Average MPG – If you can rent a car with a better mileage per gallon rating, then you’ll save substantially on gas
  • Interior Seating – Putting the three kids across the back row is fine for a local trip, but you may prefer a minivan for going across the country
  • Cargo Space – Rather than putting your stuff on the roof of the car, you can eliminate the tourist look by going with a car
  • Car Age – Older, high-mileage cars are simply more likely to break down. However, you can rent a new car for the peace of mind

If you decide to rent a car, then talk to your insurance provider about coverage. If you’re not protected, then you can shop around for a temporary insurance plan that will protect you while on vacation.

Montana Auto Insurance Requirements

If you’re pulled over in Billings, be prepared to provide the officer with your proof of insurance, along with vehicle registration and your driver’s license.

Vehicles that are driven on Montana roads must meet certain minimum coverage limits, including:

  • $25,000 bodily injury or death per accident involving a single person
  • $50,000 bodily injury or death per accident involving two or more people
  • $10,000 liability coverage for property damage

In lieu of insurance, you may be able to get a bond to show proof of financial responsibility.

Driving in Montana


The state also has some unique driving laws that you should be aware of. Montana has some high-speed limits in different areas, including 80 miles per hour on the interstate.

However, when you get into a larger urban center like Billings, the speed limit will drop to 65 miles per hour. Two-lane roads are typically 70 mph in the daytime and 65 mph at night.

Montana is an implied consent state. If an officer has reason to believe that you are driving under the influence, then you automatically consent to a blood test or breathalyzer.

Refusing to take the test can result in serious consequences, including license suspension. If you’re arrested in another state for DUI and have your license suspended, then the consequences will extend to your home state.

Montana also has a law stating that you must move into the right lane if you’re driving slower than normal traffic. The so-called “move over” law aims to protect officers and first responders by requiring people to slow down and change lanes so that they won’t pass directly next to people on the side of the road.

Places To See Just Outside Billings

This region is rich in geological formations, and the Rimrocks is one of the top destinations in the area. The elevation provides you with a stunning view of Billings, and the sunsets are amazing.

Pictograph Cave State Park allows you to take a peek back through time. Walking trails make it easy to get to the cave, and the scenery is beautiful. It’s also close to Billings, so that makes it a convenient stop along your travels.

Traveling With a Camper

If you love camping in style, then make sure that your travel trailer has the right coverage. Your vehicle insurance generally includes liability coverage for a trailer that you’re towing.

However, liability coverage won’t cover any damage to your camper, and there’s zero coverage on the camper once it’s disconnected from your vehicle.

If you’re going to travel to Billings with a fifth wheel or little camper behind you, then make sure you get the right insurance coverage on it.

A special rider is typically required to ensure that your camper and belongings are all insured.

When it’s time to start planning your next family vacation, look to Billings, Montana for family-friendly entertainment that’s also educational. There’s plenty to do in this region, and you can make an adventure out of the trip itself.

If you are planning a road trip to Billings soon, having the right auto insurance coverage is essential to a safe, memorable vacation.

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