Best Things to do in Virginia City: Frozen in time, this ghost town will transport you back to the 1800s. Virginia City is Montana’s oldest mining town with an intriguing history. It became famous in the mid-1880s when a group of six men discovered gold in the Alder Gulch.
As the news spread, settlers came in the hope of making their fortunes with the gold rush. With this influx of people, the population of the town grew and it was eventually made the territorial capital of Montana.
However, as the gold depleted and when the government moved its capital to Helena, people abandoned the town and the population dropped. What was once a bustling town was left with empty buildings & silent streets.
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It was in the 1940s that Charles & Sue Bovey started buying buildings in this old town to preserve its historical importance.
They renovated these old structures & Virginia became a tourist destination over time.
You’ll find over 150 buildings well-preserved from the late 1800s, making you feel like nothing has changed over the years. There are many haunted experiences that people have reported having in this fascinating town.
So, whether you’re a history buff or just curious to find out what’s so special about this place, you’ll love to explore Virginia City Montana, a ghost town.
List of the best Things to do in Virginia City: –
Explore the Virginia City Historic District #1
This district is home to the Alder Gulch, where gold was discovered, and numerous historical buildings. You can visit the mining pits in Alder Gulch to get a glimpse of how thousands of miners searched for gold.
As you stroll, you’ll also find plenty of shops, restaurants, and galleries. There’s a barbershop from 1863, the Montana post that printed the territory’s first newspaper as well as an outdoor museum.
Outside the historic shops, you will find sign boards depicting their history. How intriguing!
Other notable highlights include the Original Madison Courthouse, Territorial Governor’s Mansion, The Thompson Hickman Library & Museum, and The Hangman’s building.
Take a Horse Carriage Ride #2
If you’re traveling with your partner, this is one of the most romantic things to do in this historic town. Tour Virginia’s historic district in a beautiful horse carriage and listen to the experts tell the intriguing story of this fascinating place.
You can book a dinner, enjoy sunset views of the city and even add personalization to surprise your special someone. Looking out at the scenic views from the carriage windows will elevate the charm of your evening.
If you’re traveling during winter, you can also opt for sleigh rides to glide around the town, making for a fun outing.
Enjoy a show by Montana’s oldest professional acting group #3
What used to be a livery stable in the 1890s got transformed into the Opera House in 1949, entertaining visitors with its delightful shows. The Virginia City Players come here every summer to perform.
They are Montana’s oldest professional acting group. They have a two-part show depicting melodrama and vaudeville.
Sit back, grab a snack and revel in their good-natured humour for a fun outing with the family.
Pamper yourself with tempting delicacies #4
There is no dearth of restaurants in Virginia City that serve scrumptious meals.
Craving some steak?
Head to the Wells Fargo Steakhouse. It is a historical building from the 1880s and serves the best steaks in Montana.
You can also order pasta & meatballs amongst other popular choices. They host live events, making it the perfect place for a memorable evening.
Another popular restaurant is the Virginia City Cafe. Choose from their range of indulgent items including pancakes, muffins, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and many more.
If you’re a pizza lover, try out Bob’s Place which serves the best pizzas in town. There’s so much variety here that you’ll want to have it all.
Get the gold rush vibe with Gold Panning #5
Love the idea of treasure hunts?
Go for gold mining panning adventures in Alder Gulch where you’ll learn how to pan for gold and other precious stones.
Found something interesting? You can collect it in a vial to remember this day by.
There’s also a gift shop if you wish to buy some souvenirs, the most popular being unique rocks.
Go on a Ghost tour #6
The Bozeman Paranormal Society testified to having paranormal experiences in Virginia City. From seeing apparitions by the Hanging House and at the cemetery, to hearing unknown voices in the Opera House, there are many instances of such experiences.
To know more about the spirits that roam the city’s streets, you can take a guided ghost tour. There are even self-guided walks to experience the mysterious vibe of this town.
With so many things to do, Virginia City, a living ghost town offers a one-of-its-kind experience for visitors.
So, head to this intriguing place for an unforgettable vacation.
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Q. Is Virginia City Montana worth visiting?
With an incredible history & a plethora of activities to do such as gold panning, hiking, carriage tours, and much more, this living ghost town is definitely worth a visit.
Q. When was gold found in Virginia City Montana?
It was discovered in Alder Gulch in 1963.
Q. Do people live in Virginia City Montana?
The city has a population of around 223. It offers a rural vibe to its residents.