Historic Virginia City

Photo by Murray Foubister

Once a bustling mining town, Virginia City, Montana, now hosts more tourists than prospectors. Visitors can enjoy recreational activities and natural beauty in this well preserved blast from the past.

Despite being in Union territory, the town was originally referred to as Varina during the Civil War, after Varina Howell Davis, the First Lady of the Confederate States of America. However, a judge opposed this choice and recorded the official name as Virginia City.

Today, there’s lots to do in what was once the most bustling region in the Fourteen-mile City, the collection of towns that sprung up around the gold deposits along the Alder Gulch. Outdoor activities include panning for gold, touring the historic buildings and taking a ride on the Virginia City Shortline Railroad, which runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

You can also visit on your way to the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park, which is about 1.5 hours away.

For more information about this National Historic Landmark District, visit virginiacity.com.