With all the smoke this summer, many tourists and non-Montana residents might not have noticed, but Big Sky Country is a pretty dang cool place. CNN thinks so too.

Last week, big-time national news leader CNN complied a list of 12 reasons why you should stop what you doing, and visit the "Big Sky wonderland" as soon as possible. I've only named my top four favorite, but definitely don't miss your chance to see these amazing pictures online here.

 

  • 1

    Lakeside Views

    There isn't a town in Montana, I feel like, where you can't find some type of lake...There's Flathead Lake, Seeley-Swan, heck, Missoula even used to be a lake. Fishing, boating, swimming, you name it, and we Montanans are doin' it.

    Photo courtesy of GNP
  • 2

    Bird Watching

    This is one of my favorite things to do with my grandma. She even has a bird book! (I know it's corny, but how adorable, right...). Especially during the summer time, you're bound to find more than at least four of the same bird in one setting. CNN says there's a whopping 400 species of birds just in our state alone. Dang.

    Photo courtesy of Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images
  • 3

    The Wilma Theatre

    If you are traveling to Missoula, or already live in the Garden City like me, it's hard not to admire the Wilma. I've been to many-a-concert at this venue, with many more to come. Built in 1921 and under new ownership, the Wilma features not just concerts, but movies and the home to the Big Sky Film Festival.

    Photo courtesy of The Wilma/Facebook
  • 4

    The Big, Open Sky

    "Big Sky Country" is not just a nickname, it's truly a Montana lifestyle. The openness of our state makes sunsets, sunrises, and bluebird, cloudless days hard to beat. There's wide open spaces galore, with mountains in plain view, and star gazing with the Aurora Borealis at night. What's not to love?