The Heart of Missoula is a perfectly accurate name for this vibrant area coursing with activity, civic involvement, and life.
Downtown Missoula is a bustling center of commerce and activity revered by all Missoulians, but it is also a neighborhood, a home to many residents who relish being in the middle of it all. There are grand historic homes along the east-west streets of Pine, Spruce, and Alder, which are named for native Montana tree species yet lined with other deciduous trees. There are also affordable apartments, high-end condos, and modest bungalows surrounding the downtown proper. Monday through Friday, Heart of Missoulians share their neighborhood with architects, lawyers, business professionals, Forest Service employees, retailers, and restaurateurs. On the weekends people flock from all over to shop, dine, and gather for entertainment. In the spring, summer, and fall the morning farmers’ markets turn over to festivals in Caras Park in the afternoon and evening. In the winter, downtown is still alive with holiday shopping, events, and a homegrown film festival in February. The Heart of Missoula recaptures a sense of neighborhood that pre-dates the 1940′s and 50′s Norman Rockwell vision. This dense area of homes and commerce harkens back to the old Western settlement where community was everywhere you turned and your grocer, banker, and barkeeper were also your neighbors.