Billings : Montana


What It Is Like to Retire in Billings

The largest city in Montana, Billings has 117,116 residents (2020 Census). Nicknamed the Magic City, it is located in south central Montana. The city has numerous attractions including an extensive park system with jogging and bike trails, cultural institutions like the pictured Alberta Bair Theater, and several colleges including Montana State University-Billings. The city is growing and the economy unusually strong thanks in part to the Bakken oil play, what has been called the largest oil discovery in U.S. history,  as well as the Heath shale oil play north of Billings. The Yellowstone River runs through the city, and there are 6 mountain ranges in the area, including the Bighorns. Photo of Moss Mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places courtesy of Wikipedia and Carol M. Highsmith (public domain); photo of Snow on the Bighorn Canyon in the North District of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, courtesy of Wikipedia and the National Park Service (public domain); Photo of Pryor Mountains courtesy of Wikipedia and the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior (public domain).


Where to Retire in Billings and Home Prices

There are several interesting neighborhoods in Billing including the Bottom West End Historic District. According to Zillow, the median home value was $345,665, in mid-2022.


What Is Special about Billings

In 2012 the Billings Clinic was awarded #1 best hospital out of 1,459 reviewed by Consumer Reports - a pretty significant honor for a town of just over 100,000.  Billings of course has many other amenities as well, including miles and miles of bicycle and jogging trails, and the Alberta Blair Theatre and Babcock Theaters which have over 2,100 combined seats in their seat performing arts theaters. In addition there are museums and parks, a restored historic downtown, plus the campus of Montana State University Billings.  There is no state sales tax.


What Is Not Special about Billings

Montana is cold in the winter and a long, long way to anywhere else.


Who Will Like Retirement in Billings

People who like the idea of living in the west and having easy access to mountains and wilderness.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Thanks to energy exploration and recovery and no sales tax, the Billings economy is booming.


Climate and Physical Environment

Billings is in south central Montana.  The city is divided by the Rims, long cliffs, also called the Rimrocks. The Yellowstone River runs through a portion of the city, and there are 6 mountain ranges that can be seen from the city, including the Bighorns. The average January temperature is in the mid 20's and the average July temp in the low 70s.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Alberta Blair Theatre and Babcock Theaters which have over 2,100 combined seats in their seat performing arts theaters. There is the Yellowstone Art Museum, the Western Heritage Center, and the Rimrock Opera Company. There are numerous festivals such as the MSU Wine & Food Festival. The Shrine Auditorium is a local concert venue with seats for 2,340.



The crime rate is slightly under the national average.


Medical Facilities

The Billings Clinic is located here and is Montana’s largest independent health care system.


Billings Logan International Airport is located just moments from the heart of downtown; it sits on top of (the Rims), a 500-foot (150 m) cliff overlooking the downtown core. Billings METROpolitan Transit operates the city's bus lines with bike racks and handicapped accessibility. The city operates an extensive system of bike trails including the Heritage Trail System, Bicycling Magazine named Billings one of the 50 most bike friendly cities in the country.


Valuable Links

Billings on Wikipedia

Visitors and Convention Bureau


What people are saying about Billings

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