Grateful to be in Montana

The New Year is always an opportunity to reflect, set goals & count your blessings. I’m big on counting my blessings everyday & I thought I’d do my first blog of 2018 about the top ten things I love about living in South Central Montana. (in no particular order!)

Community: In a town our size, by the time the word is out that there is a family or person in need, someone is organizing how they can help them! Would you like to volunteer? Need a new playground? There’s a group for that. Need more walking paths? There’s a group for that. Want to preserve history? There’s a group for that. The list of non-profits and ways to help make our communities better is abundant. Want to meet people in your community? Join one of these groups!!!

Small towns- Big business opportunites: While we have a host of small towns here, we have some amazing big businesses that are great neighbors: Stillwater mining company is one of the largest employers in the state and they are located right here in Stillwater/Sweetgrass and Yellowstone counties. Montana Silversmiths, is famous around the country and especially in the rodeo scene. We have a brand new hospital in both Columbus & Red Lodge. Billings is an easy commute and is our largest city in Montana – our job scene is pretty amazing.

Schools: My kids grew up and went to school in Columbus from pre-school through high school. They had a great experience here and I always felt no matter which school district we would have put them in here they would have had the same opportunities; super teachers, caring staff, bountiful academic & sports opportunities and great groups of friends.

The scenery: I swear, I have to leave extra time whenever I go anywhere because there is always something I am stopping to take a picture of.  It is like eye candy wherever you look. You know how they always say Hawaii has the best sunsets? No way! Our sunrises and sunsets here are outstanding.

sunset 300x225 - Grateful to be in Montana

The mountains: Not only are they incredible to look at, but I’m certain I could live another 100 years and never explore them thoroughly. The Crazies, Beartooths, & Pryors offer hiking, fishing, skiing, camping, horse back riding, hunting, & atving, snowmobiling, just to name a few things to do.

feature welcome post 300x141 - Grateful to be in Montana

The rivers: Whether you like to float (raft, kayak, inner tube), fish or rock hunt – we’ve got it all over our area! It is my favorite place to be in the summer and it costs hardly anything to do!

IMGP8923 300x225 - Grateful to be in Montana

Small town businesses: I love being able to get almost anything I need here in Columbus as far as necessities. From hardware, flowers, groceries & building supplies to plumbers, builders & electricians & of course real estate professionals, we have the best! Can’t find it here? Most places will order it for you. Or, run to Billings, it is just 30 minutes down the road.

Healthcare – need to run in to the Dr? We have an amazing staff here in Columbus. The folks at the clinic & the hospital will take the best care of you. If you need ramped up care, Billings is the major medical hub for our area, and they will refer you down there to the specialist you need! Need to fill your prescription, just walk over to the Health Mart pharmacy right here in town and grab it.

The people: I love walking into the store, restaurant or the local bar and saying hello to ten people I know! Except Sunday morning when I’m trying to sneak in and grab something I need and I don’t have any make up on & haven’t combed my hair – then I see everyone I know.

Our location:  What about our proximity to Yellowstone National Park?  We are an hour from it!  Plus you can run up to Glacier National Park or Jackson Hole in a weekend.  These are places people travel from all over the world to see!

It was hard to keep this list to 10 –  cheers to a new year living in the last best place! (if you don’t already live here, I know a gal that can help you with that). I would love to hear your favorite things about living in  or visiting South Central Montana.  Blogging about the amazing place I live is one of my 2018 goals.   May this year bring you good health, incredible opportunities and all the fun you can squeeze in to a year!

Jill Exner, Broker, CRS, GRI

Parks Real Estate

You may contact Jill by phone at 406-321-0832 or email

2x3 Jill Exner - Grateful to be in Montana