Sweet Bun Catering’s Christine Lugo-Yergensen suggests visiting this mountain town in late summer, when there is music in the mountains, farmers markets, and plenty of sweets.

Gallatin River rafting in Montana
Gallatin River Rafting. Photo courtesy of Field and Forest for Visit Big Sky.

Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts. Follow along as we learn where to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

Meet the insider: Christine Lugo-Yergensen, owner of Sweet Buns Catering

Sweet Buns Catering's Christine Lugo-Yergensen
Christine Lugo-Yergensen
Photo by Danielle Mullens Photography

The best time to visit this mountain town is after the Fourth of July, according to Christine Lugo-Yergensen. Late summer is replete with music in the mountains, farmers markets, and the like. Start your trip with breakfast at the chef’s patisserie Sweet Buns Catering, where you’ll find fruity pebble macarons. Then, head out to experience more top picks from the local chef and mom of three, who’s working on a book of high-elevation baking recipes.

WHERE TO EAT

Horn and Cantle dinner table in Montana
Horn and Cantle

Lone Mountain Ranch

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Lugo-Yergensen likes to order crab cakes or a soup special at Olive B’s. Or, head to Horn and Cantle, a bar and restaurant serving up dishes like locally foraged cedar plank mushrooms with goat cheese, and bison short ribs.

WHAT TO DO

Ousel Falls
Ousel Falls

Trevor Vannoy

Take the whole family to the Green Bridge for summer fun on the rocks. It’s also a must to float the Madison River. (The Gallatin River is also an option and it’s closer if you’re staying in Big Sky.) Of course, you can’t forget about a hike to Ousel Falls, where Lugo-Yergensen says raspberries and trails abound.

WHERE TO STAY

The Wilson Hotel aerial shot in Big Sky, Montana
The Wilson Hotel

Shawn O’Connor

Lugo-Yergensen helped open The Wilson Hotel, which has a pool and hot tub for relaxing fun. “The staff is super friendly and they go out of their way to help you,” she says.

WHERE TO DRINK

The Rocks Tasting Room food plate in Montana

The Rocks Tasting Room

At The Rocks Tasting Room, you can drink your way through an entire selection of Montana liquor. Plus, “it’s not too expensive,” says Lugo-Yergensen, who likes to order a whiskey ginger ale.

WHERE TO SHOP

Trove West

Courtesy of Trove West

Find a gift for anyone in your life at The Trove West, a boutique with jewelry, home goods, mugs, children’s clothing, and more. Say hi to the owner’s Bernese mountain dogs while you’re there!