Outsiders in Missoula usually spend the first 30 minutes wondering where they took a wrong turn; Austin, Texas? Portland, Oregon? Canada, perhaps? The confusion is understandable given the city's lack of standard Montana stereotypes. You'll find few Wild West saloons here and even fewer errant cowboys. Instead, Missoula is a refined university city with ample green space and an abundance of civic pride. Not surprisingly, the metro bounty is contagious. New arrivals have been flocking here for over a decade now, like greedy prospectors to a gold rush-era boomtown. Yet, despite it being one of the fastest growing cities in the US, sensible planning laws mean that Missoula rarely feels clamorous. The small traffic-calmed downtown core broadcasts an interesting array of historic buildings, and bicycles remain a popular method of urban transportation, particularly around the gorgeous university campus.