This past summer we did a lot of camping, including at the Bridge Bay Campground in southern Yellowstone.
The gem of our lodging on this trip was a spendy eco-lodge in Gardiner, Montana. If you read this blog frequently, you might recognize Gardiner. We talk about it a lot. It's a small town just outside the northern boundary of Yellowstone. It's two hours from Old Faithful but less than an hour to Lamar Valley and about an hour to Canyon village. When we are in Yellowstone, we spend most nights out in Lamar Valley watching sunsets and wildlife. Aside from inside-the-park lodging, Gardiner gets us as close as we can be to that. Unlike park lodging, it also gives access to a variety of restaurants and a grocery store. Lodging in the park can be hit or miss with some places outdated and all places expensive. There's not necessarily only one 'right' place to stay when you visit Yellowstone but this is a great option.
We've stayed in a basement AirBNB in Gardiner as well as the Best Western. Both were fine but nothing worth recommending.
The Wonderland Lodge deserves mention by name, though. Less than 10 minutes after walked in, I was scheming about our next trip to Gardiner just to stay here again. The place was so clean and fresh with perfect style and just enough space to spread out and a kitchen for cooking. We've actually already booked a room for a few nights for next summer!
In addition to lodging, the town of Gardiner has a grocery store with reasonable prices (for a tourist town) and many restaurants. We enjoyed the Yellowstone Pizza Company and have heard great things about the restaurant under the Wonderland Ecolodge itself. If you are new to the Yellowstone area, stop in at the Yellowstone Forever building to get advice, book tours, or find souvenirs. You can also visit the Roosevelt Arch!
***This was not a sponsored post but if you do book through AirBnB using this link we can get a credit if you are a first time booker.***