Billings, nicknamed the Magic City, is located in Yellowstone County
and it is the county seat. It lies in south-central Montana, east of Bozeman
, along I-90 on the banks of the Yellowstone River
. The city also is near Bighorn National Recreation Area.
In 1877, a trading post and stage station named Coulson were erected near present-day Alkali Creek. In 1882, the Northern Pacific Railroad surveyed the area and renamed it for Frederick Billings, a former president of the railroad.
Today, Billings, population 126,158 (est. 1998), is the state's largest city and an agricultural, retail and business center. Nearby points of interest include Little Bighorn Battlefield, Yellowstone National Park, two Indian reservations and numerous outdoor recreational options. Attractions include the downtown historic district and the J.K. Ralston Cabin on the Rocky Mountain College campus. Montana State University also has a campus here.
Billings is part of the Billings, Montana metro area.