With a population of about 32,000 people, Helena, Montana, is one of the best places to live if you seek to find a perfect blend of city development and suburban living. Helena is the capital of Montana, so it offers many conveniences that a state might offer for visitors and residents alike.
Most residents of Helena own their homes. Many new families and young professionals have chosen to live in Helena over the past few years. As such, coffee shops and bars have sprung up in local neighborhoods.
Best Helena Suburbs for Black Families
Helena is considered a “dense suburban” area, meaning that many people drive to work and that the neighborhoods have some amenities of living near a city, but not all.
Deciding what is most important to your and your family will help prioritize which areas might be the best Helena neighborhoods for Black families. If you seek a small-town vibe with a focus on community and education, then Helena will meet many of your needs.
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side is near various outdoor parks and schools, including Helena Community College and Helena High School, making this community a great place to find affordable housing and raise a family.
The community college offers associate’s degrees in business, health science, and human services. Helena prioritizes educational achievement, and many town residents teach at the college or a public school.
Many restaurants, grocery stores, and businesses are within minutes which helps make this friendly neighborhood an incredibly convenient option. For instance, the Vanilla Bean Bakery offers a selection of espresso beverages and sweet treats.
The North Central Neighborhood surrounds Carroll College, a private liberal arts college with about 1,500 students. Additionally, Centennial Park is adjacent to the campus, and it is one of Helena’s largest parks and includes a dog park, skate park, and paved walking trail.
This community offers residents and visitors alike a chance to tour the Bill Roberts Championship Golf Course. Anyone can try their hand at the driving range, go for a full round on the golf course, or visit the golf course for a cross country ski session during the winter.
Furthermore, the craft beer trend has swept through Helena, and the North Central neighborhood has a few hotspots to visit, including the Lewis & Clark Brewing Company.
Best Helena Neighborhoods for Singles & Young Professionals
Helena is the capital of Montana, so the state legislature convenes annually in the city. If you are a young professional seeking a political career, Helena is a great place to gain invaluable experience.
Additionally, suppose you are a single person seeking a comfortable place to live with socializing opportunities. In that case, these top Helena suburbs for Black singles and young professionals will help you feel right at home. From local bagel shops to craft distilleries, there is an available activity for all types of people at any time!
South Central includes various exciting entertainment options, from the Helena Civic Center to the Last Chance Gulch and the Downtown Walking Mall.
Notably, South Central is proximate to downtown, so numerous eateries, breweries, and cafes line the streets. On some days, there is even a local Farmer’s Market that sells local goods and regional produce. One local beverage that people can find in this neighborhood is a spirit from Gulch Distillers, a distillery offering local vodka, gin, rum, and fernet.
Many houses in South Central are historical, giving the community a distinct charm and vibrant character. Hill Park and Women’s Park are two large green spaces near the Helena Civic Center in South Central.
Lower West Side
The Lower West Side offers lots of rental housing options because it neighbors Carroll College. Furthermore, the Lower West Side is an excellent option if you enjoy hiking because Centennial Trail access points are located in the neighborhood; the trail runs for about two miles.
Additionally, two prominent parks are located within the Lower West Side, Waukesha Park and Barney Park. Both of which are perfect for an afternoon in the sun with a picnic or book.
Many businesses operate near Euclid Avenue, including a sandwich shop called the Staggering Ox and a long-standing local grocery store called Van’s Thriftway.
What is Helena’s Demographic?
As of 2021, just under 35,000 people live in Helena, Montana. The population has been steadily rising since its founding in the 1800s. Helena was established during the Western gold rush, and golddiggers discovered untold amounts of wealth in the area.
Helena is very affordable for either a family or a single person, with the average rental unit costing about $820 and the median value of a house reaching about $245,000. Many people working within the Helena city limits are involved with the educational system via public schools or the local community college.
Of those who live in Helena, the population averages about 40 years old for both men and women. Helena is predominately white, with 94 percent of people in town identifying as such. The population holds less than one percent of people who identify as Black or African American, Asian, or Native American.
Is Helena Safe?
Not only do people feel safe living in Helena, but many also say that the local police are trustworthy and visible. Like many towns across the country, some neighborhoods have a higher safety rating than others, and in Helena, the residents view the eastern portion of the city as safer.
Sadly, drug-related crimes tend to be higher in Helena than property or violent crimes, but recently vandalism has increased.
Generally, Helena is a safe place to live. It is an excellent practice to introduce yourself to the community when you move to town so that you can join any ongoing neighborhood watch and help look out for others in your community.
If you are looking for a predominantly Black neighborhood, Helena and other Montana towns may not be the option for you.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Living in Helena?
One of the significant advantages of living in Helena is that it offers a small-town feel with plenty of accessible amenities that a larger city might offer. Other pros include low tax rates and gorgeous landscapes.
First, the cost of living in Helena is very affordable. Specifically, it is about six percent less expensive to live in Helena than any other city in the county due to Montana’s low tax rates and meager property taxes. Living in Helena allows residents to gain the biggest bang for their buck!
Second, Montana boasts beautiful landscapes and natural scenery. With breathtaking mountains and glaciers, it is an outdoorsman’s dream. Actively exploring nature is a primary reason many people relocate to Helena and the surrounding area.
Unfortunately, it lacks adequate public transportation even for Helena as the state’s capital and a busy metropolis. It is challenging to live in Montana without access to a car. It is challenging to drive in winter due to ice and snow, so access to a four-wheel-drive vehicle becomes increasingly essential.
Top Helena Neighborhoods For Black Families, Conclusion
Helena holds a relatively small population, but because it is the state’s capital, the city provides many amenities for residents, like diverse dining options and access to retail stores.
Additionally, the state’s sales and property taxes are low, which helps your dollar go further. Renting or buying a home is very affordable, a boon to those wanting to start a family or begin their career. Visiting Helena, Montana to explore the city is a significant first step toward relocating with your family or by yourself.
Montana offers a picturesque landscape and is perfect for people who enjoy spending time outdoors. While it might be challenging to travel from place to place without a car, other benefits like the quality educational systems and tight-knit neighborhoods make Helena a good option for Black singles, families, and young professionals.