Happiest Hour 

Missoula Airport Restaurant and Lounge

Atmosphere: Fake ferns, Griz gear and flags above the bar that say, "Welcome to Missoula." The interior decorator won't win any awards. But from a local's perspective, the Airport Lounge is a perfect spot for daydreaming. We like putting on a pair of flip-flops and a flower print shirt before heading there. Dressed like a vacationing tourist, this bar offers a prime view of Missoula International Airport's tarmac. It's a perfect spot to sip a fruity drink and watch planes take off, all the while imagining that we're about to fly away on an epic tropical vacation.

Who you're drinking with: Folks lugging carry-on bags, honeymooning couples making out in the corner and families filling up before taking off.

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What you're drinking: The Airport Lounge offers a full bar. Whiskey and Coke is a favorite, says bartender Rocio Visquez, who, on a recent Wednesday afternoon, hustles to make sure everybody is taken care of before take-off. Local brews like Cold Smoke and Scape Goat are popular for the out-of-towners, too. "They love the local beer," Visquez says. "Moose Drool, I would say, is the most popular." Like most airports, though, drinks are pricey. Moose Drool costs $4.25 and a whiskey and Coke runs $5.

If you're hungry: The Airport Restaurant and Lounge serves up typical Americana cuisine, including club sandwiches with tater tots, burgers and fries, and bacon and eggs.

Where to find it: Take Broadway west 2.6 miles from Reserve Street. Missoula International Airport is on the left. The lounge is in the terminal.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail editor@missoulanews.com.

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