The University of Montana is located in Missoula, Montana, which is widely regarded as the cultural capital of Montana. As is the case in several Western States, the "University of" is the liberal arts school, while "State University" is a technical school. For these reasons, the University of Montana both is a cause and effect of the vibrant, artistic culture of Missoula. The students, and the town, are also significantly more liberal than the rest of the state. Of course, football, partying, and other hallmarks of student culture also play a big role.
My sister attended the University of Montana, and from what I understand, the academics of the school are good, and at least much better than many would expect from a public university in a remote, conservative state. One way that the University of Montana exceeds any college I have ever visited, however, is the beauty of the campus. The campus is located right in the corner where the Clark Fork and Mount Sentinel meet, putting it right between the idyllic, elm lined streets of Missoula's college district, and Mount Sentinel, which sharply rises to over one thousand feet above ground level. This also puts the university right next to the infamous Hell Gates.
So, while the University of Montana may not be a "star" university, it still has a good academic program, along with a beautiful campus, incredible recreational opprotunities for the outdoors minded, and a small, yet vibrant community scene surrounding it.