Welcome to Loveland, Colorado, a hidden gem nestled in the picturesque Larimer County. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or a foodie, Loveland offers a delightful array of experiences that will make your visit truly unforgettable. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deeper into the top attractions and activities in Loveland, Colorado, ensuring you have a rich and immersive exploration of this charming city.
Things to Do in Loveland, Colorado
1. Loveland Sculpture Garden
Kickstart your Loveland adventure with a visit to the renowned Loveland Sculpture Garden. This outdoor gallery is a testament to Loveland’s commitment to the arts. You’ll find an impressive collection of sculptures from local and international artists, each piece telling a unique story. As you stroll through the garden, you’ll not only appreciate the art but also the serene natural surroundings that enhance the overall experience.
2. Benson Sculpture Garden
Art lovers, don’t miss the chance to explore the equally captivating Benson Sculpture Garden. With over 150 sculptures nestled in beautifully landscaped grounds, it’s a haven for those seeking artistic inspiration. Take your time to wander amidst these art pieces, each with its own narrative waiting to be discovered.
3. Devil’s Backbone Open Space
For those seeking adventure in nature, head over to the mesmerizing Devil’s Backbone Open Space. This natural wonderland offers miles of hiking and biking trails with stunning rock formations as your backdrop. The Devil’s Backbone is a geological marvel, providing breathtaking views that are perfect for both seasoned hikers and casual explorers. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring vistas.
4. Boyd Lake State Park
Boyd Lake State Park is a paradise for water enthusiasts. The shimmering lake is an idyllic spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. Bring a picnic and spend a day by the water’s edge with your loved ones, enjoying the tranquility of this natural oasis.
5. Taste Loveland
No visit to Loveland would be complete without savoring its culinary delights. Loveland boasts a thriving culinary scene that emphasizes locally-sourced ingredients and a dedication to flavor. Explore the local restaurants and breweries to savor delicious dishes and craft beers that capture the essence of Colorado’s gastronomic offerings.
6. Loveland Museum/Gallery
Immerse yourself in Loveland’s rich culture and history at the Loveland Museum/Gallery. This institution houses a diverse collection of art and historical artifacts, providing insights into the city’s evolution. You can explore fascinating exhibits that showcase Loveland’s past, from its early settlers to its vibrant arts scene.
7. Chapungu Sculpture Park
The Chapungu Sculpture Park is another art lover’s paradise. This unique park has an African theme and features a wide range of stone sculptures set within a serene landscape. It’s a peaceful place for reflection and an opportunity to appreciate art from different cultures.
8. The Promenade Shops at Centerra
Indulge in some retail therapy at The Promenade Shops at Centerra. This shopping and dining destination offers a plethora of stores, boutiques, and restaurants. Whether you’re hunting for souvenirs or simply looking for a relaxing afternoon of shopping, you’ll find it here.
9. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch
For a taste of the Old West, plan a visit to the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. This working ranch offers a unique opportunity to experience horseback riding, guided tours, and a glimpse into Colorado’s ranching history. It’s a great way to step back in time and appreciate the region’s rich heritage.
Things to Do Near Loveland, Colorado
While Loveland itself offers a plethora of attractions and activities, there are also exciting opportunities in the surrounding areas:
1. Rocky Mountain National Park
A short drive from Loveland lies the majestic Rocky Mountain National Park. This iconic national park is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering stunning mountain scenery, wildlife sightings, and countless hiking trails. Spend a day exploring this natural wonderland, and you’ll understand why it’s one of Colorado’s crown jewels.
2. Fort Collins
A neighboring city worth exploring is Fort Collins. Known for its vibrant downtown, craft breweries, and a thriving arts scene, Fort Collins offers a diverse array of experiences. Take a stroll through Old Town Fort Collins, sample local brews, and immerse yourself in the city’s lively atmosphere.
3. Estes Park
Just a short drive away is the charming town of Estes Park, often referred to as the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Explore its unique shops, dine at cozy restaurants, and take in the breathtaking mountain vistas. Don’t miss the chance to visit the historic Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King’s “The Shining.”
4. Brewery Tours
Colorado is renowned for its craft beer culture, and Loveland is no exception. Consider taking brewery tours in Loveland and neighboring cities to taste a variety of local brews. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Colorado’s brewing heritage.
5. Loveland Bike Trail
Rent a bike and embark on a scenic ride along the Loveland Bike Trail. This well-maintained trail winds through picturesque landscapes, offering a leisurely ride for cyclists of all levels. You’ll find yourself immersed in the natural beauty of the area, making it a perfect outdoor activity.
1. Plan Ahead
- Check the Weather: Colorado’s weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the forecast before your trip. Pack accordingly, especially if you plan on outdoor activities.
- Book Accommodation Early: Loveland is a popular destination, especially during the peak tourist seasons. To secure the best lodging options, book your accommodation well in advance.
2. Embrace the Outdoors
- Wear Comfortable Shoes: If you’re planning to explore Loveland’s natural attractions or go hiking, comfortable and sturdy shoes are a must. The terrain can be rugged in some areas.
- Stay Hydrated: The high altitude in Colorado can lead to dehydration more quickly. Always carry a water bottle and stay hydrated, especially when engaging in outdoor activities.
- Pack Layers: Dressing in layers allows you to adapt to changing weather conditions, from chilly mornings to warm afternoons.
3. Experience the Arts
- Art Galleries: Take your time exploring the various art galleries and sculpture gardens in Loveland. Don’t rush through; allow yourself to appreciate the creativity of local and international artists.
- Art Supplies: If you’re an artist or an art enthusiast, consider bringing a sketchbook or camera to capture your own creative inspiration in Loveland.
4. Culinary Delights
- Local Cuisine: Savor the local flavors by dining at Loveland’s restaurants. Look for dishes featuring Colorado-sourced ingredients and try a variety of craft beers.
- Farmers’ Markets: If you’re in Loveland during the weekend, check out the local farmers’ markets for fresh produce and artisanal products.
5. Explore Nearby Areas
- Day Trips: Take advantage of Loveland’s strategic location by planning day trips to nearby attractions like Rocky Mountain National Park, Fort Collins, and Estes Park. These neighboring destinations offer diverse experiences.
- Travel Essentials: If you plan to explore beyond Loveland, make sure to have maps, navigation apps, and a well-maintained vehicle, especially if you venture into the mountains.
6. Respect Nature and Wildlife
- Leave No Trace: When enjoying outdoor activities, practice Leave No Trace principles by cleaning up after yourself and minimizing your impact on the environment.
- Wildlife Watching: If you encounter wildlife, maintain a safe distance and observe them from afar. Never feed wild animals.
7. Stay Informed
- Visitor Centers: Visit the local visitor centers in Loveland for maps, brochures, and up-to-date information about attractions, events, and road conditions.
- COVID-19 Updates: Stay informed about any COVID-19-related guidelines or restrictions that may be in place during your visit.
8. Capture Memories
- Photography: Loveland offers numerous scenic spots for photography. Don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture the beauty of the city and its surroundings.
- Journaling: Consider keeping a travel journal to document your experiences, thoughts, and memories from Loveland.
9. Engage with the Community
- Attend Local Events: Check out the local event calendar for festivals, art exhibitions, and community gatherings. Engaging with the local community can enhance your experience.
- Support Local Businesses: Show your appreciation for Loveland by supporting local businesses, from shops and restaurants to art galleries and breweries.
10. Relax and Enjoy
- Take It Slow: Loveland is a place to unwind and appreciate the beauty of both nature and art. Don’t rush your visit; take time to relax and soak in the atmosphere.
- Enjoy Sunsets: Colorado sunsets can be breathtaking. Find a scenic spot to watch the sun go down and savor the moment.
“Loving Colorado” isn’t just a phrase; it’s a sentiment that encapsulates the spirit of Loveland residents and their deep appreciation for their state. The love for nature, the arts, culture, and community is evident in every corner of Loveland. It’s a place where you can embrace the Colorado lifestyle and create cherished memories.