Things to do around Loveland (a land where there’s a lot to love)
The phrase “small town pleasures” conjures up the thought of a quaint and colorful, but rather short, list of things to see and do. Loveland has a fair amount of quaint and even more colorful. But this town’s list of culinary, cultural and natural adventures is as tall as Longs Peak. You can happily spend days and days getting to know the charms of Loveland. And we heartily recommend that you do just that.
So what is Loveland, Colorado known for?
A lot, actually. Outdoor sculpture and art galleries galore. All the outdoor fun that comes with being at the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Then there’s dining and shopping and craft brewing and so much more. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
ART AND CULTURE
The art scene in Loveland is varied and long-established, offering everything from outdoor sculpture to big-time concerts to local galleries. In fact, there are so many working artists in Loveland, they account for over 5% of the total labor force.
Chapungu Sculpture Park
Located right here in Centerra, the Chapungu Sculpture Park is the largest permanent outdoor exhibit of Zimbabwean Shona stone sculpture in the U.S. It’s also one of Loveland’s favorite outdoor music venues and colorful botanical gardens.
Benson Park Sculpture Garden
One of Loveland’s most cherished attractions is a 10-acre park where you can enjoy over 150 works in bronze, stone, ceramic, glass, wood and other media.
In a building designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s students, you’ll find over 800 works by members of the National Sculpture Guild as well as paintings from 50 celebrated artists, both local and national.
Art and history come together in a museum that features rotating exhibits encompassing thousands of works.
Originally a silent movie theater, the Rialto is now a performing arts venue where you can enjoy local and nationally touring musicians, comedians and other performers.
Budweiser Event Center
A 7,500-seat regional venue that welcomes everyone from Cirque du Soleil to the Colorado Eagles hockey team to Alice Cooper.
We can’t talk about outdoor adventure without mentioning that Loveland is barely 35 miles from the world-famous Rocky Mountain National Park. But you don’t even have to go that far to get into some honest-to-goodness Colorado nature.
High Plains Environmental Center
This is the wild heart of the Centerra — a non-profit organization that’s demonstrating how to create habitat for native plants and animals right within our communities. Its demonstration gardens, heritage fruit orchard and native plant nursery are open to the public.
Devil’s Backbone Open Space
Even for people who’ve lived here a long time, it’s amazing how a 10-minute drive will take you from downtown Loveland to this place of towering rock formations, colorful wildflowers and deep Colorado history. Bring your mountain bike, your horse or just a good pair of hikers.
Rivers Edge Natural Area
Whether you’re looking for a pleasant way to spend a lunch hour or a whole Saturday afternoon, Rivers Edge will fit the bill with ponds, trails, picnic areas and a boardwalk along the Big Thompson River … right in central Loveland.
Mariana Butte Trail
It’s only 1.3 miles long, but this trail network offers great opportunities for birdwatching, trail-running and panoramic picture-taking.
OUTDOOR FUN WITH WATER
With so many recreational waters so close to town — or in town — Loveland could have been called Lakeland.
Houts Reservoir and Equalizer Lake
Hop onto a trail or into a kayak to enjoy Centerra’s picturesque Lake District. While you’re here, you can drop by the High Plains Environmental Center.
Boyd Lake State Park
Just on the other side of Boyd Lake Avenue from Centerra, Boyd Lake State Park gives you 1,700 acres of wide-open water, perfect for fishing, sailing, waterskiing, you name it.
The lake isn’t big, just 47 acres. But tucked into the foothills just west of town, it’s a quietly enchanting place to bring a picnic, pitch a tent or cast a line. (Btw while you’re waiting for a trout to bite, you just might see a moose.)
Go a few miles farther west and about 1,000 feet higher up from Flatiron, and you find the gem called Pinewood Reservoir. And the road here is one of the best motorcycle rides in Northern Colorado.
SHOPS AND EATS
Loveland, and especially Centerra, is the shopping and dining hub of Northern Colorado. You could say this where you go to experience the great indoors.
The Marketplace at Centerra
A convenient blend of top national retailers, great local shops, helpful services and more than a dozen tasty eateries.
The Promenade Shops at Centerra
More than 60 stores, a dozen restaurants and a movie theater, all just steps from Chapungu Sculpture Park.
If you’re looking for local flavor, you’ll find it in abundance. Everything from music and entertainment to steaks, cajun and pub fare. All served up with local love.
ALL THINGS FERMENTED
Northern Colorado has become a mecca for brewing. But it does pretty well with the fruit of the vine, too.
Mountain Cowboy Brewing Company
Newly opened at the Kinston Hub in Centerra, Mountain Cowboy offers a delectable variety of craft brews on tap. Or, if it’s a bit too early in the day, treat yourself to a handcrafted espresso drink and a pastry.
Big Beaver Brewing Company
Brewed with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients and a dedication to the more difficult old-world methods, Big Beaver has a selection of 16 beers on tap every day.
Grimm Brothers Brew House
Specializing in the traditional brews of Europe, Grimm Brothers has a reputation for its finely crafted beers and its German-inspired food. Jawohl!
It began as a hobby in their garage. But it’s grown into a winery and event center that deserves the attention of any wine lover. Beautifully situated on the banks of the Big Thompson.
NEED A PLACE TO STAY?
With its four great hotels, Centerra has you comfortably covered.
SO IS LOVELAND, COLORADO WORTH VISITING?
As you can see from the list above, Loveland is most definitely worth a visit. And for even more ideas on things to do in Loveland, check out some of our other blogs:
Top 5 things to do in Northern Colorado for family fun
Top 5 things to do in Northern Colorado for adventurous adults
Top 5 things to do in Northern Colorado for singles
Top 5 things to do in Northern Colorado for seniors