Getaway Guide: Spend the Perfect Summer Weekend in Loveland, Colorado
Visit Loveland Lake in Loveland, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Visit Loveland.
It’s not very often that you get to run Devil’s Backbone, unleash your inner cowboy, and practice your sommelier skills all in one day. But just 46 miles north of Denver, nestled in the Rocky Mountain Foothills lies the place where all this is possible. In Loveland, Colorado, a mid-size city where exploration and creativity come to life, the perfect Colorado weekend filled with breathtaking views, dance-inducing music, and delicious food is possible. If you are in the mood for an action-packed, culture-filled weekend, head north for the answer to your Colorado weekend plans.
Day 1: Hit the Trails, Taste the Brews, Catch a Show
Whether you’re looking to lace up dirt caked running shoes or strap on a bike helmet, start your morning by hitting some of the legendary trails Loveland has to offer. Head up to Devil’s Backbone Open Space which boasts 12 miles of trails connecting to nearby open spaces, the nearby moderate 22-mile loop cycling loop at Pinewood Reservoir, or the family friendly 1.3-mile Mariana Butte Loop hiking trail. Whatever your fitness level or sport of choice, Loveland has the trail to get you outside and adventuring in the Colorado sunshine.
Grab some lunch in town and tour Loveland’s craft beer scene. With nine craft breweries opening since 2007 and two more set to open this year, there are plenty of delicious brews to quench your thirst while exploring the colorful streets of Loveland. Beer not your thing? The Sweet Heart Winery is one of the most scenic wineries in Colorado, blending passion, patience, and persistence for wine with a complex bouquet and a smooth finish. Try a flight or pair a bottle with a charcuterie tray while taking in views of the Rocky Mountains and of Devil’s Backbone. No matter your flavor, Loveland has a taste for everyone.
After spoiling yourself with some of the unique brews around town, pick up some of the local fare and head over to Fairgrounds Park for dinner with a view. Unpack your picnic and enjoy sounds of the Big Thompson River. When you’re finished, make your way north a few blocks to the Rialto Theater. A 1920’s-era performance venue, the Rialto shows everything from silent films to John Denver tribute bands. Whether your preference is horror films or foot-stomping live music, end your day in Loveland with the locals.
After a day filled with exploring, your body will thank you for finding the perfect lodging option to rest your weary head. Whether you’re looking for a cozy one room cabin or a hotel with plenty of rooms for the whole family, Loveland has options to suit any need- from one of the top Embassy Suites in the world, to romantic getaways, and everything in between.
Day 2: Horseback Riding, Splash around, tour a Sculpture Park
Throw a cowboy hat on and unleash your inner cowboy on the morning of your second day in Loveland. Gallop over to the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch and hop on one of many leisure and scenic rides that are sure to make you feel like you’re in the Old West. Whether you’re a city slicker or an experienced rider, the incredible views are sure to give your Day 2 morning in Loveland the perfect start. Nervous about riding a horse? No need to fear at Sylvan Dale. The majority of their horses were born, raised, and trained at the Ranch, giving them a heightened rate of responsiveness and familiarity to hosting different riders and solid stepping on the trails.
After building up an early morning appetite, head into downtown and snag a hearty breakfast at one of the many diners that are sure to satisfy your cravings. Head over to a few of the Loveland grown restaurants like the Loveland Breakfast Club or Doug’s, where you’ll get that small-town diner feel while filling your belly with food that is sure to make your taste buds sing.
Colorado may be landlocked, but Loveland lets you get beachside while enjoying a breathtaking view of the nearby Rocky Mountain Foothills. With boating, kayaking, SUP’ing, camping, swimming, and fishing, Loveland’s Boyd Lake State Park and Carter Lake County Park can satisfy every splash filled activity. The Lake Loveland Swim Beach, Winona Pool, and Chilson Center also offer family-friendly water excursions.
Wind your perfect Loveland weekend down with a worldly art experience. From sculptures of boisterous musicians to a family of polar bears, the 10-acre Benson Sculpture Garden is laid out in a breathtaking city park and wetland environment. This free sculpture park enjoys the presence of 164 pieces by world-renowned artists. If you haven’t had enough art after perusing the paths off the Benson Sculpture Garden, head to the 26-acre Chapungu Sculpture Park. It’s the only permanent exhibit of its kind in the US and features 82 African stone sculptures carved by artists from Zimbabwe.
One weekend in Loveland, Colorado definitely isn’t enough. For more information, plan your trip with visitlovelandco.org.
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