Located about an hour north of downtown Denver just west of Interstate 25, Longmont is a city of about 85,000 residents that straddles the border between Boulder and Weld Counties.
Though Longmont is the 13th most populous city in the state, in many ways, it’s light-years away from the big city to the south. It’s the perfect home base from which to enjoy the Rocky Mountain State for those who long for fresh air, mountain recreation, and endless vistas.
Day-trips into Denver are easily doable for those interested in taking advantage of the city’s cultural and historical attractions, but countless options abound within Longmont city limits too.
Below are 14 things to do in and around Longmont, Colorado.
1. Art in Public Places
Art in Public Places is a unique approach to spiffing up the city and is a coordinated effort between municipal officials and local artists and art lovers, whose work has added a trendy and appealing new vibe to much of the downtown area.
Most of the commissioned art uses the ugly green electrical boxes found around the city, and informal art walks have become popular ways to check them all out.
The downtown area is full of restaurants, shops, and bars that are worth a look; they’re a big draw in the afternoons and evenings when they’re offering food and drink deals to happy hour revelers.
2. Sandstone Ranch Park
Comprised of more than 300 acres near central Longmont, Sandstone Ranch Park is open year-round and offers visitors both recreational and historical attractions.
The park’s visitor and interactive learning centers are housed in a 1860s-era homestead that’s been restored to near original condition.
The center is full of interesting exhibits that touch on the area’s settlement, culture, and economy, and there’s lots of locally produced art as well.
The park entrance is located on Highway 119, and there are a variety of nature trails with stunning mountain vistas.
It’s common to see animals from the ranch’s trails, especially during the lowlight morning and afternoon hours.
3. Wibby Brewing
Longmont’s Wibby Brewing is one of the city’s newest craft breweries, but it’s already attracted quite a loyal following among local suds aficionados.
Wibby’s founder spent years working at some well-known craft breweries before venturing out on his own. His business is located in a building that was once part of a now-defunct corporate turkey processing plant.
Featuring a variety of German and American style brews with both traditional and contemporary flavor profiles, it boasts a family and pet-friendly environment. The lot is often full of food trucks serving-up tasty street food that compliments beer nicely.
4. Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain
Whoever Ron Stewart is or was, he must have done a few things right because there’s a massive mountain preserve in Longmont, Colorado that’s named after him.
The Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain spans nearly 3,000 acres that run along the Rocky Mountain foothills, and they’ve been a protected area since 1984.
Outdoorsy visitors have access to a network of nature trails, most of which fall in the easy to moderately difficult range, making them appropriate for most guests.
The area abounds with animals like elk, coyotes, and prairie dogs that are particular favorites of most animal-loving children.
5. The Longmont Museum
The Longmont Museum features a unique and entertaining mix of art, history, science, and events that make it a popular attraction for those with a variety of tastes.
The museum is located inside an architecturally unique building. In addition to its permanent exhibits, it often hosts temporary ones from other institutions and private collections.
Many of the museum’s exhibits are interactive, meaning they promote engagement and activity, which is great for young minds in need of stimulation.
Live concerts, dramatic performances, annual festivals, and kid-centered events and programs round-out the museum’s activity options.
Check their website for a full list of what’s going on.
6. The Agricultural Heritage Center
Agriculture has always played a big part in Colorado’s economy. For much of the state’s existence, this was a vital means of self-sufficiency before there were grocery and convenience stores on every corner.
The Agricultural Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and promoting the region’s rural farming and pioneer cultures; it’s an especially interesting stop for those visiting from other parts of the country.
The center is located inside the historic home of a 1860s pioneer who came to Longmont in search of his fortune in gold.
The site includes a blacksmith’s workshop, barns, and live farm animals during the warm summer months.
7. The Dougherty Museum
The Dougherty Museum is bit of local Americana that’s located on North 107th Street in Longmont; it houses the collection of an eccentric local farmer who had a passion for cars.
The museum has been around since the late-‘70s and was taken over by the family at the time of the founder’s death in 1988.
The collection includes pristine examples of automobile brands that are no longer in production – like Packard and Stanley – as well as farm implements, pre-automobile forms of transportation, and other interesting historical tidbits.
The cost of admission is less than a burger combo meal at a fast-food restaurant.
8. Union Reservoir Park
For anglers who find themselves in the area with time to kill, Longmont offers a variety of fishing options.
Union Reservoir Park’s centerpiece is the reservoir that covers more than 700 acres of surface area. It’s home to a variety of species of game fish, including bass, trout, walleye, and catfish.
The park is just a few miles off Interstate 25. For non-fishers, it offers plenty of other activities, like paddle-boarding, windsurfing, hiking, and biking.
A number of annual community festivals are held in the park as well, especially during the summer when the Colorado weather is just about perfect.
9. Skate Parks
More so than many states, Colorado residents are generally fit and active, and outdoor activities rank highly when most city residents have free time.
For the young and hip crowd, skating is more appealing than walking and biking. The city of Longmont has five skate parks that feature half and quarter-pipes, rails, and other fun and challenging structures.
Each park may have slightly different hours, and some are more geared toward advanced and intermediate skaters than beginners, so check out the city’s website to see which is which before making a special trip.
Helmets are required when skating in city parks, and knee and elbow pads aren’t a bad idea either.
10. Georgia Boys BBQ
Featuring traditional downhome fare and barbecue that’s been voted the best in the state by a well-known travel and food-related television show, Georgia Boys BBQ is already a Longmont institution, even though it’s only been open since 2011.
Though they started selling ‘cue out of their apartments in Boulder before things took off, the founders dreamed of bigger and better things; shortly after that, their dream became a reality.
Georgia Boys features all the barbecue offerings you’d expect, like burnt ends, brisket, and ribs. They offer a bunch of sauce options and tasty sides like fries, hushpuppies, and onion rings.
11. Mile-Hi-Skydiving Center
Located on Airport Road in Longmont, the Mile-Hi Skydiving Center is Colorado’s premier skydiving provider, and their fleet of twin-engine turboprop planes are capable of carrying hundreds of fearless jumpers into the sky every day.
Of course, their main priority is providing guests with a safe and exhilarating experience, and they’ve been doing just that since the mid-‘90s.
Their experienced staff are trained to deal with divers of all levels of ability, and they offer freestyle and tandem jumps, to name just a few.
It’s wise to give them a call and tell them a little about yourself and your fellow travelers before making a special trip.
12. Sunset Golf Course
Longmont’s Sunset Golf Course has been a favorite attraction for links-loving men, women, and children for nearly a century, and it’s still considered one of the area’s best golf values.
Though it’s only a 9-hole course, it’s perfect for those who’ve got limited time to spare – especially for fathers and mothers playing with little ones with minimal experience.
The course features treed fairways, mountain views, and a variety of tee box options to accommodate women, seniors, and big hitters in their prime.
Due to its reasonable price and convenient location, it often fills-up during peak times, so if that’s when you’ll be playing, plan accordingly.
13. Martini’s Bistro
Foodies who find themselves with empty stomachs in Longmont will have a variety of culinary options to choose from, ranging from cheap and homey to stylish and trendy.
Martini’s Bistro is located on Terry Street. According to previous diners, it has some of the best Italian food to be found in the area.
Their entrees include classics like pasta, parmesan, and risotto, as well as seafood, steaks, chicken, and salads for those counting their calories.
Diners appreciate their extensive selection of locally brewed beers and west coast wines, and they make darn tasty craft cocktails as well.
14. Dutch Bros. Coffee
In case you haven’t heard, Dutch Bros. Coffee has the most drive-thru coffee locations in the country, and they’ve recently surpassed the 300 store mark.
They’re found mainly in the western states, and although they’re a chain, their shops have distinctly local vibes that couldn’t be more different than most other national coffee brands.
Their Longmont location is found on Main Street and offers hot and cold coffee options as well as smoothies, shakes, and soda.
Dutch Bros. locations are great for those on the go, and their staff are personable and outgoing. Don’t be shy about telling them that you’re visiting the area when you place your order, because they may give you some useful tips on things to see and do.