For those flying into Denver International Airport, Loveland is around an hour away, depending on traffic. Visitors can expect to have easy access to many of the state’s most notable natural, historical, and cultural attractions.
Dining and lodging are in abundance as well, and they run the gamut from modest and inexpensive to ritzy and pricy.
Below are 14 things to do in and around Loveland that rank highly on many travelers’ itineraries.
1. Loveland Visitor’s Center
First-time visitors need not spend hours on the internet researching things to see and do, because most of that tedious work has already been done for them, and it’s all available for free at the Loveland Visitor’s Center.
Located on Stone Creek Circle, the visitor’s center is in the midst of a popular Loveland retail area. It’s full of maps, brochures, and travel magazines that are free to take. In addition to having lots of great activity ideas, many of them contain coupons for special offers on things like food, hotels, and popular activities.
The center also sells merchandise from local artists and entrepreneurs.
2. Loveland Museum and Gallery
Located on Lincoln Avenue, the Loveland Museum and Gallery’s history stretches back to the 1930s, when it was founded by a local author, outdoorsman, and historian.
It’s what some would call a classic small-town museum, but it’s one of only a few nationally accredited institutions of its kind in the state and features an impressive collection of historical exhibits containing artifacts and memorabilia relating to the area’s fascinating pioneer-era history.
In addition to historical items, the museum displays lots of local and southwest art, both historic and contemporary. They regularly offer special events like guided tours, guest speakers, and staff-led children’s activities.
3. Benson Park Sculpture Garden
Perhaps it’s the incredible scenery, endless stretches of blue sky, and crisp mountain air that have made Colorado such an inspiration to artists since it was settled; art lovers have plenty of museums and galleries to choose from when visiting the area.
Benson Park Sculpture Garden was founded in the mid-‘80s by a group of civic-minded sculptors in conjunction with the local chamber of commerce. Their goal was to provide the citizens with a much-needed art and cultural attraction.
The park is the perfect place to exercise and indulge in fantastic art. The sculptures come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are made from various materials, like wood, bronze, and glass.
4. Boyd Lake State Park
During the warm summer months, Boyd Lake State Park is a popular outdoor recreation attraction that’s a big hit with swimmers, anglers, sunbathers, and hikers.
The park’s sand beach and refreshing waters can be idyllic when the sun is out and the mercury is hovering in the ‘80s. Its convenient location is perfect for those interested in experiencing the great outdoors without spending hours in the car heading into the mountains.
Kayaking, paddling, and mountain biking are favorite park pastimes too. For those who want to spend a night or two under the stars, there are plenty of camp and RV sites.
5. Loveland Coffee Company
For many visitors, Colorado embodies the spirit of the west, and though the state’s rugged outdoors and fascinating history are wonders to behold, they’re not much good if you can’t stay awake.
Loveland Coffee Company has been around since 2004, and for weary vacationers in need of caffeine and sustenance, it’s a great place to get some of each.
Their menu features traditional favorites like cappuccinos and lattes, and there are plenty of sweet and flavored varieties too, many of which include whipped cream, caramel, and chocolate sauce.
Previous guests have appreciated the chill vibe, comfy seats, and local art adorning the walls.
6. Rialto Theater Center
Loveland’s Rialto Theater Center is located on East 4th Street near downtown and is nearly a century old.
The historic theater is one of north-central Colorado’s premier venues offering a variety of entertainment options, and it can seat more than 400 visitors in comfort.
When it first opened, the tickets cost just a few dimes. Though they’re not that cheap these days, the cost of admission is still relatively inexpensive.
The theater shows a variety of independent and classic films as well as live entertainment from local and touring production companies, and the facilities are available to rent for special events.
7. Sweet Heart Winery
Though Colorado’s wineries aren’t as well-known as their counterparts in places like Napa Valley, California, their award-winning products have caught on both locally and nationally in recent years.
Sweet Heart Winery is located on Highway 34 in Loveland and is regularly open to visitors interested in touring the facility and sampling some excellent wines.
The winery’s scenic location in the Rocky Mountain foothills offers visitors amazing views and has a way of making them feel like they’re much farther away from civilization than they really are.
Check their website or give them a call to verify their tour and tasting room schedules before heading out.
8. Pinewood Reservoir
Colorado’s lakes and reservoirs are popular attractions for outdoor enthusiasts, and they’re available in abundance, which means they’re convenient options for those looking to stay close to their home base.
Pinewood Reservoir is perfect for day-trippers and overnight campers. The reservoir and park in which it’s located span more than 400 acres that are perfect for anglers, hikers, paddlers, and mountain bikers.
At well over a mile above sea level, the reservoir’s waters remain refreshing year-round. Even during the summer months, the temperature and weather can change on a dime, so pack accordingly if you’d like to avoid hypothermia.
9. Grimm Brothers Brewhouse
There’s something about the water in Colorado that makes it perfect for producing great beer, and it may have more breweries per capita than any other state in the country.
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse is located on Denver Avenue in Loveland and is named after the famous German writers of yesteryear.
Whereas many craft breweries center their attention on creating whacky brews with non-traditional ingredients, Grimm Brothers take the opposite approach.
They focus on old-world German beers that have been perfected over the centuries, and they’ve attracted quite a loyal following as a result. Their taproom is open daily, but hours vary.
10. Henry’s Pub
Some establishments just have a knack for making guests feel comfortable and welcome, and according to regulars and those who’ve just visited once or twice, Henry’s Pub is just such a place.
It’s located on East 4th Street in Loveland and is the perfect place to relax for a few hours, especially for those who’d like to try a variety of locally-brewed beers without traveling to a number of different craft breweries.
Unlike many pubs, Henry’s is family-friendly. It’s popular for lunch and dinner, even with those who aren’t beer drinkers.
Their menu includes an assortment of reasonably-priced sandwiches, salads, and traditional entrees.
11. Art in the Park Loveland
According to those in the know, Art in the Park Loveland is the state’s longest continually running arts festival and draws crowds of artists and art lovers from near and far.
An iconic Loveland event that’s been going strong for nearly five decades, each year it attracts hundreds of artists that come to compete in its juried art competition.
The event offers plenty of opportunities to meet the artists as well as great food, plenty of activities for the young and old, and a beer garden that’s the perfect place to relax after hours on your feet.
12. Fort Collins Trolley
The historic city of Fort Collins is an easy drive for those staying in Loveland, and it features a variety of attractions that make spending an entire day both entertaining and educational.
The city’s municipal railway company now operates a renovated streetcar during the summer, which runs through the downtown area.
The trolley rides last about 30 minutes and offer people a unique way to experience local historic sites. The all-volunteer staff will offer interesting tidbits of local lore and history along the way.
The season runs from May until September and only operates on Saturdays and Sundays.
13. Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano
Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano is located on Sky Pond Drive in Loveland. According to previous diners, it offers a unique atmosphere that’s both upscale and contemporary while being inviting and family-friendly at the same time.
Their menu includes lots of classic Italian favorites like pasta, soups, and salads, and they’ve got an impressive wine list as well.
Biaggi’s is open for lunch and dinner and often gets busy during peak times, so if that’s a scene you’d like to avoid, consider dining early.
The restaurant is located in a popular shopping area, so it’s the perfect place to eat before or after engaging in a little retail therapy.
14. Cache La Poudre River National Heritage Area
The Cache La Poudre River National Heritage Area stretches for nearly 50 miles and borders one of the area’s largest national forests.
As you may have guessed from its French name, the area was originally explored by French fur trappers just after the turn of the 19th century. Its amenities include both historic and contemporary attractions like a pioneer-era home, a World War II camp for prisoners of war, and an abandoned missile silo from the ‘60s.
During the summer months, the heritage area hosts a variety of events like an annual triathlon, guided bike tours, and arts and crafts shows.