Evans is a town of about 19,000 residents that has experienced nearly 100% population growth in the last decade.
Located little more than an hour northwest of Denver, Evans is just a short journey from Interstate 25, which is the state’s largest north-south highway.
Though there aren’t many attractions within Evans city limits, its proximity to Greeley and Fort Collins offers visitors a variety of day trip options, including art, cultural, historical, and outdoor recreation options.
There are also several state and national parks nearby that are favorites of the outdoorsy crowd.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Evans.
1. Heritage Day
The town of Evans hosts an annual Heritage Day, which has become so popular in recent years that it’s now held over two days instead of just one.
One of the area’s most anticipated yearly attractions, it’s held in the middle of September when the Colorado weather is usually perfect for being outdoors.
In addition to history and culture-related exhibits, the event includes a parade, live entertainment, hot air balloon rides, a fireworks show, and a 5K run.
There are plenty of food options and plenty of activities for kids as well, so plan on spending more than just an hour or two.
2. Rocky Mountain National Park
The majestic Rocky Mountains are one of the most recognizable icons of the western American landscape; for many visitors to the state, they’re the centerpiece of their trip.
Rocky Mountain National Park is comprised of more than 400 square miles of natural mountain environments that offer guests abundant opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors, like hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
The park includes rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and trails leading to overlooks that give visitors some of the most panoramic views of the mountains they’ll see anywhere.
It’s a good idea to stop at one of the park’s visitors centers before heading out on your own.
Colorado has a large number of relatively small, rural towns in some pretty rugged areas. Though most visitors expect little more than steakhouses and barbecue restaurants, these spots are home to a surprising variety of international cuisines as well.
Roma is located on 23rd Avenue in Evans. Though it has only been open since 2012, it’s become a favorite destination for those craving traditional Italian fare like pizza, pasta, and calzones.
Roma has three locations in the vicinity. For those who like to expand their culinary horizons, they offer pizzas with quirky toppings that are surprisingly big hits.
4. Highland Hills Golf Course
Located just up the road from Evans on Clubhouse Drive in Greeley, Highland Hills Golf Course has been offering golfers a great course and good value since it opened in 1964.
Highland Hills may be most well-known for its trees, which number well over 1,000. Previous players have noted that they appreciated its relatively wide fairways, well-maintained greens, and natural scenery that includes stunning mountain views.
The course has a variety of tee boxes that make it appropriate for players of most ages and skill levels. There’s a bar and grill, pro shop, and practice facilities available too.
5. Moxi Theater
For those who’ve spent multiple days in the wild and need a little change of pace, a few afternoon or evening hours spend at Moxi Theater in Greeley would be a wise choice.
Moxi is the undisputed champion of live music venues in the area; it’s a state of the art facility that seats hundreds of music lovers.
Despite its ample seating, the theater is relatively small and intimate and features light and sound systems typically only found at larger venues.
There’s lots of national and regional talent on their calendar of events, as well as hot, local up-and-comers.
6. Adventure Island Indoor Waterpark
Truth be told, many small town’s community recreation centers can be a bit on the lame side.
Staff-led pool aerobics and water walking activities for the geriatric crowd are generally what you’ll find, but Greeley’s Adventure Island Indoor Waterpark definitely breaks the mold.
The facility is open year-round and is especially popular when the fall and winter weather aren’t conducive to being outside.
Slides, pools, and a lazy river are a few of the park’s amenities, and there’s a zero-depth pool that’s the perfect place to get toddlers acclimated to water without being surrounded by older kids.
7. Kress Cinema & Lounge
Much like independent coffee shops and book stores, independent movie theaters are largely becoming things of the past, but the Kress Cinema & Lounge in Greeley is bucking the trend.
One of the only theaters of its kind in the area, its feature films include independent, classic, and contemporary movies.
There’s a full-service bar in the theater’s basement that’s the perfect place to relax with a cocktail or two before or after the show, and there’s food available that can be eaten in comfort while you’re watching the movie.
They offer a large variety of locally made microbrews and tasty appetizers as well.
8. Centennial Village Museum
The Centennial Village Museum is located inside the Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley. For those interested in getting a unique glimpse into the people who lived in the area in centuries past, it’s the perfect place to spend a few hours.
Though it’s only open seasonally, the museum features historic actors clad in period garb going about their daily lives much the same way their counterparts did when the area was wild, dangerous, and undeveloped.
The grounds include dozens of historic buildings, farm animals, and a blacksmith’s shop.
Admission is inexpensive, and there are trails leading between each distinct area, so it’s the perfect place to stretch your legs while learning about the area’s history.
9. Broken Plow Brewery
For beer lovers of all stripes, there’s no shortage of local craft breweries to visit while in the Evans area.
Broken Plow generally specializes in traditional beers and prides itself on using only the highest quality ingredients, like barley, wheat, and hops.
They’re especially well-known with those who’ve got an intolerance to gluten because their beers are naturally lower in gluten content than their competitors. According to previous visitors, that lack of gluten doesn’t change the beer’s taste at all.
There’s also a kitchen that’s open six days a week and serves reasonably priced grub that goes well with beer.
10. Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures
Colorado is full of both art and history museums, and many of them have unique niche collections that distinguish them from their contemporaries.
The Global Village Museum of Arts and Culture is located on West Mountain Avenue in Fort Collins. Its collection includes folk art and historic and contemporary photography from around the country and world.
Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe are well represented. Due to its diversity, many visitors consider it one of the most unique attractions of their vacation.
For those who’d like a guided tour of Fort Collins’ art scene, walking tours are available, and there are kid-centered programs as well.
11. Pawnee National Grassland
At nearly 200,000 acres, Pawnee National Grassland is a vibrant and healthy ecosystem that became a desolate and lifeless wasteland during the Dust Bowl years in the early part of the 20th century.
The area is less than an hour’s drive from Evans and offers outdoor-minded travelers a variety of activity options to choose from.
Bird watching, hiking, camping, and biking are popular pastimes. For those who like to gaze into the night sky, it’s the perfect place to do just that, because there’s little light from cities and towns.
Check out the visitor center for historical information and a map of the park’s roads and trails.
12. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery can trace its roots back to the early-‘40s. Since then, it has been dedicated to preserving and promoting the region’s rich history that spans back to the settler era in the early part of the 19th century.
The museum’s collection includes tens of thousands of individual artifacts and items of historic memorabilia, most of which are from Native Americans and those who explored and settled in the Cache La Poudre River Valley.
Weapons, art, housewares, and farm implements are among the items on display, and there are multiple historic buildings like cabins and a schoolhouse as well.
13. Gardens on Spring Creek
Despite its short growing season and rocky soil, Colorado is home to a number of botanical gardens; Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins is one of the area’s most popular.
The gardens are spread over nearly 20 acres along the scenic Front Range and divided into distinctly themed areas connected by well-marked paths.
The gardens are perfect for a casual stroll in nature. In addition, the staff offer activities and workshops for adults and children that include planting, cooking, and even storytime for little ones.
There are also popular guided walking tours and holiday events.
14. Center for Fine Art Photography
The Center for Fine Art Photography is located on North College Avenue in Fort Collins. Since it was founded in 2004, it has amassed one of the region’s most impressive collections of photography.
The center is comprised of several distinct galleries that highlight photographs from all over the world.
The exhibits are changed on a regular basis, so those who visit regularly often see different things than they did on their previous visits.
For budding and seasoned photographers looking to learn new skills from seasoned pros, the center’s staff offer some instructional workshops that are relatively inexpensive.