Greeley is a city of about 100,000 residents that’s located in the north-central portion of Colorado, between Denver to the south and Cheyenne, Wyoming to the north.
Greeley is one of the key cities in the Front Range Corridor that marks the border between the developed and undeveloped portions of the state.
Visitors to Greeley have an abundance of recreation options at their fingertips, ranging from casual dining and historical attractions to outdoor activities and road-trips to nearby cities like Fort Collins and Cheyenne.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Greeley that warrant a look when in the area.
1. Highland Hills Golf Course
Since 1964, Highland Hills Golf Course has been a championship-level recreation attraction for local and visiting golfers.
Featuring more than a thousand trees, dramatic changes in elevation, and plenty of scenic mountain views, the course’s 18 holes play slightly more than 6,800 yards, making it a challenge even for big hitters.
The course hosts a variety of tournaments, but with several tee options, it’s appropriate for players of most ages and skill levels.
Tee time reservations can be made up to five days in advance of your visit, which is a good idea if you’ll be playing during peak times.
2. University of Northern Colorado
Regardless of where you find yourself in rural America, you’re probably not that far from a college or university. For travelers exploring an area for the first time, they’re great resources that should be taken advantage of.
The University of Northern Colorado has an enrollment of just less than 10,000 students and features a campus spread over 250 scenic, suburban acres.
The university is usually abuzz with a variety of activities ranging from men’s and women’s sporting events to art shows, cultural events, and live entertainment performances.
Consider checking online before heading out to see what’s on the school’s calendar of events.
3. Weldwerks Brewing Company
For lovers of locally-made craft and microbrews, Colorado is a mecca.
The state is home to one of the largest breweries in the country, but it’s the small establishments that get most beer aficionados excited.
Located on 8th Avenue in Greeley, Weldwerks Brewing Company is known for its expansive collection of brews, ranging from traditional to downright quirky and contemporary.
Whether it’s a creamy milk stout, hoppy IPA, or a mind-bending concoction like a Berlin-style brew infused with Key lime pie essence, you’ll find if at Weldwerks. They offer flights for those who’d prefer to sample a few different options before buying a pint.
4. Kress Cinema & Lounge
Featuring the city’s only remaining independent movie house and full-service bar and restaurants, Kress Cinema & Lounge is the perfect evening destination for foodies, movie lovers, and craft beer and vintage cocktail junkies.
Kress’ basement speakeasy is open for business regardless of whether you’ll be taking in a show. It’s decorated in a cool art deco theme that harkens back to the days when men wore suits and hats and used the term ‘dame’ when referring to their gals. Be sure to check out their cocktail menu.
The cinema shows an eclectic mix of old films, cult classics, and relatively new releases, and previous guests have commented that the food was top-notch as well.
5. Greeley Ice Haus
With near Arctic-like conditions for much of the year, it’s no wonder that winter sports are such a big deal in the Rocky Mountain State.
Downhill and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are popular cold-weather activities, as are skating and hockey.
Located on 8th Avenue near downtown Greeley, Ice Haus is open year-round and hosts a number of youth hockey leagues and skating clubs. There are often free-skate times for the public as well.
For those who’d rather not risk life and limb on the ice, it’s a great place to relax and take in a competitive game of hockey. There’s a pro shop and snack bar too.
6. Centennial Village Museum
Weld County features an abundance of historic buildings and attractions. For lovers of history and the state’s pioneer era, the Centennial Village Museum is a great place to spend a few hours.
The museum is part of Island Grove Regional Park. Unlike many of its contemporaries that are filled with static exhibits, it features a living history-style experience that allows visitors to interact with actors in period costumes and walk past historic buildings that are much like they were in ages past.
The village’s attractions include a working print shop and cowboy-style cooking station, and it’s usually a big hit with the old and young alike.
7. Downtown Greeley
In the past decade or so, many small towns across the country have put serious efforts into redeveloping their downtown areas, many of which had turned downright vacant and uninviting.
Downtown Greeley was once just such a place, but it has undergone a remarkable transformation. It’s now a popular attraction that includes parks, shops, galleries, and restaurants, and regularly hosts events like First Fridays, arts and crafts festivals, and a fall brew-fest.
The downtown area has minimal traffic and is an excellent place for stretching legs, burning calories, and exploring. It’s full of quaint charm, including historical buildings and even a few cobblestone streets.
8. The Rio Grande Restaurant
Founded by three wanderers and free-spirits in the mid-‘80s, The Rio Grande Restaurant’s inspiration came mostly from their trip to Mexico, where they experienced a laidback lifestyle and vibrant cuisine that really resonated with them.
Flash forward a few decades, and their restaurant is one of Greeley’s most popular. It’s especially known for its black beans, homemade tortillas, and fresh salsas made on-site with local ingredients.
The Rio Grande has attracted a loyal following of Mexican food aficionados. They keep people coming back again and again by offering traditional favorites, ample portions, and reasonable prices, all in a chill and welcoming environment.
9. Adventure Island Indoor Waterpark
There are community recreation centers – and there are community recreation centers on steroids, like Greeley’s Adventure Island Indoor Waterpark.
It’s an indoor facility that’s open year-round, and according to locals, it’s the only attraction of its kind in the area.
The waterpark features a variety of exhilarating amenities, like towering waterslides and wave pools. For those who prefer non-water related activities, there’s a basketball court and playground.
For visitors with little ones, there’s a zero-depth pool and a relaxing lazy river tubing area.
Admission is inexpensive, and the waterpark is a great place to escape the elements during the cold winter months.
10. Lory State Park
Located between Greeley and Fort Collins, Lory State Park is an amenity and activity-packed outdoor recreation attraction that’s been known to keep nature lovers and outdoorsy types busy for hours on end.
Previous visitors have mentioned that with so much to see and do, they stayed longer than expected. The entry fee is dirt-cheap, making it an excellent choice for travelers on a budget.
Mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding are among the park’s most popular activities. For those who’d rather check out local wildlife while stretching their legs, there are some well-marked trails that include plenty of shaded picnic areas.
11. The Blue Mug Coffee Bar
The Blue Mug Coffee Bar is located on 35th Avenue in Greeley and is like a magnet for those who’ve fallen under the addictive spell of coffee in all its glorious forms.
Featuring whacky options like monkey mocha and traditional favorites like lattes and cappuccinos, they also have a popular and relatively inexpensive ‘bottomless mug’ option for those who just can’t get enough.
Regulars would be wise to pick-up a loyalty punch card because ten paid drinks entitle the holder to one on the house.
They have great baked goods like cinnamon buns, comfy seating, and fast Wi-Fi, making it a perfect choice for remote workers.
12. Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures
For those staying in Greeley, day-trips to Fort Collins are great ways to spend a day.
Located on West Mountain Avenue near downtown, the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures is chock-full of art and exhibits that touch on the area’s culture and history.
Featuring works done in a variety of mediums from countries in far-flung corners of the globe, many guests are surprised to find extensive collections from Africa and Southeast Asia among the folk and Native American art for which the museum is most well-known.
The museum’s staff offers a variety of activities, including children’s storytime. Group tours are available if reservations are made in advance.
13. Glenmere Park
For many visitors, humble local parks rank pretty low on their itineraries. But for those looking to experience a little peace and quiet in the great outdoors without fighting crowds and spending hours in the car, they’re great community resources that should be taken advantage of.
Located in the center of town, Glenmere Park features forested areas, lakes, ponds, and paved walking paths that are appropriate for those with kids in strollers.
It’s common to see animals like ducks, squirrels, and birds on the trails and near the water, and Canada geese often stop on their annual migrations as well.
14. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
During the state’s pioneer era, Fort Collins played significant roles in mining, exploration, and the wars against the Native Americans who called the area home for countless generations before it was officially settled.
Located on Mason Court, the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery has been around since the middle of the 20th century. It houses one of the state’s most complete collections of artifacts and memorabilia.
There’s also an interactive science center on-site that’s a relatively new addition; it’s an especially big hit with little ones who may find history a bit on the dull side.
Most visitors spend between an hour and two in the museum and science center.
15. The Gardens on Spring Creek
Though its soil is notoriously rocky and its growing season short, Colorado is home to a number of botanical gardens.
Comprised of nearly 20 scenic acres of uniquely themed community gardens, The Gardens on Spring Creek is a popular attraction that’s located on Center Street in Fort Collins.
The distinct gardens are connected by well-marked paths that include informative signs describing the things you’re seeing. The staff offers several programs, including guided tours and activities that allow kids to get their hands in the soil and plant a few seeds of their own.
If your schedule allows, consider stopping by for their Halloween and Christmas events.