Get a taste for local history and art at the Loveland Museum. With permanent exhibits on the city’s origins and rotating showcases of local and national artists, there’s always something new to see.
Loveland is known as the art and culture hub of northern Colorado, and one drive through town makes it easy to see why. With public art installations around town and a variety of art galleries, immersive experiences, and museums, art is everywhere in the sweetheart city.
Part history museum, part art gallery, the Loveland Museum has something for everyone. Its historic exhibits highlight Loveland's past, while its rotating art displays showcase the future of local and national artists.
Benson Sculpture Park Gardens
This peaceful 10-acre park features more than 15 sculptures and is the perfect place for a leisurely walk. Enjoy beautiful gardens, ponds, and a variety of sculptural artwork at this local gem. The park and gardens are free and open to the public.
Chapungu Sculpture Park
Get a taste of African art at this sprawling 26-acre park that includes more than 80 handmade sculptures from Zimbabwe. This unique sculpture park highlights a unique culture and is a learning and artistic experience for guests.
McWhinney-Hahn Sculpture Park
Conveniently located next to the Loveland visitor center, this sculpture garden features a walking path dotted with art installations. With benches along the path, it's a great place to take a walk and enjoy some art.
Downtown Loveland is a vibrant and thriving area with art, entertainment, shopping, and dining. There's always something going on at the many downtown businesses. Downtown Loveland is also beautiful and has more than 20 planters and flower beds that house seasonal flowers and plants throughout the year. As you explore downtown Loveland, you're sure to find a new favorite bar, shop, or restaurant. There's lots to explore.
Restaurants and Bars:
Downtown Loveland has a huge variety of restaurants and bars for nearly every type of cuisine. From casual eats to local diners, cafes, and breweries, there's something for everyone downtown. It's easy to walk between restaurants and bars to grab a drink after dinner or stop in for a cup of coffee or lunch after seeing an art exhibit. Even better, most of the downtown restaurants and bars are locally owned, so you'll get an experience that can only be found in Loveland. Favorite restaurants include Door 222, which serves a wide variety of drinks and tapas in an industrial-style bar, vatos tacos, home of creative Mexican food and tequila, and Doug's in Loveland for hearty homestyle breakfast or brunch. No matter what you're craving, you can find it downtown.
Arts and Entertainment:
Downtown Loveland is the center of the city's vibrant arts scene. Foundry Plaza hosts events throughout the year, including more than 60 events for all ages during the summer, ranging from concerts to art shows and local theater groups. The flipside arcade downtown is a fun place to tap into your inner child and play classic and modern arcade games. The Loveland Museum is also downtown and has a rotating schedule of art displays and galleries. Even just walking around downtown Loveland is an arts experience with sculptures and public art on every corner.
From I-25, take exit 255 for County Road 18 and CO-402 heading west for 4 miles. Turn right onto Highway 287/Lincoln Ave. The downtown area starts after crossing 1st Street. For parking, turn left on 3rd. Parking is available on streets and lots throughout downtown.
With the nearby Big Thompson River setting the course, water activities abound in Loveland. The city’s many lakes, creeks, pools, and other water features make for a fun way to get outside and cool down in the summer months. If you like boating, swimming, fishing, or paddle boarding, Loveland is the place to be. Here are just a few of the city’s many water attractions:
This peaceful reservoir provides a mountain escape right near town. Pinewood Reservoir is 100 acres and is surrounded by more than 300 acres of public land for camping, hiking, and exploring. Part of the reason for the calmer atmosphere is that only hand-launched rafts like rafts, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are allowed on Pinewood Reservoir. It is open year-round and requires an entrance fee and camping permits if you want to spend the night.
One of the most popular lakes in the area, this massive reservoir is in the foothills of Loveland and makes for a quick escape to play in the water. Carter Reservoir is perfect for fishing, sailing, camping, swimming, scuba diving, and rock climbing. There's truly something for everyone. Small watercraft rentals like canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are available at the lake. An entrance fee is required.
Boyd Lake State Park is known for its large swim beach and cool water. It is a popular and beautiful place to swim, boat, and fish. There's also a large picnic area with lots of grassy space. A State Park pass or daily fee is required.
In the heart of town is Lake Loveland, a place where locals love to swim and relax. The swim beach is open throughout the summer and also includes a nearby fishing area, playground with train, picnic area, amphitheater, and sports fields. This is the place to come for a full day of summer fun in the water.
Loveland is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. There are hiking and biking trails everywhere, all with gorgeous views of the Front Range. But you don’t have to be an expert hiker to enjoy the outdoors in Loveland. With a large variety of trails and activities, there are paths for all levels so that everyone can get outside and enjoy all the natural beauty and community the town has to offer. There’s no better place to enjoy Colorado’s famous 300 days of sunshine than Loveland’s hiking trails.
Loveland Recreation Trail
One of the favorite and most well-used trails is the Loveland Recreation Trail, which runs 23 miles through the entire town. The trail is paved and well-maintained, making it the perfect place for walking, running, biking, rollerblading, and more. Along the trail, you’ll walk through many of the city’s top parks and attractions. Enjoy a long walk on the entire trail, or hop on at any of the convenient access points throughout Loveland to walk or run on a portion of the trail. The Loveland Recreation Trail also connects to other trail systems and recently added a new section, so there’s always more places to explore.
Colorado’s high altitude means you’re even closer to the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing sunscreen every day is a must!
Summit Adventure Trail
For a more rugged experience, check out the beautiful and popular Summit Adventure Trail, also known as the Sheep Mountain Trail. This 4.5-mile (one way) trail has nearly 3,000 feet elevation gain as it heads to the top of Sheep Mountain. This adventure isn’t for the faint of heart, but it provides amazing views for experienced hikers. Along the way, you’ll see a variety of wildlife, including trees, plants, and animals.
Devil’s Backbone Open Space
To the west of town is Devil’s Backbone Open Space, a popular hiking and biking trail. The entire area has more than 3,000 acres of rugged trails, wildflowers, wildlife, and amazing rock formations. The rugged 13-mile trail has more than 1,200 feet of elevation gain and stunning views. Devil’s Backbone is a more technical trail and is best for experienced riders. The 4.3-mile hiking Nature Trail is a great option for hiking with beautiful views of plains and mountains. Devil’s Backbone is very popular, especially on weekends during the summer. To avoid some of the crowds, aim to be there in the early morning or late afternoon.
Long View Trail
The Long View Trail stretches from Loveland to Fort Collins, running in a north-south direction. This trail can be visualized as a picturesque path, smoothly paved, meandering through the scenic landscapes of Larimer County. It closely follows the route of 57th Street and later transitions alongside South Shields Street. Along this journey, the trail takes you through a diverse array of five distinct natural zones: commencing at Sunset Vista in Loveland.
Like the rest of Northern Colorado, Loveland has a lively craft brewery scene with numerous bars and breweries around town. Each has its own unique menu and vibe, and a popular activity is visiting all the breweries to find a favorite. Visiting local breweries is a Colorado pastime and a great way to experience life in Loveland.
This family-owned brewery in downtown Loveland produces a big variety of small-batch craft beers. Some of the most popular varieties are made with locally roasted malt. Besides the beer, Loveland Aleworks also has a lengthy entertainment lineup, with food trucks, live music, trivia, cornhole, and more. Stop in for an industrial feel with friendly service and a great location.
118 W 4th St, Loveland, CO 80537
Monday 12-10 PM
Tuesday 12-10 PM
Wednesday 12-10 PM
Thursday 12-10 PM
Friday 12-10 PM
Saturday 12-10 PM
Sunday 12-10 PM
Rock Coast Brewery
If you’re looking for great beer and delicious food, this is the place to be. Rock Coast Brewery is located inside AKA Kitchen in downtown. The menu of delicious appetizers and entrees pairs perfectly with the beer, and each item has a specific recommendation. With a great lineup of local and internal beers and delicious food, Rock Coast is the place to eat and drink. The casual and comfortable atmosphere is perfect for a date or a night out with friends.
414 E 6th St, Loveland, CO 80537
Tuesday 11 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 11 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 11 AM - 8 PM
Friday 11 AM - 8 PM
Saturday 8 AM - 8 PM
Sunday 8 AM - 2 PM
Grimm Brother’s Brewhouse
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse is the oldest brewery in Loveland and specializes in traditional and historic German-inspired beers. Stepping inside is like entering a cozy German pub, with service and energy to match. The extensive menu features German favorites like bratwursts and soft pretzels, plus a full lineup of beer. There’s also pizza from Rocky Mountain Pizza. Grimm Brother's offers seasonal Fairy Tale beers to bring extra flavor to the experience.
623 N Denver Ave, Loveland, CO 80537
Monday 2-9 PM
Tuesday 2-9 PM
Wednesday 2-9 PM
Thursday 2-9 PM
Friday 2-9 PM
Saturday 12-9 PM
Sunday 12-7 PM
There’s something for everyone to love in Loveland. From winter festivals that celebrate the changing seasons to live music, outdoor movies, and art shows during the summer, the entire calendar is packed with great activities for the entire family. Throughout the summer and fall, there are numerous outdoor concerts and performances all over town at amphitheaters and sculpture gardens. Loveland festivals are a great way to mingle with community members and get an authentic experience of life in Northern Colorado.
LARIMER COUNTY FAIR & RODEO
Larimer County comes together for the annual fair and rodeo, held every summer in Loveland. This is the quintessential fair with entertainment, live music, livestock, carnival rides, prizes, and more. The fair kicks off with a parade through Loveland and then runs for the weekend with activities for every age and interest. The PRCA rodeo is a highlight of the event with eight events over three nights.
The Larimer County Fair takes place the first weekend in August every year at The Ranch venue in Loveland. The fair is free to attend and park, but some events, like the rodeo, require tickets to be purchased in advance.
Loveland lives up to its name with the annual Sweetheart Festival, held every year around Valentine’s Day. The festival takes place in Foundry Plaza downtown with activities for guests of all ages, including games, ice sculptures, and live music. Favorite events include the Little Miss Valentine and Mr. Cupid Content and the Loveland Sweetheart Classic 4 Miler race. Sweetheart Festival is a great way to break up the winter season with a fun community outing.
The first settlers arrived in Loveland in the mid 1800s and established farms in the Big Thompson Valley around the Big Thompson River and Devil’s Backbone. One settler established a stage coach station that eventually become Fort Namaqua and a federal post office.
As the Colorado Central Railroad extended from Denver to Fort Collins, more people came to the area. In December 1877, the railroad depot was completed and construction on the neighboring town could begin. In 1881, residents of the area voted to incorporate. The town of Loveland was named about Willian A. H. Loveland, president of the Colorado Central Railroad. With a busy railroad through town, Loveland grew quickly.
In 1901, the Great Western Sugar Company built a factory in Loveland. It became a major employer in town until it closed in 1985. Loveland also depended on agriculture, especially sugar beets and cherries. However, a drought and a canning supply shortage caused the cherry industry to fail by the 1960s.
In the last 50 years, Loveland has continued to see incredible growth as businesses and manufacturing expanded to the town, bringing with them people and jobs.
Loveland is in the middle of Northern Colorado, one of the fastest-growing regions in the entire country.
The Loveland Museum brings the city’s history to life with exhibitions about the early settlers and industries. Visitors can experience interactive displays and programming to learn what makes Loveland unique and how the city has grown and evolved over the past centuries. The Loveland Museum also highlights the history of the larger Northern Colorado region to provide a full view of what life was like long ago.
There’s lots to love in the Sweetheart City. From incredible art and culture opportunities to beautiful scenery and a wide variety of outdoor activities, Loveland was something for everyone. But what makes the city shine is its people and the strong community feel. As you explore Loveland, you’ll not only see new sites but also meet great new people. Don’t miss out on all the Sweetheart City has to offer—you’ll fall in love with Loveland.