Spring has sprung in HeidiTown. The birds are singing, the fields outside of town are greening up and there’s a feeling of warmth in the air. This time of year puts me in the mood for road trips and Sunday afternoon drives.
Metromix Denver recently released an article naming the 25 small Colorado towns to visit under $100. There was some misinformation in this article – Windsor was not “destroyed” by a tornado in 2008 – but overall it had some good tips on small towns to visit around the state.
It got me wondering what towns I’d put on such a list. There are so many great communities around Colorado and each has it’s own unique flavor. If I were to get in my car and take a Sunday afternoon drive there are lots of fun towns I’d could visit, so I thought I’d highlight them in a new reoccurring Friday post called Sunday Afternoon Drive. The post won’t run every Friday, but at least a couple per month.
This town of 5,000 is approximately 45 minutes north of Denver. It has a rich agricultural history, and that story is told in the town’s comprehensive and delightful Pioneer Museum. The Berthoud Historical Society is one of the most active historical societies in Northern Colorado, and their work to preserve the history of the area is outstanding and commendable.
The museum won’t be open on a Sunday, and not much else in town will be either, but that’s the case in many small towns across America.
I am very familiar with Berthoud, Colorado because for the past five and a half years I’ve written for the town’s newspaper, the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor. I’ve met hundreds of people during my years working for the paper, some very young, some business owners, and many “old timers,” but every one of them was interesting and unique. I’ve really grown to cherish the community.
Berthoud is the kind of place where if a kid decides to play hooky someone will surely see them and tell their mother. It’s a true slice of Americana. There are no big chain stores, just one small grocer, an Ace, and a handful of restaurants and gift shops. The grocery store is Hay’s Market and I love shopping there. You won’t run into nicer deli staff anywhere, and I actually look forward to stopping in and doing a little shopping at Hay’s.
Berthoud’s nickname is “The Garden Spot” and many residents’ landscaping lives up to the name. The homes around Fickel Park are truly beautiful and in late spring and early summer I’d encourage you to ditch your car and stroll through down these charming streets.
Nothing beats an authentic root beer float on a warm afternoon, so when you drive through Berthoud, be sure to stop at the historic A&W, located at 802 Mountain Ave. This place is a HeidiTown favorite, but the biggest fan of all might be my husband, who is always asking to meet me for lunch there. Locally owned since 1971, people drive for miles just to experience a bit of old fashion Americana at Berthoud’s A&W.
So there you have it – my first Sunday Afternoon Drive post. I look forward to introducing you to many more communities along the Front Range in the months to come.
For my subscribers, you are probably getting this on Saturday morning and for that I apologize. In the future I will try to get this posted on Thursday night so the email will land in your inbox on Friday morning.
I love Berthoud. I live very close to it, and often find myself lazing through on the motorcycle, sometimes with my hubby or with friends, or even by myself. I love to sit on the patio of Derby Grille (on old 287 west side of town) and have a beer in the sun. In the summer they often have live music as well. Bar food is served and is pretty good. Fish Fries happen on Fridays! Another place is Mi Cochina, (right on north side of Mountain Avenue, middle of town) which used to be J.B. Clymer’s. I haven’t been since it changed hands, but the patio would still be awesome I’m sure. I can see myself there with a margarita and some nachos! Thanks, Heidi, for the Berthoud spotlight!
Super great tips Karen! I can totally see myself on Mi Cochina’s patio with nachos and a marg…. sounds real good. 🙂
Thanks for this article, and for linking to “25 Colorado Small Towns” article as well. That was full of fun tidbits about many towns I had never heard of before. My husband and I are definitely planning some frugal summer road trips now!
I also have to give a little plug for one of my favorite tiny towns in Colorado: Green Mountain Falls. Located just a few miles west of Colorado Springs, Green Mountain Falls is as picturesque as it sounds with trails and a lovely lake with an island gazebo. My family used to run a B&B there, and we loved this quirky little town. My dad was trustee to the marshal (this meant he had the extra key) and once actually had to unlock the police office when the marshal locked himself out. Too funny. My dad also got a ticket from the same officer for rolling the one stop sign in the town, so be mindful of traffic laws when you visit!
Thanks for stopping by Lesley and thank you for the comment! I have never heard of Green Mountain Falls and will put it on my list of place I need to check out. We LOVE Manitou Springs, and it sounds like it’s not far from there. That entire area is sort of quirky!
I hope you stop by again! And if you haven’t already discovered this, HeidiTown’s party blog is on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/HeidiTown.comOnFB