Ten years ago, if you asked a Coloradan where Loveland was they’d point to the mountains. This is because, for many years, Loveland Ski Area was better known than the city with the same name, but that has changed.
The City of Loveland is working hard to make sure everyone knows that they are open for business, and last week I had the opportunity to attend the unveiling of Loveland’s new tourism branding and billboard on I25.
So why should you visit Loveland, Colorado?
Loveland is located just 40 miles north of Denver, and has a renowned reputation as a sculpture community. On the second weekend of August in Loveland, there’s a huge, international celebration of the city’s most well-known commodity – sculpture. I’ve written a post about the festival here.
Benson Sculpture Garden, located near Lake Loveland, is a park where you can see many sculptures year round. Go here to see a photo gallery of pictures I took on a trip to the garden this past spring. The streets of downtown Loveland are also lined with sculptures.
Beer & Spirit Lovers
Northern Colorado is often referred to as the Napa Valley of Beer, but most people automatically think of Fort Collins when they plan a visit to the area’s breweries. Loveland, however, has its fair share of outstanding microbreweries, including Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Big Beaver Brewing Company, Loveland Aleworks, and Verboten Brewing, set to open in about four months.
For more information read my post, A Beer Lovers Guide to Hidden Gems in Northern Colorado.
In addition to sculpture show weekend, Loveland has an impressive lineup of festivals throughout the year. Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands & Brews, previously blogged about here, has become a well-attended regional event.
On the first weekend in August, hot air balloons take to the sky during the Sweetheart Balloon Rally & Airstream Show at The Ranch, and at the end of August, Loveland throws the corniest event in Northern Colorado. While Loveland may not officially be a “small town” anymore, the Old Fashion Corn Roast Festival captures that small town, Americana-feel with a parade, corn shucking contest, family-friendly fun and more.
The Larimer County Fair is held in Loveland and features the Gnarly Barley Festival, a beer event being held this year on Saturday, August 4. In September, Loveland throws another festival embracing their beer and distillery culture with Spirits at Sunset.
During the winter months, Loveland hosts a wildly popular snow sculpture event that will be sanctioned for the first time this year. Stay tuned to HeidiTown for details on the 2012 event, and read a previous post about the 2011 event here.
So there you have it, just a few of many, many reasons to visit Loveland, Colorado. As the city’s new tagline states, “it’s everything you love.”