For many years, people thought the Mayor (that’s me) lived in the mountains. Breckenridge and Durango were cited most often. A few HeidiTown citizens thought I was from Ouray. Now, 12 years later, the cat’s out of the bag. I am from Loveland. I moved here 17 years ago from Denver.
While I have watched changes and a lot of growth in Loveland, a few things remain the same. My love for the views has never faltered and my treed neighborhood is picture-perfect in the spring.
As I sit at home, under safer-at-home orders, I have begun to contemplate many things. While I miss traveling, Loveland is not a bad place to be stuck. In fact, our city has a lot to offer, even those of us who’ve been around for a while.
Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite Loveland things.
Benson Sculpture Garden in the Spring
Ryan and I discovered Loveland in the book, “The 100 Small Best Small Art Towns in America.” With sculptures scattered all over, this town was the inspiration for the book. Art was our inspiration as well, and we landed in Loveland, due in no small part to this book and Benson Sculpture Garden. It is definitely my favorite park in Loveland.
The best time to visit Benson Sculpture Garden is in the spring when the trees are blooming and colorful tulips surround the pond.
I’d be remiss if my post about Loveland favorites didn’t mention Door 222 Food & Drink. Located downtown, this restaurant started a food renaissance in Loveland. For the last 50+ years, an amazing steak was available at Black Steer, however, Door 222 introduced Loveland’s palate to tapas and items like bacon-wrapped dates. Since then, every new eatery that came on the scene has had a good food game.
For more casual fare, and by casual I mean tacos or tortas, my go-to is Taqueria Rancho Alegre. This place isn’t fancy and doesn’t have a website, but the tacos and tortas are some of the best on offer in Colorado.
Loveland’s mountain vistas are beautiful. Some of the best places to take in the views are from County Road 9 and Lake Loveland. But of course, the Colorado mountains are majestic from wherever you happen to be standing.
One of the most scenic views in Loveland is the Devil’s Backbone. I’ve put a lot of miles on my tennis shoes (and dogs) along the trail here. The Devil’s Backbone is actually a geographical phenomenon that has resulted in the earth in the form of red rocks being forced towards the sky creating a fence of soaring rocks jutting up from the landscape.
It’s a stunning sight as well as a great place to burn some calories, just watch out for rattlesnakes.
I could go on and on about Loveland. I adore the Recreation Trail that runs approximately 18-paved miles. The stretch that winds through southwest Loveland is spectacular in the spring.
Both Ryan and I are huge fans of the MetroLux Dine-In Theatre at The Foundry downtown. There is nothing like it in Northern Colorado which makes it extra special. The movie theater features a dine-in restaurant and bar, so you can actually eat a delicious meal in the restaurant without seeing a movie. Or order dinner in the theater. It turns out, I do not enjoy eating a full meal in the dark so I prefer to eat first.
This theater also has the best popcorn ever and I’ll admit that during safe-at-home and safer-at-home order, we’ve gotten popcorn to go several times. It’s absolutely one of my favorite things.
It may sound weird to have a parking garage on my favorite list but it is. Every town and city has its parking issues but our relatively new garage means parking problems are nonexistent for me. Right now it’s free but if there is a fee in the future, it will be worth it.
Feel free to tell me (in the comments) your favorite thing about your town!