Feel the Love in Loveland.
Want a break from the great outdoors after you leave Rocky Mountain National Park?
The road from Estes Park to Colorado’s plains leads to Loveland, a town that prides itself on having a large heart. In addition to putting on a huge Valentine’s Day celebration [it ’s three days long], it hand stamps valentines from all over the country every year, so loved ones receive a Valentine’s Day card sealed in an envelope stamped with a valentine's verse.
Top 8 Things to Do in Loveland:
1. Benson Sculpture Garden
Ride a crocodile at Benson Sculpture Garden. The "croc" plus 147 other pieces of sculpture on permanent display were created by world-renowned artists. Many are life-size allowing for real, live people to strike a pose. The sculpture garden has been recognized as "one of the 200 most important modern and contemporary art sites around the world” and as “one of the 20 must-see contemporary art sites across the USA." The Loveland High Plains Arts Council hosts its renowned Sculpture in the Park event here each sumer. (970-663-2940 www.sculptureinthepark.org/garden)
2. Take the Challenge
Do a ropes course, play laser tag or climb an ancient Egyptian-themed rock climbing wall at the Loveland Laser Fun Center. (970-663-9999 laserfuncenter.com)
3. Sip a Microbrew
Pick up a Loveland brewery passport at any of the city’s eight breweries or the Loveland Visitor Center and sample local craft brews. Win a T-shirt and a pint glass when you get all eight stamps. (www.visitlovelandco.org/discover-loveland/business-category/craft-breweries/)
4. Listen to a Free Concert in a Lagoon
The Foote Lagoon Amphitheater is located in downtown Loveland, and offers an excellent outdoor setting for local concerts, shows and weddings. The Summer Foote Lagoon Concert Series events are held at this great venue! (500 E 3rd St, Loveland, CO 80537, 970-962-2738 www.rialtotheatercenter.org/foote-lagoon-concerts)
5. Find Your HeART
Go on a heart art hunt. Throughout Loveland, there are carefully placed, decorated five-foot sculptures in the shape of hearts. Download a heart map or pick up the brochure at the Visitors Center to see the locations all 30 sculptures. Want to earn a free souvenir of Loveland? Snap a photo of all 30 hearts and show them to the Visitor's Center to claim your reward. (www.loveland.org/HeARTSofLoveland/)
6. Do a Devilish Hike
The 12-mile loop trail through Devil’s Backbone Open Space has been called heaven on earth. Fill up with plenty of water at the trailhead before trekking to Keyhole Arch, at about the mile and a half mark on the left fork of the loop, for a panoramic view. Get there at dawn when the trail opens but be sure to make it back to the parking lot before dusk when the trail closes for the night. Download a trail brochure with a map on the website. (970-679-4570 www.co.larimer.co.us/naturalresources/bbone.cfm)
7. Get Lovely Bargains
Shop local boutiques in the historic downtown or go to the Outlets at Loveland where Levi’s, Under Armour and Bose await.
8. Stock Up for Your Road Trip North
Fuel up on groceries and supplies before heading north to Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. Two major grocery stores, Safeway and King Soopers, are here, in addition to a Walmart Supercenter and The Crunchy Grocer, a natural foods store.
For more information:
Loveland Visitors Center
I-25 at US 34, Loveland, CO Exit 257