Looking for a hip, historic town near Rocky Mountain National Park but far from crowds? Head to Lyons, Colorado, an artsy, 2,000-resident town with boutique lodging and eclectic venues.
1. A-Lodge Lyons
Why Go: The newest lodging to open in Lyons, this hip downtown hotel with mid-century modern furnishings offers a mix of rooms, including a two-bedroom king suite, a queen suite with a kitchenette and a queen kitchenette with bunk bed.
Tip: Stop by the outdoor beer garden on the lodge’s east side for a drink in the evening.
2. LaVern M. Johnson Park
Why Go: Lyons has a big recreational river scene from tubing and kayaking the Whitewater Park to fly fishing, and you can do them all from here. Buy flies or order a hand-crafted custom bamboo fly rod from South Creek Ltd. in Lyons. There’s also 15 RV sites and 17 tented sites here. from. For tent campers, sleep next to the river in walk-in tent sites 9-17. If you want to conveniently pull-up in your car and set up next to it, reserve sites 1-8.
Tip: Plan to be in Lyons for one of its amazing internationally recognized music festivals held at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch along the banks of the St. Vrain River and bordered by red sandstone cliffs. Get tickets for RockyGrass, which takes place in July, or Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, in August every year.
3. WeeCasa Tiny House Resort
Why Go: Sleep at this amazing tiny house resort along the St. Vrain River and a stone’s throw from downtown Lyons. Enjoy downtime playing bocce, volleyball and corn hole.
Tip: High-end and hip houses accommodate a variety of guests. Stay in The Rusty Aspen for two or The Solaire, a modern abode for four. The Empty Nester fits six.
4. Art Galleries
Why Go: Lyons is a magnet for artists. Don’t miss the shops with one-of-a-kind arts and crafts, including Red Canyon Art and Western Stars Gallery & Studio on Main Street.
Tip: If you are crafty, head to Lyons Quilting, one of Colorado’s largest quilt shops with more than 6,500 bolts of fabric and 2,000 batiks for sale.
5. Moxie Mercantile
Why go: This incredible bread company sells breads and pastries made with 100% organic heirloom grains and great coffee. Pick up a sandwich to-go for your day in the park and shop for local wares.
Tip: Head several doors down to the St. Vrain Market for fresh vegetables, baguettes, jams and other grocery items. There’s a great selection of gourmet cheeses, housemade sausage and fresh-baked pies.
6. Spirit Hound Distillers
Why Go: Enjoy sit-down cocktails and tasting flights inside or outside. The lawn offers table seating and yard games like cornhole. It’s located on the outskirts of Lyons, Colorado, on the east side not far from the intersection of highways 36 and 66.
TIP: The distillery also offers to-go bottle and cocktail sales.
7. Mojo Taqueria
Why Go: A short walk east of historic downtown Lyons, Colorado, this Mexican restaurant is a favorite of locals and travelers alike. It features creative, savory salsas, tacos and burritos in a vibrant setting.
Tip: Start with the chips and homemade salsa trio as you dine on Mojo’s outdoor patio. Don’t miss the braised short-rib taco.
8. Oskar Blues
Why go: Opened in 1997, this casual, family-friendly local brewery with food and live music became one of the first in the nation to can its craft brews in 2002.
Tip: Order Dale’s Pale Ale for a refreshing drink with citrus floral hops. It was the brewery’s first craft-canned mountain pale ale.
9. Lyons Classic Pinball
Why go: This Lyons landmark in the heart of downtown has been around for 15 years, offering people the chance to play 35 pinball games from vintage 1960s machines to contemporary ones, plus six classic video games.
Tip: Tournaments are held every third Thursday at 7:30 p.m. with a $5 entry fee.
10. MainStage Brewing
Why go: This newcomer to Lyons, Colorado, has a fantastic outdoor patio and live music, plus locally brewed beer. It’s located in one of the oldest buildings in town and shares its space with Kinfolk Pizza + Chicken.
Tip: Enjoy chicken tenders and pizza while you take in this classic laidback Colorado scene.
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