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What’s Happening Larimer County

Larimer County

In Estes Park, the calming effect of nature embraces you, and there’s always a new adventure waiting to be discovered.  This beautiful mountain town, surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, is your gateway to the number one tourist destination in Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park.

Nestled in the high mountain valley at just above 7,500 feet in elevation, Estes Park is one of Colorado’s year-round natural splendors.  This delightful mountain village welcomes visitors of all ages and activity levels with various festivals, cultural experiences, playgrounds, river walks, hiking and biking trails, and much more.

Downtown’s pedestrian-friendly streets invite you to stroll, window shop, or relax along the riverwalk with some homemade ice cream.  Grassy parks, Victorian lights, and sidewalk benches add an old-fashioned feel to the array of charming shops and restaurants.  More than 300 unique shops and galleries offer a selection of handcrafted art pieces, unique giftware and fine apparel.

There are restaurants galore with everything from fast food to trendy cuisine, casual and fine dining.  Take in the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere and you’ll quickly see why Estes is known as a top family destination.

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or love to shop and dine, you’ll find more than enough to keep you entertained.  While here, we invite you to try fly fishing, hiking, biking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, river rafting and the thrill of viewing mountain wildlife.  Enjoy some of our rich historical tours, terrific golf courses, intriguing museum exhibitions, and many local art galleries.  You may not be able to do it all in one trip.  But, like most visitors to Estes, you’ll likely be back for more!

The Estes Park area offers organized events and a variety of activities to choose from throughout the year.  Such offerings include the Estes Park Music Festival, Jazz Fest and Art Walk, Rocky Mountain Brew Fest, Rooftop Rodeo, Heritage Days, the world-famous Scottish Highlands Festival, and so much more.

Estes Park’s beautiful dry climate attracts thousands of visitors each summer.  This dry climate makes hot summer days (the average high in July is 85°F) seem cool to those from other areas of the country.  And our brisk evenings (which can dip below 50°F at night) are extremely comfortable.  Summertime afternoon showers usually dissipate in time for the nightly display of stars.  Winters are surprisingly mild, with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s.  Colorado’s 300 days of annual sunshine also softens the winter months.

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Sledding & Tubing

Sledding & Tubing in Colorado

Winter fun in Colorado includes those family-fun outings for sledding and tubing. There’s generally no big advance prep involved – just dress in layers, bring your sunscreen and water and get ready to have a great time!

Perhaps you’ve noticed we have no shortage of mountains and hills, which means we have hundreds if not thousands of places to tube and sled. Most major ski resorts have dedicated hills just for this fun, and here are some good places to consider: Copper Mountain, the Meadows at Elk Camp in Snowmass; Snow Mountain Ranch Sledding and Tubing Hill at Winter Park; Firecracker Tubing Hill at Telluride; Frisco Tubing Hill at the Frisco Adventure Park (which puts you in close proximity to Copper Mountain, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge ski areas); High Country Tubing Park in Pagosa Springs; Ellefson Park in Vail; Yee-Haw Hill at Saddleback Ranch and Howelsen Hill at Steamboat Springs; Keystone’s Adventure Point; Crested Butte Nordic Center and Crested Butte Mountain Resort Adventure Park; Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center in Colorado Springs; Scott Carpenter Park and Tantra Lake in Boulder; and Kroh Park in Loveland.

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Allenspark

Visit Allenspark, Colorado

A scenic drive along Hwy 7 allows visitors from all over the world to marvel at Allenspark’s breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountain National Park, Longs Peak, (one of the state’s majestic fourteeners), Roosevelt National Forest and Mount Meeker.

Allenspark rests on the southeast edge of Rocky Mountain National Park at 8,500 feet.  This charming town welcomes visitors to enjoy the area’s several attractions, rich history and outdoor activities.

Local restaurants and bed & breakfasts offer intimate settings for memorable meals and overnight stays.  Sip on delicious coffee, take a cooking class, sample award-winning cuisine and take in a stunning Colorado sunset from a private hot tub.

Head outdoors and enjoy blue ribbon fishing in the Saint Vrain River, cross-country ski or hike on one of the area trails, or simply marvel at the breathtaking views at the historic St. Malo Chapel.  One thing is for certain; Allenspark will never disapoint!

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Red Feather Lakes

Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Tucked into the mountains north and west of Fort Collins is charming and rustic Red Feather Lakes. This year-round getaway offers a bounty of activities for families, couples, and individuals.

About Red Feather Lakes

There are 12 named lakes in the area: Parvin Lake, Dowdy Lake, West Lake, Snake Lake, Letitia Lake, Red Feather Lake, Lake Ramona, Apache Lake, Shagwa Lake, Hiawatha Lake, Lake Nokomis, and Lake Erie. All the lakes drain into Lone Pine Creek.

Part of this village’s appeal is its remoteness – it is surrounded by Roosevelt National Forest, which provides a majestic buffer between visitors and the hustle and bustle of the world outside.

Activities for All Types

There is something to do outside every season, from hiking, rafting in Poudre Canyon, kayaking, fishing the lakes or in the Poudre River, biking, horseback riding, golfing or wildlife watching. In the winter, the landscape changes dramatically, and activities take a decidedly more snow-related turn – cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, sleigh rides, and ice skating are a few popular pastimes.

Many visit the Shambhala Mountain Center,  a Buddhist retreat, where meditation sessions and other events are hosted. The center is open to visitors of all religions.

Red Feather Lakes History

Soaking up some Colorado mountain history is another way to spend time at Red Feather Lakes. It’s easy to imagine the early 1900’s lifestyles of the area’s first loggers and ranchers just by visiting historic homesteads still standing in the region, albeit not entirely upright.

Resort Lodging and Amenities

Although life for those folks was not always easy, guests at any of Red Feather Lakes’ lodging facilities will find themselves taking it easy. A guest ranch provides creature comforts for two-legged guests, and a B&B for both people and their horses is another option.

Other lodging options include cozy and casual settings such as cabins, camping facilities, and RV parks.

A comfortable B&B stay provides home cooking for dining, and cabins are also equipped for cooking. Mementos are at the trading post, antique store, and gallery.

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Morrison

Tour Morrison, Colorado

Probably best known as home to the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison is a quaint little town with a decidedly rowdy side.

Sitting at the base of Bear Creek Canyon, Morrison has a sweet and touristy Main Street, with a great selection of places to eat and a nice selection of souvenir shops and antique stores.

Of particular note just outside Morrison is The Fort, a highly praised and restaurant that specializes in wild game. Built as a replica of Bent’s Old Fort, which is in the southeastern part of the state, The Fort draws heavily on Western décor and Southwestern cuisine. There are dessert choices aplenty, and the wine list is extensive.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find a good bike path along Bear Creek that links with a bigger system and reservoir. There’s also Dinosaur Ridge for glimpses of a prehistoric kind – exposed footprints in the sandstone thrill everyone, and a good prelude to the self-guided tour is at the Natural History Museum in town. There are more exhibits at the Morrison Heritage Museum.

Morrison is really just minutes from Denver and close to other Front Range towns and cities, making it a great launch pad for virtually every activity or diversion along the I-25 corridor or in the mountains along I-70 or U.S. 285.

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Lyons

Discover Lyons, Colorado

In the shadows of Longs Peak lies the town of Lyons.  Due to its location at the intersection of State Highway 7 and U.S. Highway 36 which lead to Rocky Mountain National Park, it is referred to as The Double Gateway to the Rockies.  Home to approximately 2,000 people, Lyons sits an elevation of 5,374 feet and is surrounded by large red sandstone mountains.

Active on historic preservation, Lyons has a designated Historic District with fifteen sandstone structures which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  These were all constructed of native stone between the early 1870s and 1917.

Noted for it’s art galleries and antique shops, Lyons attracts art enthusiasts and antique collectors form near and far.  Music lovers are also drawn to Lyons for the annual Rockygrass Bluegrass festival and Folks Festival.  With nationally-known lineups and a breathtaking setting, these festivals gather people from all over the nation.  The festival grounds are located at the base of a red sandstone mountain and the St. Vrain River, offering a relaxed and beautiful natural setting.  General seating is spread out throughout the open grassy and treed grounds.  In addition to these two well-known festival, community concerts and dances continue throughout the year, including weekly summer concerts in Sandstone Park.

If you’re looking for more adventure, check out some of the nearby rivers and trails.  Mountain biking, hiking, camping, fly fishing, climbing and excellent class II-V whitewater kayaking are just a few of the popular activities that take place in Lyons.

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Longmont

Experience Longmont, Colorado

Longmont makes its mark along the Front Range as a fast-growing city with deep rural roots and a welcoming hometown feel.  An appreciation of the past and a clear, ambitious vision for the future blend seamlessly in this charming Northern Colorado city. With a passion for top-notch quality of life and community togetherness, it’s no wonder Longmont was named an “All-American City” in 2006 and was listed among Money Magazine’s Top 100 Best Places to Live. Receiving the recognition twice, Money Magazine gave an honorable nod to Longmont’s enviable mix of “good jobs, low crime, quality schools, plenty of open space, comparable home prices and lots to do.”

The city is nestled against a spectacular Rocky Mountain backdrop crowned with snow-capped Longs Peak, along with skiing, fly fishing, boating, rock climbing, and hiking adventures beckoning nearby.

Longmont’s agricultural and rural heritage is very much alive and thrives in the city’s many retail stores. Treasures can be found at the Quilt Show in Longmont, the Agricultural Heritage Museum, Callahan House, and the properties of the St. Vrain Historical Society.

Longmont Economy

The local economy is strong and growing, providing a comfortable home for large high-tech and biotech employers such as IBM, Seagate, Amgen, and numerous small independent businesses.

Longs Peak Longmont Colorado

Longmont a Diverse Friendly City

A diverse, safe, and family-friendly city, Longmont features a long list of activities for all ages. Local recreation centers offer swimming, games, wall climbing, and first-rate gym facilities. The city boasts 1,500 acres of parks and open space, including Sandstone Ranch, an award-winning sports and play park facility. Downtown is brimming with unique shops and restaurants, and the historic east and west neighborhoods are a delight. Several major festivals and events highlight the regional calendar, including the popular downtown Festival on Main, Rhythm on the River, the Boulder Country Fair, and Lyons’ RockyGrass bluegrass festival, which draws big-name headliners and music lovers nationwide.

Denver is a convenient 45 minutes south and offers metropolitan fun and entertainment year-round. Explore the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and the lovely Denver Botanic Gardens. Denver’s Center for the Performing Arts has a varied and unique repertoire of exhibitions and events. Home to the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Colorado Avalanche, and Denver Nuggets, not to mention the Colorado Rapids, winner of the Major League Soccer Cup, the city is full of non-stop pro sports action. Travel north to check out the Eagles, a semi-pro hockey team that plays at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. A must-see, the city of Boulder and the amazing Flatiron rock formations are a mere 20 minutes away from Longmont.

Arts & Culture

The city has a vibrant arts and cultural scene with more than a handful of engaging art galleries, The Longmont Theatre, The Old Firehouse Art Center and The Longmont Symphony – one of the finest community orchestras in the state.

Galleries. Public artwork. Theatre. Exhibits. Classes. Paint your own pottery. Music. Kids’ arts programs. Photography. Creative bicycle racks painted by local kids. Murals. Studio Tours. Artwalk. Sculpture.

These are just a taste of the many arts that bring the downtown area and beyond to life during the day and evenings with the many venues and events around the arts. Longmont appreciates and celebrates nearly all forms of the arts, and the local calendars, coffee shops, and galleries offer things for everyone.

The Performing Arts

Is musical production or theatre your interest this weekend? Enjoy dinner at a downtown restaurant and then choose from the Longmont Theatre Productions, Jesters Dinner Theatre, or a handful of productions offered by one of the talented middle or high school groups.

The Longmont Symphony may be most known to all in Longmont for their free concert on July 4th, but this symphony provides selections for those with diverse musical interests to audiences of mixed ages and musical awareness. Visit their downtown office or website for a complete listing.

Longmont Art

Longmont Art Galleries

Interested in seeing what the local artists are up to? A stroll down Main Street (meandering east or west periodically) exhibits the talents and creativity of the many artists in Longmont and beyond, between Carlos Healing Arts Gallery, Old Firehouse Arts Center, the Muse Gallery, the Great Frame Up, Rapid Rabits, K.C. Willis Studio & Gallery as well as the many coffee shops that frequently change out the exhibits with new and interesting and affordable works of art.

The Old Firehouse Art Center is a 501(c) 3 organization that offers two galleries, programs, and so much more in this historic old firehouse on the corner of 4th & Coffman streets. Stop by the gallery for a glimpse of frequent and rotating exhibits.

The Muse Gallery, operated by the Longmont Council for the Arts, is where local artists hang!  The gallery features three spaces: the WESTend, which provides particular exhibition space for local, regional, and national artists. The Main Gallery is dedicated to resident artists, and the community space to catch glimpses of budding young artists.

Artwalk is when this city truly celebrates all forms of art at once. On the third Friday of May, July, and September, art forms of all types are displayed, celebrated, performed, created, and appreciated by the thousands participating!

Longmont Museum

The Longmont Museum, located on the south side of town (400 Quail Road) offers three permanent exhibits featuring the history of the Front Range and Longmont with two additional galleries with rotating exhibits for those with diverse interests. The museum offers a summer concert series, various exhibit-related programs as well as the FREE “Discovery Days” for the youngsters!

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Golden

Explore Golden, Colorado

Golden began developing as a center for commerce, business development, and intellectual inspiration when it was founded in the mid-1800s. Its location is fundamental to the area’s commerce and business types. The city is tucked in against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, slightly west of Denver and just 400’ higher than Denver. Golden has always been a  gateway to the Rockies.

Things to do in Golden

Golden is a place where Rocky Mountain adventure meets intellectual inspiration. Its location means quick access to mountain activities and minutes from cultural attractions such as Red Rocks, Foothills Art Center, the 12th Street Historic District, and more. Golden offers rich culture, outdoor activities, scenic beauty, thriving businesses, and friendly people. Today, Golden has an eclectic business district with hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor opportunities just around the corner. Plus, the world’s largest single-site brewery, the Coors Brewery Company, sign up for a tour of the brewery. Golden is worth a visit, as no other small town in Colorado has such an intense cultural integration.

Golden Colorado

Ski Resorts Nearby Golden

Golden resides within the I-70 corridor, making it on the way to Colorado’s world-class ski resorts. In less than an hour’s drive, skiers and riders can access resorts such as Loveland, Eldora, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Vail, Beaver Creek, and Winter Park. Head west on US Hwy 6, and in 40 minutes, you will arrive in Central City, renowned for its casinos.

Golden’s History

Golden’s origins are from the mid-1800s Pikes Peak Gold Rush era. Gold was discovered along Clear Creek west of Denver. The city is named after Thomas L. Golden, an early prospector, not golden as in gold strike. Gold discovered in Clear Creek attracted the area’s earliest settlers in the mid-1800s. The city quickly became an important supply stop for gold miners seeking fortunes in the adjacent mountainous regions. Due to its central geographical location, it ultimately became a trade center between the gold fields to the west and settlements to the east. Known as the “Lowell of the West,” that boasted at various times three flour mils, five smelters, the first railroad into the mountains of Colorado, Coors Brewery, brickworks, the only paper mill west of the Missouri, clay mineral deposits, coal mines, and more.

Golden, a Leader in Progress

  • During the 1870s, it became home to three higher education institutions, of which the Colorado School of Mines remains today.
  • In 1993 the Golden High School building was converted into the American Mountaineering Center. Making Golden a research and education hub for mountaineering.
  • The Coors Brewery Company was founded in 1873 and became the largest single-site brewery in the world.
  • CoorsTek, a manufacturer of technical ceramics for aerospace, automotive, chemical, electronics, and more. This is a renowned business worldwide.
  • Golden is home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). A federally funded research and development center. Home to the National Center for Photovoltaics, the National Bioenergy Center, and the National Wind Technology Center.

 

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Florence

Things to Do in Florence, Colorado

Find it all in Florence… The Antique Capital of Colorado

Named after the daughter of pioneer and settler James McCandless, Florence is a little town with a bi heart.  The friendly community is conveniently situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and next to the Arkansas River.  Many of the town’s original historic buildings and homes still remain.  Numerous downtown merchants are located in Florence’s historic district.

An antique-lover’s paradise, the town features more than a dozen antique shops and co-ops and has become a favorite weekend destination for many Coloradans and out-of-state visitors looking to go treasure hunting.  You’ll find plenty of dining here as well.  Everything from hearty down-home breakfasts, bakeries and hand-tossed pizzas to fine dining, authentic Mexican restaurants and unique, inviting venues perfect for that special occasion.  Florence is also home to several art galleries and working artists studios where you can watch potters work their potter’s wheels, and painters creating on fresh canvases.  We invite you to find it all in Florence!

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Grand Lake

Vacation in Grand Lake, Colorado

Nestled on the shores of Colorado’s largest natural lake surrounded by the Arapahoe National Forest and at the western entrance to majestic Rocky Mountain National Park sits the Historic Village of Grand Lake. One of the last unspoiled resort communities in the state, Grand Lake offers both the charm and tranquility of bygone days while at the same time offering amenities that surprise first-time visitors to this mountain town.

Things To Do in Grand Lake

With more recreational water than any other region in Colorado. The opportunities for water sports are extensive at Grand Lake.

Boating on Grand Lake

Small sailcraft, lake kayaking, and paddle boarding are popular at Grand Lake. The boating season begins in May and ends in September. Swimming and fishing are also popular at this lake. However, Grand County has more lake experiences just around the corner, such as Shadow Mountain Lake, Lake Granby, Williams Fork Reservoir, and Wolford Mountain Reservoir. 

Classic Mountain Activities

Hiking, backpacking and mountain biking are popular in this area. The Fraser Valley Trail Map details 12 hiking and biking trails originating from Winter park and Fraser.

Snowmobile Capitol of Colorado

If snowmobiling is your passion, Grand Lake is a must-visit place. With over 1,000 miles of designated snowmobile trails and an average of 146 inches of annual snowfall, it’s a favorite playground. You can find maps of approved snowmobile routes through the Grand County Geographic Information System Department. If you are new to the sport, no problem, there are several outfitters and service shops in the area that provide guided snowmobile tours.

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