Attractions in Loveland, Colorado

by Joe Fletcher , Demand Media

    Loveland, Colorado is a city of 67,000 in the foothills of northern Colorado outside of Fort Collins. The city has earned various nicknames, including "Gateway to the Rockies" and "Arts and Hearts" capital of Colorado, pointing to its combination of culture and rugged, outdoor adventure. You'll find many things to do in Loveland.

    Art

    Loveland has a robust reputation for art, earning a number two spot in John Villani's fourth edition of "The 100 Best Art Towns in America." Visitors will find art without even stepping into a gallery; more than 200 sculptures are on display in parks and public places throughout Loveland. During the second weekend of August, the town hosts three major art shows. If you don't happen to be in town in August, stop by the Benson Sculpture Garden, Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra or one of Loveland's galleries for your fill of art.

    Outdoor Recreation

    Known as the "Gateway to the Rockies," Loveland is located near a variety of outdoor recreation areas. The town is about 30 miles east of Rocky Mountain National Park, which is among the top 10 visited national parks, according to the National Parks Conservation Association. The park offers more than 350 miles of trails, scenic drives and year-round mountaineering. More opportunities include the 15-mile walking/biking trail through town, Devil's Backbone, which is a county open space on the outskirts of Loveland, and Pinewood Reservoir. The city boasts 300 days of sunshine annually, so you're likely to get a few clear days for exploring the wilderness near town.

    Shopping

    Downtown Loveland is home to a variety of boutiques, galleries and shops. CBS Denver ranked shops such as Almosta Mercantile, a store that sells a variety of gifts and home decor and offers a festive Christmas ambiance, and Merchant Voyage, which offers an eclectic selection of collectibles and art including wall art, antiques and jewelry, among the best places to shop in downtown Loveland. Shoppers can also enjoy outlet shopping at the Outlets at Loveland and more upscale retail shopping at the Promenade Shops at Centerra.

    Valentine's Day Festivities

    Thanks in part to its name, Loveland has earned a reputation as the "Sweetheart City." It takes this role seriously, hosting a Valentine Re-Mailing Program that it calls the largest in the nation. More than 50 volunteers gather at the chamber of commerce each February to mail out special messages of love and peace. To participate, send your valentine to: Postmaster Attention Valentines 446 E. 29th St. Loveland, CO 80538-9998 The town also hosts a Miss Valentine Day competition.

    Loveland Ski Resort

    Loveland Ski Resort is one of the closest resorts to Denver. It's located about 55 miles from both Denver and Loveland in Dillon, Colorado, which is west of Denver. Loveland Ski Area is not related to the city of Loveland.

    About the Author

    Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.