What's uniquely Colorado?
August 31, 2007 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Here I am, traveling for work and stuck in Loveland, CO over the long weekend.

I've searched the archives and gotten some good general ideas for things to do, but am looking for specific thoughts about what to do this Labor Day weekend. I have a car, and am willing to drive almost anywhere - and am up for pretty much anything. Cool neighborhoods to explore in Denver or somewhere else? Some street festival I shouldn't miss? A park or trail that looks great this time of year? Touristy stuff, outdoorsy stuff, food stuff, history stuff, swank stuff, nightlife stuff - I'd welcome any suggestions.

I guess I'm mostly looking for things that are uniquely CO, or at least uniquely...not home (DC). Good: Local beef chili cookoff. I can get it at home: dime-a-dozen club.
posted by peachfuzz to Travel & Transportation around Loveland, CO (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Taste of Colorado is this weekend. I'm betting you could find some chili there!
posted by Octoparrot at 3:39 PM on August 31, 2007

Fort Collins has some rocking beer, pick a brewery and tour it.
posted by cschneid at 4:02 PM on August 31, 2007

Let's try this again. Taste of Colorado
posted by Octoparrot at 4:19 PM on August 31, 2007

Easy answer: Rocky Mountain National Park. One of the most spectacular of the country's national parks, and it's only about a half hour or so drive up US 34 from Loveland.
posted by jal0021 at 4:35 PM on August 31, 2007

Write a country song:
"I'm Stuck in Loveland but Cain't Find No Love."
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:43 PM on August 31, 2007

I heartily second Rocky Mountain National Park.

The town right before it (Estes park) has stores, restaurants, fudge, etc.

The Celestial Seasonings tea factory is near Boulder (a little south of Loveland).

Boulder has a pedestrian shopping street that's kinda fun.

Highway 14 north of Fort Collins is a fun drive, but not as good as RMNP.

Fort Collins has good bike trails and places to rent bikes.
posted by TheClonusHorror at 5:47 PM on August 31, 2007

Head out further west to the Maroon Bells, or down to Montrose. Really, you couldn't be "stuck" in a better place.
posted by notsnot at 6:07 PM on August 31, 2007

You should definitely head to Fort Collins for some local beer. After all, this is the home of Fat Tire. Most of the downtown (old town) bars will have the local stuff. Also, Coopersmith's brews its own and is popular among locals.

Thirding Rocky Mountain National Park. Can't go wrong with the Rocky Mountains. You might also want to check out Estes Park, where the Stanley Hotel (redrum!) is located.

If you want nature-y stuff, you might want to check out Lory State Park, by Bellevue, northwest of Fort Collins. There are good hiking trails with views of the plains, particularly the Arthur's Rock trail. Also, the Devil's Backbone is an interesting geological formation in the foothills just west of Loveland.

For a quick, goofy attraction try the Swetsville zoo. It's a collection of welded metal dinosaur sculptures, and it's just off of I-25 near Timnath.
posted by univac at 6:08 PM on August 31, 2007

Taste the Magic of Mexico
posted by rhizome at 6:13 PM on August 31, 2007

Go check out the New Belgium Brewery in Ft. Collins. Also, the CU-CSU football game is tomorrow morning -- tickets are sold out, but it'll be on TV (and if you're not into football, at least there won't be any crowds in Boulder & Ft. Collins).
posted by lilac girl at 7:06 PM on August 31, 2007

Love the Loveland! Rocky Mountain National Park is a great suggestion but may be crazy busy this weekend -- it is probably worth it though if you have never been because the drive alone is awesome.

Fort Collins has kind of a neat downtown. Boulder's pedestrian mall, Pearl Street, is really nice to wander on. Actually, wandering around all of downtown Boulder is incredibly pleasant....mountain views...ask anyone directions to Boulder Creek and stroll west towards Boulder Canyon. Just lovely. A drive up Boulder Canyon to Nederland is also delightful -- and Nederland has some nice mountain town funkiness still going on. Great trails nearby, too. Oh, and Boulder has good trails just on the west edge of town in their mountain parks if you don't want to go up to Ned.

Notsnot's reccomendations of Maroon Bells and Montrose (?) are quite far away -- but, yes heading west somehow...towards Rocky Mountain National Park or via I-70 will take you to some gorgeous country that is uniquely Colorado.

Email if you have any questions or want to hang out with a random mefite for the day. I'm planning on hiking in the mountains with my dog anyways.
posted by fieldtrip at 7:10 PM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Celestial Seasonings factory tour. It's worth it for the opening of the door to the peppermint room alone! Cool robots too. Also, don't miss the protected prairie dogs out front, while you're there.
posted by jvilter at 7:20 PM on August 31, 2007

Many great recommendations. This may be kinda far, but if you want to do something uniquely Colorado, driving through the mountains would be it. And if you want the best of the best (IMHO, of course), you've got to see Panorama Point in Golden Gate State Park. The picture on that site doesn't do it justice, it is absolutely breathtaking, easily the best view in Colorado I've ever seen in my 10 years of living here.

But you really can't go wrong with any of the suggestions above. Let us know what you do and how you liked it!
posted by icebourg at 7:35 PM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Rocky Mountain National Park. I assume there aren't any roads in DC that reach 12183' :-)
posted by lukemeister at 9:44 PM on August 31, 2007

My wife is from Colorado, here's a few ideas she had:

* If you're driving up to the mountains, get up early - traffic on Labor Day weekend is hellish. If you get up while it's dark and get up to RMNP, you could watch the sunrise come up over Long's Peak - awesome. Also, go to Wild Basin, it's part of the park and it's gorgeous. And don't get too close to the elk, they can and do charge dumbass tourists who try to feed them.

* In Estes Park, go to Kind Coffee, roasted at 7,522 feet!

* Colorado is mountains and beer and mountain-biking. New Belgium Breweries has great beers, but she strongly recommends going over to Fort Collins, finding the bar Coopersmiths, and working your way through a few samples.

* In Loveland, check out the Loveland Sculpture Gardens - there are more sculpture foundries in Loveland than anywhere else in the US.

* Heartily second the Celestial Seasonings tour, especially the peppermint room. We're having their peppermint tea shipped over to the UK, it's that good.

* If you have time and feel like a drive, go to Red Rocks natural Ampitheater, south of Denver, even if there's not a concert on, it's still quite a sight.

* Check out the Dushanbe Teahouse in Boulder, a genuine Khazakstani teahouse that was shipped over to Boulder as a gift. Quite a sight.

* Drink water out of the tap - mountain water is the best thing since sliced bread.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:19 AM on September 1, 2007

DenverFest continues tonight and tomorrow at rock joints around tonight -- tonight early-90s emo band Christie Front Drive reunites for a show (along with The Volts, a late-90s rock outfit).
posted by joe_murphy at 5:39 PM on September 1, 2007

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