Visit Loveland

Summer Story Ideas 2018

Outdoor Recreation

*Need new hiking trails to try this summer? Try these alternatives to your current favorites. If you love Roxborough State Park, then you might like Devil’s Backbone Open Space.

  • Devil’s Backbone Hikes/Bike Rides: With 12-miles of trails that connect to Rimrock Open Space and Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, Devil’s Backbone west of Loveland provides a great hiking or mountain biking experience for beginners, families and dog-lovers (just leash and pick up). Find the keyhole for beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains and the perfect picturesque place for group photo or selfie.
  • Bouldering at Carter Lake: Carter Lake, just southwest of Loveland, is a beautiful place to boulder. Big Kahuna Roof has been described by one writer as “Colorado’s Best V5,” and the area has climbing at levels V2 through V8.
  • Cycling the Pinewood Reservoir/Carter Lake loop: This 22-mile moderate cycling loop provides gorgeous views and smooth roads The ride starts with a climb out of Rattlesnake Park, then descends sharply around curves to the turnoff to Carter Lake, 5 miles from the start. The Larimer County Road 31 stretch greets you with a 1.5-mile steep hill where at the top you can find your breath and a general store. The next 3.5 miles along Carter Lake is relatively flat, then after the third dam it’s a descent down a fun, curvy hill to Larimer County Road 8E.
  • Mariana Butte Loop Trail: Mariana Butte Loop Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Loveland, Colorado that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Part of Loveland’s Mariana Butte trail system, the Mariana Butte Loop trail starts at the Mariana butte golf course parking lot and loops around Mariana Butte. The first part of the trail provides panoramic views of the front range, while the second part follows the dips down around the butte and loops back to the parking lot. While hiking be sure to take the Mariana Butte trail to the top to enjoy the views from the top of the Butte.
  • The Colorado Front Range TrailLoveland to Fort Collins Connection runs between Lemay Avenue and Timberline Road on the east side of the cities. From south to north, it extends from Loveland’s Recreation Trail just west of Boyd Lake State Park to the City of Fort Collins’ Fossil Creek Trail at Carpenter Road.


  • Fairgrounds Park: Near downtown Loveland, Fairgrounds park sits along the Big Thompson River where guests can fish, enjoy a splash park on hot summer days, or walk along the river and immerse yourself in the historical buildings and bridges throughout the park. Farmers markets are hosted in this natural park every Sunday morning!
  • North Lake Park (and short walk to Benson Sculpture Garden): One of Loveland’s two family parks. Take the kids out to North Lake Park and enjoy fishing on the shores of Lake Loveland. For the hot summer days, cool off in the Lake Loveland Swim Beach, which features sand, sun, and a concessions bar. Take a ride on the Buckhorn Northern Railroad, a miniature steam train that runs throughout the park. In the evening, set up on the grass outside of the Norma & Lynn Hammond Amphitheater and listen to the Loveland Concert Band during their Concert in the Park series.
  • Mehaffey Park: Looking for a day of action? Visit Mehaffey Park! Featuring an adventure playground with a climbing wall, waterfall, a Turbo Slide, and much more! With multiple fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts, Mehaffey Park is the destination to play. Take a frisbee and play at the dog park, or on the 9-hole disc golf course in the park!
  • Loveland Sports Park: Skate, run or bike to Loveland Sports Park. Featuring basketball courts, hockey rinks, lacrosse fields, sand volleyball courts, and a skate park, this park offers amenities for the most competitive people. Visit the splash park to cool off on the hot days, or play on the full playground.

Lakes, Rivers and Water

    • Boyd Lake State Park A family-oriented Colorado state park that features camping sites along the lake front. Relax on the water in a swimming pavilion, or fish on the lake. Rent a canoe, paddle board, or paddleboat and get out on the water. For a more extreme experience, rent a jet ski or everything you need to waterski!
    • Carter Lake: Enjoy a day on Carter Lake, the reservoir set in the foothills in southwest Loveland. Break from the norm by scuba diving or rock climbing around the lake. Take a weekend and camp along the lake and take advantage of the fishing, sailing, and the beautiful views this lake offers.



  • Lake Loveland swim beach: Open daily, enjoy a day on Lake Loveland’s free swimming beach. Events will also be held on the beach including Sculpture in the Park and Craft Show.
  • Chilson lazy river: Take a break, rent an inner tube and float along the Chilson lazy river. This indoor river includes currents, geysers, and a vortex area. Right next to the river are Children’s play features, a speed slide, and a bay area with Basketball and Volleyball.
  • Winona water park: The first thing you will notice in this outdoor water park is the massive slide rolling into the pool. Lining the pool are two diving boards and a shallow water area. Swim lessons are taught in this pool and a playground for the kids.

Western Adventure – Sylvan Dale’s Dude Ranch Story:

This local Dude Ranch invites you to “let your inner cowboy/girl out” This ranch has been sitting at the mouth of the Big Thompson River since the early 1900’s, and the view is as breathtaking as ever. Available for vacations, business retreats, weddings, and any other events. Guests can enjoy the real frontier experience, fishing, hiking, and riding horses through the mountains surrounding the 3,100 acres. The meals feature meals of savory, grass-fed beef prepared by Sylvan Dale’s home cookin’ masters.

Festivals & Events

  • Art & Culture
    • Art in the Park: This two-day arts extravaganza takes place along the banks of North Lake Park. Over 50 years, Lincoln Gallery has held this arts festival which features over 200 artisans, craft beer, performance art, and live music. Local brewery, Crow Hop Brewing, will host a Beer Garden. Glass blowing demos will be held by Loveland local Dan Daggett. Giant interactive kaleidoscope and giant Jenga can also be found around the park during this festival.
      • August 11-12
    • Sculpture in the Park: Hosted by the Loveland High Plains Arts Council, this year is the 35th annual Sculpture in the Park festival. Benson Sculpture Garden will be filled with vendors selling maquette-sized editions of the permanent sculptures throughout the Benson Sculpture Garden year-round.
      • August 10-12
    • Loveland Fine Art & Wine Invitational: A day of wine, food, and art awaits at North Lake Park, as the Loveland Fine Art and Wine Festival takes place. Entertainers range from Bluesman Mike Andersen and the Blues Review Band to the Native American group the Yellow Bird Dances. Artists from throughout the United States will display their art.
      • August 12-14
    • ARISE Music Festival: Sunrise Ranch will fill with music as nationally-acclaimed artists Slightly Stoopid and Thievery Corporation headline this three-day music festival. For every ticket sold, organizers will plant one tree, standing true to the leave-no-trace ethos of the festival. This family-run festival has a focus on community-building, and addressing social-issues affecting the community. “ARISE is more than a music festival. It’s a movement”
  • Food & Drink
    • Cherry Pie Festival: Cherry pie, ice cream, and music. What more is there to enjoy in life? Dazbog coffee, Good Times Frozen Yogurt, Loveland Barricade LLC, and Visit Loveland sponsor this day of fun. Artists Danielle Ate the Sandwich, and Madalynn & the Perennial Sound are set to perform. A lecture on the cherry industry in Loveland and a Cherry Pie Baking contest headline the event.
      • July 7
    • Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands and Brews: Rain or shine, the 12th annual Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands, & Brews festival will take off. The name of the event leaves little room for interpretation, and that’s because Loveland’s best breweries (Crow Hop, Grimm Brothers, Verboten) will have vendors selling beer along with the best BBQ and Bands out of Loveland CO! All proceeds will benefit local charities.
      • July 13-14
    • Corn Roast Festival: This annual festival, held in downtown Loveland, features many corn-themed events; including, a parade, corn shucking competition, corn eating contest, a cornhole tournaments, and all the non-GMO corn you can eat! Free admittance for all!
      • August 24-25
    • Gnarly Barley Brew Festival: Love some brews? Visit Loveland’s ultimate home-brew fest and try some of the best beers from across Colorado and the people that live here! Some “Gnarly Tunes” are set for stages throughout the park while guests enjoy their brews.
      • August 4
  • Outdoor Summer Concert Series
    • North Lake Park concerts: Almost every Tuesday, come out to the Lynn & Norma Hammond Amphitheatre to enjoy the joyful music of the Loveland Concert Band in their Summer Concert series.
    • Foote Lagoon Concerts: Enjoy a mix of musicians this summer every Thursday at the Foote Lagoon. Artists slated include Patty Larkin, Ryan Shupe & The Rubberband, FACE Vocal Band, Narrow Gauge, Rusty 44 Band, and Jarabe Mexicano.
    • Chapungu concerts: Local and regional musicians fill the docket for the Sounds of Centerra concert series. Enjoy bands such as Soul School, The Trampolines, the 14ers, and Bonnie & The Clydes, at the Chapungu Sculpture Park every Friday of July.
    • Thunder Mountain Amphitheater concerts: Rock out during Thunder in the Rockies. A three day motorcycle rally held at the Thunder Mountain Amphitheater. Make sure to stay for the mainstage acts; Bret Michaels on Friday, Tesla on Saturday, and A Thousand Horses closing on Sunday.
  • Indoor Concerts & Live Music
    • Rialto Theater: Escape the heat with Rialto film series. From classics like Rio Bravo to modern films like Coco, the Rialto will be showing films throughout the summer. Summer movie clubhouse will feature family-friendly films for all ages. But adult audiences won’t feel left out, as cult classics such Office Space will have showtimes as well. Film Festivals like the Full Draw Film Tour will also be held throughout the summer at the Rialto.
    • Budweiser Events: A summer of fun fills the docket for the Budweiser events center. Garden Brothers Circus kicks off the summer. A Denver Dream game, the Jesus Culture Worship concert, and Tyler Farr fill the rest of the summer’s schedule.


  • Breweries:
    • Loveland Aleworks
      • This independent, family-owned brewery was internationally recognized in 2018 by the World Beer Cup in the Fruit Beer category! Try this globally-acclaimed beer during one of Aleworks’ many events this summer including, Fest-of-Ale, Pints for the People, or the Summer Cornhole Tournament.
    • Grimm Brothers Brewhouse
      • This brewery holds the honor of being the oldest in Loveland, and with age, comes experience. Grimm Brothers has been globally recognized including winning Bronze in the 2018 World Beer Cup for their “Fearless Young.” Try this or any of their other German-inspired beers.
    • Verboten Brewing
      • Using seasonal and local ingredients, Verboten’s craft defies the German purity laws to create a flavorful, unique experience with each of their brews. Verboten took second in the 2018 Brewery Madness competition this year, and look to have a summer of celebration with events including the IPA bash, Pots and Pints, Summer Beer Release Parties and Beer,Bacon, Coffee Donuts!
    • Big Thompson Brewery
      • Inspired by the gorgeous views of the powerful Big Thompson River, this brewery’s mission is to handcraft a hearty diversity of brews including unique recipes you need to try!
    • Crow Hop Brewing
      • Started in 2013, Crow Hop now rests in the heart of downtown Loveland. Their mix of beers and atmosphere is a perfect after-work treat!
    • Buckhorn Brewers
      • Small brewery with an original 10 beer lineup.
    • Big Beaver Brewing
      • Reduce, reuse, and recycle is the mantra of Big Beaver brewing. Creating a flavorful experience while sustaining an environmentally-friendly atmosphere leads to beers that are never filtered, pasteurized or centrifuged.
    • Tilted Barrel Brew Pub
      • Loveland’s newest Brewery is still in its infancy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a great burger and some great beer!
    • Loveland TapHouse
      • Colorado-exclusive tap list in the heart of downtown Loveland. This menu is stacked with a never-ending list of beers and a schedule of musicians throughout Summer.