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5 Reasons to be Crazy about Longmont

Less than 40 miles from Denver, about 45 miles from Denver International Airport and just 15 miles from Boulder, Longmont is a thriving city surrounded by spectacular mountain settings. 

A farm in Longmont, Colorado
A farm in Longmont, Colorado
A Longmont wedding
A Longmont wedding
Cheese Importers' cheese cooler
Cheese Importers' cheese cooler
Longmont's Brewhop Trolley
Longmont's Brewhop Trolley
Longmont Performing Arts Center
Longmont Performing Arts Center
St. Vrain State Park's sunset
St. Vrain State Park's sunset
McIntosh Lake in Longmont
McIntosh Lake in Longmont
Downtown Longmont
Downtown Longmont
Oskar Blues Brewery
Oskar Blues Brewery
Paddleboarding in Longmont
Paddleboarding in Longmont
Feeding the chickens at Sunflower Farm
Feeding the chickens at Sunflower Farm

From a culinary scene anchored by a splendid stash of passionate craft-beverage producers, artisans and farmers to stellar access to outdoor pursuits like hiking, biking and watersports, it won’t take you long to realize why locals love this laid-back Front Range community. 

It’s a culinary haven. 

With more than a dozen breweries, four distilleries and a cidery, Longmont is a dreamland for craft-beverage devotees. Sip your way through the city on the Brewhop Trolley, a hop-on/hop-off loop that whisks riders to tasting rooms every Saturday and Sunday from noon–9pm. Have a pint of Dale’s Pale Ale with a view of their stainless steel fermentation tanks at the Tasty Weasel Taproom inside Oskar Blues Brewery, and pop into Longtucky Spirits’ lounge for live music and cocktails infused with Front Range-grown ingredients like juniper, lavender and sugar beets. And check out St. Vrain Cidery’s award-winning concoctions in flavors like Dry Chokeberry or Key Lime, or taste Left Hand Brewing Co.’s iconic flagship Sawtooth Amber Ale on their sun-soaked patio. 

Rooted in agriculture, Longmont is still home to a flourishing farming community. Wander the Longmont Farmers Market to meet more than 50 vendors selling their fresh-picked fruits and veggies, plants, handmade soaps and other artisan products (Saturdays, April through November). Or taste the bounty of local producers at farm dinners throughout the summer and fall, which boast meals prepared with ingredients grown on-site. Ollin Farms offers four-course feasts on the banks of Left Hand Creek; Lyons Farmette gives guests the chance to meet their hens, alpacas and goats and tour their fields before supper; and Meadow Lark Farm Dinners hosts events at various farms in and near Longmont. More about agritourism activities >>

Cheese is another Longmont culinary staple. Tour Haystack Mountain Cheese, a family-owned institution that’s churned out creamy delights made with goat’s and cow’s milk since the late 1980s. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the artisan cheesemaking process and partake in a guided tasting (Thursdays, 10am–4pm); or learn how to make brie or cheddar with The Art of Cheese, headquartered at Haystack Mountain’s Cheese Education Center. Then, stop at Cheese Importers, a beloved spot to pick up local and imported cheeses, cured meats and other specialty goodies for more than 40 years. Choose from more than 350 varieties of cheese, or settle in for breakfast, lunch or dinner at their La Fromagerie. 

Access to Colorado’s famed great outdoors in unparalleled. 

For those who fancy exploring on foot, Longmont has loads of hiking trails to choose from. Keep your eyes peeled for mule deer, elk, prairie falcons, Western meadowlark and other wild residents at Heil Valley Ranch; discover vistas of wildflower-studded meadows and the snow-crowned Rocky Mountains at Rabbit Mountain Open Space; or ramble past sights of verdant rolling grasslands and sandstone buttes at Hall Ranch

Fancy a summer cool down? Go swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, boating or swimming at 736-acre Union Reservoir, also known as hot spot for walleye and trout fishing. You can also appreciate lovely views of 14,259-foot Longs Peak from the water at McIntosh Lake, a favorite paddling destination, and Golden Ponds, a collection of four bodies of water withan ADA-accessible fishing pier.

For an easy way to get around and enjoy the outdoors, rent a cruiser from one of many  Zagster Bike Share stations. Just download the app to pay for rentals by the hour and pick up a map at the Longmont Visitors Center. 

If you’re up for a day trip, the alpine lakes, wild woodlands and colossal peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park are just 45 minutes away. Plus, the scenic mountain roads on route to the park from Longmont boast breathtaking glimpses of the Front Range and Arapahoe and Roosevelt national forests.

The arts scene is booming.

Downtown Longmont’s designation as one of Colorado’s 23 Certified Creative Districts is a testament to the city’s rising status as a hub for the arts. The district includes an eclectic mix of galleries, restaurants and shops. Produce your own masterpiece at Crackpots Pottery Studio or browse stacks of literary masterpieces at Used Book Emporium and Barbed Wire Books. Visit on the Second Friday of each month to peruse galleries for extended hours, mingle with artists and take advantage of promotions at restaurants and shops. 

The Longmont Museum & Cultural Center showcases the city’s multicultural roots and 14,000 years of local and regional history through a variety of exhibits. Don’t miss the Ansel Adams: Early Works exhibit, highlighting the celebrated Western landscape photographer (Jan. 26, 2019–May 26, 2019); or plan your trip around the colorful Día de los Muertos event — a treasured affair the museum takes part in and the largest Day of the Dead celebration in Colorado (mid-October through early November).

Top off a day of sightseeing with a performance from the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, a nonprofit that puts on various shows every season, from an outdoor Fourth of July concert to holiday shows in December. Longmont’s creative community also shines in public art programs, including Art in Public Places, presenting more than 75 permanent exhibits, and Shock Art, which invites artists to decorate the city’s switchgear boxes. See how many pieces you can spot while making your way around via foot, bike or car. 

You won’t have trouble finding something to do year-round. 

Colorado transforms into a snowy paradise in the winter, and Longmont is no exception. Venture about 30 miles from town to Eldora Mountain, a locals’ favorite with 680 skiable acres.  Discover pristine trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Heil Valley Ranch or Rabbit Mountain Open Space, where mountain lions, foxes and an array of shore birds are known to hang out in the cold-weather months, or plan an ice-fishing excursion at St. Vrain State Park. More about winter >>

In the spring time, many local farms experience the exciting arrival of baby animals and open their doors to the public. Feed the goats, sheep and llamas and watch the free-roaming chickens, guineas and turkeys at Sunflower Farm, a kid-pleasing locale with tire swings, hammocks and a zipline. Meanwhile, Ya Ya Farm and Orchard has Percheron draft horses, chickens, turkeys and peacocks to meet and a U-pick orchard from July through November. Come in the autumn to pick your own apples and devour apple cider donuts amid mesmerizing color-changing foliage. More about fall >>

There’s plenty of ways to dive into history.

Get the lowdown on Longmont’s early past on a self-guided walking tour to see nine properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Dougherty Museum, packed with beautiful restored antique automobiles and other one-of-a-kind artifacts, is a hidden gem. Admire multiple Stanley Steamers (early vehicles powered by steam engines), 19th- and 20th-century farm equipment, phonographs invented by Thomas Edison and other treasures (open weekends, June through August). 

The Longmont Museum & Cultural Center’s Front Range Rising, an interpretation of Longmont’s role in shaping regional history through multimedia displays and re-created scenes, and Vance Brand: Ambassador of Exploration, an exhibit about the Longmont-born Apollo astronaut, are also permanent collections worth checking out. 

Stay in Longmont

From modern hotels and motels teeming with coveted amenities to welcoming bed and breakfasts and convenient vacation rentals, lodging in Longmont caters to all budgets and preferences — making the city an easy weekend destination or home base for exploring nearby attractions.

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