Loveland, Colorado is situated just off I-25. Its exit, US-34 W, is popular not only for people going to Loveland but also going to the Colorado resort town of Estes Park, as well as Rocky Mountain National Park.
But Loveland of course is worth a visit in itself, not the least because of its many Outlet shops, which are visible from I-25.
Loveland is 54 miles south of Cheyenne on I-25. Visitors from Cheyenne and Wyoming in general will drive down I-25, bypassing Fort Collins (a city of some 144,000 people) and continue on just a few more minutes to get to Loveland (about 77,000 people).
Take exit US-34 W, and stay in the right hand lane to get onto Rocky Mountain Avenue. Instead of a simple 4-way stop, you’ll come to a “traffic circle.” Take the exit for Foxtail Drive. After just a few seconds, turn onto Stone Creek Circle and there you are.
Pay attention to how you come because you’ll want to retrace your steps on the way back, and the “traffic circle” doesn’t make that intuitive, and certainly not as simple as having a simple 4 way stop instead!
Also be careful when driving in Loveland as the right hand lane always has a habit of ending, and if you’re in it you’ll have to turn off whether you want to or not.
The Loveland Visitors Center building is also home to the Loveland Chamber of Commerce and the McWhinney-Hahn Sculpture Park.
As the name implies, the Loveland Visitors Center features brochures and information for Loveland only. It’s worth a stop even if you’re just passing through to perhaps purchase a souvenir or learn something about the city that you never knew.
For example, Loveland is world-famous for its Valentine Remailing program. People send their Valentine’s Day cards to a special address in Loveland during February, and the Loveland post office in turn cancels them with a special cancel that differs each year – featuring a poem and illustration. (http://www.loveland.org/ValentineRe-MailingProgram/). Loveland is known as the Sweetheart city and of course even better than having your Valentine’s Day card cancelled and mailed from this city, would be to visit the city in person on that day with your sweetheart!
In front of the Visitors Center is a large heart sculpture. Like Cheyenne’s Big Boots and Fort Collins’ Rearing Horses, Loveland’s Giant Hearts were a fundraising initiative for the city and today serve as tourist magnets – there are over thirty throughout the city, each painted by a different artist. A map to find each Heart is available from the Visitors Center.
So what’s to see and do in Loveland?
Loveland, Colorado has been voted one of the country’s “most idyllic and picturesque small cities,” is a top pick for its annual 4th of July fireworks, is “one of the most affordable places to retire by the water,’ was voted by the Chicago Tribune as a “family-friendly Valentine’s Day destination,” and was #2 of the top 100 “Best Small Art Towns in America” according to John Vilani (author of the book, Top 100 Best Small Art Towns in America!)
- Loveland Fire & Ice Festival (February)
- Larimer County Fair & Rodeo (August)
- Sculpture in the Park (August)
- Fine Art & Wine Festival (August)
- Corn Roast Festival (August)
But there’s much more than the above going on in Loveland, especially from May to December, with sculpture parks, seasonal train rides, and more. All these can be found in Loveland brochures such as the Loveland-Colorado Your Adventure Begins brochure available at the Visitors Center.