Recomendations around Longmont, Colorado

darcytribe

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Mar 14, 2013
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727
My wife and I will be taking a week to vacation in July around Longmont Colorado. We plan to spend several days in the Rocky Mountain National Park mostly doing some of their alpine hikes. I'm looking for other recommended experiences, restaurants, activities that we would want to take in while there, thanks!
 

RCB

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Apr 1, 2018
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CO
I'm a local. The West Side Tavern is a great small spot for dinner and drinks, though the word is getting out so it's starting to get crowded in the evening. A reservation is a good idea. Otherwise, walk up and down Main St and see what strikes your fancy; most of the best options are between 2nd and 6th st. If you're a fan of beer, Longmont has a surprising amount of quality micro-breweries for its size. Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Wibby, and quite a few more. If you want to treat the wife to a cute french-style dinner date, the Cheese Importers is a great unique spot. Feel free to message me for more ideas.

Of course, Boulder is a 20 minute drive and offers a lot more options for dining. The Dushanbe Tea House is a unique building that serves good food.

As far as recreation goes, there are two lakes in town, but really it's all about the mountains.
 

Afhunter1

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Mar 30, 2016
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Drive down and spend a day going to Pike's Peak. On your way back stop at the Buckhorn Exchange and have a buffalo ribeye. I do both every time I have a few minutes around Denver.

Buckhorn Exchange has a very cool history and holds liquor license #1 in Colorado. It's been around a while!
 

granite7

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Aug 18, 2017
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Colorado Front Range
There are already some good suggestions here. I don’t consider any of these “must do” recommendations, but you might check it out depending upon your interests.

Bands on the bricks on Pearl St in the Republic of Boulder - Tuesday nights iirc

Niwot has summer concerts in the park with the red caboose off of Diagonal HWY - Thursday nights iirc

Visit “Your Butcher, Frank” for submarine sandwiches to take on your hikes. They’ll feed you for two meals, easy

There is a skydiving place that flies out of the Longmont airport

Depending on dates, Longmont has a cute air show some time during the summer

Celestial Seasonings (the tea place) tour

Boulder County fairgrounds (in Longmont) has a nice farmer’s market on Saturday mornings

Georgia Boys for great southern BBQ

Notable businesses in the area: IBM is building a huge solar array, Seagate has a campus in Longmont, Crocs is nearby








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camelcluch

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Mar 4, 2014
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If near Estes, check out the Stanley Hotel. Leadville is cool to check out and the coors brewery has a good tour.
 

Summit1

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Jun 23, 2017
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I'm surprised that no one mentioned Tortugas, it's the best dinner in town IMO. La Mariposa is pretty good for Mexican food. Brad
 

ShawnStonefly

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Oct 22, 2015
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Location
Colorado
While Longmont is close to Boulder its a pretty quick drive to Fort Collins as well.

Longmont
Brewhop Trolley (goes to all the breweries in Longmont)
Your Butcher Frank is amazing for sandwiches and meats if your grilling
Janies Cafe/Hidden Cafe/Aunt Alices (Local breakfast spots)
Downtown Main St. has really revitalized last 5 years so tons of stores and restaurants to try

Boulder
Pearl St.
Chautauqua Park /Flatirons/ Eldorado Canyon
Avery Brewing
Rincon Argentino (awesome empanadas)

Lyons
Cool town before you go up the mountain to Estes Park (RMNP) worth walking around in. They usually have some Live Music up there in the summer.
 
OP
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darcytribe

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Mar 14, 2013
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727
Thank you all so much. We definitely will be working some of these in during our visit! Would any of you have specific hike recommendations in the RMNP? We wouldn’t want to take any technical hikes or any more than moderate physical difficulty but would like to maximize our scenery best bang for the buck. I’ve also read getting to trailheads early is a necessity.
 

granite7

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Aug 18, 2017
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Colorado Front Range
In RMNP, I would say start at the Bear Lake parking lot by 6:30am. The lake itself is one of the best destinations. Trails are all pretty easy. Possibly hike to dream lake, nymph lake, or Alberta falls.

While you are on the way back down, take a quick walk around Sprague lake (if you can find a parking spot).

Also make a drive across to the alluvial fan. It is a short hike, but an interesting feature.

For a more strenuous climb, we enjoyed Gem Lake near Estes.


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Titan_Bow

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Dec 10, 2015
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Broomfield, CO
Lived in Longmont for 10 years, we just moved a little further south 2 years ago. An evening at Oskar Blues is always good, they have a really cool outdoor area, and the food and beer is always good. Sugarbeet is really good if you are looking for a little more upscale dining. Colterra in Niwot is also another option for more upscale dining. Niwot also does a cool thing every thursday night called "Rockin on the Rails" theres food trucks, live bands, and lots of people just hanging out. The farmers market at the Boulder County fairgrounds every Saturday morning is a good thing to catch if you happen to be around.
In the park there are so many hikes to do. Like said, I would go to Bear Lake, but you want to be there first thing in the morning. Just down from the Bear Lake parking lot is the trail that goes up to the Loch Vale. If you have a little packable 3wt flyrod, bring it and some little dry flies. The greenback cutthroats in the Loch will hit about any little dry fly or terrestial pattern.
 

Billy Goat

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May 6, 2018
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Shenandoah Valley
As said before I enjoyed red rocks. It's something different. Short walking trails around.

Something I enjoyed that I had no idea about was Rocky Mountain Arsenal wildlife refuge. It's not your typical refuge. It's a little ways from Longmont but not bad. It was an arms facility that has been converted to a refuge. Kinda touristy but I do habitat restoration so I enjoyed seeing it. Has a museum setup along with a loop you can drive in a vehicle. If you are tired it's something that doesn't take a tremendous amount of energy to do. Big mule deer you can dive Right past. Also bison and whitetail.
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Went through Rocky Mountain National Park also. Seemed like everywhere we pulled over to walk in to areas to look around 3-5 vehicles would pull in and park and follow you. It was packed with people. Kinda too much for me. Most of the trails covered with people. It was end of August so it could have been the time frame. But just be prepared for that. The higher elevation trails looked like they were covered in ants. Trains of hikers.
 

Bigjay73

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Jan 23, 2019
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45
Rocky Mountain Arsenal is a cool place. Honestly, I'd drive through RMNP, and hike elsewhere. its ridiculously busy. East of Winter Park has the Indian Peaks, and James Peak wilderness areas. Get on the CDT and you'll forget all about RMNP.
 

Slingblade

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Aug 1, 2018
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Raleigh, NC
Our family has spent a week in July in RMNP the past few years. We mostly enjoy fishing the high mountain lakes. For an Alpine hike above the treeline Flat Top Mountain was fun for us. The place can be insanely busy and gets frustrating. The trail leaving Alberta Falls reminded me of Disney World with all the people last year. It is a beautiful place though.
We a re heading to Taos NM for a change of pace this year.
 
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