12 Attractions in Longmont, Colorado

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Longmont is a vibrant city located in Northern Colorado, about 30 miles from the state capital Denver. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains and surrounded by scenic farmland and prairies, Longmont offers visitors a mix of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, shopping, dining and more.

From historic downtown to its world-class breweries and music festivals that attract nationally touring acts, there are many attractions that make Longmont a great getaway or day trip destination from Denver or Boulder. This article details 12 top attractions that visitors should see and experience when traveling to Longmont, Colorado.

Main Street & Downtown Longmont

With its red brick buildings, locally-owned shops and restaurants and abundance of towering trees providing shade, historic downtown Longmont is a charming place to take an afternoon stroll. Main Street has many restored 19th century commercial buildings that now house a diverse collection of shops selling antiques, gifts, clothing, specialty foods and more. Take a break at one of the sidewalk cafes or farm-to-table restaurants, including The Roost and Harvest Junction.

Pay a visit to the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center which has excellent exhibits detailing the city and region’s pioneer history. Pop into the Longmont Public Library, built in 1917, which has an impressive rotunda. Enjoy some sweets and specialty coffee drinks at Downtown businesses like Caffè Sole or the Chocolate Lab. With antique stores, gift shops, a bookstore and recreation outfitters, Main Street has several locally-owned businesses to check out as you explore historic downtown Longmont.

Left Hand Brewing Company

Founded in 1994 in a former dairy farm in North Longmont, Left Hand Brewing Company is one of Colorado’s pioneer craft breweries. Left Hand has an excellent tasting room where you can sample award-winning beers like their Milk Stout Nitro, Sawtooth Ale and Wake Up Dead Nitro. Beer enthusiasts can take a behind-the-scenes brewery tour to see where the magic happens and learn all about the brewing process complete with plenty of tasting.

Left Hand hosts various events throughout the year like Oktoberfest or anniversary celebration in December not to mention exciting new beer releases. With some pub food available like soft pretzels or sausage platters, Left Hand Brewing is a perfect afternoon or evening stop while visiting Longmont.

Oskar Blues Brewery

Longmont is also home to the original Oskar Blues Brewery which started back in 1997 brewing craft beers in Lyons, CO before relocating to Longmont in 2008. The innovative Oskar Blues launched the craft beer-in-a-can trend with their flagship Dale’s Pale Ale being among the first canned craft beers back in 2002. Visiting what they endearingly call the “Mothership” brewery in Longmont, you can take a brewery tour or belly up to the lively and colorful Tasty Weasel Taproom.

Named one of the best taprooms in America by CraftBeer.com, the Tasty Weasel pours Oskar Blues year-round canned classics like Old Chub Scotch Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils or G’Knight Imperial Red IPA. Enjoy some smoking meats from their on-site smoker or food trucks while playing cornhole outside on nice days. With live music acts performing many evenings, it’s always a party at Oskar Blues.

Longmont Museum

To learn all about Longmont’s local history and culture, be sure to visit the Longmont Museum located right in downtown. Their exhibits and displays highlight various eras and industries that helped establish Longmont over the years from pioneer homesteaders in 1871 to sugar beet farming, the railroad transportation and thriving cattle ranching traditions.

The Longmont Museum also has excellent exhibits on the founding of the town like historic newspapers, artifacts, clothing and furniture providing a glimpse into 19th century life. Rotating exhibits profile various artists connected to Longmont or showcase aspects of regional history like the devastating floods of 2013. With downtown walking tours offered seasonally, the Longmont Museum makes an excellent home base to start exploring historic downtown Longmont.

Union Reservoir & Recreation Opportunities

Offering many outdoor recreation opportunities from boating to fishing to hiking, Union Reservoir is a major attraction located only about 10 miles from downtown Longmont. This 800 surface acre reservoir managed by Longmont Power & Communications has a swim beach, shaded picnic areas, playground, fishing docks and over 5 miles of hiking trails circling the reservoir.

Visitors can launch their power boats, go paddling in kayaks, canoes or stand up paddleboards rented from the marina or do some shore fishing aiming to catch rainbow trout, walleye, catfish or smallmouth bass. The Union Reservoir trails are open to mountain biking and hiking with great views of Longs Peak and the Front Range. Various annual events held at Union Reservoir Park include 4th of July Fireworks, Dragon Boat races and triathlons making great spectator sports.

Boulder County Fairgrounds & Events Center

For over a century, the Boulder County Fairgrounds located in Longmont has hosted exciting county fairs, rodeos and agriculture expos. Throughout the warmer months, this 65-acre fairground and events center has many festivals, expos, trade shows, sporting events and music concerts happening on weekends. Major events range from garden shows, model railroad shows, the Longmont Scottish-Irish Highland Games, craft beer festivals, Cinco de Mayo and the Rocky Mountain Coin Show.

Music acts from national touring bands to local groups perform at the 4,800-seat Rodeo Arena. With carnival rides, concerts, rodeos, craft fairs almost every weekend during summer, the Boulder County Fairgrounds offers entertainment options for all ages. And don’t miss the signature Boulder County Fair & Rodeo held for over 100 years every August.

Saturday Farmers Market

A Saturday morning tradition since the 1990s, the Longmont Farmers Market sets up three blocks of Main Street downtown from April through November. With sunny skies, local farmers sell vegetables harvested from eastern Boulder County farmlands while regional food artisans offer organic meats, baked goods, salsas, honey and other homemade items. Several street food vendors whip up crepes, breakfast burritos or coffee drinks.

Shop for organic starter plants for your garden or cut flower bouquets. Artisan crafters also sell their wares like soaps, jewelry or textiles at the market. Live musicians busk adding to the lively ambience. Leashed dogs are even welcome so you can make it a family outing while stocking up on healthy, locally-grown produce direct from nearby family farms when visiting Longmont from late spring through fall.

CenturyLink Event Center

Longmont has its own event center and indoor arena hosting major concerts, sporting events and family entertainment. Opened in 2013 right near Hover Park, the CenturyLink Event Center has nearly 5,000 seats in its arena bowl. Big name music acts like Chris Stapleton, Coheed and Cambria or Gabby Barrett have rocked the Event Center which also hosts top comedians like Jeff Foxworthy.

Minor league hockey team the Colorado Eagles play many home games at the Center from fall through spring. Holiday events range from craft bazaars to WinterWonderGrass Festival while Monster Trucks tear it up with motocross racing during summer months. With good food, bars and amenities, the CenturyLink Event Center brings plenty of excitement to Longmont on event nights.

Longmont Farm Trail

Combining two passions of the region – craft beer and bicycling – the St. Vrain Greenway takes cyclists on a 12-mile ride from downtown Longmont out to some of the city’s best breweries east of I-25. Starting downtown, the paved multi-use path follows the St Vrain River and irrigation canals taking riders past Left Hand Brewing and out to Wibby Brewing known for German lagers and ales.

Oskar Blues’ Home Made Liquids and Solids restaurant with over 100 craft cans and rocket pops for the kids makes a tasty pitstop before heading farther east. The emerging Pumphouse Brewery located in a red brick 1928 building that pumped irrigation water offers more craft beers and food in a laidback environment. Riders also pass historic Meadowlark Farm dating from 1871 now with farm-fresh restaurants. Mostly flat, the Longmont Farm Trail appeals to casual cyclists for an afternoon of beer tasting and fun.

Jim Hamm Nature Area

For a peaceful nature getaway teeming with prairie wildflowers, wetland songbirds and hiking trails with great mountain views, head to the Jim Hamm Nature Area owned by City of Longmont. Located on the far eastern edge of town, this 150-acre open space has two loop trails – a 1.5 mile Prairie Loop and 2 mile Wetlands Loop perfect for birdwatching spring through fall.

Over 200 plant species have been identified in the prairie including wildflowers like Pasque flowers, sunflowers and asters. Many migratory birds frequent the wetlands and ponds year-round like red-winged blackbirds, sparrows and hummingbirds. Visitors may spot white-tailed deer venturing through woodland areas. With the snow-capped peaks visible to the west and a gently rolling landscape, Jim Hamm Nature Area lets you immerse in the prairie ecosystem common around Longmont.

Annual Festivals & Events

Longmont knows how to throw a party with several signature annual events and festivals held throughout the year guaranteed to be good times. The Longmont Colorado Beer Fest takes place each June with unlimited tastings from over 50 regional breweries, live music and games. Sample chili recipes or show off your best at Longmont’s Chili Fest and Car Show happening mid-July. Each August, Rhythm on the River rocks sunset concerts along the St. Vrain riverfront over several weekends.

When the autumn leaves change, don’t miss the Longmont Oktoberfest in Roosevelt Park or Lefthand Brewing’s Oktoberfest Party. The city gets into the holiday spirit with a Parade of Lights on Main Street the Saturday after Thanksgiving. From cultural festivals to Independence Day fireworks shows, there is almost always a special event happening for visitors to enjoy in Longmont.

Local Shopping Scene

Beyond the small businesses found downtown, Longmont has a thriving shopping scene worth exploring. National retailers and big box stores cluster along Ken Pratt Blvd. and Hover Street for convenient shopping essentials. But for more unique boutiques, art galleries, antique stores and specialty shops, several neighborhoods have great options. Historic Main Street and East Ken Pratt Blvd feature several clothing boutiques, indoor market The upside General Store, music stores, used book shops and variety stores.

Industrial northeast Longmont has emerging areas like the River District and TinkerMill makerspace. South Main near Pike Road hosts home décor stores, antique malls, a family fun center and artisan studios open to the public. Sample chocolates or specialty olive oils before picking perfect gifts to bring home. From vintage collectibles to handcrafted artworks, Longmont shopping offers delightful local discoveries.

Conclusion


With its small-town charm combined with an impressive range of craft breweries, historic sites, music and cultural festivals alongside outdoor recreation readily accessible, Longmont, Colorado makes for an engaging getaway. Year-round events cater to visitors of all ages and interests whether learning about western heritage and pioneer history or listening to free concerts by the river during sunny summers.

From paddling on the reservoir to cheering on hockey games to browsing downtown boutiques and farmers markets, Longmont offers a diverse array of attractions. Located a short drive from Denver or Boulder along the scenic Front Range, Longmont deserves a spot on any Colorado travel itinerary.

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