Longmont is an ideal place to live and play, with a range of housing options with lower home prices compared to nearby Boulder, as well as an abundance of recreation opportunities, cultural attractions and exciting events. With its uniquely stunning panorama of the Front Range, the city prizes its perfect view of Longs Peak (which Longmont was named for). Over the last twenty years, Longmont has nearly doubled its population, making it the 13th largest city in Colorado. Along with the population boom, the city has revived its beautiful historic downtown which has been designated an official Colorado creative district. Meanwhile, the old Twin Peaks Mall on the west side of town was redeveloped into Village at the Peaks, a modern, outdoor shopping center and community events hub. Though Longmont has seen a ton of change, the city and its citizens honor the city’s history and traditions by continuing important annual events, preserving historic buildings and celebrating the city’s history. Here are the 10 best things to do in Longmont, Colorado.
#1 Take a Stroll in Longmont’s Historic Downtown
Longmont’s charming historic downtown is home to over 40 local restaurants, shops, boutiques, galleries and more. Longmont hosts many of its annual events downtown, including the Longmont Lights holiday celebration, parades galore, and summer concerts. To see some of the historical architecture, paint some pottery at Crackpots Pottery Studio or do some shoe shopping at local favorite, Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. To check out Longmont’s longest running business in town, get a haircut at Elite Barber Shop, established in 1875. Take a break for breakfast or lunch at Janie’s Cafe, for homestyle comfort foods and breakfast served all day. One of my longtime favorite shops is family-owned Used Book Emporium, where you will find thousands of used and new books representing every genre. Kids will love Lost Marbles Toy Store, where you will find unique and classic toys like giant jenga, big wheels, and regular storytime visits from Santa (all year long!). For a pick me up, check out the original Ziggi’s Coffee, serving up favorites like the frozen turtle mocha or a hot latte.
#2 Go to a Local Brewery
Longmont is one of Colorado’s craft brewery hubs, home to many small breweries as well as the large, award-winning, employee-owned Left Hand Brewing Company. Left Hand offers daily tours, as well as a taphouse at the Longmont brewery. If you love German-style lagers, check out Wibby Brewing‘s Moondoor Dunkel or Lightshine Helles at Wibby’s downtown taphouse. Another downtown favorite is 300 Suns Brewing, serving up sours, ales, and IPAs as well as wine, cider, cold brew coffee and food. For a beer garden experience that is both kid-friendly and dog-friendly, try Grossen Bart Brewery, providing fresh beer, weekly live music, food trucks and free popcorn.
#3 Check Out Longmont’s Fun Events
Longmont hosts fun events throughout the year, from festivals to parades to concerts. Every Friday in June, Longmont presents the free Downtown Summer Concert Series where locals dance in the street and enjoy great live music. For 148 years, the Boulder County Fair has been held in Longmont at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. This classic country fair (free admission!) offers fairgoers the chance to see farm animals, barrel races, stunt dog shows and more, as well as ticketed rides and events. New this year, Longmont will be hosting the Downtown Block Party in August, featuring a scavenger hunt, live music, an Amazing Race, games, art and street performers. Longmont also hosts the popular holiday event, Longmont Lights featuring a fireworks show, parade, meet and greet with Santa as well as ice skating. Another popular winter event is the Hops + Handrails Beer Fest & Rail Jam, a combination beer festival (hosted by Left Hand Brewing) and 40 foot snowboard ramp and rail jam competition in Roosevelt Park. Throughout the year, Village at the Peaks holds free family-friendly events and holiday celebrations for the Longmont community.
#4 Take the Kids for a Day of Fun
Kids are in luck in Longmont! There are a ton of fun, kid-friendly places to explore around town. Sunflower Farm is a rural haven in South Longmont where kids can feed goats, sheep and llama, jump from hay bale to hay bale, play in the corn house, playhouse and sandboxes, explore the tree forts and bridges, hold a chicken, soar down the zipline, balance on the slackline. There is even an old airplane to explore! For kids looking for a challenge, Warrior Playground is a full scale American Ninja Warrior and Obstacle Course Race training facility for kids & adults to experience the thrill of tackling the obstacles they see on the TV show. During the summer, Union Reservoir‘s sandy swim beaches are a fun gathering spot for kids and families in Longmont. Lifeguards are stationed at the beach for safety. For indoor fun, Dizzy Family Fun Center offers an indoor amusement park that features laser tag, a kiddie town, arcade, ninja course and nerf wars.
#5 Try One of Longmont’s Best Restaurants
Longmont is known and loved for its diverse range of delicious foods offered at local restaurants. For breakfast, stop in at Lucile’s Creole Cafe, featuring Colorado Cajun breakfasts, Blackened Salmon and grits, Creole omelets and rice pudding porridge. For lunch, there’s nothing more satisfying than Jefe’s Tacos & Tequila street tacos, mouth-watering queso and of course, a margarita! For dinner, check out The Roost, perfect for meeting friends or for date night, with a relaxed environment, amazing menu full of locally sourced ingredients and reasonable price.
#6 Go on an Adventure
Craving adventure? Look no further! Longmont-based Mile-Hi Skydiving Center offers the thrill of jumping from a twin-engine plane and parachuting to the ground. For a more relaxing way to take to the skies, hop on a beautiful hot air balloon and see the Front Range from a whole new perspective. Rocky Mountain Balloon Rides offers private (very romantic!) flights for two, or larger flights for groups. Would you rather be on the water than in the air? At Union Reservoir, rent a kayak or paddleboard from Rocky Mountain Paddleboard to spend a fun day on the water.
#7 Spend a Day at the Park
The City of Longmont has lovingly created beautiful parks throughout the city, making for fun and relaxing public spaces all over town. The brand new Adventure Playground at Sandstone Ranch Community Park is a place for kids to enjoy climbing, digging, splashing, spinning, hopping and exploring! The playground’s main attraction is water and sand play, which are found in the center of the playground. Kids will also find giant aquatic animals for climbing, fossils for discovering, lily pads for hopping and water spray jets for keeping cool. Roosevelt Park, located in downtown Longmont, features a playground, senior center and pavilion where concerts and events are held, as well as winter ice skating. At Kanemoto Park, visitors will take in the beauty of the Tower of Compassion, a traditional five-story Japanese temple commissioned by local brothers, Jimmie and George Kanemoto.
#8 Discover the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center
The Longmont Museum and Cultural Center is a community and cultural hub for the city, featuring changing exhibits in history, art and science. The long-term exhibit, Front Range Rising, is an award-winning look at the history and culture of this region from 14,000 years ago to today. Kids will love the new hands-on Treehouses exhibit! The Museum holds regular hands-on education programs for all ages, as well as events like indoor and outdoor concerts and performances, film series and lectures.
#9 Revel in Longmont’s Creative District
Love music, art, theater? Longmont’s Creative District has it all. Two community theaters, music shops that offer lessons, a dance studio, countless arts and crafts workshops as well as art galleries, public art and tons of live music performances. The Firehouse Arts Center offers art lovers a place to see works of art from local artists as well as offering art classes and workshops to the public. Head to the Creative District for 2nd Friday, featuring art, music and performance at downtown shops, restaurants, galleries and workshops on the 2nd Friday of each month. Twice a year, the Longmont ArtWalk charms locals with live performances, visual artists, kids art activities with a free Arts Festival.
#10 Take a Step Back in History
Check out the Agricultural Heritage Center! Get a glimpse into the history of agriculture in Boulder County and enjoy the rural surroundings. This site focuses on the years 1900 to 1925 when local families prospered as farmers and witnessed the coming of the Modern Age. Kids will love the interactive exhibits, 1909 farmhouse furnished with items from the 1910s, animals on site including chickens, pigs, draft horses and sheep, two barns, blacksmith shop and more! During the summer months, visit the Dougherty Museum Friday – Sundays to discover beautifully restored antique automobiles, including models powered by steam and electricity! Visit Hoverhome, Longmont’s beautiful 1913-1914 gothic revival home, built by Charles L. Hover and his family. The St.Vrain Historical Society offers tours of the home a few times a year, for this year’s tours, click here.