Featured Photo Courtesy Ashleigh Cropper, Red Aspen Photography
Louisville was put under the spotlight in 2012 when it was named one of the top 10 Best Towns for Families in the United States by Family Circle and as the #2 Best Place to Live by Money Magazine in 2013. Since then, Louisville has shined as an optimal spot for people to live, with its quick commute to Boulder (10 minutes!), extraordinary views of the front range and small town feel. Although Louisville has a strong real estate market, homebuyers can get more bang for their buck compared to similar homes selling in nearby Boulder. Louisville has become a high tech hub for Boulder county, bringing opportunity for locals. As far as education goes, Louisville public schools are part of Colorado’s most sought after districts, Boulder Valley School District. Louisville’s public schools are highly rated not only by parents, but by teachers, paying teachers the highest salaries in the state. Louisville is a great place to live, but it is also a fun, relaxing place to visit. This year, Louisville was named one of Trip Advisor’s Great American Small Cities to Visit in 2018, with its proximity to the mountains, quaint downtown and amazing food. Here are 10 of the best things to do in Louisville, Colorado to get to know all the fabulous aspects of this community.
#1 Check Out One of Louisville’s Events
Louisville’s bustling downtown is home to many of the town’s events that take place throughout the year. In the summertime, locals flock to Louisville’s Downtown Street Faire hosted at the pavilion every Friday night featuring amazing live music, food and adult beverages. In the winter, the pavilion is transformed into an old-fashioned, festive outdoor ice skating venue, Winter Skate. On the first Friday of each month, the Louisville Arts District hosts an Artwalk with four strolling blocks of beautiful and fascinating arts opportunities. In addition, other events include the Taste of Louisville, the Louisville Farmer’s Market, July 4th Fireworks, Fall Festival and so much more.
#2 Take a Stroll Through Historic Downtown
Louisville’s compact, walkable historic downtown is perfect for a relaxed and easy outing. The streets are lined with locally-owned, and in many instances family-owned, restaurants, shops and breweries. In order to make room Louisville’s booming small businesses, the city has made use of “parklets”, outdoor patio seating that would typically be spaces used for business-front street parking. It is this type of modern planning that has given Louisville a unique style, small businesses with an urban appeal. These modern touches boost the charm of historic 100 year old buildings that hold Louisville’s foundational restaurants, pubs, cafes, bakeries, shops and art galleries.
#3 Enjoy a Meal at One of Louisville’s Best Restaurants
People come from all around the area to enjoy Louisville’s exceptional restaurants and cafes. The Huckleberry cafe and bakery is famous for its old-fashioned breakfast menu, hibiscus margaritas and freshly baked peach huckleberry pie. For some mouth-watering Texas BBQ and down-home sides, check out Lulu’s BBQ – relax at a picnic table on the patio or, sit at the bar for a delicious Texas slush! Locals love the Empire Lounge & Restaurant for its hometown hospitality and iconic spot on Main Street, as well as comforting , delicious menu items like the fried chicken sandwich, coal miner’s mac & cheese and smokes St. Louis style ribs. For the late night crowd, the Waterloo serves burgers, tacos, lobster mac & cheese , as well as pub favorites like jalapeno poppers, wings and nachos to pair with your whiskey or beer. It’s difficult to pin down a list of Louisville’s best dining — these three are personal favorites, but for my picks there are a dozen more local favorites!
#4 Play a Round at Coal Creek Golf Course
Louisville’s 18-hole public golf course, Coal Creek Golf Course has been recognized as one of the best redevelopments in the country from Golf, Inc. The original course was wiped out in the 2013 floods. Coal Creek reacted by completely reinventing the course, featuring rolling fairways, dramatic elevation changes and strategically-placed sand bunkers. The course is heralded for its immense beauty with the rocky mountains as its backdrop, as well as for being an affordable option for beginning golfers.
#5 Enjoy Louisville’s Open Space and Trails
The City of Louisville boasts 1800 acres of open space, with 32 miles of trails in and around the city. One of Louisville’s most treasured open spaces, Davidson Mesa is a popular spot for trail running, biking, hiking and walking the family dog. This trail is also stroller-friendly and wheelchair accessible with wide, plat gravel surfaces. Leon A Wurl Wildlife Sanctuary is another beautiful destination for outdoor recreation, with trails surrounding the scenic Harper Lake.
#6 Check Out a Local Brewery
Louisville is home to a handful of local breweries, each with their own distinct craft beers. 12Degree Brewing, located in the heart of downtown Louisville’s Main Street, serves up Belgian-inspired ales in an atmosphere that cultivates community and togetherness. Gravity Brewing is tucked away in South downtown, offering patrons a relaxed atmosphere to couple with a serious brew — beer crafted by engineers and brewing industry professionals. Crystal Springs Brewing Company, small batch brewers, now has two tap rooms, the original located in the Colorado Tech Center in South Louisville, and the recently opened tasting room on Main Street in historic downtown.
Louisville has a thriving arts scene, led by the Louisville Arts District in historic downtown. On the first Friday of each month, the district holds an artwalk in downtown, featuring arts and music at 17 shops and galleries, as well as downtown restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, yoga studios and more. Just follow the yellow balloons! Each month, local artists and musicians are featured at each of the artwalk destinations. For the full artwalk map, click here. If you can’t make it to Louisville for First Friday, stop by Creative Framing Art Gallery to view pieces from local artists.
#8 Join in Some Family-Friendly Fun
Many aspects of life in Louisville cater to families and children, especially the local events. In addition, families in Louisville enjoy exciting and interesting parks and recreation opportunities. Louisville Community Park is a kid favorite, with a playground, splash pad in the summertime, as well as sports fields (and bathrooms!). Families can enjoy the indoor pool at the Louisville Rec Center, or the outdoor pool at Memory Square during the summer season. Looking for somewhere to eat with the kids? Lucky Pie has kid-friendly fare (that you will also love!) combined with a lawn where the kids can play. Seriously. They can run around and you can sit and eat!
#9 Spend the Day with Your Best (Canine) Friend
If your best friend is a dog, you are in luck in Louisville! The city has two dog parks: one at Louisville Community Park that has a dog pond, one at Davidson Mesa, where dogs can run free, play with other dogs and generally have a blast. There are twelve pet-friendly dining spots in Louisville that welcome dogs in their patio areas. “Downtown Dog of the Month” is a regular feature on the Downtown Louisville website!
Last but certainly not least, stop into one of Louisville’s locally owned shops, each offering unique finds. For the bookworms, Louisville has two lovely used bookstores. The Book Cellar, known for its friendly service and amazing selection, is dedicated to books, offering new and used books, accepting trade-ins. Little Horse Vintage and Books combines retro furnishings, art and collectibles with a large collection of books. Looking for gifts? Check out Old Friends, where you will find an eclectic collection of handmade jewelry, baby clothing, toys, home decor and more!