The Day Tripper
Keenesburg & The Wild Animal Sanctuary
36 miles from Longmont is an expansive, 720-acre facility that provides a loving home for large animals rescued from abusive or illegal conditions. Resident animals include African lions, wolves, bears, tigers a camel, and many other species. View the animals in their natural environment from the “Mile Into the Wild”, an elevated walkway spanning one amazing habitat after another.
Just 16 miles down the road features the Pearl Street Mall, a vibrant pedestrian-only mall, with unique restaurants and shops, fun events and street performers. Also, visit the University of Colorado (CU), Celestial Seasonings, Chautauqua and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Nederland, CO & Eldora Ski Resort
32 miles away is a quirky mountain town, home to Eldora Mountain Ski Resort, the Carousel of Happiness, Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center and Barker Reservoir. The town is located along the Peak to Peak National Scenic Byway.
7 miles from Longmont is Niwot, a quaint, historical town nestled between Longmont and Boulder. Named after Chief Niwot of the Arapaho tribe and meaning left hand, Niwot boasts 11 shops, ten restaurants, two craft brewers and zero stoplights. During the summer they host weekly concerts, and special events take place throughout the year.
12 miles from Longmont, Lyons is home to Planet Bluegrass! A charming, small, mountain town, Lyons features locally-owned restaurants, antique shops and galleries. Dine at the original location of Oskar Blues Brewery at the Oskar Blues Grill & Brew. Don’t miss the Lyons Pinball Museum, and, in the summer, the Lyons Redstone Museum. Hike at Button Rock Preserve, Heil Valley Ranch, Hall Ranch or Rabbit Mountain.
Estes Park, CO
33 miles from Longmont is the site of the iconic Stanley Hotel (inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining) where you can tour the spooky property and hunt for ghosts. This quaint mountain town offers more than 200 charming shops, restaurants and attractions. Grab an old-fashioned ice cream cone or homemade fudge, stroll along the Riverwalk and see the sights from the Aerial Tramway.
Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)
Just 33 miles away is Longmont’s majestic neighbor and home to Longs Peak, the namesake mountain (14,000 foot or “Fourteener”) for Longmont. RMNP celebrated 100 years in 2015 and offers 415 square miles of exciting activities, including hiking, camping and wildlife viewing. We recommend a trip along Trail Ridge Road (open seasonally) up to the Continental Divide. It’s the highest, continuous paved road in the United States reaching an elevation of 12,183 feet. Be on the lookout for elk, deer, stellar jays and marmots as you stop and take photos or hike some of the 350 miles of trails that make this park a hiker’s paradise.
35 miles from Longmont is the capital of Colorado, has something for everyone, including museums, art galleries, children’s activities, professional sports teams, theatre and restaurants. Don’t miss the Denver Zoo, Denver Botanic Gardens, Red Rocks Amphitheater, Museum of Nature & Science and the U.S. Mint.
Fort Collins, CO
About 30 miles north of Longmont, you can be in Fort Collins. Its Old Town historic district has 1800s houses, specialty shops and restaurants that Main Street Disneyland was modeled after. West of the city, trails criss-cross Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, known for the peak’s distinctive Horsetooth Rock formation and Horsetooth Falls. It also boasts a reservoir for boating, fishing and relaxing. You can drive north of town and enter the Cache La Poudre Scenic Byway, famous for Mishawaka Amphitheater, whitewater rafting, and fly fishing opportunities.