Nicknamed the “Sweetheart City,” Loveland is a picturesque Colorado town located along the Front Range, just 30 minutes from Fort Collins. Home to 78,402 people (as of 2020), it is famous for one of the largest sculpture gardens in the country, and a nationally-famous valentine re-mailing program. Driving through the city on I-25 you’ll get a sampling of its suburban character, but with just a little more exploration you’ll find a distinct small-town charm, a thriving arts community, and a group of people who love … Loveland.
For the past few years, accolades and admiration for Loveland have poured in : Last year, Westword named Loveland as one of the Ten Best Colorado Cities for Young Families, citing the area’s low crime rate, and healthy housing and education scores; real estate website Movoto named Loveland as one of the 10 Best Places in Colorado for its low unemployment rate and nearly perfect air quality; Money Magazine named the area as one of their Top 10 Places to Live in the Nation; and in 2017, SmartAsset ranked Loveland amongst the top 10 places to raise a family in Colorado. Why do people love this place so much? We’ll sum it up with a small list.
1. Loveland boasts three distinct atmospheres: small-town character near downtown, suburban character in the middle, and rural character on the outskirts. While maintaining a small town identity, Loveland still has a thriving downtown area full of shops, dining, drinking and art.
2. There’s a lot to do outdoors. Near the foothills and rivers, locals love to bike, hike, fish and ride horses. Developed around Lake Loveland and Boyd Lake State Park, Loveland sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains on the borders of Rocky Mountain National Park and Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forests. And that’s just to the west. To the east, residents have access to Pawnee National Grasslands.
3. This city transforms in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Throughout the month of February, residents enjoy the Valentine Re-mailing Program, the Thompson Valley Rotary Heart Program, an exclusive Grimm Brothers Brewhouse beer, and the Loveland Fire & Ice Festival.
4. Loveland loves art. Besides the famous Benson Sculpture Garden (beautiful art sculptures found around town), the area is home to the historic Rialto Theater which opened in 1920, the Art in Public Places Ordinance (which designates one percent of the city’s capital projects for the purchase and maintenance of art), and Sculpture in the Park—the largest outdoor juried show and sale in the United States. So, if you’re looking for art or a community that supports your art, Loveland is a great place to start!