Sunday, March 6, 2016

36 Hours in Longmont, Colorado

Planning a visit to Longmont and wondering what to do or where to eat? For this itinerary, we've put together our suggestions for a perfect day-and-a-half of exploring, eating, and imbibing. These are our personal favorite places for giving out-of-town guests a feel for our city.


5 p.m. ROSALEE'S PIZZERIA, 461 Main Street

Get to this downtown pizza joint early because it fills up fast on weekend nights (or any other night for that matter). Once that massive, East Coast-style pie is brought to your table, you'll know why. The ingredients are fresh, the flavors are big, and the crust is just about perfect. Rosalee's has the best pizza in Longmont ... by a long shot. Order the buttery, garlic-y Sausage Knots if you've got a good-sized group with a good-sized appetite.

8:00 p.m. LONGS PEAK PUB, 600 Longs Peak Avenue

Cap off the night with a trip down the street to the Longs Peak Pub, where good vibes and excellent craft brews can be found in abundance. Part of the Boulder-based Mountain Sun empire, the beer list includes their own creations (the Colorado Kind Ale is a favorite), alongside some expertly chosen selections from the best Centennial State breweries. Longs Peak Pub's ambiance is always lively, often with a bluegrass picking session taking place and groups of locals gathered at the community tables. During the warmer months, head to the patio for a game of cornhole and enjoy the night air.


9:00 a.m. CHEESE IMPORTERS, 103 Main Street

For a very good morning, stock up on tasty, flaky pastries and a steaming cup of fresh-brewed coffee at the famed Cheese Importers' French-inspired cafe. And definitely take a trip into their expansive, walk-in cooler with 350 cheeses from all over the world available, not to mention olives, cured meats and more (lots of samples, too). If you're a cheese lover (and who doesn't love a little fromage?), you may well think you've died and gone to heaven.

Cheese Importers

9:30 a.m. GOLDEN PONDS, 2651 Third Avenue

Coffee in hand, take a stroll around the lovely Golden Ponds, where a sweeping panorama of Longs Peak and the surrounding Rocky Mountain Front Range greets you. It's just steps away from one of Longmont's main drags, but once you're there, it feels like another world, with Canadian geese gliding across the water, lots of happy dogs, and quiet trails that loop around the ponds. Don't miss the waterfall on the south side of the park.

Golden Ponds

There are more than enough big-box, big-name retail options in Longmont, but we suggest a stroll down Main Street for a more satisfying shopping spree.

  • OLD TOWN OUTFITTERS (501 Main St.) offers an array of apparel, gear and accessories for any outdoor adventures you might be planning. 
  • BARBED WIRE BOOKS (504 Main St.) is a great spot for bookworms, with shelves upon shelves of vintage volumes, along with a section devoted to new books as well. 
  • ADORN (665 4th Ave.), right off of Main St., is a good place to browse a while if you're looking for a gift or two, with a whimsical cards and stationary, unique home d├ęcor and handmade jewelry. Its sister store next door, ADORNABLES (661 4th Ave.), focuses on out-of-the-ordinary toys and books for babies and small kids. 

1 p.m. LUNCH
Grab a bite to eat! Main Street has plenty of lunch options. For fantastic tacos (and supremely spicy salsa, if you like it hot), try TACOS AL MOLCAJETE (926 Main St.). The menu at THE ROOST (526 Main St.) is filled with delicious small plates  -- candied bacon sliders, anyone? Their rooftop patio can't be beat, either. SUN ROSE CAFE (379 Main St.) is a local favorite, with friendly service, great sandwiches and wraps, and extremely refreshing lavender lemonade. A few blocks from Main Street, you will find phenomenal ribs and pulled pork (and a lot more) at GEORGIA BOYS BBQ (237 Collyer St.).
Tacos al Molcajete

Georgia Boys BBQ

At this point, there are probably too many Longmont craft breweries to visit in just one afternoon. But you should at least visit two or three -- just remember to pace yourself. Oskar Blues' taphouse, THE TASTY WEASEL (1800 Pike Rd.), is always a great time, with rare beers galore, free peanuts, live music ... and skee ball! LEFT HAND (1265 Boston Ave.), the other major brew player in town, has a creekside tasting room where you can relax outside with a Nitro Milk Stout or a Sawtooth Ale. Upstart Longmont breweries have been popping up all over, and 300 SUNS (335 1st Ave.), WIBBY (209 Emery St.), GROSSEN BART (1025 Delaware Ave.) and SHOES & BREWS (63 S. Pratt Pkwy.) are all worthy contenders. They're also all within easy walking distance of one another ... Cheers!
Wibby Brewing

7 p.m. SUGARBEET, 101 Pratt Street
Probably Longmont's finest fine dining experience, Sugarbeet (named for what was once Longmont's primary cash crop) is tucked away in the industrial section of town. But what it lacks in exterior aesthetics, it makes up for in farm-to-table goodness. Dinner here never disappoints, whether you're digging into housemade gnocchi, crispy heritage pork belly roulade or grilled filet mignon. The menu is always evolving, so no Sugarbeet experience is ever quite the same.

8:30 p.m. BIN 46 WINE BAR + RESTAURANT, 600 Longs Peak Avenue
End your day lingering over a glass of wine or craft cocktail and dessert at Bin 46, a stylish, mellow spot near Roosevelt Park. The wine list is extensive and the staff is happy to share personal favorites.


8 a.m. JAVA STOP, 301 Main Street
Kick off your last day at Java Stop, located downtown in the historic Imperial Hotel building. The couches are comfy, the coffee is excellent, the art is local, the pastries are fresh, and the vibe is extremely low key and friendly. The prices are extremely reasonable too -- almost too reasonable. (Cash only.)

  Java Stop

9 a.m. Stroll around the HISTORIC WEST SIDE and THOMPSON PARK, 4th Ave and Pratt St
Coffee in hand, take some time to explore the tree-lined streets of Longmont's Historic West Side, home to some of the city's most impressive architecture. Thompson Park is a great open space to soak in a relaxing Sunday morning.

11 a.m. COMIDA CANTINA, 721 Confidence Drive
Brunch? Oh yes. A few years back, one of the Front Range's best food trucks has made the leap back into the brick-and-mortar world, with dazzling results. Comida, located in Longmont's Prospect neighborhood, puts an inspired spin on classic Mexican street food. You could pretty much choose from their menu at random -- everything we've tried has been amazing.

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