Does Colorado evoke memories of Old Westerns? Cowboys and scenic ranches? Railroads, history, one room schoolhouses? Look no further, Loveland has it all. If you want to indulge in the culture of the old west, here's what we suggest...
Start your morning off at the Loveland Museum downtown. Open at 10am Tuesday - Saturday (noon on Sunday and closed on Monday), the Museum will transport you back in time to the early history of Loveland. You can see Mariano Medina's cabin, enter a general store from the early 1900's, and see the thief locked in the Loveland jail, described as "uncomfortable as a pair of tight-fitting shoes, and calculated to breed discomfort, sour temper, and vermin." You'll learn about how the railroad established Loveland as the primary town of the area, and why our town was almost named Barnesville. The museum has much to offer both adults and children interested in Loveland's history, typical of a small town in the Old West.
After your tour through the museum, walk south (towards downtown) one block to the Black Steer for lunch. Voted 10 years in a row by Lovelanders as the best place for steak, you'll see plenty of "real cowboys" enjoying their meal here. For lunch, we recommend their famous Steak Sandwich, although if you come back for dinner, you can't go wrong with the Pepper Steak.
Next, take a short drive south on South Lincoln/Highway 287, and drive up the hill towards the store with the big boot on the roof. This is Whitesides, and they're the best place for decking yourself out, western style. They have hundreds of styles of boots and western wear, all authentic Colorado cowboy style. This is the perfect place to pick up the classic Colorado souvenir: the cowboy hat!
After you've dressed as a Colorado native, complete your western lifestyle experience with a riding adventure at a real working dude ranch. Sylvan Dale is one of the icons of our town, and offers so much to see and do. Offering horseback rides for as few as two people in a group, their trails cover beautiful country. Along the ride you may encounter the horses and cattle raised on the ranch, including Mikey, Margie and their lil' calf Punkin. Wildlife is commonly encountered on the ranch, and on your ride you may be lucky enough to see coyotes, bighorn sheep, wild turkeys, or just maybe even a bear! Their 1, 2, and 3 hour rides are year round, weather permitting, and require reservations. Please call them at (970) 488-0568 to schedule your ride.