The name says it all: Loveland.
This charming Colorado town on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park is known as the nation’s Sweetheart City. As such, it goes all out every February for Valentine’s Day.
V-Day around here is as big as Christmas.
Loveland is truly the most romantic city in America and an extra special place to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Here are 12 our favorite ways to celebrate love in Loveland, Colorado:
1. Attend a Love Festival
Only in Loveland is there a massive festival all about love. The Loveland Fire and Ice Festival draws about 36,000 people to downtown every year to watch ice sculpting, fire dancers, fireworks and live music. A mini carnival pops up for kids, you can browse the vendor booths, fill up on food truck goodies and visit the ice bar.
2. Taste Valentine’s Day
Every year, Grimm Bros. Brewhouse (which was Loveland’s original craft brewery) concocts a special, limited-edition V-Day beer. People eagerly await its release, on the first of February and only available until it runs out. This year, it’s The Bleeding Heart, a chocolate cherry brown lager.
The beer changes every year. In the past, there’s been a cherry chocolate porter, a coconut S’mores-influenced beer and a raspberry flavor.
Find the V-Day beer at the brewery, the Fire and Ice Festival and all major liquor stores and many bars across the city.
Ask the brewery how to get your hands on the custom-crafted chocolates made by Nuance Chocolate, specifically formulated to complement the beer.
Award-winning Grimm Bros. makes authentic, hand-crafted German-style beer. While you’re there, taste a flight and see why this brewery is so popular that it’s currently expanding.
3. Stay in a Romantic Cabin
Loveland has its fair share of romantic getaways (but of course), from the quaint McCreery House bed and breakfast to the world’s No. 1 Embassy Suites. Yes, the highest-ranked Embassy Suites branch is located on the eastern side of Loveland.
But we think the best way to do Loveland is an intimate mountain escape, cowboy style. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, located in Colorado’s red foothills, is a longstanding Loveland horse ranch that has a handful of beautifully equipped cabins perched right on the bank of the Big Thompson River.
In fact, Sylvan Dale was hit pretty hard by the major floods that swept the canyons a few years ago, but it’s back in action and better than ever.
Listen to the bubbling water, while you cuddle in front of your wood-burning fireplace and share a cheese and fruit platter and a bottle of wine. Then roast marshmallows on the flames and indulge in your complimentary S’mores basket. There’s no TV or phone here; it’s all about you, your loved one and the mountains.
While each cabin is unique, lodging here is designed to be private. You will feel like you’re a world away, even though it’s just 20 minutes from downtown and a short drive to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Sylvan Dale offers special Valentine’s Day packages that include food, accommodations and entertainment.
Our favorite way to get active with your loved one: Go on a guided horseback trail ride tour through the foothills. Ride all the way to a special rock wall known for its excellent acoustics, and profess your love into an endless chamber of echoes. Keep your eyes open and you may see big horn sheep and other wildlife.
Wake up to the scent of Loveland’s special Valentine’s Day coffee roast, a spiced almond toffee coffee produced by Brewsworthy Coffee. Make sure you pick up a bag at LoCo Artisan Coffee House, B Sweet Cupcakes or the Loveland Visitors Center before you head to the mountains, and you’ll start your day with a limited-edition, only-in-Loveland cup of deliciousness.
4. Have Dinner Delivered
This delivery tops a box of cheap Chinese. Sylvan Dale raises its own cattle to provide guests 100 percent grass-fed, free-range, natural beef. The cows are cared for carefully and roam the ranch’s 3,200 acres.
The result is extremely tender, tasty meat that comes from the exact ranch where you’re staying.
Arrange for dinner to be delivered to your cabin and set up on the table for you. Food allergies can be accommodated for, too. Just come hungry; the portions here are cowboy style. That is, huge enough to refuel a working body after a hard day on the ranch.
Try the brisket, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, veggie medley, salad, rolls and dessert.
5. Say I Do
What better place to say your nuptials than a town all about love? Every Valentine’s Day, Loveland holds a massive group wedding where couples can say their vows or renew them. Bonus: The marriage license reads “The Sweetheart City.”
6. Plan a Spa Day
Of course, we think one of the best ways to unwind and celebrate is at the spa. Book a couple’s massage at the Spa Botanica at the Embassy Suites, or spoil your loved one at the Barber Lounge and Spa, the best place for a man to get a hot shave and a haircut. The Barber Lounge and Spa is designed to be comfortable for men, but it’s welcoming to everyone and offers a wide range of spa and salon services.
7. Send some Snail Mail
Get old-fashioned and send your loved one a card or letter. In the mail. Like through the post office.
Loveland is famous for its unique Valentine’s Day Remailing Program, the nation’s largest, with specially designed stamps and cards. Send or bring your Valentines here and people will actually hand-stamp them and send them forth. Mail from all over the world streams through Loveland in February, as people are eager to have that Loveland postmark on the envelope. The tradition is 70 years old.
8. Profess Your Love Publicly
Throughout February, the city is lined with red, wooden hearts affixed to lamp posts, adorned with romantic messages.
You can buy a heart, personalize your message and then bring your loved one on a scavenger hunt to reveal the final message. Talk about a sweet way to propose marriage or profess love.
9. Go on a Spirits Tour
If a glass of Valentine’s Day beer isn’t enough, the NoCo Short Bus arranges special V-Day beer and spirits tours. The bus will whisk you to different distilleries and breweries for tours and chocolate pairings. It’s a fun way to experience Loveland’s craft beverage scene and see the town through a different perspective.
10. Go Ice Skating.
For an active, romantic afternoon, head to the Promenade Shops at Centerra, the big mall in east Loveland, where you’ll find an ice rink. Slip into some skates and hold hands as you spin circles on the ice.
Grab a coffee or hot chocolate afterward and browse the 70-plus shops. We love the gel manicures at award-winning Ten Salon and Spa. Pick a deep red polish, of course.
11. Fill Up on Delicious Food
Downtown Loveland is packed with great places to eat, but our favorite destination is Door 222.
Here, find creative, farm-to-table tapas (hello, bacon-wrapped dates) and upscale, locally sourced dishes, plus gluten- and dairy-free options and excellent craft cocktails. You have to try the Manhattan made with evergreen bitters straight from the chef’s front yard. The wine list here is impressive, too.
This romantic, hip and sleek restaurant sits next to the Rialto Theater right on Fourth Street.
It’s also a few doors down from the Coffee Tree, our favorite place to grab a cup of joe in Loveland. The spicy Latin Lover is accented with cayenne and will warm you up.
12. Get Artsy
Loveland loves its art.
First, head to the Benson Sculpture Garden, with nearly 150 sculptures made by renowned artists on permanent display. This garden has been named one of the 200 most important modern and contemporary art sites in the world and one of the 20 must-see contemporary art sites across the nation.
Then, visit the Loveland Museum Gallery. Browse all kinds of art exhibitions, classes, events and educational displays. Upstairs, you’ll find a special exhibit about the history of Loveland’s Remailing Program.
This story was written by Aimee Heckel, SpaTravelGal.com’s editorial assistant.