13 miles S. of Fort Collins, 52 miles N. of Denver
Named for Colorado Central Railroad president W. A. H. Loveland in the 1870s, this town now calls itself the "Sweetheart City," because every February, hundreds of thousands of Valentine's Day cards are remailed from here with a Loveland postmark. Established as a trading post in the late 1850s, the community at the foot of the Rockies grew around a flour mill in the late 1860s, before being platted on a wheat field near the railroad tracks in 1877. Today it's a shipping and agriculture center with a population of just over 60,000. It also has a growing arts community and several foundries. Like Fort Collins, its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park and other outdoor recreation opportunities make this small city a good home base for those exploring the region. Elevation is just under 5,000 feet.