The Ideal Weekend Itinerary for Sterling, Colorado

Conveniently located less than a two hour drive from the Front Range, Sterling is just as easy to get to as it is to explore! Escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful getaway in Northeastern Colorado’s arts and culture hub. This historic town offers unparalleled access to nature and has something for everyone: biking, birding, fishing, art, history, great food, and more!
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Sitting at one of the lowest elevations in Colorado, Sterling boasts warmer temperatures than most other places in the state. Winters are mild and generally dry, and summers can be quite hot! That said, it’s important to prepare for any kind of weather at any point in the year; this means packing both sunscreen and layers for any season you’re there. During summer, bug spray is also a good idea if you plan to spend any time on a trail or near the water.

This story was created in partnership with Explore Sterling.

Day One: Explore Art-Forward Downtown Sterling

Leave your worries behind as you skip the traffic and enjoy a straightforward cruise on I-76 to Sterling, where you can find easy downtown parking on Main Street. Begin your exploration of this historic town with a midday pick-me-up at the Old Library Mercantile and Coffee Shop, where you can enjoy coffee and a sweet treat while perusing an excellent selection of handmade and local gifts.

Across the street, view the artwork in the magnificent Logan County Courthouse; if you’re there in July, make sure to check out the free weekend concert series on the Courthouse Lawn.

Stock up on all of your favorite kitchen necessities at High Plains Spice Company, where you’ll find an outstanding selection of hand-mixed spices, salts, olive oils, teas, coffee, and more! Then, head down the street to the Colorado Popcorn Company to sample flavors of popcorn you’ve never even heard of (birthday cake popcorn, anyone?).

View the current installment at the Peter L. Youngers Fine Arts Gallery, located in E.S. French Hall at Northeastern Junior College (open 9-4 M-F September-May; installation rotates monthly). Then, marvel at the sculptures around town carved out of cottonwood trees by artist Bradford Rhea.

Check in to your cozy room at the boutique Crest Motel, and then make the short stroll to Parts and Labor Brewing Company for a hearty dinner and one of their many excellent craft brews. Cheers to a great first day!

Day Two: Visit North Sterling State Park and the Overland Trail Museum

Grab breakfast burritos to go at Logan County Burrito Company before hitting the road for North Sterling State Park, located just 13 minutes north of town! Upon arrival, take your pick of a variety of activities: bike the South Shoreline Trail, a 3.5 mile out-and-back that hugs the North Sterling Reservoir shoreline; borrow a free field guide and set of binoculars from the visitor center and go birding as you hike to Balanced Rock; fish for wiper, walleye, catfish, and trout; or take your own kayak or paddleboard out on the water.

Back in town, refuel at Simkins Parlour with a fresh salad or wrap, and make sure to save room for one of their many dessert options! Make your way to the extensive Overland Trail Museum (Mon-Sat, 9-5), where you’ll find a staggering collection of historical artifacts and fascinating details about the history of the area.

If you haven’t had your fill of activity for the day, head across the street to the Overland Trail Recreation Area and stroll along the Penny Lane Trail or fish on the dock at Kiwanis Pond.

This evening, tuck in to the best BBQ in town at the Hot Spot Smokehouse.

Day Three: Play a Round of Disc Golf at Pioneer Park

Start your day with a breakfast crepe at Common Grounds Coffeehouse, and then head to Pioneer Park to play a round of disc golf (bring your own discs) at the top notch 18 hole course! Or, simply enjoy a walk through the forested park.

On your way out of town, make sure to pick up some lunch at Baja Tacos for the road. If you didn’t have time to see and do everything in town that you were hoping to this weekend, don’t fret – this tranquil getaway is accessible enough that you can easily return again and again

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