Halfway between Boulder and Longmont, Niwot is a quaint historic town situated on Highway 119. This lively community is home to many locally owned businesses and restaurants, as well as a full schedule of annual events to attend.
In 2020 the Boulder County town had a population of 4,306 residents living at 5,167 feet of elevation. It sits about nine miles northeast of downtown Boulder and 7 miles southeast of Longmont. Niwot is a great place to stop for a delicious meal and a peaceful stroll through its charming downtown.
The town is named for Arapaho Chief Niwot, a tribal leader in the region during the nineteenth century. It means “left-handed”. This tribe was in the area when the first gold miners came into the valley in 1858. An official townsite was platted in 1875 at a pre-existing railroad section house that served as a halfway point between Longmont and Boulder.
Being a railroad town became a core principle of the town’s identity. It served as an agricultural distribution point and the layout of the town is in line with that purpose, even today. By the mid-1890s, Niwot had multiple businesses and full-time residents. Originally the commercial district was spread out on the east and west sides of the track, but today only the east side remains intact.
Main Street – One of our top 14 favorite charming downtowns in all of the state. The streets are lined with beautiful cottonwoods that provide shade while you explore the variety of locally owned businesses and eateries. There are also plenty of community activities throughout the year.
Niwot Children’s Park – A unique popular spot in town, this children’s park is a wonderful place for kids to burn some energy. It opened in 2016 and has many animal-themed play pieces, a zip line, and lots of shade to relax in.
- The closest spot for RV camping is up in Longmont at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. They have 96 sites with hookups and restroom facilities for guests.
- If you’re looking for tent camping, Lavern M. Johnson campground in Lyons is your best bet. It has 17 tent spots open from mid-April to mid-October. There are 16 RV sites as well.
- Cast a line at Boulder Reservoir for bass, walleye, and pike either from shore or non-motorized watercraft.
- Dry Creek flows through town and is a small creek that’s good for catching bass and trout.
- Lagerman Reservoir has a 1.6-mile flat walking loop around the pond. It is also a popular place for birdwatching.
- The LoBo (Longmont-to-Boulder) trail is a 12-mile paved trail for walking, biking, rollerblading, and dog walking.
- Niwot Loop trailhead offers 3.4 miles of flat hiking and beautiful views of the front range.
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Niwot Inn & Spa – Quaint bed and breakfast right on Main Street. Each room has plush bedding, local artwork, and even a fireplace for those chilly days. Your stay includes a free continental breakfast and complimentary happy hour snacks.
For other places to stay near town check out the best hotels in Boulder, or for something more personal, the top bed and breakfasts by Boulder.
There are also a few hotels near Erie to explore.
Niwot Tavern – The local favorite bar and grill, this tavern has an assortment of classic bar fare and plenty of cold beer to go with your meal.
Cimmini’s – Casual, family-owned Italian eatery serving up freshly made pasta, craft cocktails, and hearty sandwiches.
The Old Oak Coffeehouse – Cozy spot to grab coffee and pastries right on Main Street. They have a nice outdoor patio that’s shaded if you want some fresh air.
May-Sep – House Blend Band – Once a month during the summer, 2nd Avenue from Murray to Franklin Street closes down for a mini festival. There is live music, an art gallery, and the local coffee shop serves up small bites and drinks.
Jun-Sep – Dancing Under the Stars – Each summer Friday at Cottonwood Park, join the community for a fun night of social dancing. The theme changes weekly, ranging from swing dancing to Salsa and there is a live DJ to keep the music flowing.
Oct – Niwot’s Great Pumpkin Party – With a family-friendly twist on Halloween, Niwot’s Old Town turns into a town-wide celebration. Put on your best costume, bring the kids and furry friends, and grab your goodies from local organizations. The schedule also includes hay rides, a petting zoo, and magic shows throughout the day.
Nov – Enchanted Evening – Held annually the day after Thanksgiving, Santa arrives in Cottonwood Square to light the community tree. Other activities include live caroling and local vendors.
Nov – Niwot’s Annual Holiday Parade – Parade participants spend the morning cruising down 2nd Ave from Murray Street to Niwot Road. Santa himself appears at the end of the parade to take holiday wish lists from the kiddos.
Dec – Downtown Holiday Market – The first two weekends of the month host a variety of pop-up vendors at the Grange. The perfect stop to get ahead of present shopping!
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