Milliken is a small town in north-central Colorado, nearly equidistant from Denver to the south and Cheyenne, Wyoming to the north.
At the last census, the town had about 7,000 residents and was founded more than a century ago.
For most of its existence, Milliken was little more than a rural trading post, but has since turned into a thriving railroad and cattle-raising community.
Those visiting Milliken have ample day trip options to visit historical, cultural, outdoor recreation and live entertainment attractions, so staying busy in town shouldn’t be a problem.
Let’s explore the best things to do in and around Milliken, Colorado:
1. Daniels School
The Daniels Schoolhouse is a Milliken historic icon dating back to 1911, when the area was more remote and remote than it is today.
This one-room brick elementary school has served for over 50 years, and many of the students who studied there over the past few decades still live in the city.
The school, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the only remaining building of its kind in the area.
A free attraction, it’s conveniently located in the city center, and while there’s not much to see, it’s the perfect companion for those visiting the aforementioned museums and heritage houses.
2. Cracked eggs
Located on Broad Street in Milliken, The Cracked Egg is one of the town’s most popular breakfast and lunch destinations, popular with locals and tourists alike.
Previous guests have noticed that the restaurant features hearty meals, reasonable prices and attentive wait staff.
They are open daily from 7am to 2pm and are especially known for traditional fare like hearty omelets, biscuits and gravy, piping hot coffee and crispy hash browns.
This restaurant is a great way to start the day before heading off to explore, and offers lighter options like fresh fruit and yogurt for those concerned about the waistline.
3. Crazy Russian Golf Course
Crazy Russia Golf Course is located just outside the town limits of Milliken. In addition to having a memorable and unique name, it is also considered one of the best golfing values in the area by savvy local golfers.
The course’s 18 holes are nearly 6,000 yards from the longest tee, but for seniors and children, shorter tee options are available, reducing the length significantly.
Crazy Russian’s rolling hills, water and sand obstacles, and tight greens make it both scenic and moderately challenging, and a round can usually be completed in three to four hours.
Green fees are very reasonable.
4. Demon Backbone Open Space
With such majestic mountains, expansive plains, and sweeping vistas, it’s no wonder Colorado has such an abundance of state and national parks and well-preserved open spaces.
Devil’s Backbone Open Space spans over 2,000 acres with a variety of natural environments and more than ten miles of multipurpose trails.
Just a short drive from Milliken, it’s a hot spot for bird watchers, cyclists, outdoor enthusiasts and backpackers looking to get away from civilization.
Due to its convenient location, Devil’s Backbone can be busy during peak times such as summer holidays and weekends.
There is no admission fee and it is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
5. Loveland Museum
Loveland is a relatively short drive west of Milliken and offers visitors a variety of attractions not usually found in smaller towns.
The Loveland Museum was founded by a local named Harold Dunning, a tour guide and historian who spent most of his life collecting artifacts and art.
The museum and gallery collections include many items from the Native Americans who called the area home long before it was officially settled, as well as relics from the region’s exploration and gold boom.
Staff regularly run engaging instructional sessions for most ages, so check their website before special trips.
6. Boyd Lake State Park
Boyd Lake State Park is located off Interstate 25 between Denver and Milliken.
The centerpiece of the park is Boyd Lake, which covers nearly 1,800 acres. This is a big draw for anglers, swimmers, boaters and kayakers during the warm summer months.
For those who prefer land-based activities, there are plenty of options, such as hiking, mountain biking, bird watching and camping.
Parks and lakes can get very crowded and noisy during peak hours, so if this is a scene you’d rather avoid, consider visiting during the week or early in the morning while most people are still comfortably in bed.
7. Kress Cinema and Lounge
Greeley’s Kress Cinema & Lounge is one of the last independent cinemas in the area. For lovers of historical charm and unique architecture, this is the perfect place to catch a show or two.
Featuring a full-service restaurant and bar, the facility is popular with classic movie lovers, foodies, and those who prefer locally produced beer and spirits to those from the rest of the country.
The basement bar is decorated in the noir Art Deco style that was popular in the early 20th century, and while they play contemporary movies, most visitors prefer their retro, indie and cult classics.
8. Centennial Village Museum
The area around Greeley and Milliken is rich in historic buildings, many of which date back more than a century, when the area was relatively inhospitable and unstable.
Located near downtown Greeley, the Centennial Village Museum is a great place for history and culture lovers on a budget to spend an hour or two traveling.
As part of the Island Grove Regional Park, in addition to the interactive exhibits, there are often historic actors dressed in period costumes and living their daily lives like those who lived in the area decades ago.
9. Lowry State Park
As a percentage of its land area, Colorado has more state and national parks than most other states in the country.
Many outdoor visitors spend most of their time at the larger natural attractions in the Rockies, but there are plenty of options for those who prefer to be closer to home.
Amenities at Lory State Park include an extensive network of multipurpose trails popular with hikers, walkers, and mountain bikers. Many tourists choose to spend the whole day on site.
Admission is inexpensive, and it’s common to see lots of birds and animals on the trails, especially in the morning and evening when many of them are most active.
10. Sweetheart Winery
While locally brewed beers hold Colorado’s top spot when it comes to intoxicating beverages, breweries and small-batch breweries have also come a long way over the past few decades.
Located in the scenic Rocky Mountain Front Range, Loveland’s Sweet Heart Winery prides itself on its award-winning wines, but its facilities and stunning mountain views are also breathtaking.
Their offerings range from hearty reds and refreshing whites to everything in between, and they also offer facility tours and samples.
Previously rich tourists say Sweet Heart’s wines have far exceeded their expectations.
11. White Lead Farm Learning Center
Originally built in the 1880s, White-Plumb Farm was passed down from generation to generation before being donated to the City of Greeley.
A unique attraction that combines history and agriculture, it is a popular destination for kids who like to be active and involved, not just viewing static exhibits from a distance.
The Farm’s Learning Center includes many fun educational activities that touch on the history, culture, and development of farming techniques over the years. For many families, this is one of the most memorable experiences of their trip to the Rocky Mountain State.
13. Chapungu Sculpture Park
Colorado has a thriving arts scene. Chapungu Sculpture Park is a must-see for artistic day-trippers who find themselves spending an hour or two in Loveland.
The park spans over 25 acres and includes dozens of sculptures in a variety of mediums.
This is an outdoor spot perfect for those interested in stretching their legs and enjoying the fresh mountain air. Much of what is on display highlights various African cultures.
The park’s trails are wheelchair and stroller accessible, and admission is free.
14. Flatiron Reservoir
Flatiron Reservoir is located just over a mile above sea level in Loveland. In addition to being a source of fresh water for neighboring towns, it’s also a big draw for outdoor enthusiasts.
While it’s not the largest reservoir in the area, it’s popular with swimmers, kayakers, picnickers, and fishermen. Unlike many lakes, there are many designated areas for wheelchair users.
Many anglers check online for current fishing and weather reports before going to the line. While the reservoir is usually most crowded when it’s hot and sunny, fishing is usually best when the wind, rain, and barometer drop.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Milliken, Colorado
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