The Simple Life 
Ditch Denver’s traffic snarls for a laid-back day in Longmont.
Somewhere along the 45-minute drive from Denver to Longmont, busy one-ways give way to county roads, and farms replace office parks. The view of horses roaming in grassy fields with tiers of fading-blue mountains in the distance would be ideal for a Front Range postcard. The town, which has turned into a commuting hot spot for Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins, is filled with quaint Victorians, leafy parks, and locally owned storefronts. Kids play on the streets. Backyard BBQs are the norm. All of which means you can give up—temporarily—your urban lifestyle for something a little more low key.
Longmont hosts the 16th annual Rhythm on the River festival this month in centrally located Roger’s Grove Park. The two-day, zero-waste festival has plenty of activities to choose from, including a 5K, live music, and environmental seminars.
July 8–9, Roger’s Grove Park, Boston Avenue and Hover Street, 303-651-8404, www.ci.longmont.co.us/rotr 
Grab a seat on the patio facing Longs Peak and pair sunshine with a pint of the crisp Polestar Pilsner at Left Hand Brewing Company. Tours are available Saturdays at 1 and 2 p.m.
1265 Boston Ave., 303-772-0258, www.lefthandbrewing.com 
Sugarbeet’s fare features a changing menu of seasonal grub grown in the restaurant’s own garden. Start with a freshly cultivated field greens salad with beets, shaved fennel, and toasted hazelnuts. Looking for down-home cooking and music? Try the wings at Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids and stay for a live set and a beer.
Sugarbeet: 101 Pratt St., 303-651-3330, www.sugarbeetrestaurant.com 
Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids:1555 S. Hover Road, 303-485-9400, www.oskarblues.com 
With an impressive selection of nearly 500 local and European specialties, Cheese Importers is your one-stop dairy shop. Cheese connoisseurs: Bring a coat to geek out in the refrigerated cheese room.
33 S. Pratt Parkway, 303-772-9599, www.cheeseimporters.com 
Starting on weekends in late July, you can stroll through Colorado Mountain View Lavender Farm’s three acres of blooming flowers. Cut some to take home, shop homemade products, and sip on lavender lemonade.
5100 N. 109th St., 303-459-4560, www.coloradomountainviewlavender.com 
Buy green goods like eco-friendly laundry detergent, bee pollen, and agave nectar—without paying for landfill-clogging packaging—at Simply Bulk Market.
418 Main St., 303-678-7069, www.simplybulkmarket.webs.com