Learn About This Location
Like many communities in northeastern Colorado, Littleton traces its roots to the Pikes Peak Gold Rush of 1859. Engineer Richard Little moved to the area south of present-day Denver and built a flour mill to serve the miners and community that had sprung up in the area. With agriculture as the primary industry, it wasn't until the 1960s when manufacturing became more prevalent. Today Littleton, with its many parks and good schools, lists education and health care as its largest employment sectors.
The Community of Littleton
State Highway 85 runs through the center of Littleton, connecting it with Denver; it becomes South Santa Fe Drive as it winds through the city. Littleton's historic downtown area is located in the north central area, east of 85. The Progress Park, Sterne Park and Ketring Park neighborhoods are further to the east of the city and the Centennial and Goddard neighborhoods are in the northwest. Littleton forms a sort of reverse "C" around the Columbine Valley area, which is unincorporated.
What to Do in Littleton
Agriculture was once vital to the Littleton area, and one of the highlights of the Littleton Museum is its two living history farm sites. Tour the rural buildings and see what a 19th-century Colorado homestead was like. In addition, the museum has exhibitions on area history, an interactive gallery for kids and a research center. In the summer, concerts are held on the large outdoor lawn near Ketring Lake.
Explore all the Rocky Mountain area has to offer with a trip to one of the nearby state parks. Roxborough State Park's red rock formations draw plenty of visitors, as do the opportunities to hike and engage in bird watching or photography. And Chatfield State Park offers even more recreation with camping, horseback riding and swimming. Take a paddleboard lesson or kayak in the large "no wake" zone on Chatfield Lake.
Breweries are big in the area around Littleton, and the city boasts one of the best small craft production breweries that you can tour. Breckenridge Brewery hosts four 90-minute tours a day Thursday through Monday, and you'll get a chance for tasting at the conclusion. Stay and grab lunch at the on-site pub.
One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Littleton
One of Denver's Botanic Gardens is located in Littleton, and in addition to the lovely gardens, you can observe huge numbers of native butterflies. The Butterflies at Chatfield Farms butterfly house, home to monarchs, mourning cloaks, swallowtails and painted ladies, is open seasonally and also houses exhibits on butterflies, their role in the ecosystem and how to attract them to your own garden.
Dining in Littleton
The open concept of Café Terracotta carries from its open kitchen to a comfortable atmosphere and encompasses a range of creatively presented standards. Enjoy grilled Colorado lamb with vegetable risotto or braised short ribs sourced from Harris Ranch and accompanied by roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Reservations are recommended.
Toast is a fun breakfast spot in downtown Littleton that specializes in Benedicts and a huge range of flavored pancakes and French toast. Known for its huge portions made from scratch, the restaurant often has a line for breakfast and lunch.