March is Women's History Month, and the Colorado Tourism Office has compiled a list of some of the most scrumptious goodies that are female-crafted in the state, including a couple of our favorites in Sterling.
The perfect gift doesn’t exist, you say? Well, you haven’t purchased a custom bottle of strawberry rhubarb from Reds small-batch winery then!
1. Skip the Traffic Jams
Are you ready for a Colorado road trip to Sterling? Find a variety of ideas to fill your itinerary. Here you’ll discover a plethora of activities for every level of adventure. And to top it all off, you’ll rarely be caught in a traffic jam or stand in line. It’s what we like to call free-range tourism and we’ve got the space to find your place, no matter the weather!
2. Ditch the Long Lines
We are open for you to enjoy our culinary culture which includes down-home favorites at the local diners and exquisite cuisine in upscale restaurants. A gigantic scoop of hard ice cream is a favorite at the charming Simkins Parlour and the Hot Spot Smokehouse has some of the best barbecue around. Stop at the Parts & Labor Brewing Company for a selection from their diverse menu and a brew made with locally grown wheat.
3. Roam Freely and Relax
Accommodations in Sterling and Logan County range from a quaint boutique motel to modern hotels in beautiful settings. Travelers who prefer recreational vehicles or tent camping will feel right at home at our campsite facilities.
Just because we’re going to be experiencing the coldest temperatures in a decade this weekend, it does not mean you still can’t participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb. 12-15.
You can either bundle up (seriously, be aware of the risk of frostbite and hypothermia), or you can sit inside your warm home and count from your window!
When it comes to bird watching, Logan County has many high-quality birding spots with more than 340 species observed, including the unusual sightings of the Eastern Towhee, Least Tern, Red Crossbill, or this Ovenbird, among others. Eagles are quite popular along the South Platte River and other bodies of water. Don't forget to take this birder's checklist with you and check out this seasonal bird observation bar chart.
Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, and later joined by Birds Canada, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.
Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days, people are invited to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.
Participating is easy, fun to do alone or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds. Simply watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 12-15, and report what you see! Here’s how to participate.
The Great Backyard Bird Count uses eBird, one of the world’s largest nature databases. It stores more than 100 million bird sightings contributed each year and is used by professionals for science and conservation. Learn more about eBird.
We think the greater Sterling area is a pretty neat place, but we’re not the only ones. Here are a few favorite reviews of some of our hidden gems.
“Sterling has a very nostalgic small-town feel. There are several parks to enjoy, a recreation center, historical museum, and a fantastic downtown area that continues to grow in beauty and businesses. It is comfortable and filled with kind people. Very easy to navigate. There are many fun festivals to attend throughout the year and the Logan County Fair is a major attraction during August.” –A current resident.
“I like the atmosphere these local businesses give to Sterling, Colorado. It makes it so that on Friday nights you can go downtown, walk around, shop a little and enjoy the cozy feeling.” –A Niche reviewer.
“This place has the best customer service and “Howdy neighbor” was invented here.” –Sterling review on bestplaces.net.
“This is America, right here, pal. Some guy who sold popcorn for 40 years in this cute little town was so beloved that they built a statue of him. It's frickin’ adorable! One of our many stops along our somewhat circuitous route from Albuquerque to Chicago, this one was definitely worth the detour. There are two other statues in this very lovely and picturesque little park. But this one is the best. It just makes you wish you were six years old again and enjoying the first few days of summer vacation. The town is pretty cute, too, and we enjoyed our limited time there. Definitely recommend!” –Kendall A. from Chicago.
OVERLAND TRAIL MUSEUM
“We stopped in to this museum to kill some time while our hotel room was being prepared. It was really cool! My eight-year-old son said it was most interesting thing all day and we had gone to the wildlife sanctuary that morning. We enjoyed the interesting and quirky history displays. They had great air-conditioning in the main museum. They had a really big grounds area with lots of different historic buildings to check out. I would highly recommend checking out the place. There is even a two-headed Calf taxidermy in the barn!” –Sarah M. from Denver.
“What a great surprise!! The ladies were very friendly and helpful. Nice interior, comfortable. Their special is all you can eat Rocky Mountain Oysters. Let me tell you they are fresh, large and cooked perfectly. The potato salad was homemade and beans were tasty. This was my third time going there and will be back when in the area. What a gem! They have specials every day.” –Karen B. from Colorado Springs, Colo.
NORTH STERLING STATE PARK
“Stayed here one night en route to Nebraska from California. Campground sites are fairly close together but each has a shelter, which was useful when it started to rain. AMAZING sunset, some strong winds and rain for a few minutes. Nice bathroom with showers and laundry at one end of the campground. Saw some birds and am sure a birder would find this a very cool place. Looked like fun for a family with a boat. There was a swimming beach… Did I mention the amazing sunset?” –SJW from Joshua Tree, Calif.
PARTS & LABOR BREWING COMPANY
“Denver, this is the brewery we need but don't deserve. Got a flight, they were all amazing! Wanted to take more of them all home. Their beer is GOOD, like really good. As for the food, best nachos I've had in a long time. They have a double sided menu of all sorts of options from salads to sammies to brisket nachos, I mean come on! This is seriously the cutest spot. Couldn't recommend stopping here more. We will be stopping in again…” –Michelle V. from Denver.
“On the road, we stopped in to catch a game. The game was terrible, but the experience was great. I think our server is an owner, because of the way she kinda 'interviewed' us to make the best recommendation for us each. And well-done! We both enjoyed our meals greatly. The atmosphere is exactly what you would want and expect in Sterling. Definitely going back!” –Tim A. from Fort Collins, Colo.
“Stopped as a visitor on our cross-country trip to let our puppy run around. Sterling is a cute town with friendly residents. This park is immaculate, lushly green, shady, and huge. We had a vast grassy area all to ourselves, with plenty of large trees to provide shade. Easy parking.” –Tim F. from Torrance, Calif.
WILLOW’S FARMHOUSE GRILL
“Gem off the beaten path. Husband loved his chicken fried steak (tender) and I loved my healthy chicken breast option. Flavorful, filling and yum! Had to take some of the yummy cinnamon honey butter home with me! Thanks for the great service and good food!” –Sarah K. from Tucson, Ariz.
In northeast Colorado, Logan County is the perfect place to take a scenic, rural drive into the past to “meet” the ghosts of Colorado pioneers who once also traveled across the unmarked prairie. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Learn about the Overland Trail, a branch of the famous Oregon Trail along the South Platte River, which was said to be the most heavily traveled road in the country between 1862 and 1868 by miners, fur traders, settlers and Plains Indians. Some of the trail’s sites are marked, so you can stand on the spot where the long-ago stagecoach passengers stopped at sod buildings for their meals of buffalo, antelope, biscuits, coffee, and dried apple pie.
2. Scattered around the county, with Sterling as the center hub, are a couple handfuls of small towns, each with a rich history of their own. Some are more like ghost towns, and some have vibrant businesses and lively communities. Experience the settlement of the west among these modern pioneers.
3. For more than 80 years, visitors have enjoyed a step back in time when they visit the Overland Trail Museum in Sterling. The museum was built as part of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) in 1936 and has interpreted and preserved the history of the people of Logan County and those who traveled the Overland Trail.
When the temperatures drop, warm up your day with a café au lait or any other cup of joe that’ll help you find your get-up-and-go! Here’s a quick list of Downtown Sterling options for your next Colorado road trip.
Roam freely and find other things to do while you’re at it!
1. From caffeine-infused drinks, and other non-caffeinated specialty drinks, the friendly folks at Brew Grit Coffee have you covered. Try their signature Americano or Tenderfoots, and “the best darn cinnamon roll in northeast Colorado!” (dine-in and drive-thru)
2. Voted “Best Coffee in Sterling,” Hot Java Espresso serves up even more than delicious cups of joe. Along with 50+ syrup flavors, the menu is bursting with a huge variety of bagels, bakery items, sandwiches, and more. (drive-thru)
3. Relax at The Lounge in McCauley’s Mustache Café with gourmet espresso, loose leaf tea, and customizable walking style crepes, or drive through the Drink Express location. (dine-in and drive-thru)
4. Located in the town square across from the Historical Logan County Courthouse, Simkin's Parlour features cozy seating and gourmet High Plains Spice Company coffee. Don’t neglect the varieties of old-fashioned ice cream. Try a scoop in your java! (dine-in)
5. Be on your way fast at Pi Kappa Cino Coffee with two drive-thru windows to get your favorite espresso drink on the go. How about a Kentucky Bourbon Latte or a Tiramisu Mocha? (drive-thru)
For more delectable coffee and delightful cafés, click here.
Wishing you peace, health and happiness in the New Year. May all your journeys be filled with love and joy.
Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome,
dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
May your rivers flow without end,
meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells,
past temples and castles and poets’ towers
into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl,
through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock,
blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone,
and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm
where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs,
where deer walk across the white sand beaches,
where storms come and go
as lightning clangs upon the high crags,
where something strange and more beautiful
and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams
waits for you —
beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.