IMG_2855Niwot (nigh-wott)has been emerging as a below-the-radar hip mini-version of Boulder. Located along Colorado Highway 119/Diagonal Highway about 10 miles from Boulder and 7 miles from Longmont, Niwot is a mix of old farm town charm, and a community anchor for several significant residential neighborhoods. Look for a multi-million dollar mansion in Somerset, or a funky old bungalow in old town – they have the same ZIP code.

Niwot gets its name from the Southern Arapahoe tribe’s Chief Niwot, who was also known as Left Hand. Explains all the Left Hand businesses all around – Left Hand Brewery and Left Hand Plumbing among them. Chief Niwot was the tribal leader of his people who lived along the Front Range and often wintered in Boulder Valley, site of the future town of Boulder.

Chief Niwot welcomed the prospectors of the Colorado gold rush, and both groups lived in harmony until the infamous Sand Creek Massacre in Eastern Colorado. The town was created in 1875 as a stop along the Colorado Central railroad which runs northeast from Boulder. The original business district built up on both sides of the tracks – those on the west having been razed for construction of the Diagonal Highway, while those on the east remain and house Niwot’s eclectic shops, stores and restaurants. Don’t miss My Mom’s Pies!