Welcome to my United States travel blog, where I take you on a journey through captivating destinations and hidden gems across the country. In this article, we explore the vibrant city of Fort Collins, Colorado, and uncover both the must-visit spots and areas to avoid. From the lively breweries and charming Old Town Square to the breathtaking natural landscapes surrounding Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins offers a plethora of experiences to indulge in. Discover the best and skip the rest as we embark on an unforgettable adventure in this beautiful Colorado town.
The Must-Visit Attractions in Fort Collins
Fort Collins offers a variety of exciting attractions for visitors. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, here are the must-visit places in Fort Collins:
Old Town: Explore the historic heart of Fort Collins with its charming shops, delicious eateries, and vibrant atmosphere. Don’t miss a visit to the iconic Lyric Cinema for a unique movie experience.
Horsetooth Reservoir: Nature enthusiasts will appreciate this picturesque reservoir surrounded by beautiful hiking trails. Enjoy water activities like boating, fishing, or simply relaxing on the beach.
New Belgium Brewery: This popular brewery offers tours and tastings of their craft beers, making it a must-visit for beer lovers. Learn about their brewing process and enjoy a refreshing pint in their lively taproom.
Lory State Park: Experience the natural beauty of Colorado at Lory State Park. Hike through scenic trails, go mountain biking, or have a picnic while enjoying breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains.
The Gardens on Spring Creek: This botanical garden is a peaceful oasis in the city. Stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens, admire a wide variety of plants, and learn about sustainable gardening practices.
Hidden Gems and Off-the-Beaten-Path Places
For those looking to explore lesser-known spots in Fort Collins, here are some hidden gems worth discovering:
Poudre River Canyon: Venture outside the city and explore the stunning Poudre River Canyon. This scenic drive offers breathtaking views, hiking opportunities, and picnic spots along the river.
The Farm at Lee Martinez Park: Visit this working farm within the city limits, where you can get up close and personal with farm animals. Kids will especially love the opportunity to feed and interact with the animals.
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery: Dive into the history and science of Fort Collins at this interactive museum. Discover exhibits that showcase the local culture, wildlife, and technological advancements.
Swetsville Zoo: This quirky outdoor art installation features unique metal sculptures created from recycled materials. Take a stroll through the “zoo” and marvel at the creative craftsmanship.
Avery House: Step back in time with a visit to the well-preserved Avery House. This Victorian home offers guided tours that provide insight into the history and lifestyle of early Fort Collins settlers.
Neighborhoods to Explore
Fort Collins is known for its diverse and vibrant neighborhoods. Here are some neighborhoods worth exploring:
Old Town: As mentioned earlier, Old Town is the heart of Fort Collins. Explore its charming streets lined with historic buildings, boutique shops, delicious restaurants, and lively bars.
Campus West: Located near Colorado State University, this neighborhood offers a youthful and energetic atmosphere. Discover quirky shops, trendy cafes, and vibrant nightlife options.
Midtown: Experience a mix of residential and commercial areas in Midtown. Here you’ll find shopping centers, local eateries, and beautiful parks perfect for a leisurely stroll.
Drake: Head to Drake neighborhood for a more relaxed and suburban feel. Explore the scenic Spring Creek Trail, which winds through this area, or enjoy a round of golf at one of the nearby courses.
Southside: Known for its family-friendly vibe, Southside offers a range of amenities including shopping centers, parks, and a variety of dining options. It’s a great place to spend a day with the family.
Trendy Restaurants and Food Scene
Fort Collins has a thriving food scene with various options to satisfy every palate. Check out these trendy restaurants:
The Colorado Room: This local favorite serves up delicious comfort food with a Colorado twist. Try their famous gourmet burgers, loaded fries, and craft beers.
Avogadro’s Number: A popular spot for live music and great food, Avogadro’s Number offers a diverse menu with vegetarian and vegan options. Enjoy fresh ingredients and a laid-back atmosphere.
Slyce Pizza Co: If you’re craving pizza, head to Slyce Pizza Co for their thin-crust pies loaded with creative toppings. Don’t forget to pair your slice with one of their craft beers on tap.
Cafe Vino: This cozy wine bar and restaurant is perfect for a date night. Indulge in their seasonal menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, paired with a glass of fine wine.
The Welsh Rabbit: Cheese lovers will be in heaven at The Welsh Rabbit. Their menu features an impressive selection of artisanal cheeses from around the world, served with bread and unique accompaniments.
Areas to Avoid or Exercise Caution
While Fort Collins is generally a safe city, it’s always wise to be aware of your surroundings. Here are some areas where it’s recommended to exercise caution:
Midnight Sun: This neighborhood, located south of Old Town, has been known to have higher crime rates compared to other areas in Fort Collins. It’s advisable to avoid this area, especially at night.
Maxwell Natural Area: While Maxwell Natural Area offers beautiful trails and wildlife sightings, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings. The area has had occasional reports of bike thefts, so it’s recommended to lock bikes securely and remain vigilant.
Lincoln Corridor: Although this area has seen significant improvements over the years, it’s still considered a transitional neighborhood. Exercise caution when walking alone, especially at night.
South College Avenue: This busy commercial stretch has heavy traffic and can be congested during peak hours. Pay attention to pedestrians and cyclists while driving in this area.
Remote Trails and Parks: When exploring remote trails and parks outside of the city, it’s advisable to hike in groups or let someone know about your plans. Be prepared with proper gear, supplies, and awareness of wildlife safety.
Remember, Fort Collins is generally a safe city, but it’s always better to be cautious and informed during your travels. Enjoy your time exploring this beautiful Colorado destination!
Frequently Asked Questions in our travel blog
What are the must-visit attractions in Fort Collins, Colorado?
Fort Collins, Colorado offers a range of attractions that are worth exploring. Here are some must-visit places in Fort Collins:
1. Old Town Fort Collins: This historic district is the heart of the city and is known for its charming brick buildings, boutique shops, and lively atmosphere. Don’t miss the chance to explore the unique local stores, art galleries, and restaurants in the area.
2. Horsetooth Reservoir: Outdoor enthusiasts will love Horsetooth Reservoir, a picturesque lake surrounded by stunning rock formations and hiking trails. It’s a great spot for fishing, boating, paddleboarding, and picnicking.
3. Colorado State University: Visit the beautiful campus of Colorado State University, known for its impressive architecture and vibrant student life. Take a walk around the Oval, visit the university’s museums, or catch a game at the Moby Arena.
4. Foothills Mall: If you’re in the mood for shopping, head to Foothills Mall, where you’ll find a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon or evening with family and friends.
5. Breweries: Fort Collins is known as the “Craft Beer Capital of Colorado,” so make sure to visit some of the local breweries. New Belgium Brewing, Odell Brewing Company, and Fort Collins Brewery are just a few of the popular options to check out.
6. Gardens on Spring Creek: Explore the beautiful Gardens on Spring Creek, a botanical garden and horticulture center that showcases various themed gardens, educational exhibits, and regular events. It’s a peaceful oasis within the city.
7. Cache la Poudre River: Nature lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit the Cache la Poudre River. It offers scenic views, hiking trails, and opportunities for rafting and fishing. Take a peaceful stroll along the river’s edge or enjoy a picnic by the water.
These are just a few of the many attractions Fort Collins has to offer. With its vibrant culture, outdoor adventures, and unique charm, Fort Collins is a destination worth exploring in Colorado.
Are there any specific neighborhoods or areas in Fort Collins that should be avoided by tourists?
While Fort Collins is generally a safe city for tourists, there are a few neighborhoods or areas that visitors may want to exercise caution in. One area to be mindful of is the north side of town, particularly around the intersection of North College Avenue and East Lincoln Avenue. This area has been known to have a higher crime rate compared to other parts of the city. Additionally, travelers should also be cautious when venturing into the Old Town area late at night as some incidents of crime, such as theft or vandalism, have been reported in the past. However, it’s important to note that these instances are relatively rare and Fort Collins remains a safe destination overall. It is always advisable to stay aware of your surroundings, follow common safety precautions, and consult with locals or hotel staff for any specific recommendations or updates on safety concerns. As a responsible traveler, it is essential to prioritize personal safety while exploring any destination.
Which local restaurants or food establishments are highly recommended in Fort Collins?
Old Town Square in Fort Collins is home to several highly recommended local restaurants and food establishments. One popular spot is The Kitchen, known for its farm-to-table concept and modern American cuisine. Another must-visit is Avogadro’s Number, a community-owned restaurant that features live music and serves delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes.
If you’re in the mood for pizza, head over to Beau Jo’s Colorado Style Pizza, which is famous for its thick mountain-style pizza crust. For a unique dining experience, try Jay’s Bistro, where you can enjoy a variety of globally-inspired dishes and a wide selection of wines.
If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, Fort Collins has some fantastic breweries with excellent food options. New Belgium Brewing offers brewery tours and a tasting room, along with a menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients. Odell Brewing Company is another popular spot with a spacious patio and a diverse beer selection.
Lastly, don’t miss out on Ben & Jerry’s for some delicious ice cream or Bindle Coffee for a cozy café experience. These are just a few of the many fantastic local restaurants and food establishments that make Fort Collins a culinary destination worth exploring.
What outdoor activities or hiking trails are worth exploring in the Fort Collins area?
Fort Collins, Colorado offers numerous outdoor activities and hiking trails for nature enthusiasts. One prominent hiking destination is the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, which features several trails varying in difficulty levels. The Horsetooth Falls Trail is a popular option, leading hikers to a stunning waterfall after a moderate hike. Another notable trail is the Arthur’s Rock Trail in Lory State Park, providing panoramic views of the city and Horsetooth Reservoir. For a longer and more challenging hike, the Greyrock Mountain Trail rewards adventurers with breathtaking views at its summit. Additionally, the Poudre River Trail offers a scenic route for biking, walking, or running along the Cache la Poudre River. These are just a few examples of the incredible outdoor activities and hiking trails that make Fort Collins an ideal destination for nature lovers.
Are there any lesser-known gems or hidden spots in Fort Collins that tourists should check out?
Fort Collins is a vibrant city in Colorado that offers a great mix of outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, and unique experiences. While many tourists flock to popular spots like the Old Town Historic District and Horse & Dragon Brewing Company, there are also several lesser-known gems worth exploring:
1. The Annual Flower Trial Garden: Located on the Colorado State University campus, this hidden gem showcases hundreds of flower varieties each year. It’s a peaceful oasis perfect for strolling and enjoying the stunning blooms.
2. Poudre River Canyon: Just outside of Fort Collins lies the Poudre River Canyon, a scenic area filled with hiking trails, camping sites, and picturesque picnic spots. It’s an ideal retreat for nature lovers seeking some solitude.
3. The Swetsville Zoo: An eccentric outdoor sculpture park created by local artist Bill Swets, the Swetsville Zoo features unique and whimsical sculptures made from recycled materials. It’s a quirky attraction that appeals to both kids and adults.
4. The Annual Taste of Fort Collins Festival: This local food and music festival takes place every summer and offers visitors a chance to sample delicious cuisine from various local restaurants while enjoying live music performances. It’s a fun event that showcases the city’s culinary scene.
5. The Farm at Lee Martinez Park: A hidden gem for families, this working farm located within Lee Martinez Park offers hands-on opportunities to interact with farm animals, including goats, chickens, pigs, and more. Kids can even pet and feed the animals.
These lesser-known spots in Fort Collins provide a glimpse into the city’s unique charm and offer a more off-the-beaten-path experience for tourists looking to venture beyond the usual attractions.
In conclusion, Fort Collins, Colorado is a vibrant and charming city that offers a multitude of attractions and experiences. From the bustling downtown area to the stunning natural landscapes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. However, it is important to note that there are certain places to avoid or approach with caution. While the majority of Fort Collins is safe and welcoming, it is always wise to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Some areas, such as Old Town, are known for their lively atmosphere and are highly recommended for visitors. On the other hand, certain areas on the outskirts of the city may not offer as much in terms of amenities and attractions. Ultimately, it is crucial to do proper research and use common sense when exploring Fort Collins. By being informed and cautious, you will be able to make the most out of your visit to this beautiful city in the heart of Colorado. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in Fort Collins!