Fort Collins is a university town in northern Colorado, an hour north of Denver. The population according to the 2010 census was 143,986, so the yearly influx of out-of-town Colorado State University students does noticeably impact the feel of the town. In 2006 Money Magazine ranked Fort Collins the "Best Place to Live" in the western U.S. among small cities.
Old Town is the downtown area of the city, centered around the cross-streets of College Avenue and Mountain Avenue. It is the historical beginnings of the town. It is because of this that the downtown area has a vast variety of older buildings, and historical monuments. Those seeking to visit architecture from the early twentieth century should come to Fort Collins for the prime examples located there.
The Colorado State University campus is right in the middle of the city, extending from Prospect Street on the South to Laurel Street on the north, and from Shields street on the west to College Avenue on the East. The university also has several other smaller campuses throughout the city. The big white "A" on the mountain west of town stands for Aggies, a relic from when CSU was Colorado Agricultural College.
- Denver International Airport is the closest major commercial airport; a shuttle service to Fort Collins is available from Shamrock Airport Express or Super Shuttle.
- Fort Collins/Loveland Airport (IATA: FNL), serves the Fort Collins/Loveland area and is between the two towns.
- Flex has connections with Longmont.
- Greyhound Lines has connections with Denver and toward Salt Lake City,
- Black Hill Stage Lines has connections with Cheyenne and other Wyoming destinations.
- You might also have success getting to and from Greeley.
Fort Collins is known as a bicycle friendly city and is crisscrossed with paved trails and designated bike routes. In many cases, bike travel can be faster than driving, especially during rush hour, because bike trails do not necessarily follow roads and are often given the right of way in street crossings. A bicycle map can be found here: Fort Collins Bicycle Map. Also, a Bike library is run by the city of Fort Collins, providing free rentals for up to 5 days.
- Historic Old Town Fort Collins. Includes many shops and restaurants and an outdoor mall among historic buildings. Old Town is centered just east of College Avenue and between Mountain Avenue and Walnut Street. Parking on the street in Old Town can be difficult, but there are two city parking structures which offer parking for a quarter an hour. Enjoy a locally brewed beer or lager at a restaurant in Old Town Square, and enjoy local music at The Aggie.
- Budweiser Events Center. At The Ranch features national acts and sports events. Several semi-professional sports teams call this center home including the Colorado Eagles (hockey), Colorado Chill (basketball), and the Colorado Ice (arena football).
- Breweries. Fort Collins features 5 local award-winning breweries plus an Anheuser Busch outpost (complete with Clydesdales). Visit New Belgium Brewing, Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins Brewery, CooperSmith's Pub and Brewery, Big Horn Brewing, or Anheuser Busch any day of the week but Sunday.
- Colorado State University. Internationally recognized faculty and a top-ranked University with a freshman to sophomore retention rate of 82%. Offers over 150 degree programs of study in 8 Colleges: College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Applied Human Sciences, College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, Warner College of Natural Resources, College of Natural Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Ranked in the Top Tier of public and private doctoral universities in the U.S. News and World Report rankings of America's Best Colleges and Universities.
- Pool and Ice Center. The EPIC Pool and Ice Center includes a large pool and ice rink.
- Horsetooth Reservoir. Climb, boat, hike, boulder, and mountain bike here. (season or day pass required)
- New Belgium Brewery. Brewers of the popular Fat Tire, and less well known Abby, 1554, Blue Paddle, Sunshine Wheat, as well as several seasonal beers and small-batch productions. The brewery has guided and self-guided tours. Get there early for the guided tours as space is limited. You'll hear the history of the brewery, how they're powered completely by wind energy and methane recycled from the brewing process, and how they truly are a shining example of a socially responsible company that takes care of its employees and the community. Free tasting is available for those over age 21.
- Rocky Mountain Adventures, toll-free: +1-800-858-6808, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. RMA offers whitewater rafting trips, kayaking lessons, and fly-fishing clinics in the summer, as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trips in the winter. Great for the traveler with an adventurous streak.
- Cache La Poudre. The Cache La Poudre river flows from the canyon proper, several miles north, through town and offers excellent fly fishing for wild rainbow and brown trout. In town, quick fishing access is available starting from the crossing at North Shields and continuing through town. You can tube and swim at various locations in the river in town. The canyon itself can be reached by taking College Ave./Hwy 287 north out of town and turning onto Poudre Canyon/Hwy 14. Pressed between narrow canyon walls and fed by snow-melt, the water here is wilder and colder and swimming should be done with caution. Several companies offer whitewater rafting in the canyon and kayaks are a common sight. There are several hiking trails in the canyon, including Greyrock Trail, which takes you across the river via bridge into open pine forest and meadow. Wildlife are common, including deer, fox, rabbit and black bear, as well as the occasional mountain lion and many kinds of birds. Camping and summer cabins are available throughout the canyon. The Columbine Lodge, located in the small community of Poudre Park, offers both as well as beach access (for campers and residents), a good supply of snacks, drinks and good company. Seasonally, a shuttle is available between the Lodge and nearby Mishawaka Amphitheatre, a lively local bar on the river that opened as a dance hall in 1916 and continues to attract various famous acts and music-lovers every year.
- Bike Parks and Trails. There is an extensive set of biking/walking trails around town. An adventurous mountain biker can do a loop. There is a paved trail along the Poudre River from Bellvue through Fort Collins to CSU's Environmental Learning Center. There is another paved trail along Spring Creek that goes from the intersection with the Poudre upstream to Spring Canyon Park which also has a trials bike course. There is also a motocross bike course along the way at Epic Park. From Spring Canyon Park north back towards Bellvue is an extensive collection of mountain bike trails going up and down the hogback that forms the eastern side of Horsetooth Reservoir. The most extensive bike park is at Lory State Park on the northwest side of Horsetooth Reservoir. They have a practice course with small jumps and teeter-totter, a large pump track, four different jump runs of varying difficulty and a wooden trials track with three different paths and a double teeter-totter.
- Mountain Whitewater Descents, 1329 N. Hwy. 287, toll-free: +1-888-855-8874. Take a whitewater rafting vacation today. We offer rafting adventures on the Cache La Poudre River near Estes Park Colorado. Come see what river rafting in Colorado is all about. We will be running trips through August 30th - so give us a call and we can book you a trip. Mountain Whitewater Descents is proud to have a special use permit from the Roosevelt National Forest. The guidelines keep river use low so that the Poudre delivers an exceptional wilderness rafting experience. Check out the Poudre page to find out how special Colorado's only "Wild and Scenic" river really is. Coloradoans consider it the best canyon and river in Colorado. Come rafting and you'll agree.
- A1 Wildwater, 2801 N. Shields St (NW corner of Sheilds and Hwy 287, about 3 miles N of old town Fort Collins), toll-free: +1-800-369-4165, e-mail: fun@A1wildwater.com. 8AM-7PM. Northern Colorado's oldest outfitter. Free wetsuit use along with paddle jackets. Mild to wild rafting trips with beginner to advanced whitewater. New store built in 2009. Lots of parking, clean new restrooms, picnic areas, game areas, food, retail store, photo area and guides available. Safety kayakers follow along on many of the high water season trips. Wild & Scenic half day trip, family half day trip and full day trip offered. There is a store at the NW corner of Shields St and Hwy 287 (College Ave).
Historic Old Town
- Children's Mercantile and Clothes Pony.
- The Cupboard, 152 S College Ave. Opened in 1972, the oldest (and best known) store in Fort Collins, the store is over 6,000 square feet and offers all manner of items for your kitchen.
- EsScentuals. A boutique body care store, with an intimate massage and fitness facility downstairs.
- Perennial Gardener & Sense of Place.
- Tula. Offers contemporary women's clothing.
- Passion for the Planet Eco-Boutique. This new eco-friendly store in Fort Collins offers organic clothing, organic chocolate, and sustainable romantic gifts.
- Ten Thousand Villages, 113 Linden St. A beautiful shop in old town on College St. with artisan made goods by people from all over the world, it is run by volunteers.
- Kansas City Kitty, 136 N College, ☎ +1 970 482-5845. Women's clothing store and boutique. Local vendors sell jewelry, purses, and more.
Fort Collins is often said to contain more places to eat per person than anywhere else in the country.
- Big City Burrito. A true Fort Collins institution with a very loyal following. It is fairly typical to see a line stretching out the door but the wait is well worth it. (Local, $6 per person, Old Town)
- The Breakfast Club. Breakfast/Lunch. A really tasty breakfast food eatery, with friendly "homey" atmosphere. Highly recommended: Breakfast burrito. ($3.89-$7.89, 223-7193).
- Cafe Mexicali. Great Mexican food for very reasonable prices, and even cheaper for students.
- Charco Broiler, 1716 East Mulberry, ☎ +1 970 482-1472. American. Another pillar of Fort Collins restaurant, a good family-style steak house. This is probably the best value for a high quality sit-down restaurant. (Local, $8 per person, North East)
- China Wok, 1514 E Harmony Rd, ☎ +1 970 223-8867. Typical fast food Chinese. Inexpensive. (Local, $5 per person, South)
- Cozzola's Pizza. Fantastic non-traditional pizza. (Local Chain, $7 per person, South and Old Town)
- Farmer's Table. Breakfast and lunch, breakfast served all day. Great food, large portions. $6 per person.
- Little Saigon Cafe. Vietnamese. (Local, $7 per person, mid-town located in The Square)
- Los Tarascos. Mexican. Very good, authentic Mexican food. (Local, $7 per person, mid-town)
- Matador Mexican Grill. Great local burrito place with .41 bottles of beer everyday. Created by two CSU graduates and is a great place to get a beer and some of amazing food with the freshest local ingredients. (Local, $6 per person, south side of town)
- Pickle Barrel. High quality subs at reasonable prices.
- Pizza Casbah. A hole in the wall pizza place very popular with locals. Slices are gigantic and should be folded in half to be eaten properly. $4 per person.
- Silver Mine Subs. Sub sandwiches. (Local Chain, $6 per person, South, mid-town, West, and North-East locations)
- Taqueria Los Comales. Authentic Mexican. (Local, near CSU)
- Teriyaki Wok. (Local chain, $6 per person, West and mid-town)
- Toy's Thai Cafe, 128 W Laurel St # B, ☎ +1 970 224-1512. Excellent, authentic Thai food. Inexpensive. Daily lunch buffet $7.
- Walrus Ice Cream. Fantastic local ice cream. (Local, $3 per person, Old Town)
- Wok & Roll. Healthy Japanese takeout (2 locations). Mostly stir-fries over white or brown rice, or rice noodles. Chicken, beef, shrimp, and vegetarian dishes available. Some (cooked) sushi rolls available.
- Young's Cafe, 3307 S. College Ave, ☎ +1 970 223-8000. Vietnamese. (Local, $10 per person, mid-town across from the Foothills Fashion Mall)
- Yum Yum, W. Elizabeth St (1 block West of CSU). Excellent Lebanese and Mediterranean food, good vegetarian selections. Outstanding Gyros and rice. A small, family-owned restaurant, with very reasonable prices.
- 3 Margaritas. Mexican. (Chain, $8 per person, South)
- Austin's. American. A grill owned by the same owners as The Moot House (see below), American cuisine, excellent roasted chicken ($12 per person, South and Old Town)
- Avogadro's Number. American. Try the tempeh burger. (Local, near CSU)
- Beau Jo's Pizza. Old Town. Pizza, calzones, pasta. Daily lunch buffet.
- Bisetti's. Italian. A great local Italian place. (Local, $13 per person, Old Town)
- C.B. & Potts. Bar and pub food. Highly recommend. (Local chain, $10 per person, West)
- Cafe Bluebird. Lunch and breakfast, breakfast-for-lunch.
- Coopersmith's. Pub food and local brewery, also has a pool hall. (Local, $9 per person, Old Town)
- Domenic's. Metro Bistro & wine bar serving Mediterranean fusion food.
- Enzio's. Italian, from the owners of Austin's and the Moot House.
- Fish. Freshest fish in Fort Collins with shipments flown in daily. (Local, Old Town)
- Hu Hot. Mongolian BBQ with an excellent atmosphere. Lunch and dinner buffet available. (Chain, $10 per person, Old Town)
- The Hideout Patio Bar and Grill. American fare: Burgers, brats, hot dogs, green chili, the biggest pork tenderloin in town and prime rib on Saturday nights. Live music most nights, football games, college and NFL and open for Monday Night Football. Open year round.
- Hunan Chinese Restaurant. Chinese. Excellent Kung Pao Chicken, eggrolls and egg drop soup. Take out available. ($10-$15 per person, with lunch specials, south)
- Jade Garden. Chinese. (Local, $8 per person, mid-town)
- Jim's Wings. Another local favorite with the best hot wings in town and great sports bar atmosphere. (Campus west, $7 per person)
- Lucile's. Cajun breakfast and lunch. Incredibly popular, expect to wait half an hour on the weekends. (Local, $8 per person, mid-town)
- Mancino's. Grinder sandwiches and pizza. (Local, $7 per person, East)
- Moot House. A local English-style restaurant, English/American cuisine and salad bar. (Local, $16 per person, mid-town)
- Mount Everest Cafe. Nepalese (Buffet) Sherpa own restaurant with Mt. Everest theme.
- Mount Fuji. Japanese (Local, $10 per person, $25 per person for sushi, South) Widest variety of sushi in town, often including delicious specials. Definitely eat their banana desert!
- Nyala. Authentic Ethiopian food and excellent coffee. (Local, $15 per person, mid-town)
- Olde Tymes. Pizza, Chicken, and Ribs! Locally owned and operated, Olde Tymes has some of the best down home cooking in town.
- Panino's. Specializes in panino sandwiches, but salads, pasta, and pizza are all available. $7-10 per person. Located at Center Ave. and W. Prospect Rd., it can be crowded at lunchtime, but it is worth the wait. $1 microbrew pints Monday and Tuesday.
- Pho Duy. Pho restaurant. (Local, $7 per person, mid-town)
- Positano's Pizzeria. Pizza and sandwiches. (Local, $8 per person, South)
- Rainbow Restaurant, 212 W Laurel, ☎ +1 970 221-2664. Breakfast and lunch. Specializes in vegetarian cuisine, but meat substitutions available.
- Rasta Pasta. Creative Pastas with a Caribbean Flair. (local,$4-10 per person, Old Town)
- The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant., 143 W. Mountain Ave (Old Town). Famous and wildly popular for margaritas. Get there early.
- Silver Grill. A great breakfast and lunch restaurant, a pillar of Fort Collins. (Local, $10 per person, Old Town)
- South China. Chinese Food. Particularly known for their Hot and Sour soup, Sesame Chicken and Hunan Chicken. (Local, $10 per person, South)
- Spicy Pickle. Subs, salads, soup and paninis. (Old Town)
- Spoons. Soup and salad. (Local Chain, $7 per person, West and Old Town)
- Sri Thai, 950 S Taft Hill Rd, ☎ +1 970 482-5115. Thai food. Nice atmosphere, tasty food. Vegan options available.
- Suehiro Japanese Restaurant, 223 Linden St, Suite 103 (Old Town), ☎ +1 970 482-3734.
- Sushi by Kevin. Japanese. Sushi in a non-traditional style, prepared by an ex-French chef. (Local, $20 per person, mid-town)
- Taj Mahal. Indian. A fine lunch buffet, and normal order from the menu for dinner. (Local, $8 per person, Old Town)
- Thai Pepper. Thai. Outdoor seating in warm weather. (Local, near CSU)
- The Egg & I. Breakfast/lunch. (Chain)
- Tortilla Marissa. Mexican
- Woody's Woodfired Pizza, 518 W. Laurel St, ☎ +1 970 482-7100. All-you-can eat pizza bar. (North side of CSU)
- Pulcinella Pizzeria. Pizza (multiple locations). Get a true Italian slice here. Good pizza but fairly pricey.
- Sonny Lubick Steakhouse. A great restaurant owned by the iconic former CSU football coach.
As a college town, Fort Collins has a very active nightlife with everything from friendly corner pubs to hip hop dance clubs. Old town is packed on weekends but even week nights always have something happening. Campus west is the second, smaller, cluster of bars in Fort Collins that still has much to offer.
- Surfside 7, 150 N College Ave. Great dive bar with killer jukebox and cheap drinks.
- The Astoria, 146 N College. Lovely place with high end cocktails and excellent Cuban-inspired food.
- The Forge Publick House, 232 Walnut St. Unique high-end beer bar tucked into an alley. Warm, inviting and unpretentious.
- The Alley Cat Café. Coffee house. Excellent coffee and chai. Open 24 hours.
- Bean Cycle. Old Town. An excellent coffee shop and independent bookstore. They roast their own organic, fair trade coffee. Wifi.
- Mugs Coffee Lounge (Mugs), 261 S. College, ☎ +1 970-472-MUGS (6847). 6AM-Late. Local, Organic, Great Community and an awesome menu to go along with great Coffee and coffee drinks.
- Jilly Bean Java. Coffee house. Fantastic coffee and burritos. Wifi, and an open mic stage.
- MoMo LoLo Coffeehouse (Corner of Elizabeth and Shields - across from Qdoba). Wonderful local coffee shop with coffee, espresso, teas, and chai. Local music on certain days each month.
- Bondi's Beach Bar. Nicer bar that is packed every weekend.
- 100 Octane. A basic run of the mill dance club. Old Town.
- East Coast. Bar with the latest last call.
- Lucky Joe's. A self described cowboy / Irish bar that somehow makes it work. Free peanuts.
- Ma's Juice Bar. Located at campus west, this may be the most unique bar in Fort Collins. Though it is a full service bar, spiked smoothies are the must-have specialty. Family owned and operated.
- Old Chicago. Chain restaurant but the bar / pool hall section stay open til 2.
- Road 34. Bike shop by day, bar by night. Pretty mellow atmosphere but a mainstay in campus west.
- Tony's. A great spot to grab a beer or hang out all evening. The bar on the main level has just been remodeled nicely. The recently opened roof top patio is great in the summer and open year-round.
- The Town Pump. A hole in the wall pub that has managed to survive over 100 years, making it the oldest in Fort Collins.
- Washington's. This bar has a very distinct atmosphere that must be seen to be understood. Dance floor in the basement.
- The Armstrong Hotel, 259 S College Ave, ☎ +1 970-484-3883. Located downtown, this boutique hotel was recently renovated and offers 37 eclectic rooms.
- Cambria Suites, 2921 E Harmony Rd. Only minutes away from Colorado State University.
- Comfort Inn & Suites Fort Collins, 601 Sw Frontage Rd, ☎ +1 970 407-0100. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Free wifi, Complimentary breakfast, and heated pool and hot tub! $65-159.
- Courtyard Fort Collins, 1200 Oakridge Dr, ☎ +1 970 282-1700. Indoor pool. Provides free shuttle service to nearby businesses M-F.
- Fort Collins Marriott, 350 East Horsetooth Rd, ☎ +1 970-226-5200. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 12PM. The Fort Collins Marriott has 229 newly renovated rooms and 16,154 sq. ft. of meeting space equipped with high speed internet access and wireless capabilities.
- Hilton Fort Collins Hotel, 425 W Prospect Rd. Near student housing and the railroad.
- Quality Inn & Suites, 4001 South Mason St, ☎ +1 970 282-9047, e-mail: email@example.com. All suites.
The local ISP Front Range Internet, Inc. (FRII) has introduced a Wireless Mesh which includes most of Old Town. Users may have an unlimited number of 30-minute sessions each day, with a few ads in between sessions.
- Jilly Bean Java 240 Walnut St
- Mugs Coffee Lounge has two locations. The shops at College & Olive are open M-Su 6AM-1AM; wireless is also accessible from outdoor tables. Timberline between Harmony & Horsetooth (on E side of Timberline N of Caribou), M-Th 6AM-10PM, Fr-Su 6AM-6PM. The Timberline location has extremely uncomfortable seating, the others have comfy chairs.
- Moxie Java is at 2815 East Harmony and is probably the easiest wireless Internet to get to from I-25. M-F 6-9, Sa 7-10, Su 7-7.
- The Wired Bean coffee shop by West Elizabeth and Shields.
- McDonald's Cafe on West Elizabeth west of Shields Street.
- DeliZone at Timberline and Harmony (next to Noodles). 54G full access and great food.
- Timberline Cafe, 2908 S. Timberline Rd, between Drake and Horsetooth. The Cafe is open 7a-4p weekdays as well as weekends for church services. Open to the public and has great coffee and food.
- Everyday Joe's Coffee House, 144 S. Mason, between Oak and Mountain. M-F 7AM-10PM, Sa 6PM-10PM.
- Alley Cat Coffee House. Alley Cat is a 24-hour coffeehouse and cafe located in the alley just west of College Avenue and north of Laurel.
- Genoa's Coffee and Wine. 7AM-9PM, M-Su. Nice coffee house with some good snacks, a few beers, and a good selection of wines. At the corner of Drake and Timberline, near King Soopers.
- Cafe Ardour, 255 Linden, north east of Old Town. M-W 7AM-7PM, Th-Sa 7AM-9PM, Su 9AM-7PM. Locally roasted, organic coffee, sandwiches, salads, muffins, cakes, etc.
- Cool Beans Cafe, 1721 W. Harmony Road (Harmony & Seneca). Coffee drinks, sandwiches, soups and burritos... all with a great view of the mountains.
- The Bean Cycle on College has free WiFi. They are on College in the old-town area.
- Jackson's Sports Bar on Harmony just east of Boardwalk (by the Sam's Club and Kohl's) has WiFi. In November of 2004 they have changed it to block all traffic except for HTTP as a "security measure" and have stated they don't want to switch it back to open. It's pretty useless as it is. Try the Bear Rock Cafe if you need net. Be prepared for lots of sports fans if a game is on though. Verified that it's still locked down in May of 2005.
- Dazbog Coffee Harmony & McMurray. Open 5:30AM to 10PM 7 days a week.
- Fedex Kinkos 130 West Olive Street.
- Fedex Kinko's Fort Collins Campus West 1113-1117 West Elizabeth.
- SportsCaster Bar & Grill, 165 E Boardwalk Dr.(behind 1st National Bank).
- The UPS Store #4655 at 1281 E Magnolia St.
- The UPS Store #2011 at 1015 S Taft Hill Rd.
- The UPS Store #2718 at 2601 S Lemay.
- Fedex Kinko's 226 East Harmony Road.
- Catalyst Coffee, 103 W Horsetooth Road (next to McCoy's Morning Glory, SE corner of Horsetooth and Shields).
- Buffalo Wild Wings just east of College on Harmony works, but has a 12-minute session timeout before you get pushed back to a captive portal. Management is working on increasing the lease as of 2005-06-24.
- Club Static, 1437 E Mulberry St. Music, alcohol and wireless.
- Bear Rock Cafe on in the shopping center at the south west corner of Harmony and Timberline (about 4 miles west of I-25) has good wireless, food, and coffee drinks.
- Panera Bread on College just south of Horsetooth has good wireless (though with a captive portal), and food and coffee beverages. Often crowded during lunch, especially on the weekends.
- Cafe Mexicali has free wifi.
- McDonald's on the west side of College Ave. north of Drake offers 1 hr of free access with a purchase, or $2.95/hr otherwise.
- Barnes & Noble 4045 S College
- T-Mobile East Harmony Rd 238 East Harmony Rd
- Cheyenne, capital of Wyoming, is just across the border from Fort Collins, home of the World's largest outdoor rodeo
- The small community of Poudre Park offers some great panoramic views and mountainous quietude.
|Routes through Fort Collins|
|Casper ← Cheyenne ←||N S||→ Loveland → Denver|
|Rawlins ← Laramie ←||N S||→ Loveland → Denver|
|Jct ← Poudre Park ←||W E||→ Jct → Sterling|