Insider's Guide: How to Spend Your Day in Fort Collins, Colorado

Insider's Guide: How to Spend Your Day in Fort Collins, Colorado


Thinking about visiting northern Colorado? Make sure to add Fort Collins to your list of destinations. As the most popular city in the region, Fort Collins is known for their craft breweries, old town area, and outdoor lifestyle (the picture above was taken by my husband while flying over the foothill area). Over the next three Fridays, I’ll be providing three different insider guides to help you plan your (hopefully) upcoming trip to FoCo!


As a city that has been voted ‘Best Place to Live’ over ten times in the past fifteen years, it’s no secret that Fort Collins has become popular for tourists and home buyers alike. Although some of the locals complain about housing prices rising through the roof, those moving from California (and there are a lot) find prices quite comfortable. So what’s all the hullabaloo about, you ask? I myself lived in Fort Collins for thirteen out of my twenty-four years of life. This gave me the opportunity to experience activities as a child, teenager, and adult. Let me tell you, Fort Collins is pretty amazing. Keep reading to get an idea of what it is you can expect to do in a day while visiting!

When starting your day, head on over to The Little Bird Bakeshop in Old Town Square. Grab a cup of joe and a delicious pastry, and enjoy people watching through the large windows. If it’s summertime and you have kids, bring their bathing suits so they can romp around in the fountain area right outside. Afterward, head on over to the Foothills Trail in the Maxwell Natural Area, only fifteen minutes away. Here, you can take a short two-mile hike to the top, where you’ll get an amazing view of the city (not to mention Horsetooth Reservoir), without having to pay for parking at more popular and crowded destinations, like Horsetooth Rock.

Lunch will be in order after your hike, and I recommend trying out FoCo Cafe. Run by volunteers, they offer healthy, yet hearty, options, for a ‘pay what you can’ price. Frequented by transients and locals alike, you’ll leave satisfied and happy to have contributed to a local non-profit! After lunch, walk a couple blocks to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery if you have kids, or hit up The Lyric cinema for an offbeat film if you don’t.

In the late afternoon, beer will most likely be in order. Since Fort Collins is known for their brewery scene, there are at least twenty-two to choose from. I would recommend starting at either Odell or Zwei! If beer isn’t your thing, head to Happy Lucky’s for a relaxing cup of tea.

When dinnertime strikes, there are truly endless options (be sure to look out for my guide on where to eat next Friday). If I had to choose just one to recommend, it would probably be Rodizio Grill. This Brazilian steakhouse has two locations in Colorado, one in Denver, and one in Fort Collins. Bring a large appetite, because the food here is limitless. You can choose the ‘full rodizio’ with meat included, or just stick to the elaborate salad bar.

After dinner, if you have kids, everyone will probably be ready to go into a food coma, so head back to your hotel of choice (which should probably be The Elizabeth). If the night still feels young, walk to Ace Gillett’s for a handcrafted cocktail and jazz. This intimate lounge is located underneath another iconic hotel, The Armstrong, which can prove to be another wonderful place to stay.


If this leaves you wondering what to do with your other days in Fort Collins, I just may include more insider tips on that in the future. But for now, expect to read about the best places to eat next time.



Happy traveling!

This post also appeared on Visit Fort Collins.

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