Fort Collins, Colorado

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Monday, February 1st, 2010

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About 60 miles north of Denver along the Front Range of the Rockies lies Fort Collins, Colorado. It is the last city on Interstate 25 before reaching Wyoming. Stay in the Fort Collins accommodations and take advantage of a variety of activities, from the outdoors to their modern breweries!

The historic Avery House in Fort Collins. (Colorado Tourism Office)

Between the plains and the mountains, two of the Fort Collins attractions are Rocky Mountain National Park and Roosevelt National Forest, making it an outdoors lover’s paradise. 

Despite its name, there was never a huge military presence. There was a fort in the 1860s, but Fort Collins was more of a trading post where traders and Native Americans met along the Cache la Poudre River.

Today, the Old Town Historic District is a fun place to visit, with a fine bookstore, art galleries and quaint mountain shops. Another popular tourism draw is the historic Fort Collins Museum and the Avery House, a stately Victorian home. You can also take a self-guided walking tour of the downtown or ride an old trolley.

However, not everything is old in Fort Collins. Colorado State University brings life and modern culture to this Rocky Mountain town. Good restaurants, microbrew pubs, and the bustling nightlife are all thanks to the college.

The college-age population also brings a thriving music scene, well-known microbreweries and several festivals a year. The NewWestFest happens in the late summer and features local cuisine, music and highlights the area businesses.

The Fort Collins Lincoln Center is home to the Fort Collins Symphony and brings touring companies with Broadway plays.

The New Belgium Brewing Company, the Odell Brewing Company, the Fort Collins Brewery and the Pateros Creek Brewing Company are the four microbreweries in Fort Collins. New Belgium is the largest and has national distribution and Pateros Creek is the newest.

Along with the famous microbrews coming out of Colorado, it has a couple of large national breweries. Coors has its headquarters in Golden, Colorado, just outside of Denver and Anheuser-Busch has a major Budweiser beer brewing operation in Fort Collins. They offer free tours, peeks at the world-famous Clydesdale horses and the best of all- free samples!

You can try the brews out at one of the many Fort Collins bars. C.B. & Potts Restaurant is an old standard, as well as its Big Horn Brewery and CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing.

The Colorado Brewer’s Fesitval is usually in late June. Starting in 2010 it will move from the old town area to the Civic Center Park. The festival features as many as 45 breweries from Colorado and draws around 30,000 people.

The Colorado Marathon runs down the Poudre Valley and ends in the old town area of Fort Collins.

The arts have a home in Fort Collins as well. Lincoln Center has a 1,180-seat performance hall as well as a 220-seat theatre. Dance, theatre, music, and more can be seen at this arts center that boasts more than 1,750 events a year!

Overall, the city is also outdoors oriented because of its location close to the Rocky Mountain National Park, Lory Park and Horsetooth State Park. Rock climbing, swimming, boating, horseback riding, camping, fishing and mountain biking are all very popular.

Nearby cold streams and warm lakes draw fishers from around the state and the nation, and golfers can enjoy several challenging local courses.

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