We’ve just finished touching on how Colorado is the new place to be. Most of the time I hear people talk about Denver, Boulder, or maybe Colorado Springs. I had heard of Fort Collins before because I follow Heidi on all forms of social media, but I was also trekking to Denver with a lover of Fort Collins so a visit was in order. But I had to wonder: were there really a lot of things to do in Fort Collins? It is pretty much a straight shot north from Denver and if traffic is kind, it’s only about an hour away. You know I love my road trip stops and for (what I thought was) a smaller town, we had a full day there and I would go back next time I find myself driving through the area!
Road Trip Stop: Things to Do in Fort Collins
Colorado State University
Even when I finally escape grad school (we are down to less than one month, people), I don’t think I will stop exploring college campuses. CSU is in Fort Collins and that’s where Becca did her undergrad. I was constantly questioning why there weren’t more students laying or playing outside, then remembering it was a Monday. Still. I wonder if you’ve got an abundance of nice days during the semester…are you less likely to go outside?
Aside from mascot themed bike lanes, they’ve also got a mini bouldering wall outside. And volleyball courts. And just so much green! I was overwhelmed and a bit jealous. Cities are great, but a green campus is something I do not have.
If you happen to find yourself on campus dreaming about your college days and you suddenly find yourself hungry, I’ve got the place for you to eat. Don’t ask any questions and just do as I say. I can’t speak for current students, but Becca says she spent most of her time eating Big City Burrito. From even before we left Philadelphia, I knew that we would be visiting Big City. They had potatoes in their burritos, I was told, so we had to try it. And the strawberry habanero sauce instantly caught my ear.
Verdict: I dream about these burritos. I almost didn’t go potato because I’m not the hugest fan, but I was wrong. Please don’t be like me. Get the potato. Actually, go on a Tuesday so you get one (plus a drink) for $4. And get two. They give a whole new meaning (and spelling) to the phrase Phat Tuesday.
Downtown Fort Collins
As we finished our burritos, I started to wonder if there were many more things to do in Fort Collins. I mean, the CSU campus is nice and I could spend the rest of my day eating burritos…but what else was there? I steered my car in the direction of downtown Fort Collins to find out.
Once we got there, we wandered into a tourist information center for good ol’ FoCo. A lovely woman named Irene did her best to provide us with things to do in the city. In fact, as she pushed pamphlet after pamphlet after pamphlet (after pamphlet) in our hands, I realized that there was WAY more to do in Fort Collins than I expected. Not only were there places to eat and shop, but Irene taught us a pretty cool fact about Fort Collins. The building right across the plaza from us was a model for Main Street, USA in Disney. As a Disney lover, that immediately put the city up a notch in my book.
Irene also told us that it was possible to see Cheyenne, Wyoming from a certain spot in Fort Collins. While we ran out of daylight to do all of the things we wanted, that is one pretty cool fact. Irene could have kept us there all day, but we had to say goodbye. We had downtown to explore!
We walked around on a windy Colorado day, popping in and out of stores. I have three real favorites that I want to point out. A place for you to grab a souvenir, a place for a snack, and bookstore/coffee shop combo. And they’re all on the same street!
- Alpine Acts - The Colorado Showcase - 112 N College Avenue: If you spend any time with me in Philadelphia, I promise you that you’ve seen my Colorado tank top already. That was bought here! This shop has such an awesome assortment of potential souvenirs, some which are provided by more local artists. I’d give it a shot. They even have Christmas ornaments!
- Mary’s Mountain Cookies - 123 N College Avenue: I don’t know about you, but shopping makes me absolutely ravenous. And what better fuel than freshly baked cookies? Yeah, I thought so. Not too much else to say about this spot other than go there.
- The Bean Cycle - 144 N College Avenue: This blew my mind, really. Honestly, my eyes were immediately drawn to the back of the store where the book section was. I could probably spend my whole day here, especially if I had some caffeine to sip on while I read. They’ve even got a quarter book section. Definitely an eclectic selection, but an adventure nonetheless.
Things To Do in Fort Collins Next Time
Irene and Becca both told me about Horsetooth Reservoir, but we just ran out of daylight! Apparently there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep anyone happy here. We were planning on doing a bit of trail running, but alas. I’ll put it on my list of things to do when I return.
I love anything combining biking and beer, this is true. Apparently Fort Collins has a bike and beer tour. I would absolutely have done this if I weren’t driving home at the end of the night. But I’d love to try out a tour when I come back! Hopefully it’ll be a long enough trip that altitude won’t be an issue either… New Belgium brewery is also here! AH. I missed out on so much beer. Must. Return.
In conclusion: there are a TON of things to do in Fort Collins and you should absolutely visit if your route allows for time. Thanks to Becca for convincing me that I needed to check it out. And our new friend Irene at the tourist center. Thanks to Irene, too!
- Have you heard of Fort Collins? Have I convinced you that it’s worth a trip?
- Where is your next road trip going to take?