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Fort Collins, CO

Located about 56 miles north of Denver on the Cache La Poudre River, Fort Collins got its name and its start as a military encampment and trading post. The namesake fort was decommissioned after the Civil War, but the community that sprang up around it continued to thrive and grow. Today, it is the fourth largest city in Colorado and home to Colorado State University as well as small to medium manufacturing businesses and high-tech research facilities for Hewlett Packard, National Semiconductor and Intel, among others. The city can often be found on lists of "best places to live" in the U.S.

The Community of Fort Collins

Interstate 25 runs east of Fort Collins and the city's west side is surrounded by green space and Horsetooth Reservoir. Its downtown streets form a reasonably straight grid with College Avenue as the biggest north-south road and Mountain Avenue the biggest east-west street. Neighborhoods include historic Old Town, University Park to the east of CSU and the residential Harmony Crossing that's conveniently located near I-25 for easy access to Denver and Boulder.

What to Do in Fort Collins

One of Anheuser Busch's 12 U.S. breweries is located in Fort Collins, and they do their best to attract interested beer lovers with a variety of tours. See how Bud Light is manufactured -- kids can go on the tour but will be offered soft drinks in lieu of sampling beer -- or take a more extensive brewer's tour that's open to 21+ only. You may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the world-famous Clydesdale horses if they're on the property. The on-site restaurant, The Biergarten, has lovely views, good brews and a full menu.

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery has plenty to offer for all ages, including an extensive music and sound lab that explores everything from the physics of soundwaves to the history of music in northern Colorado. There's also quite a bit to see about the natural history and wildlife of the Fort Collins area. Get a great view of the mountains from the observation deck atop the museum.

Spend some time in the Cache La Poudre River National Heritage Area. You can simply enjoy the beauty, spend time fishing or bike the miles-long Poudre River Trail. History buffs can take a guided tour of the 1883 Fort Collins Water Works and see other historical points of interest along the river. More adventurous types can go whitewater rafting.

One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Fort Collins

Who doesn't love the 80s? Not the proprietors at Totally 80's Pizza & Museum, which has free admission to see treasures like Pee Wee Herman's bicycle, a vast collection of vintage cereal boxes, MTV classic video display and working 25-cent arcade. Don't skip the pizza while you're there -- try it with Frito corn chips!

Dining in Fort Collins

The Silver Grill Cafe in the heart of downtown Fort Collins has been in business since 1933 and makes an ideal breakfast or lunch spot. There's a reason the restaurant has been serving customers for so long -- the huge cinnamon rolls attract customers from throughout northern Colorado.

Jay's Bistro is another long-time downtown eatery with an upscale atmosphere, including a good wine list and hand-crafted cocktails. You could fill up on two or three of the excellent appetizers like lobster mac and cheese or a breadless BLT with smoked pork belly and tomato onion jam, or sample Colorado lamb prepared three ways. Some nights feature live music.

89
Very Walkable
49
Some Transit
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