What To Do In Northern Colorado
Take a stroll through Old Town Fort Collins with a self-guided Historic Walking Tour guide provided by the Poudre Landmarks Foundation, which is one of many free things to do in northern Colorado. This ghost sign is one of the stops on the tour. Photograph courtesy of Grant Smith/City of Fort Collins.
Colorado is brimming with the greatest things to do all year long, with exciting activities to enjoy in every season! In the spring, go waterfall-hunting, camp beneath the stars throughout summer, go hiking in the fall foliage, and snowboard through the winter snow.
Wander Old Town Fort Collins
See the inspiration for Disneylands Main Street, USA
Old Town Fort Collins is a beautiful, historic place to spend an afternoon browsing the shops, stopping for coffee or ice cream, and people-watching. The man responsible for Disneylands Main Street USA grew up here and used the buildings of downtown Fort Collins as part of his inspiration for the Disneyland design. Downtown Fort Collins is easily walkable, but there are also historic streetcars and modern-day buses that can get you around as well.
Need a Hotel? The Armstrong Hotel is in Old Town Fort Collins and opened in the 1920s. Its within walking distance of breweries and restaurants and keeps with the old town feel of the area. Its definitely one of the best places to stay in Fort Collins.
Dip Your Toes In The Cache La Poudre River
Sure, youve hiked or biked along this popular river, but have you actually jumped in the water? This summer, make a trip to the Cache la Poudre River to cool off in the water. Between Shields Street and College Avenue, youll find several spectacular swimming holes on the river. The water is frigid and the currents can catch you off guard if youre not expecting it, but it offers a welcoming break from hot summer temperatures. Our favorite spots are Picnic Rock, which has a small beach and a rock to jump from, or Legacy Park, which can be accessed by the Poudre River bike trail and offers a rope swing and calmer currents.
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Horseback Riding At Beaver Meadows Stables
Explore the area around Fort Collins on horseback
| Phone: 232-8326 | Website | Cost: from $65
Horseback riding through the Roosevelt National Forest is one of those things to do in Fort Collins that you and your family, or your sweetie, will remember for a very long time. Beaver Meadows Stables offers rides starting at one hour, and pony rides for kids beginning at half an hour each. Its a fun, exciting way to spend an afternoon in the mountains outside Fort Collins.
Pro Tip: Make a reservation ahead of time to ensure theres plenty of room for your horseback riding party.
Hunt Down Some Free Tunes
Ready for the sweet sounds of summer? Several free summer concert series are up and running in Fort Collins and Windsor, bringing acts from near and far to Old Town Square, Colorado State University and some smaller Northern Colorado towns. Try Windsor’s free summer concert series in Boardwalk Park, which takes place Thursday nights into August. Take in live music at CSU’s lagoon, which hosts concerts Wednesday evenings through July. And don’t forget about Old Town home of Bohemian Nights’ Thursday Night Live series in the square.
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A Return For The Fourth
After paring down its Fourth of July festivities over COVID-19 concerns the past two years, Fort Collins is bringing them back with a bang literally this summer. Take in Fourth of July fireworks for the first time in Fort Collins since 2019 when they return to City Park Saturday, July 2. The day will also include the Firecracker 5K run, Stars & Stripes golf tournament, an Independence Day parade, food truck rally and more in partnership with Elevations Credit Union, according to the city. Here’s a full schedule of the pre-Independence Day events.
Top Things To Do In Fort Collins Colorado
Fort Collins is a fast growing city with easy access to the beautiful and relatively secluded, northern Colorado wilderness. From the Roosevelt National Forest to the Pawnee National Grassland, there are fun things to see and do aplenty surrounding the Larimer county seat.
More than 170,000 residents call Fort Collins home, including around 33,000 Rams of Colorado State University. The Cacha la Poudre River runs by town, adding its lifeline and numerous recreational activities. You can fish and even raft portions of the river each summer. And this brewery-rich town has one of the nicest historic districts around.
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Sip On Unique And Quality Beer At Weldworks Brewery
Photo by WeldWerks
WeldWorks Brewery may only be five years old, but its already made a name for itself in creating over 100 unique beers, like Saturns Temple, a sour wheat ale brewed with passion fruit, almond, lemon, milk sugar, and marshmallow. However, its flagship brew called Juicy Bits is a New England-style IPA with a citrus and tropical fruit character from Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado hops.
Visit A Local Farmers Market
Many farmers raise crops in Northern Colorado. A visit to the local farmers market is the perfect way to get fresh produce and artisan foods and enjoy performances from local musicians.
The Fort Collins Farmers Market sets up shop every Sunday and Wednesday throughout the summer and early fall and has a huge variety of local vendors, ranging from fresh dairy products to baked goods, homemade crafts, flowers, and more.
Other local towns also feature weekly farmers markets, including Loveland, Timnath, Windsor, and the Larimer County Farmers Market in Fort Collins.
As the weather warms up, the pool is the perfect place to be. City Park in Fort Collins has one of the best swimming pools in the area and the only public pool owned by the city. With multiple water slides, a lazy river, a water playground, and plenty of space for swimming laps, City Park Pool has something for everyone.
In Loveland, Winona Pool next to Osborn Park is open throughout the summer and features a pool climbing wall, diving boards, and beach entry.
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See A Concert At The Mish
Nestled against the Cache la Poudre River just 30 minutes outside of the city, the Mishawaka Amphitheatre offers one of the best live music shows in the region. Here, the sounds of the river and the sounds of live music reverberate in the canyon for a truly euphoric musical experience. In addition to an indoor, year-round venue and an outdoor, seasonal venue, they also offer a restaurant, plenty of parking and places to sit. If youre a huge music fan, check out our guide, The Ultimate Guide to Fort Collins Most Popular Music Venues.
Photo Courtesy of Morning Fresh Dairy Farm
Owned and operated by the Graves family since 1894, the Morning Fresh Dairy Farm is a fifth-generation farm located in the beautiful Pleasant Valley of Bellvue. Throughout the years, theyve grown into a large operation still true to their hometown roots, and they even produce Noosa Yoghurt on site. When you take a farm tour, you can sample all the Morning Fresh milk products and youll receive a free yogurt! For information on the free 1.5-hour tours, . And for more guided tours to take in the region, .
Annual Flower Trial Garden Fort Collins Colorado
The Annual Flower Trial Garden began as the W.D. Holley Plant Environmental Research Center in 1971 and moved to its current site in 2000. The garden contains test areas and outdoor displays and has a goal of educating and reaching out to students of Colorado State University as well as the community.
From May to October, the gardens feature stunning annuals. Pansies planted in the fall can be seen through spring, while perennials are planted in front of the Center for the Arts and can be admired throughout the year.
1401 Remington Street, Fort Collins, Colorado, Phone: 970-491-7179
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Rejoice & Have Fun In Nocos Largest Cities
Fort Collins and Loveland are the two largest towns in NoCo. There are many activities for visitors in the area so youll likely spend a good portion of your vacation in either city. Start your fun with a visit to some of the amazing Fort Collins Museums. The Museum of Art is a particular favorite for tourists. Not only is the Museum of Art packed from wall-to-wall with art from location and national artists and permanent and traveling exhibits, but admission also costs $5 or less. The Museum of Discovery is also a fun stop that you should include on the agenda. At the Museum of Discovery, visitors enjoy a myriad of exhibits in categories including technology, music history, physics, and more. The museums hands-on exhibits teach cool science concepts.
Apart from museums, Fort Collins and Loveland offers so much more for visitors. Top attractions in the area include:
Grab Your Poles And Go Fishing
From the Poudre River to Horsetooth Reservoir, great fishing abounds in Northern Colorado. Many local fishermen wont share their best spots, but popular fishing locations include Carter Lake and Boyd Lake.
The Poudre River runs across Northern Colorado and is one of the best places in the state for anglers. Great campgrounds and fishing spots abound along Poudre Canyon on Highway 42. Just be sure to pick up a Colorado fishing license before you head out.
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Coyote Ridge Natural Area
Beautiful all year round, the Coyote Ridge Natural Area is also free and open to the public, making it the perfect all-season destination for travelers who enjoy the outdoors.
If youre visiting in the summer, go hiking, cycling, or horseback riding among 600-foot panoramas.
If youre visiting in the fall, watch the leaves change color while spotting local wildlife such as deer and mountain lion.
Wintertime opens up certain fields and ponds for skiing and ice skating spring thaws them out again, bringing fresh flowers along with activities such as nature photography.
Theres no charge for entry, so if youre looking for free things to do while vacationing in Fort Collins, a day trip here could be a viable option.
The Coyote Ridge Natural Area is a beautiful destination for travelers of all types.
Even better, its always open, so it doesnt matter when youre headed to Fort Collins or Colorado in general.
The stunning sights will always welcome you.
Address: Spring Mesa Rd, Fort Collins, CO 80526, United States
Pikes Peak Alpine School
If you really want to dive into the wilderness with full force and great instruction while youre in Colorado Springs, you should check out the guided outdoor activities and programs offered by Pikes Paek Alpine School.
This company teaches program participants about rock climbing, ice climbing, alpine hiking, avalanche education, backcountry skiing, and split boarding.
The expert guides will teach you everything that you need to know about participating in these sports safely and correctly through single and multi-day instructional courses. It doesnt get much more Colorado than this!
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Go On A Tour At New Belgium
Sometimes locals are the last to do that thing every visitor does like taking a tour at New Belgium. While there are a few paid options, they also offer a free Tour Teaser, which includes a 45-minute tour of their brewhouses and free beer sampling along the way. Tickets for these tours are only available day of on a first-come, first-served basis and no reservations are required. These tours are only offered MondayFriday at 2 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 and 4 p.m., so show up early to secure your spot!
Photo Courtesy of Downtown Fort Collins
On the third Friday of each month, go on a culinary adventure with the Fort Collins Foodie Walk, a self-guided tour exploring the thriving food scene in downtown Fort Collins. Downtowns finest culinary shops stay open late to showcase seasonal flavors, provide interactive demonstrations, and offer fun tasting opportunities. Make sure to come hungry there is plenty of food to go around!
Take A Stroll Through Benson Park Sculpture Garden
Get the best of both worlds artwork and stunning natural scenery at Benson Sculpture Garden, a scenic 10-acre park featuring 170 sculptures from world-renowned artists. This park in Loveland was created with proceeds from the annual Sculpture in the Park festival, one of the finest outdoor juried exhibitions of three-dimensional artwork in the United States. Alongside its local fame, the sculpture park has also been recognized as one of the most important modern and contemporary art sites around the world. Its open year-round and there is no admission fee so stop by on the next sunny day for a nice walk or picnic on the grounds.
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Moraine Park Discovery Center
Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1923 and once the parks proud visitors lodge, this building has been renovated in recent years to host exhibits on geology, glaciers and wildlife. Kids will like the interactive exhibits and half-mile nature trail out the door.
Flat Tops wilderness sits in the White River and Routt National Forests. It protects some 230,000 acres of designated wilderness. There’s over 160 miles of trail and 100-plus lakes and ponds in this wilderness.
Cache La Poudre Scenic Byway
Take a gorgeous canyon drive
This gorgeous drive starts in Fort Collins, runs through Cache la Poudre Canyon, and goes over to Walden. The drive is about 2 hours and 15 minutes if you drive straight through, but granted you allow time to stop and take in the views, I recommend you budget about three hours.
Related Reading: If youre spending time in other areas of Colorado, be sure to check out our ultimate travel guide to Colorado!
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Can You See Mountains In Loveland
A blanket of fragrant wildflowers blankets the tundra in the summer, while distant peaks loom in every direction. Trail Ridge Road winds its way up to a height of 12,183 feet, where it appears to leave the earth behind. It cuts through the center of Rocky Mountain National Park, allowing visitors to see a world of breathtaking alpine splendor that is otherwise inaccessible.
Check Out The Beautiful Colors
There definitely isnt a shortage of colors in Northern Colorado, and we are indeed fortunate to live so close to the mountains and the beauty they offer. There are so many places to hike and enjoy the fall foliage that we dont even know where to start. There are several trails that provide excellent hiking and views like Devils Backbone, Coyote Ridge, and Horsetooth Mountian. But these places can get quite busy on the weekends, so here are a few places that might not be as busy.
Prairie Ridge Natural Area in Loveland is a new destination, and it isnt too busy yet as many arent aware it exists. But, of course, this will change over time, so enjoy it before it becomes a busy place. Prairie Ridge offers a nice trail for hikers and cyclists, but leave Fido home as dogs are not allowed.
Pinewood Natural Area is an excellent place for a hike or bike ride if you are in Fort Collins. The trail circles Dixon Reservoir and wildlife is abundant. In addition, the trails snake through Spring Canyon Park, which offers a dog park, skate park, and baseball fields.
Northern Colorado is an exceptional place to live, and it is full of all sorts of things you can do. And while it is nice to stay at home and enjoy your patio, it is important that you get out and explore the region. If you live in Fort Collins, we encourage you to visit Loveland and see what it has to offer. If you live in Loveland, spend some time exploring what Fort Collins has to offer.
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Best Things To Do In Fort Collins Colorado
Home to Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, is a charming town surrounded by beautiful nature that offers year-round adventures. Explore the scenic Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, visit the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, have fun with hands-on exhibits at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and stop by the Center for Fine Art Photography. Here are the best things to do in Fort Collins, Colorado. Be sure to call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
New Belgium Brewing Tour
See one of the countrys biggest craft breweries
Though I mentioned taking a brewing tour above, the New Belgium Brewing Tour is great on its own as well. The founders of the New Belgium Brewery and the famous Fat Tire Ale were pioneers in the craft beer business. See where the magic began in Fort Collins at the New Belgium Brewing Company, where you can take a free brewery tour, or pay a little to get a more in-depth look at the brewerys operations.
There are also guided tastings for a small fee, where you can learn about the history of each beer and read a tasting booklet with more info from New Belgium Brewing on each one.
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