When out-of-town guests visit your beloved hometown in Fort Collins, you are probably ecstatic to show them around the area. You can’t wait to introduce them to all the best features of this craft-beer-loving, mountain-viewing, bicycle-friendly college town you are lucky enough to call home.
So why is it that when we’re attempting to make a schedule for our time with said guests, we are sometimes at a loss for ideas? There must be a balance of experiencing local community attributes and showcasing some of the more touristy attractions. This balance is quite tricky — but we think we’ve mastered it!
Refer to this list the next time your mother-in-law, college roommate or brother pops in for a visit.
Go on a Free Tour at New Belgium Brewing Co.
Whether or not New Belgium is your favorite brewery in Fort Collins, it is the perfect place to take out-of-towners. It’s likely that they’ve already heard of this world-renowned brewery, and they will be enamored by the opportunity to see it in person!
Go on a free 90-minute stroll through the brewery, sampling and learning about their amazing brews along the way. However, you must schedule your tour online in advance. Keep in mind that tours fill up fast, especially on the weekend!
Photos Courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Co.
Rocky Mountain National Park
A lot of fellow craft-beer-loving cities across the country may possess breweries and bars, but they don’t have the surrounding landscape that Fort Collins has. Show off Northern Colorado’s amazing scenery and recreational opportunities with a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park bordering Estes Park.
Entrance to this incredible park is $10 per person and $20 per vehicle. Once inside, you can explore 415 square miles of land perfect for hiking, taking a scenic drive, wildlife viewing, picnicking, camping, fishing, and more!
Depending on where your guests are from, this may be the first time they’ve seen such exotic wildlife — not to mention, breathtaking mountain views — so up close and personal.
Photos Courtesy of Rocky Mountain National Park
Go on a Fort Collins Tour
Guests, particularly parents, might appreciate city tours and demand some structure in the schedule. Take your guest on one of the many Fort Collins Tours to educate them about Fort Collins history, drink some local brews, and experience Old Town Square and surrounding areas in a unique way.
You’ll benefit from this tour as well! Sometimes we need the excuse of hosting visitors to get out and play tourist in our own town. Consider the Ghost Tour, Haunted Tour, or the Speakeasies and Spirits Tour for a haunting and fascinating look at Fort Collins.
Photos Courtesy of Fort Collins Tours
Show off Fort Collins’ artsy and innovative side with a visit to Jessup Farm. The best part about going here is the all-inclusive element of this artisan village. You can visit the different businesses of Jessup Farm without having to repark your car, look up directions, or make overwhelming decisions like, “Where will we eat dinner?!”
In fact, we know exactly where you’ll eat dinner. Let your guests taste exceptional local cuisine at The Farmhouse, a farm-to-table casual eatery offering seasonal menus in a 130-year-old building.
But throughout the day, enjoy a cup of coffee from Bindle, go shopping at HEYDAY, grab a sweet treat from The Loafing Shed, and taste barrel-aged brews from the Jessup Farm Barrel House. Jessup Farm is a one-stop-shop sampling some of Fort Collins’ best.
Old Town Square
You simply cannot go through a Fort Collins visit without stepping in Old Town Square. Stop by any of the many restaurants, shops, and bars — or simply stroll through these charming streets to take in the Colorado sun and experience the bustling Old Town activity.
Stop by Snooze A.M. Eatery for an incredible breakfast, order a farm-to-table lunch at The Kitchen, sit down for a wonderful Italian dinner at RARE Italian, and top the day off with craft cocktails at Social.
Say hi to us while you’re in the area! Our Old Town location is a wonderful source of local information — plus we’d just love to meet you and your guests! We even have a Google Earth Liquid Galaxy set up on a television that will allow you to fly through Northern Colorado with a virtual tour.
Horsetooth Mountain Open Space
Another great activity for the active folks is an outdoor adventure within Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. This 2,711-acre park offers 29 miles of biking, hiking, and horseback trails — plus wonderful Front Range views, especially visible from Horsetooth Rock.
Don’t worry if you have a less-than-adventurous guest along for the ride. The hikes in this area range from easy to difficult, so you’re sure to find the trail that fits your lifestyle.
One of the best qualities of Horsetooth Mountain Open Space is its proximity to Fort Collins. If you’re trying to avoid the crowds (aren’t we all?), get a sneak peek of the parking lot with this live web cam!
Photos Courtesy of TripAdvisor
Fort Collins Trolley
Hop on board the Fort Collins Trolley to explore modern-day Fort Collins in a historical fashion for just a few dollars! This 3-mile round trip between City Park and downtown takes about a half-hour, and only costs $2 for adults and $1 for seniors and children.
This is a hassle-free way to view Fort Collins as a family or group of friends! Keep in mind that the trolley only runs on the weekends between May and November.
Photo Courtesy of Fort Collins Trolley
Go on a Bike Ride Through Town Together
A bike is the most appropriate form of transportation if your guest wants to get a real taste of Fort Collins’ culture. Unless you happen to have a shed filled with spare bicycles, the city’s new Bike Share program makes it easy for you to supply bikes for your entire entourage. Zagster, Bike Fort Collins, and the City of Fort Collins have teamed up to make bike transportation even easier in this already bike-friendly community.
The process is simple. Just sign up for a 24-hour, weekly, or annual membership, then add $2 per hour of bike use. Unlock bikes from one of the many stations scattered around town, ride wherever you and your group desire, then return the bikes at any station, ending your ride session with the app.
Need some help with where to direct your bike group? Explore some of our favorite Fort Collins urban biking trails.
Photo Courtesy of Zagster
Embark on a Beer & Bike Tour
If a brewery visit and a bike ride sounded like good ideas to you and your crew, you can get the best of both worlds with a Beer & Bike Tour.
Embark on a Fort Collins Brew Cruise adventure, including stops at three local breweries you’ll travel to via bike. This is the mellowest and most easy-going option from the myriad of tours available across the world. Did you know that this worldwide Beer & Bike sensation originated right here in Fort Collins? Now that’s something to be proud of.
Your beach cruiser style bike comes equipped with a basket to carry home a growler of beer, brewery shirts, and other goodies you might pick up along the way. This tour costs $50 per person, and reservations must be made in advance!
Photos Courtesy of Beer & Bike Tour
Wonder no more!
Maybe these activities will make your out-of-town guest jealous of Fort Collins, and you might just add “neighbor” to their title! If so, we can help with that as well…
Still need some direction?
We’ve gathered some of our favorite local spots under “Places To Go” on our Fort Collins community page. You may recognize some of your favorite restaurants, bars, and local attractions — but might just discover something new!