While talking with friends living in other cities, maybe you find yourself trying to convince them that the grass is greener on the other — well, your — side. You’re attempting to make them jealous of Fort Collins but are scrambling for tangible reasons for jealousy while under pressure. It’s just a feeling you have while strolling through the neighborhood — but you can’t quite verbalize it. Thankfully, we have gathered a list of reasons other cities should be jealous of Fort Collins. So feel free to reference this list during your next City Battle, or casually share it on your friends’ Facebook walls. Trust us — they need to know the truth.
As you very well know by now, Fort Collins is known for its love for and promotion of beers, bikes and bands. So it’s only right to start out our list with a prominent member of the trio — beer. Fort Collins hosts a ridiculous number of craft breweries within its city limits. In fact, we counted 15 on this list of breweries in Northern Colorado (which includes a very informative bio alongside each brewery). It’s also worth checking out the others on this list in surrounding NoCo cities, such as Berthoud Brewing Company or Loveland Aleworks.
But back to Fort Collins breweries. We are all aware of New Belgium Brewing, and rightfully so. And its probable that your friends in other cities have heard of them as well, as it is the fourth largest microbrewery in the nation. So do a virtual cheers to your friends from afar who are sipping on subpar brews, and be sure to display your craft beer snobbery with pride!
You don’t have to look too hard to notice this next piece of jealousy ammo. Let the photos of your most recent hiking adventure do all the talking, and make sure everyone knows these mountaintop views are right in your backyard.
Fort Collins is situated at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills of the northern Front Range. Residents of Fort Collins can travel just 35 miles west to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, which hosts breathtaking views, gorgeous hiking trails and an abundance of wildlife. But there’s no reason to spend tons of gas on your next outdoor adventure — there are several hikes within the Fort Collins area. A local favorite is the Cache La Poudre River, which starts and flows in the mountains and ends up meandering through the city. The Poudre is the perfect place for fishing, swimming, tubing, kayaking and rafting. Or if you’re not wanting to get your feet wet, the area’s natural stunning beauty makes it a wonderful photo opportunity.
During the fall, the land in and surrounding Fort Collins becomes a gold mine of aspen foliage. Make sure you take one of these hikes during that time to catch the leaves changing at just the right time.
Whereas many of your friends may be making their way to their local Chili’s or other franchise restaurants, your long list of local restaurant opportunities seems endless. In fact, Fort Collins has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the state and more than most cities in the country. This highly concentrated restaurant population means your taste buds will never get bored.
Fort Collins promotes the spirit of local businesses in general, which is an action we appreciate and admire. The city launched a campaign called Shop Fort Collins, which encourages residents to keep their dollars within the city for overall economic health and of course to support our neighborhood businesses. The city also hosts a Foodie Walk each month, which The Group, Inc. is proud to sponsor. This culinary adventure allows self-proclaimed foodies to explore new local tastes each month for absolutely no charge.
Fort Collins also hosts a robust food truck community. They have been seen dueling it out, but more often, you can find them living in harmony and celebrating the joys of mobile food together.
So chase a tasty local dish with a local craft beer and you’ll be living the Fort Collins dream. Well, the Fort Collins reality that is merely a dream in other cities.
Remember our talk about New Belgium Brewing? They also happen to host one of Fort Collin’s most popular festivals: Tour de Fat. “I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…” is the anthem of this bicycle parade full of costumed riders that culminates at New Belgium. It is there that riders can enjoy music, food, beer (duh!) and games — even kid-friendly games! This festival aims to promote bicycling as a sustainable form of transportation, encouraging drivers to trade in their car keys as a commitment to commute by bike.
But that is only one of the myriad of festivals taking place in Fort Collins throughout the year. Some of the most prominent annual festivals include Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, Colorado Brewers’ Festival, Fort Collins Peach Festival, FORToberfest, Taste of Fort Collins and FoCoMX.
Several of those festivals focus on music, which is another entertainment genre that Fort Collins has in the bag. Whatever you enjoy doing, eating, drinking or listening to, there is bound to be a festival in Fort Collins that celebrates it.
So back to that whole “beers, bikes and bands” thing. How are we going to get to these beers and bands without the convenient and beneficial form of transportation that is the bicycle? And look around you — just about everyone seems to be on board with this. Literally.
In 2013, the League of American Bicyclists named Fort Collins a Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community. Organizations like Bike Fort Collins are in place to be advocates for safe and enjoyable bicycling in Fort Collins. They are recognizing the city’s switch from four wheels to two, and understand the need to manage bike traffic to foster a safe environment for commuters of all kinds.
The city has a large network of bike trails for every bicyclist to enjoy, whether you bike like Lance Armstrong or would prefer to ride a tricycle.
So fully immerse yourself in Fort Collins culture by investing in a bike or dusting off that rusty one in the garage. We think the acceptance and celebration of bicycling in this town is unparalleled anywhere else.
After discussing the many reasons to be jealous of Fort Collins because of its physical demeanor or opportunities within its neighborhoods, it’s worth evaluating the overall well-being of its residents. Huffington Post recently reported a 2014 study by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health that determined the least-stressed cities in America. And to our surprise (not really), Fort Collins came in at #7. Huffington Post speculates that this may be due to the high levels of exercise and activity acting as a stress-reliever. “Some 67 percent of the city’s population gets the recommended amount of weekly exercise (150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of rigorous physical activity),” which is the fourth highest percentage of the 500 largest U.S. cities.
So when other cities are feeling the stresses of life weighing down on them, they might be a bit jealous to observe the carefree attitudes of the residents in this chill town.
Because of the overwhelming list of the city’s positive attributes, we are guaranteed to have missed a reason to be jealous of our beloved FoCo. Please enlighten us, and let us know what we missed! Everyone has their own personal reason to love this city and we’d love to hear yours.