June 22  |  Our Communities

11 Reasons to Love Northern Colorado in the Summer

Summer in Northern Colorado is something truly spectacular. While we find joy in every season in this beautiful region, there’s something special about summer.

Summer means the weather is more consistently pleasant, the kids are out of school, the days are longer, and the community calendar is packed with events. If you have yet to experience a summer here, check out a few of our favorite reasons to love Northern Colorado in the summer. To be honest, it’s pretty easy to start a summer romance with this region…


1. Rocky Mountain National Park is in our backyard.

Rocky Mountain National Park

People travel from all over the country to visit Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, and we get to visit it any day we want! This 415-square-mile park area features hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife and impeccable views. Check out this Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary from the Colorado Tourism Office to enhance your next visit to this impressive park during the summertime!


2. There is a ridiculous number of local breweries.

Whether or not you’re lucky enough to live in Northern Colorado, it’s likely that you know of some major craft breweries hailing from this region. Fort Collins in particular has a lively beer culture, and has produced some well-known breweries, including New Belgium and Odell Brewing. While all Northern Colorado breweries supply tasty libations all year long, there’s something about enjoying the refreshing taste of a light brew on a brewery’s outdoor patio on a warm day. Or sometimes, it’s even more relaxing to purchase a six-pack of your favorite seasonal brew to enjoy in the comfort of your own backyard during a summer barbeque!


3. This area is made for biking.

Colorado biking trails

Northern Colorado has a thriving bike culture — perhaps because of its residents’ active tendencies, the perfect weather, or the eco-friendly culture. Whatever it is, two-wheeled transportation is welcomed and celebrated in this area. This will become quite obvious when you see the abundance of bikes parked outside of a local brewery during the summer.

Organizations like Bike Fort Collins ensure that bikers stay safe and connected to a biking community, and programs like Zagster make sure residents and visiting guests don’t go without a bike to borrow while in the city. And we are here to make sure you know where to ride your bike this summer!


4. There is always a community event or festival going on.

If you’ve been in the area awhile, you know that the Northern Colorado region has a jampacked community calendar — especially in the summer! Check out the NoCo festivals coming up during the summer of 2016 to make sure your calendar reflects your love for craft beer, local food, live music, and…motorcycles?

Perhaps one of the more well-known festivals is the Tour de Fat in Fort Collins, happening September 3 at Civic Center Park. This is a celebration of all things bikes, beer and bemusement!

And don’t miss the annual Art Show Weekend in Loveland, featuring three unique art shows taking place August 12–14: Sculpture in the Park, Fine Art & Wine Invitational, and Art in the Park.


5. The camping possibilities are endless.

Camping in Colorado

Okay, okay. We’ve made it pretty clear. The outdoor activity options are endless in Northern Colorado all year long, but the summertime opens up more places for you to park your tent. Roosevelt National Forest is a popular camping destination in the area, featuring a large number of campsites. The Brown’s Park and Tunnel campgrounds offer excellent access to the Rawah Wilderness, and Long Draw and Tom Bennett campgrounds offer spectacular views of the Comanche Peak Wilderness and Rocky Mountain National Park.


6. The outdoor patios are not in short supply.

One of our favorite locations for enjoying the 300+ days of Colorado sunshine is on the outdoor patio of a local restaurant. In the summertime, you can guarantee warmer weather, which makes an outdoor patio the clear choice when deciding on seating.

Some of our favorite outdoor patios include Pelligrini Ristorante Italiano Bar in Greeley; Bent Fork the Grill and Door 222 Food & Drink in Loveland; and The Mayor of Old Town, The Backporch Cafe, The Mainline and Equinox Brewing in Fort Collins.


7. There is a massive network of hiking trails.

Hiking trails in colorado

As can be expected, thanks to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Northern Colorado boasts some of the best hiking opportunities around. We have a few favorite hiking trails that are a close distance from Fort Collins and Loveland. Some of the more popular trails include the Foothills Trail, Horsetooth Rock Trail and Devil’s Backbone Nature Trail.


8. There’s a fleet of food trucks ready to serve you.

Food just seems to taste better when prepared in a food truck. Food trucks have started to increase in popularity in recent years all over the nation — and that certainly includes the Northern Colorado area, as this is one of the first areas eager to adopt new trends.

When you’re in Loveland, make sure to track down Ripe Tomatoes Wood Fired Pizza, Bedrock BBQ, The Road Grill and Stick It To Ya.

And a few of our favorite Fort Collins trucks include Feeney’s Weenies, Austin Taco, The Waffle Lab, The Sustainable Spoon and Mac’N.


9. …And tasty summer treats at every corner.

Walrus Ice Cream

If you’re not hungry yet, you will be after reading about these delectable summertime desserts served in the area. Warm weather is conducive to ice cream and cold treats, giving you the perfect excuse to indulge in an ice cream cone smothered in sweet toppings.

Walrus Ice Cream has received the award for “Best Ice Cream in Fort Collins” for 11 years in a row! This locally owned parlor has served homemade premium ice cream to the community since 1987.

During your next trip to Windsor, stop by The Bungalow Ice Cream & Coffee, a small family-owned business proudly serving Allegro Coffee and Cold Stone Ice Cream. You can also grab a bite to eat during your visit with their breakfast items, sandwiches and bagels.


10. You can watch a movie outside.

You can snuggle up to a movie on the couch any time of the year, but it isn’t until summertime that you can enjoy an outdoor movie.

Travel back in time at Holiday Twin Drive-In, where you can park your car and enjoy a double feature at this historic theater showing current movies. This is one of only six drive-ins currently operating in Colorado, and it’s right here in Fort Collins! Tickets cost $7 for ages 10 and up, and just $5 for kids under 9.

Every Friday night in July, the Promenade Shops at Centerra in Loveland show a family movie on their main plaza around 9 p.m. Bring the whole family to enjoy pre-show fun at 7 p.m., lay out the blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy these movie under the stars:

July 1: Hotel Transylvania 2

July 8: Home

July 15: The Good Dinosaur

July 22: Kung Fu Panda 3

July 29: Cinderella


11. The weather is absolutely perfect.


Colorado kayaking

Spend just one day in this area and you’ll agree that Northern Colorado has some of the best weather any time of the year, but especially during the summer. Our dry climate means you won’t experience the sticky humidity that many cities endure during the summer months.

With average high temperatures in the 80s, and average lows in the 50s, you can almost guarantee that the weather will be perfect for your backyard summer party you’ve been looking forward to all year. In fact, all of the above activities will be that much more enjoyable with the sun shining down on you, the occasional wind blowing by, and NoCo’s comfortable temperatures.


Happy Summer, NoCo!

What features of this area make you excited for summer? We’d love for you to share in our excitement.


PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Rocky Mountain National Park, Poudre River TrailHorsetooth Falls and Horsetooth Rock Trail, Walrus Ice Cream, YouTube

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