If you already live in Fort Collins, you definitely have friends and family who are jealous. The recreation, the culture, the community — there’s so much to love! But when they’re constantly visiting, you may run out of places to take them and things to see.
Or maybe, like many locals, you’ve skipped a couple of the main tourist attractions in favor of some local flavor.
Either way, we compiled a list of the FoCo necessities. Whether you live in town or you’re visiting for the weekend, these are the places you need to see. Each one celebrates and embraces our amazing community in some form or another: art, music, food, history, brews. So hit the town and make sure you check off all of the top ten!
Join Fort Collins Tours on a themed tour of Old Town. You’ll get to explore the network of tunnels underneath downtown Fort Collins and learn the town’s history while sipping on drinks from the best Fort Collins locales. Their most popular event is the Ghost Tour!
Photo courtesy of Jessup Farm Artisan Village
A destination for locals and tourists alike, Jessup Farm is a must-see. Inspired by local foods, produce and small business, the village was designed with Fort Collins and farm-to-table ideals in mind. Stop by any time of day (or all day!) because you can get an artisanal coffee, shop small businesses, eat a delicious meal and sip a local brew — all in the same place!
Photo courtesy of Mishawaka Amphitheater / Certified Photography
About 10 miles away in Bellvue, The Mish is a natural phenomenon you don’t want to miss. Nature and music are brought together in this open-air amphitheater. At the outdoor venue, listen to some of the best live concerts in Northern Colorado while the Cache la Poudre River roars in the background. During the winter, see shows inside for a more intimate venue.
The Artery is all about art: the art of painting, sculpture, music, food, you name it. The community gallery and workspace fosters creativity and encourages everyone to dabble in and appreciate our local creative community. On the ground floor, you’ll find the cafe and bar, performance venue, local creator’s retail emporium, a state-of-the-art recording studio, classroom, and band rehearsal space. Upstairs, they have 16 studio rental spaces, a beautiful gallery with attached bar, and three Bed and Breakfast rooms.
Photo courtesy of Center for Fine Art Photography and Sunshine Divis
C4FAP takes a more subtle approach to art in town. They’re a non-profit exhibition and education space focusing on photo art from all over the country. With frequent Calls for Entry events, they gather various kinds of photography — from hand-built cameras to modern digital processes — and they invite everyone to submit work. Stop by to see what’s on display or submit your own pieces!
Fort Collins’ Global Village Museum has a beautiful mission: to engage and inspire visitors to learn more about world cultures, people, art, and history in order to promote understanding and peace. Their exhibits range from traditional arts and artifacts to the popular International Folk Art in Miniature. You’re guaranteed to leave the museum with new knowledge and a new appreciation for world cultures.
Lyric is a locally owned, independent movie theater serving up the best independent, foreign, and local cinema has to offer. In the same day, you can see a critically-acclaimed limited release, a documentary and a foreign masterpiece. Don’t miss their regular community events! For example, Story Swap follows a new theme each time and is an event to gather together and share life experiences and stories.
Photo courtesy of Holiday Twin Drive-in and Josh Cisar
Bonus: Starting in spring and continuing through the first weekend of September, see a movie at Fort Collins’ Holiday Twin Drive-in. With two screens and two movies per screen, you can see classics, new releases, documentaries and local creations all in one night!
With over 65,000 annual visitors, The Gardens is one of the largest cultural venues in Northern Colorado. In an effort to educate and promote sustainable practices, the program has been growing since the doors opened in 2004 and they have promising plans to continue. If you’ve never been, explore the gardens and gather knowledge to take home to your at-home farm. If you have been, be sure to attend one of their famous community dinners. At the Garden a’Fare events, they partner with local chefs, wineries and breweries for an elegant garden picnic!
In the northern part of Horsetooth Reservoir, you’ll find Inlet Bay. At the family-owned Inlet Bay Marina, you can meet friends, picnic, lounge, rent boats and get out on the water. From jet skis and group boats to kayaks and hydro bikes — there’s always something new to try! Explore the entire reservoir on top of the water or snowshoe around the bay and the water during winter!
It’s a given, right? But it wouldn’t be Fort Collins if we didn’t mention the local breweries. At New Belgium Brewery, you can take a free, 90-minute tour and learn how they brew their craft beers. Or, use our interactive map to take a tour of our favorites. However, if none of those interest you, we have 21 craft breweries in total, so there is plenty to choose from!
Share your must-see attractions with us!