We’ve heard it (and said it) time and time again: Old Town is one of the most charming, most entertaining, and best neighborhoods in Northern Colorado. The lively heart of Fort Collins and the heart of Downtown, Old Town is home to some of the region’s oldest businesses alongside some of its newest. In addition to frequent, free community events, you can shop, eat, drink, play and learn all in the same neighborhood—and it covers just a few square blocks!
To start your day of adventure, you can ride in on your bike or park your car in the city’s tech-savvy parking structures. You can even download the app, FC Parking, to do all your paid parking on your phone, and the first hour is always free! For more Downtown parking information, click here.
Now, get ready for a full day of fun in Old Town Fort Collins! Our guide includes the attractions, businesses and activities that will show you the most of the neighborhood and tell the area’s story as much as possible from 8 a.m. to midnight.
Photo courtesy of Bean Cycle Roasters
A landmark of Old Town, Bean Cycle has been a part of our community since 2004. A combination coffee roaster, coffee shop and retail shop, the team shares their space with Half Crown Creative to provide a place where we can drink coffee, hang out, think, collaborate and shop local makers. Rotating retail inventory features everything from hand-printed cards to crafted jewelry and everything in between. And that collaborative, downtown atmosphere is made even better by the smell of freshly roasted coffee.
This breakfast paradise has been a Fort Collins favorite since it opened in 1933. As the oldest restaurant in Northern Colorado, Silver Grill Cafe has had plenty of time to learn the ropes and perfect the art of breakfast. The cafe is famous for enormous, gooey cinnamon rolls, but the huge menu also features seasonal specials, Eggs Benedict dishes, egg scrambles, breakfast tacos, trout, tamales, French toast and so much more.
Museum of Art Fort Collins is located directly adjacent to Oak Street Plaza in one of the prettiest historic buildings in downtown Fort Collins. Inside, you’ll find rotating exhibitions exploring everything from masks and funny family portraits to fine art photography and cartoons. Admission is just $5 for adults with discounts for students, seniors and young kids, and children ages 6 and under are admitted for free!
The Rio is a Colorado legend thanks to their huge margaritas and their three margarita limit. But their Mexican-inspired menu is equally legendary and their first location opened right here in Old Town. Featuring all the classics—fajitas, á la carte tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and delicious Rio Nachos—your meal comes with chips and house-made salsa that’ll get you perfectly prepped for handcrafted food.
Brand new in 2017, The Exchange is an open-air market located on the north end of Old Town. Inside the gates and under the string lights, you’ll find handheld meals from Chick’nCone, robot-made donuts from Fort Collins Donut Company, sour craft beers from Crooked Stave, whiskey flights from CopperMuse Distillery, urban wines from The Infinite Monkey Theorem, handmade ice cream from Old Town Churn and even more. These year-round treats come with a side of lawn games, public art, outdoor seating and heat lamps during the cold months.
For details on everything you can do and eat in The Exchange, check out Your Guide to The Exchange in Fort Collins.
For our shopping spree, we’re traveling from The Exchange down College Avenue and back up the other side to finish with dinner at The Welsh Rabbit. Among other shops, our course will take us past The Perennial Gardener, Wagz Pet Market & Grooming, Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream, Ku Cha House of Tea, Old Town Spice Shop, White Balcony, The Cupboard, Pendleton, Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys, Savory Spice Fort Collins, and Rocket Fizz Fort Collins. If you make it back to The Welsh Rabbit before dinner, you can also swing into Old Firehouse Books, an independent bookstore located right next door!
The Welsh Rabbit began as a cheese shop on the outskirts of Old Town and has grown into one of Fort Collins’ most talked about shops and restaurants. Now, the family team operates the original cheese shop and The Welsh Rabbit Bistro right around the corner. In the Bistro, they serve seasonally inspired and carefully crafted small bites, cheeses and charcuteries, handmade desserts, and local beers and ciders, in addition to one of Downtown’s best wine lists. To hear their inspiring story, check out Meet the Team Behind The Welsh Rabbit in Fort Collins.
Fort Collins Tours is a local company headquartered in Old Town Square that organizes creative group tours through the alleys, businesses and basements of Downtown Fort Collins. Their most frequent and popular tour is the Fort Collins Ghost Tour. This excursion invites participants into some of Old Town’s best and oldest businesses to hear the spooky stories of our hometown. Other tours include the Haunted Pub Tour, the Horse & Buggy Ghost Tour, the family-friendly Ghosts & Goodies Tour, and more. To schedule your tour, click here.
Ace Gillett’s is a speakeasy-style bar and lounge located beneath The Armstrong Hotel. Featuring some of the city’s best and most innovative cocktails, shareable snacks and free live jazz Thursday through Sunday, their cozy, lounge experience takes evening cocktails to a whole new level.
There’s so much to do in Old Town and we didn’t have time to cross the street into the River District! To explore that area, check out Your Ultimate Guide to Fort Collins’ River District.