Fort Collins is characterized by many things, from craft beer and free community events to great schools and a thriving farmers’ market system. Whether you’re here for the beers, bikes and bands, or you’re here for the family-friendly atmosphere, you’ve chosen a good place to call home.
But where’s the best place to live in the city? Well, that depends on what you consider the best. Do you want to be minutes from the wide-open expanse of Lory State Park? Or would you rather be in the middle of things in a River District condo? Do you want to be within walking distance of Jessup Farm Artisan Village or do you want to be near Fort Collins Museum of Discovery?
Luckily, in our bike-friendly city, no neighborhood feels too far away. But to help you make the right decision for you and yours, we rounded up a few basics on seven major areas that cover all of Fort Collins. If you have questions about finding homes in these areas or need specifics on a particular neighborhood, please contact us directly here.
North Fort Collins typically refers to everything from Old Town up to the northernmost end of the city. Since there’s so much to do in both North Fort Collins and downtown and because downtown is so distinct, we separated the two for this guide. Some of the largest attractions in North Fort Collins are City Park, Fort Collins Country Club and everything at Lee Martinez Park, including The Farm at Lee Martinez Park and Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.
Outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown, North Fort Collins is characterized by tons of family attractions and residential areas. In fact, several specific neighborhoods in North Fort Collins even made it onto our guide, The 10 Neighborhoods in Fort Collins with the Highest Bike Scores thanks to their safety, bikeable roads and proximity to amenities and fun.
Downtown is made up of many of Fort Collins’ liveliest and most entertaining neighborhoods, including Old Town. From Ace Gillett’s and The Armstrong Hotel, into the heart of Old Town Square, and all the way up to The Exchange, this area has so much to offer. Residents can often be found attending free events with Bohemian Nights, seeing a show at Magic Rat, shopping at The Gearage, grabbing coffee at Bean Cycle Roasters, eating ice cream at Walrus Ice Cream, enjoying a meal on the CooperSmith’s patio, sipping craft beer at Equinox Brewing, or tickling the keys of a painted piano.
Northeast of Old Town, you can cross Jefferson to enter the River District and find some of Fort Collins’ oldest businesses alongside some of its newest—all worth a visit. These include New Belgium Brewing Company and Odell Brewing Company alongside Ginger and Baker and Union Bar & Soda Fountain. For more information on this specific district, check out Your Ultimate Guide to Fort Collins’ River District.
From there, you can travel just about a mile east and find another community of taprooms and local businesses, including Backporch Cafe, Snowbank Brewing, Feisty Spirits Distillery, Horse & Dragon Brewing Company, and Funkwerks.
Other popular guides for downtown Fort Collins include Your Guide to The Exchange in Fort Collins and Where to Get the Best Ice Cream in Fort Collins, Mapped.
Central Fort Collins is largely defined by Colorado State University and the surrounding university neighborhoods. Colloquially, there is some overlap between Central Fort Collins, Old Town and Midtown, but the main area extends from Mulberry to Prospect and Taft Hill to Timberline. That means Central Fort Collins is home to some of Fort Collins’ best local businesses, including The Mayor of Old Town, The Colorado Room, Rainbow Restaurant, Waltzing Kangaroo and Wild Boar Cafe.
The area is also packed with CSU landmarks, including Canvas Stadium, Moby Arena, the Oval and the CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden as well as the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art and the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising inside the University Center for the Arts.
You’ll find many Central Fort Collins neighborhoods on both The 10 Neighborhoods in Fort Collins with the Highest Bike Scores and The Neighborhoods in Fort Collins with the Best Walk Scores because they’re so near entertainment, food, fun and amenities.
Though it’s not specifically defined, Midtown’s borders are Prospect and Harmony to the north and south and Taft Hill and Timberline to east and west. This puts Foothills Mall, Warren Lake and Edora Park within Midtown, while Jessup Farm Artisan Village and Spring Canyon Park are positioned at the east and west borders, respectively.
One of Fort Collins’ most popular areas, Midtown is packed with things to do and most of them are centered around College Ave. Breweries here include Black Bottle Brewery, Maxline Brewing, Purpose Brewing and Cellars, Gilded Goat Brewing Company and Zwei Brewing Co. And while the neighborhood is home to many of the city’s large chain stores, like Best Buy, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Whole Foods Market, King Soopers, Trader Joe’s and Barnes & Noble, you’ll also find some of the city’s favorite local businesses. These include Music City Hot Chicken, Wilbur’s Total Beverage, The Light Center, Crêperie & French Bakery of Fort Collins, The Moot House, Totally 80’s Pizza & Museum and even the Gardens at Spring Creek. It really is a perfect mix of Fort Collins.
Encompassing much of the area south of Harmony, South Fort Collins is spotted with parks and open space, including five natural areas managed by the city, Fossil Creek Reservoir and Fossil Creek Park, which is home to Southridge Golf Course and Fossil Creek Dog Park. The north end of South Fort Collins also offers tons of amenities from Kohl’s, Home Depot, PetSmart and King Soopers to local spots like Otto Pint and Zwei Brewing Co. Located directly south of the main attractions along Harmony and many of the best businesses in Midtown and East Fort Collins, the area offers a little more space and serenity without leaving the comforts of the city.
Bordered by Horsetooth Reservoir and Lory State Park along the westernmost end, West Fort Collins includes charming neighborhoods like P.O.E.T and Quail Hollow. It’s also home to Spring Canyon Park, Pineridge Natural Area and Maxwell Natural Area. Primarily residential and spotted with schools and churches, West Fort Collins does offer some of our favorite local businesses, including the Holiday Twin Drive-in, Intersect Brewing, Farmer’s Table and McClellan’s Brewing Company. And in the same shopping center as McClellan’s, you’ll also find a conveniently located King Soopers.
East Fort Collins is typically considered everything east of Timberline. The area hugs the charming town of Timnath and contains four natural areas maintained by the city as well as the CSU Environmental Learning Center. But in addition to these parks and open spaces, East Fort Collins offers some of the city’s best amenities, too! Directly adjacent to Midtown, you’ll find Jessup Farm Artisan Village and the beautiful neighborhood of Bucking Horse. Other local businesses include William Oliver’s Publick House, DC Oakes Brewhouse And Eatery and countless attractions, shops and businesses at Front Range Village.
The Group, Inc. has been a local business here in Fort Collins for more than four decades and our Groupies have tons of local knowledge and experience. If you want to know more about Fort Collins or if you’re interested in relocating, please contact us directly here.