So you’ve made the decision to move to Fort Collins! First of all, congratulations on making one of the best decisions of your life. Secondly, once you get here, it’s likely you’ll want to get acclimated with the city and begin acting like a true “local” as quickly as possible.
To help you shed that “newcomer” label in no time, we’re sharing some tips and tricks for becoming a local in Fort Collins. We’re talking about some practical to-dos, like getting a Colorado license and registering to vote, and some more creative ways to get immersed in the community, like shopping at a farmers’ market or going to local breweries.
Let us be the first to welcome you to Fort Collins!
When you park your car at the trailhead or show your ID at a brewery, you’ll want to blend in with other hikers and beer drinkers. That’s why it’s important to have a Colorado license plate and driver’s license if you’re moving to Fort Collins from out of state. In fact, you must register your vehicle(s) and switch your driver’s license within 30 days of becoming a Colorado resident. Visit the Colorado DMV page for all the information about how to do both — and other resources you might need as a new resident.
The library is an excellent resource — one we often don’t take advantage of or forget about altogether. The Poudre River Public Library District has three branches serving Larimer County, including the Old Town, Harmony and Council Tree Library. In addition to checking out books, magazines, audiobooks and more, you can attend a variety of events offered all year long, for kids and adults alike. An All Access Card allows you to check out up to 100 physical items, download eBooks, audiobooks, movies and more, access research databases, and place up to 20 holds. You can get an All Access Card by visiting any of the library locations and presenting a photo ID and proof of your Colorado address.
To help you get acclimated with your new hometown, take a few minutes to learn some fun, interesting facts about Fort Collins. For example: did you know that Jon Heder from Napoleon Dynamite was born here? Or that there is an underwater city beneath Horsetooth Reservoir? Get ready to learn a new thing or two about our beloved city. Some facts date back to our town’s origins in the late 1800s, some are modern-day marvels, but all are sure to pique your interest.
There are many reasons to move to Fort Collins, including the many hiking trails, rivers, mountains and lakes in our midst, just waiting to be explored. So don’t waste any time getting immersed in the great outdoors! Embark on a hike to get a lay of the land and act like a true local. And we’ve got it all here in Northern Colorado — challenging 14ers, quick walks in the park, and even hikes to waterfalls. In fact, a waterfall is one of the most rewarding sights to see at the end of your trek. Try one of these gorgeous waterfall hikes in NoCo! Or when in doubt, hiking around Horsetooth Reservoir is kind of a rite of passage for Fort Collins residents.
In just about every city in the country, it’s common to see lines of tourists frequenting the same handful of spots, while the truly “local” places fly under the radar for visitors. Now that you’re one of us, it’s time to frequent the many local eateries in Fort Collins. Follow these foodie Instagram accounts to stay in the know about the best restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, breweries, and cocktail bars in town!
No matter who you’ve cheered for in the past, you’re in Ram Country now! Be a part of the excitement (especially during football season in the fall) by getting some CSU gear, whether it’s a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a hat, a blanket, or even a cornhole set. Shop at the CSU Rams Official Team Store to get the whole family geared up to cheer on the Rams this season!
Once you’ve moved here, there is so much to learn about the city of Fort Collins! In fact, you’re never too “local” to go on a tour, where you can uncover interesting tidbits about our city’s fascinating history, our beer and cuisine, our mountains and rivers, and so much more. Embark on one of these interesting tours to experience Fort Collins in an immersive way — traveling by bus, by bike or by foot alongside an expert local tour guide. Plus, some are self-guided, which means you can explore at your own pace!
From ongoing concert series during the summer to the holiday lighting ceremony in the winter, there’s always something going on in Fort Collins — especially downtown. Plus, events are one of the best places to meet new people and feel connected to the community. Check out our list of annual events in Fort Collins to see what’s coming up this season!
Another sure-fire way to meet new people is by having a dog. Trust us — a dog is like a magnet for other dog owners and dog lovers, who will want to know everything about your furry friend, including their name, breed and age. If you don’t already have a dog, it’s almost a requirement for living here! You can adopt a dog (or cat) at the Larimer Humane Society, All Aboard Animal Rescue, Animal Friends Alliance, or Bounce Animal Rescue. PRO TIP: If you’re new to pet ownership, you can sometimes foster an animal for a short period of time to see if it’s a right fit for you and your family.
If you haven’t heard, Fort Collins is kind of known for its craft beer. So if you’re going to try it all, you better get started now! In fact, we have more than 25 breweries in town — and many, if not most, allow dogs. Check out these dog-friendly breweries in Fort Collins, where you can bring your pup either inside the taproom or out on the airy patio.
There’s nothing more embarrassing than mispronouncing a word that everyone around you knows. And we have some interesting words and phrases in Colorado, like Saguache, Towaoc, and Cache La Poudre. Not to mention, we pronounce a few well-known words, like Buena Vista, Limon and Delhi, a bit…differently. Plus, the pronunciation of the state’s name is even up for debate amongst locals! To help you sound like a true Coloradan, consult our pronunciation guide, which covers all the words with surprising (and uniquely Coloradan) pronunciation.
Sourcing your produce and pantry items from the farmers’ market is one of the best ways to support the local economy, putting money directly into the pockets of our regional farmers and producers. And thankfully, we have several farmers’ markets popping up throughout Northern Colorado each spring, summer and fall. And during the colder months, there’s the Fort Collins Winter Market at Foothills Mall on select Saturdays.
A community is at its strongest when there is an active spirit of giving back amongst its members. And Fort Collins residents are known for being incredibly generous and kind, lending out a helping hand without hesitation whenever someone is in need. As a result, our region is home to several nonprofit organizations and charities with missions focused on serving and supporting the underserved and vulnerable in our communities. If you’re looking for ways to give back, look no further than these philanthropic organizations we support through GroupGives. There are many ways to give back, whether you’d like to contribute money, resources or your time.
In the non-election years, it’s easy to forget about the smaller elections taking place on the local level for things like local laws, judges, mayor, councilmembers, and more. But they are arguably just as important — if not more important — when it comes to your day-to-day life. Make your voice heard by voting in the next election! Click here for all the information you’ll need related to elections in Larimer County; you can register to vote, check your registration, view polling and drop-off locations, track your mail-in ballot, and more.
One of the best ways to establish roots in a community is by buying a home. But we’re not just saying that because we’re a real estate company! Studies show that those who own their home are more likely to get involved with their community, whether that’s through volunteering with a non-profit organization or simply taking the time to get to know their neighbors. And that is just one of the many reasons to consider buying over renting in Fort Collins! Let us know if we can help with you with the buying process in Fort Collins — or elsewhere in Northern Colorado.
You’re one of us now! Let us know if there is anything we can do to help make your transition to Fort Collins as smooth as possible. Our relocation team is especially equipped to answer any questions you might have.