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Fort Collins Old Town (Historic District)

Fort Collins is a university town in northern Colorado, an hour north of Denver. The population is 168,000 (2018), so the yearly influx of out-of-town Colorado State University students noticeably impacts the feel of the town.


Old Town is the downtown area of the city, centered on the cross-streets of College Avenue and Mountain Avenue. It is the historical beginnings of the town. It is because of this that the downtown area has a vast variety of older buildings, and historical monuments. Those seeking to visit architecture from the early 20th century should come to Fort Collins for the prime examples located there.

The Colorado State University campus is right in the middle of the city, extending from Prospect Road on the South to Laurel Street on the north, and from Shields street on the west to College Avenue on the East. The university also has several other smaller campuses throughout the city. The big white "A" on the mountain west of town stands for Aggies, a relic from when CSU was Colorado Agricultural College.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

By bus[edit]

Get around[edit]

Map of Fort Collins

Public transit[edit]

Public Transit is provided by Transfort. Most routes have service every half hour, with service ending about 7PM. "FoxTrot" service between Fort Collins and Loveland is offered every hour before 7PM.


Fort Collins is known as a bicycle-friendly city and is crisscrossed with paved trails and designated bike routes. In many cases, bike travel can be faster than driving, especially during rush hour, because bike trails do not necessarily follow roads and are often given the right of way in street crossings. A bicycle map can be found here: Fort Collins Bicycle Map. Also, a Bike library [1] is run by the city of Fort Collins, providing free rentals for up to 5 days.


Avery House
  • Historic Old Town Fort Collins. It has many shops and restaurants and an outdoor mall among historic buildings. Old Town is centered just east of College Avenue and between Mountain Avenue and Walnut Street. Parking on the street in Old Town can be difficult, but there are two city parking structures which offer parking for a quarter an hour. Enjoy a locally brewed beer or lager at a restaurant in Old Town Square, and enjoy local music at The Aggie.
  • 1 Budweiser Events Center. At The Ranch features national acts and sports events. Several semi-professional sports teams call this center home including the Colorado Eagles (hockey), Colorado Chill (basketball), and the Colorado Ice (arena football). Budweiser Events Center (Q1001597) on Wikidata Budweiser Events Center on Wikipedia
  • Breweries. Fort Collins features 5 local award-winning breweries plus an Anheuser Busch outpost (complete with Clydesdales). Visit New Belgium Brewing, Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins Brewery, CooperSmith's Pub and Brewery, Big Horn Brewing, or Anheuser Busch any day of the week but Sunday.
  • 2 Colorado State University, +1 970 491-6444. Internationally recognized faculty and a top-ranked University with a freshman to sophomore retention rate of 82%. Offers over 150 degree programs of study in 8 colleges: College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Applied Human Sciences, College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, Warner College of Natural Resources, College of Natural Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Ranked in the Top Tier of public and private doctoral universities in the U.S. News and World Report rankings of America's Best Colleges and Universities. Colorado State University (Q1111640) on Wikidata Colorado State University on Wikipedia
  • 3 Colorado State Rams, 102 McGraw Athletic Center (ticket office), toll-free: +1 800 491-RAMS (7267), . Colorado State sports, competing in 16 NCAA Division I sports (6 men's, 10 women's) in the Mountain West Conference. As with most major schools, the hot-button sports are football and men's basketball, with women's basketball and women's volleyball also notably competitive. The main sports venues are on campus, most notably the fairly new football venue of 4 Canvas Stadium and 5 Moby Arena, home to basketball and volleyball. Ticket prices vary by sport. Colorado State Rams (Q3418614) on Wikidata Colorado State Rams on Wikipedia
  • 6 Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, 408 Mason Ct, +1 970 221-6738. Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center (Q5470960) on Wikidata Fort Collins Museum of Discovery on Wikipedia
  • 7 The Farm at Lee Martinez Park, 600 N Sherwood St, +1 970 221-6665.
  • 8 Fort Collins Municipal Railway, 1801 W Mountain Ave, +1 970 224-5372. Fort Collins Municipal Railway (Q3537106) on Wikidata Fort Collins Municipal Railway on Wikipedia
  • 9 Center for Fine Art Photography, 400 N College Ave, +1 970 224-1010. Center for Fine Art Photography (Q5059643) on Wikidata Center for Fine Art Photography on Wikipedia


  • Pool and Ice Center. The Edora Pool and Ice Center (EPIC) includes a large public pool and ice rink.
  • 1 Horsetooth Reservoir, +1 970 498-5610. Climb, boat, hike, boulder, and mountain bike here (season or day pass required). Horsetooth Reservoir (Q5906116) on Wikidata Horsetooth Reservoir on Wikipedia
  • 2 New Belgium Brewery. Brewers of the popular Fat Tire, and less well known Abby, 1554, Blue Paddle, Sunshine Wheat, as well as several seasonal beers and small-batch productions. The brewery has guided and self-guided tours. Get there early for the guided tours as space is limited. You'll hear the history of the brewery, how they're powered completely by wind energy and methane recycled from the brewing process, and how they truly are a shining example of a socially responsible company that takes care of its employees and the community. Free tasting is available for those age 21 and older. New Belgium Brewing Company (Q14685020) on Wikidata New Belgium Brewing Company on Wikipedia
  • Rocky Mountain Adventures, toll-free: +1-800-858-6808, . RMA offers whitewater rafting trips, kayaking lessons, and fly-fishing clinics in the summer, as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trips in the winter. Great for the traveler with an adventurous streak.
  • Cache La Poudre. The Cache La Poudre river flows from the canyon proper, several miles north, through town and offers excellent fly fishing for wild rainbow and brown trout. In town, quick fishing access is available starting from the crossing at North Shields and continuing through town. You can tube and swim at various locations in the river in town. The canyon itself can be reached by taking College Ave./Hwy 287 north out of town and turning onto Poudre Canyon/Hwy 14. Pressed between narrow canyon walls and fed by snow-melt, the water here is wilder and colder and swimming should be done with caution. Several companies offer whitewater rafting in the canyon and kayaks are a common sight. There are several hiking trails in the canyon, including Greyrock Trail, which takes you across the river via bridge into open pine forest and meadow. Wildlife are common, including deer, fox, rabbit and black bear, as well as the occasional mountain lion and many kinds of birds. Camping and summer cabins are available throughout the canyon. The Columbine Lodge, in the small community of Poudre Park, offers both as well as beach access (for campers and residents), a good supply of snacks, drinks and good company. Seasonally, a shuttle is available between the Lodge and nearby Mishawaka Amphitheatre, a lively local bar on the river that opened as a dance hall in 1916 and continues to attract various famous acts and music-lovers every year.
  • Bike Parks and Trails. There is an extensive set of biking/walking trails around town. An adventurous mountain biker can do a loop. There is a paved trail along the Poudre River from Bellvue through Fort Collins to CSU's Environmental Learning Center. There is another paved trail along Spring Creek that goes from the intersection with the Poudre upstream to Spring Canyon Park which also has a trials bike course. There is also a motocross bike course along the way at Epic Park. From Spring Canyon Park north back towards Bellvue is an extensive collection of mountain bike trails going up and down the hogback that forms the eastern side of Horsetooth Reservoir. The most extensive bike park is at Lory State Park on the northwest side of Horsetooth Reservoir. They have a practice course with small jumps and teeter-totter, a large pump track, four different jump runs of varying difficulty and a wooden trials track with three different paths and a double teeter-totter.
  • Mountain Whitewater Descents, 1329 N. Hwy. 287, toll-free: +1-888-855-8874. Rafting adventures on the Cache La Poudre River near Estes Park Colorado. Mountain Whitewater Descents has a special use permit from the Roosevelt National Forest. The guidelines keep river use low so that the Poudre delivers an exceptional wilderness rafting experience.
  • A1 Wildwater, 2801 N. Shields St (NW corner of Sheilds and Hwy 287, about 3 miles N of old town Fort Collins), toll-free: +1-800-369-4165, . 8AM-7PM. Northern Colorado's oldest outfitter. Free wetsuit use along with paddle jackets. Mild to wild rafting trips with beginner to advanced whitewater. Lots of parking, clean new restrooms, picnic areas, game areas, food, retail store, photo area and guides available. Safety kayakers follow along on many of the high water season trips. Wild & Scenic half day trip, family half day trip and full day trip offered. There is a store at the NW corner of Shields St and Hwy 287 (College Ave).

Escape rooms[edit]


Baker House

Old Town and Historic District[edit]

  • Children's Mercantile and Clothes Pony.
  • 1 The Cupboard, 152 S College Ave. Opened in 1972, the oldest (and best known) store in Fort Collins, the store is over 6,000 square feet and offers all manner of items for your kitchen.
  • Curiosities.
  • EsScentuals. A boutique body care store, with an intimate massage and fitness facility downstairs.
  • Perennial Gardener & Sense of Place.
  • Tula. Offers contemporary women's clothing.
  • 2 Ten Thousand Villages, 113 Linden St. A beautiful shop in old town on College St. with artisan made goods by people from all over the world, it is run by volunteers.
  • Kansas City Kitty, 136 N College, +1 970 482-5845. Women's clothing store and boutique. Local vendors sell jewelry, purses, and more.


Fort Collins is often said to have more places to eat per person than anywhere else in the country.


  • Big City Burrito. A true Fort Collins institution with a very loyal following. It is fairly typical to see a line stretching out the door but the wait is well worth it. Local, $6 per person, Old Town.
  • The Breakfast Club, +1 970 223-7193. Breakfast and lunch. A really tasty breakfast food eatery, with friendly "homey" atmosphere. Highly recommended: Breakfast burrito ($3.89-7.89).
  • Cafe Mexicali. Great Mexican food for very reasonable prices, and even cheaper for students.
  • Charco Broiler, 1716 East Mulberry, +1 970 482-1472. American. Another pillar of Fort Collins restaurant, a good family-style steak house. This is probably the best value for a high quality sit-down restaurant. Local, $8 per person, North East.
  • China Wok, 1514 E Harmony Rd, +1 970 223-8867. Typical fast food Chinese. Inexpensive. Local, $5 per person, South.
  • Cozzola's Pizza. Fantastic non-traditional pizza. Local chain, $7 per person, South and Old Town.
  • [dead link] Farmer's Table. Breakfast and lunch, breakfast served all day. Great food, large portions. $6 per person.
  • Little Saigon Cafe. Vietnamese. Local, $7 per person, mid-town located in The Square.
  • Los Tarascos. Mexican. Very good, authentic Mexican food. Local, $7 per person, mid-town?
  • Matador Mexican Grill. Great local burrito place with 41 bottles of beer everyday. Created by two CSU graduates and is a great place to get a beer and some of amazing food with the freshest local ingredients. Local, $6 per person, south side of town.
  • Pickle Barrel. High quality subs at reasonable prices.
  • Pizza Casbah. A hole-in-the-wall pizza place very popular with locals. Slices are gigantic and should be folded in half to be eaten properly. $4 per person.
  • Silver Mine Subs. Sub sandwiches. Local chain, $6 per person, South, mid-town, West, and North-East locations.
  • Taqueria Los Comales. Authentic Mexican. Local, near CSU.
  • Teriyaki Wok. Local chain, $6 per person, West and mid-town.
  • Walrus Ice Cream. Fantastic local ice cream. Local, $3 per person, Old Town.
  • Wok & Roll. Healthy Japanese takeout (2 locations). Mostly stir-fries over white or brown rice, or rice noodles. Chicken, beef, shrimp, and vegetarian dishes available. Some (cooked) sushi rolls available.
  • Young's Cafe, 3307 S. College Ave, +1 970 223-8000. Vietnamese. Local, $10 per person, mid-town across from the Foothills Fashion Mall.
  • Yum Yum, W. Elizabeth St (1 block West of CSU). Excellent Lebanese and Mediterranean food, good vegetarian selections. Outstanding gyros and rice. A small, family-owned restaurant, with very reasonable prices.


  • Austin's. American. A grill owned by the same owners as the Moot House (see below), American cuisine, excellent roasted chicken. $12 per person, South and Old Town.
  • Avogadro's Number. American. Try the tempeh burger. Local, near CSU.
  • Beau Jo's Pizza. Old Town. Pizza, calzones, pasta. Daily lunch buffet.
  • Bisetti's. Italian. A great local Italian place. Local, $13 per person, Old Town.
  • Cafe Bluebird. Lunch and breakfast, breakfast-for-lunch.
  • Coopersmith's. Pub food and local brewery, also has a pool hall. Local, $9 per person, Old Town.
  • Domenic's. Metro Bistro & wine bar serving Mediterranean fusion food.
  • Enzio's. Italian, from the owners of Austin's and the Moot House.
  • Fish. Freshest fish in Fort Collins with shipments flown in daily. Local, Old Town.
  • Hunan Chinese Restaurant. Chinese. Excellent Kung Pao Chicken, eggrolls and egg drop soup. Take out available. $10-15 per person, with lunch specials, south.
  • Jade Garden. Chinese. Local, $8 per person, mid-town.
  • Jim's Wings. Another local favorite with the best hot wings in town and great sports bar atmosphere. Campus west, $7 per person.
  • Lucile's. Cajun breakfast and lunch. Incredibly popular, expect to wait half an hour on the weekends. Local, $8 per person, mid-town.
  • Mancino's. Grinder sandwiches and pizza. Local, $7 per person, East.
  • Moot House. A local English-style restaurant, English/American cuisine and salad bar. Local, $16 per person, mid-town.
  • Mount Everest Cafe. Nepalese (Buffet) Sherpa own restaurant with Mt. Everest theme.
  • Mount Fuji. Japanese. Local, $10 per person, $25 per person for sushi, South. Widest variety of sushi in town, often including delicious specials. Definitely eat their banana desert!
  • Nyala. Authentic Ethiopian food and excellent coffee. (Local, $15 per person, mid-town)
  • [dead link] Panino's, Center Ave. at W. Prospect Rd.. Specializes in panino sandwiches, but salads, pasta, and pizza are all available. $7-10 per person. It can be crowded at lunchtime, but it is worth the wait. $1 microbrew pints Monday and Tuesday.
  • Pho Duy. Pho restaurant. Local, $7 per person, mid-town.
  • Positano's Pizzeria. Pizza and sandwiches. (Local, $8 per person, South)
  • Rainbow Restaurant, 212 W Laurel, +1 970 221-2664. Breakfast and lunch. Specializes in vegetarian cuisine, but meat substitutions available.
  • The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant., 143 W. Mountain Ave (Old Town). Famous and wildly popular for margaritas. Get there early.
  • Silver Grill. A great breakfast and lunch restaurant, a pillar of Fort Collins. Local, $10 per person, Old Town.
  • South China. Chinese food. Particularly known for their Hot and Sour soup, Sesame Chicken and Hunan Chicken. Local, $10 per person, South.
  • Spoons. Soup and salad. Local chain, $7 per person, West and Old Town.
  • Taj Mahal. Indian. A fine lunch buffet, and normal order from the menu for dinner. Local, $8 per person, Old Town.
  • Thai Pepper. Thai. Outdoor seating in warm weather. (Local, near CSU)
  • Tortilla Marissa. Mexican.


  • Pulcinella Pizzeria. Pizza (multiple locations). Get a true Italian slice here. Good pizza but fairly pricey.
  • Sonny Lubick Steakhouse. A great restaurant owned by the former CSU football coach.


As a college town, Fort Collins has a very active nightlife with everything from friendly corner pubs to hip hop dance clubs. Old Town is packed on weekends but even week nights always has something happening. Campus West is the second, smaller, cluster of bars in Fort Collins that still has much to offer.

  • Surfside 7, 238 Linden Street. Great dive bar with killer jukebox and cheap drinks.
  • The Forge Publick House, 232 Walnut St. Unique high-end beer bar tucked into an alley. Warm, inviting and unpretentious.


  • The Alley Cat Café. Coffee house. Excellent coffee and chai. Open 24 hours.
  • Bean Cycle. Old Town. An excellent coffee shop and independent bookstore. They roast their own organic, fair trade coffee. Wifi.
  • Mugs Coffee Lounge (Mugs), 261 S. College, +1 970-472-MUGS (6847). 6AM-late. Local, organic, great community and an awesome menu to go along with great Coffee and coffee drinks.
  • MoMo LoLo Coffeehouse (Corner of Elizabeth and Shields - across from Qdoba). Wonderful local coffee shop with coffee, espresso, teas, and chai. Local music on certain days each month.


  • East Coast. Bar with the latest last call.
  • Lucky Joe's. A self-described cowboy and Irish bar that somehow makes it work. Free peanuts.
  • Ma's Juice Bar. Located at campus west, this may be the most unique bar in Fort Collins. Though it is a full service bar, spiked smoothies are the must-have specialty. Family owned and operated.
  • Old Chicago. Chain restaurant but the bar and pool hall section stay open til 2AM.
  • Road 34. Bike shop by day, bar by night. Pretty mellow atmosphere but a mainstay in campus west.
  • Tony's. A great spot to grab a beer or hang out all evening. The bar on the main level has just been remodeled nicely. Their roof-top patio is great in the summer and open year-round.
  • The Town Pump. A hole in the wall pub that has managed to survive over 100 years, making it the oldest in Fort Collins.



Wireless Internet[edit]


The local ISP Front Range Internet, Inc. (FRII) has introduced a Wireless Mesh which includes most of Old Town. Users may have an unlimited number of 30-minute sessions each day, with a few ads in between sessions.

  • Mugs Coffee Lounge has two locations. The shops at College & Olive are open M-Su 6AM-1AM; wireless is also accessible from outdoor tables. Timberline between Harmony & Horsetooth (on E side of Timberline N of Caribou), M-Th 6AM-10PM, F-Su 6AM-6PM. The Timberline location has extremely uncomfortable seating, the others have comfy chairs.
  • McDonald's Cafe on West Elizabeth west of Shields Street.

Timberline Cafe, 2908 S. Timberline Rd, between Drake and Horsetooth. The Cafe is open M-F 7AM-4PM and weekends for church services. Open to the public and has great coffee and food.

  • Everyday Joe's Coffee House, 144 S. Mason, between Oak and Mountain. M-F 7AM-10PM, Sa 6-10PM.
  • Alley Cat Coffee House. Alley Cat is a 24-hour coffeehouse and cafe in the alley just west of College Avenue and north of Laurel.
  • Genoa's Coffee and Wine. Daily 7AM-9PM. Nice coffee house with some good snacks, a few beers, and a good selection of wines. At the corner of Drake and Timberline, near King Soopers.
  • The Bean Cycle on College has free WiFi. They are on College in the old-town area.
  • Dazbog Coffee Harmony & McMurray. Open 5:30AM to 10PM 7 days a week.
  • Fedex Kinkos 130 West Olive Street.
  • Fedex Kinko's Fort Collins Campus West 1113-1117 West Elizabeth.
  • SportsCaster Bar & Grill, 165 E Boardwalk Dr.(behind 1st National Bank).
  • The UPS Store #4655 at 1281 E Magnolia St.
  • The UPS Store #2011 at 1015 S Taft Hill Rd.
  • The UPS Store #2718 at 2601 S Lemay.
  • Fedex Kinko's 226 East Harmony Road.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings just east of College on Harmony works.
  • Panera Bread on College just south of Horsetooth has good wireless (though with a captive portal), and food and coffee beverages. Often crowded during lunch, especially on the weekends.
  • Cafe Mexicali has free wifi.

Not free[edit]

  • McDonald's on the west side of College Ave. north of Drake offers 1 hr of free access with a purchase, or $2.95/hr otherwise.
  • Barnes & Noble 4045 S College
  • T-Mobile East Harmony Rd 238 East Harmony Rd

Go next[edit]

  • Cheyenne, capital of Wyoming, is just across the border from Fort Collins, home of the world's largest outdoor rodeo
  • The small community of Poudre Park offers some great panoramic views and mountainous quietude.
Routes through Fort Collins
CasperCheyenne  N I-25.svgUS 87.svg S  LovelandDenver
RawlinsLaramie  N US 287.svg S  LovelandDenver
Jct US 40.svgPoudre Park  W Colorado 14.svg E  → Jct N US 85.svg SSterling

This city travel guide to Fort Collins is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.