- For other places with the same name, see Wellington (disambiguation).
The little town of Wellington is 10 miles from neighboring Fort Collins, with an official population of 6,345, but estimated at nearly 10,000. Although the urban presence of the Front Range tends to overshadow the town, it could be said that Wellington wouldn't be here without it. Nonetheless, the town of today is a worthwhile trip of its own right, and proves the value and importance of pulling back, and feeling amazed.
For most of Wellington's history, a real quiet western vibe hung over the small town. While nearby cities boomed, the population stayed much the same; In fact, the count was only around 500 for an entire century.
However, urbanization is affecting the dynamic of this once quiet place. Just like Meridian, Idaho and Rio Rancho, New Mexico, urbanization from nearby larger cities is leaving a permanent mark on Wellington. As the 21st century progresses, travelers to Wellington may find that the "small town feel" to be gone. Wellington is still that calm, connected town that invites the visitor to explore. While there maybe some divide between here and newer sections of town, generally one could find a friendly small-town atmosphere all the way around. Always feel free to ask for help here.
When to go
Between climate and popularity, the decision can be rough. However, the autumn has reasonably cool temperatures, while the visitation of Wellington is low. More specifically, August or September have the best conditions, and should work well with most schedules. While Wellington is not that busy, the summer months find thousands of travelers in Northern Colorado. Another option is potentially May, where some weekends are quite warm, but be careful for unexpected snowstorms.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
There is one motto to sum up everything: be prepared. One moment the sun is out, the next it could be rainy or snowy. On average though, with an altitude of 5160 feet (that is just under a mile), one can expect year round temperatures close to 50 °F (10 °C), with highs approaching 80 °F in summer, but not making it to 40 degrees often in winter. Wellington is considered to be a steppe climate (Bsk), even though the town is in the middle of a continent. That should make a statement about the humidity here. Per year, one could expect to see 16 inches of rain over a period of only 35 days! Most of the time is sunny.
Of course, winter brings all the fury "mother nature" has to offer, and tends to close down roads. Oddly though, as mentioned previously, the highest snowfall is in spring, where a few blizzards can bring down feet of snow, just to have it melt the next day. Once again, be prepared!
The town of Wellington was established in 1903 along an old alignment of the Lincoln Highway, as well as the Burlington North Railroad, connecting Cheyenne to Denver. The population swelled in the 1910s, however became stagnant by the 1920s. As with every dream-filled city of the early 20th century, Wellington had high sails, and attracted a lot of business, and the gold mining helped. However, it mostly dried up, leaving the few hundred residents that stayed for over multiple decades.
In 2000, dinosaur bones were discovered near Wellington, attracting much scientific interest in the area. A new subdivision even had a street named for this finding. Between the late 20th and early 21st century, Wellington began to grow exponentially, as Fort Collins was beginning to crowd into surrounding cities, and often making it hard to draw a clear line between these cities. By the 2010s, Wellington growth skyrocketed. What used to have one traffic signal, for example, now had 4. Houses were being built in droves, businesses popped up such as Ridley's Markets, and average traffic increased three-fold. A local farm has gained attention for over-fed goats, a likely sign of prosperity in the urbanization era.
Wellington is increasingly considered a "bedroom community" being 10 minutes away from Fort Collins, and 30-40 minutes from Cheyenne. Going to Wellington from one of these cities may be much easier than directly going to Wellington when using intercity bus transportation.
There seems to be several low-maintence grass fields around Wellington, such as the Burnham Field and the Kellogg Airstrip, and these are most likely private, but there are no airports. There is some small ones outside of wellington.
- 2 Northern Colorado Regional Airport, 4900 Earhart Rd, Loveland (use the Budwiser Events Center Exit, and follow the signs to airport). +1 970 962-2850. Between Loveland and Fort Collins, offers flights to Chicago, and sometimes Denver.
- Denver International Airport (DEN IATA), Pena Blvd (off of E-470 on Pena Blvd, follow signs, but watch for tolls). Closest major airport with international flight destinations. Be wary of delays.
The only real way to get into Wellington is by car as it is an automobile-based town.
- I-25 connects Wellington with a great collection of cities from Denver to Casper. There is construction south of town, and occasional traffic jams from Fort Collins and Denver.
- CO-1 is a state road that comes into Wellington from the west, and connects with US 287 near Fort Collins. Always watch for winter road closures, however this route can be more preferable in summer for the scenery.
You cannot directly enter Wellington this way, however If you take a bus to Fort Collins, and rent a car there (or the same with I-25 cities such as Loveland, Cheyenne, or Denver), then this could lower your travel costs. Additionally, some companies will make stops in Wellington, however be prepared to request it and possibly pay more.
- Greyhound Lines (Ft. Collins (E) Bus Stop), 4315 E Harmony Road, Fort Collins (Directly off of Harmony Road, take I-25 exit 265). Greyhound connects with Cheyenne (arrives 1:55PM) and Denver (arrives 4:55PM).
- Greyhound Lines (CYS) (Cheyenne (E)), 5401 Walker Road, Cheyenne (off of I-25 exit 12 at old Roadway Inn). Buses come at 2PM (to Portland) and 4PM (to Denver).
- Green Ride (Harmony Transportation Center), 4315 E Harmony Road, Fort Collins. Also connects Cheyenne and Denver, but comes every 1½ hours or so. Has travel to Laramie.
- 3 Denver Coach Shuttle, Wellington Stop: Burger King (8214 6th Street). A Scottsbluff-based daily shuttle to cities in Colorado. Leaves Scottsbluff at 8am and arrives at Denver Airport at 1:10pm. The rest of the stops are not-timed, and sometimes optional. Call ahead to ensure they stop here.
As in any small town, there are few options.
The original settlement of Wellington is very walkable. Most everything about the early town can be found within a few blocks. Also, parts of newer Wellington is not far, and can be a great way to explore. Consider the foot path between Jefferson Ave and County Road 60 for a walk you'll never forget. (And it's convienent)
Numbered streets are orientated north to south, and increase to the east (i.e., 6th street is closer to I-25 than 4th street), and named streets are oriented west to east. Interestingly, most early streets are named for presidents (such as Cleveland Ave, Jefferson Street, Hamilton Road). You may may be stuck on Cleveland Avenue for a minute or two at the I-25 bridge. Most hotels and gas stations are on Cleveland or 6th.
Service can be few and far in between, and can be even more sporadic at night. Taxis generally come from Fort Collins or another city.
- Fort Collins Car, 2601 S Lemay Ave #7, Fort Collins, ☏ . Taxi service to surrounding towns.
Ridehailing is quickly rising as a popular alternative to a taxi, and Wellington is covered by Uber and Lyft. There is one locally-owned ride-hailing service: ZTrip.
- 1 Old Colorado Brewing Company, 8121 First St (take Cleveland down to First).
- 2 Budweiser Brewing Experience (Busch Factory), 2351 Busch Dr, Fort Collins (closer to Fort Collins; take Mountain Vista Road from Fort Collins), ☏ . Daily 11AM-7:30PM. National company with local super brewery. The factory was supposed to be built in Scottsbluff, but Fort Collins/Wellington won the vote instead.
- 3 Bee Centennial Farm and Muesum, 4320 E Co Rd 58, Fort Collins (using either the Budweiser factory exit or Wellington exit, turn onto the NE Frontage Road and onto County road 58), ☏ . F Sa 9AM-4PM. This museum coupled with a farm was founded at Colorado's centennial in 1976. A nice place to learn about the history of farming.
- 4 National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center, Carr, Clorado (Use exit 288 north of Wellington.), ☏ . This conservation center has collected individuals of this endangered species over the years. Now you can see them up close in this safe home.
- 5 Buffalo Monument (Off of Interstate 25 North at MM 290). A depiction of 3 bison along Interstate 25, longstanding monument.
- 1 West Side Golf (West Side 9 hole), Mt Adams St, Wellington (more accessible on Third Street, look for a small parking lot). 9-hole disc golf course.
- 2 Douglas Reservoir, N Co-Road 15 (take Washington Ave (Co Road 64) to Co Road 15, and follow the wooden signs for the lake). A lake of recreational activity like canoeing, fishing, and straight up relaxing. Ask around, the locals know the best spots to set up.
- 3 Wellington Brewfest, Cetennial Park, 8548 W 4th Street. If you roll through here during the first week of June, this festival is one for the tastebuds. Local flavors and tryouts make this a worthwile trip for first-timers and beer veterans. In 2019, it was held on June 1.
- 1 Ridley's Family Market, 7670 5th St (follow 6th to Jefferson, then turn right and then left), ☏ . Daily 7AM-10PM. Regional chain that functions as a grocery store, much like a King Soopers; has deli, meat, fruits, vegetables, and other foods and drinks. The chain also has greeting cards and balloons.
- 2 Crowned Creations, 7000 Summer Street (Take the NE Frontage Road on the East side of I-25, follow to Crittenton Lane, then turn on to Summers. Will be at a house.), ☏ . Local family-owned clothing shop, knits own clothing.
Many national chains are available on 6th street and Cleveland Avenue, however Wellington offers some hometown food of many cuisines that is to remember, and should be a considerable alternative.
For those in a tight pinch, or wanting to spend less, consider the deli or shop in a local store for wholesome, affordable food.
- 1 Family Dollar, 8099 6th St, Wellington, ☏ . Daily 8AM-10PM. All the products for a picnic is found here.
- 2 Parlor inside Ridley's, 7670 5th St, Wellington, ☏ . Daily 7AM-10PM. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and fries, plus you can buy snacks from Ridley's. Yum!
While Wellington has a few good options, you may find solace in neighboring Fort Collins, in restaurants such as the Melting Pot.
- 3 T Bar Inn, 3803 W Cleveland Ave, 80549, ☏ . M-Th 6AM-11PM, F 6AM-2AM, Sa 7AM-2AM, Su 7AM-8PM. American grill and restaurant with comfort food with small live events. Classic and modern breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served.
- 4 Les's Barbecue, ☏ . While only open three days a week, the barbecue (inside of Ridley's) can offer a quick satisfaction. They have been mentioned on the town's website.
- 5 The Cakery, 3706 Cleveland Ave, ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 10AM-3PM. Bake shop that specializes in cupcakes, delivery, and special events. Whether eaten inside or delivered, deliciousness is one dessert away.
- 6 Pizza Palace, 3810 Cleveland Avenue, ☏ . M Tu 11AM-9PM, W-Su 11AM-10PM. Pizzeria with various styles, individual or with family/friends, and has outdoor seating for the warm days.
- 7 Papa's Table, 3728 Cleveland Ave (on the north-side of Cleveland Avenue, after Second Street), ☏ . Tu-Sa 4:30-9PM, Su 9AM-1PM and 4:30-9PM. Italian restaurant serving comfort food as well as healthy choices. See full menu [places.singleplatform.com here].
- 8 Taco John's, 7910 S 6th Street (next to the Days Inn, just off of Cleveland), ☏ . Daily 7AM-10PM. Mexican chain founded in nearby Cheyenne, Wyoming has tacos, burritos, and the signature "potato oles". While generally not spicy, it's good to ask first.
- 9 The Biergarten, 2351 Busch Dr #2 (inside Budweiser factory), ☏ . Restaurant and beer garden open on unusual days.
- 10 Wellington Grill (Wellington CO Bar), 3724 Cleveland Avenue (at intersection of Cleveland and Second), ☏ . Daily 11AM-10PM. Mid-range American bar serving various entrees and drinks. Games and shows nightly. Generally $50 to $100.
- 11 Sol De Jalisco, 3750 Cleveland Ave, ☏ . Su-Th 10AM-8:30PM, F Sa 10AM-9:30PM. Upscale Spanish dining with classic Spanish foods such as burritos, but they also have high-end drinks such as margaritas.
The scene in Wellington is surprisingly active, thanks to the local factory, as well as plentiful resources. Head into the mountains for even more selection.
- 1 Soul Squared, 3740 Cleveland Avenue (Off of Clevleand to the North next to "Proper Time" Jeweler store.), ☏ . Su-Th noon-9PM, F Sa noon-11PM.
- 2 Sparge Brewing, 3999 GW Bush Ave Unit 101, Wellington. Seemingly humble brewery with a wide range of options.
- 3 Tap Room Ride, 2351 Busch Dr, Fort Collins, ☏ . Just outside of the factory, expect high quality beer.
- 4 The Biergarten, 2351 Busch Dr #2, Fort Collins, ☏ . While listed earlier for food, it's also connected to the brewery, which is their main initative.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for Standard Double Room:|
In the town of Wellington, your options are limited. However, the town is not all the area has to offer. Look outside the urban for a one-of-a-kind experience.
- 1 Days Inn by Wyndham Wellington Fort Collins Area, 7860 6th St, ☏ . This national hotel is located along 6th street and includes continental breakfast, free Wifi, and an indoor pool. Budget to Midrange.
- 2 Fort Collins North/Wellington KOA Journey (Also an RV park), 4821 E Co Rd 70 (follow I-25 north to exit 281 for Owl Canyon Road and turn right; north of Wellington by about 5 minutes), ☏ . An economical choice; KOA Campground with RV Park and several amenities. Budget.
- 3 Fort Collins Lakeside KOA Grounds (KOA Holiday), 1910 Lakeside Resort Ln (in Fort Collins, follow state route 1 to IS 287, turn right, then at roundabout, stay straight and turn left onto US 287B; Later, turn left onto Taft Hill Rd, and left again at Lakeside Resort Ln). Fort Collins Based ground with several amenities and ideal location for a Fort Collins launch.
- If you plan to stay for longer periods of time house sharing is viable option. Additionally, you may consider a rental at the Wellville Clubhouse however that is for longer or permanent stays only.
As a bedroom community, the crime risk is higher than the same size town that is separate, but not by much , as Wellington is very rural yet. The true danger lies in the weather. Wellington is slightly under the "one-mile" marker of Denver. Altitude sickness and dehydration can become problematic for the tourist, and thus lots of fluids and rest is good for combatting the symptoms. Also, the weather can be quite unpredictable (see "Understand") . As in the rest of the United States, phone 911 for emergencies, and 511 for road info. For medical problems, the best bet is UC health in Fort Collins. However, if you have a small injury or property loss, you can contact the fire department:
- 1 Wellington Fire Department, 8130 3rd Street. A volunteer fire department.
If your pet gets sick or injured:
- 2 Wellington Veterinary Hospital, 7837 S 6th Street, ☏ . Accepts walk-ins, and offers a cheap alternative to vets in other cities.
- 3 Tabby Road Animal hospital (the name is slightly misleading as maps have it on 5th street near Ronald Reagan Avenue, so follow 5th past Ripley's market). Also a good emergency option, with affordable prices.
Connect and cope
While Wellington is a friendly place, its size doesn't allow for international services, or much way of coping. The nearest consulates are in Denver. Here are a few ways to get by. Officially, the area code is 970 in Northern Colorado, and is useful in most of Wellington, though there is some oddities, such as the use of 303/720 around Denver. When calling to nearby states, or around colorado, ensure to use: 719 for Colorado Springs, 307 for Wyoming, where many Colorado companies have their operations in 308/402 for Nebraska, 505/575 for New Mexico. For information numbers, see "Stay Safe" above. The zipcode for Wellington is 80549.
- 4 Wellington Filling Station, 3906 Cleveland Ave, ☏ . Religious non-profit organization, built out of an old fuel-station, hence the name.
- 5 Dhrohman's Day Spa, 3922 CLeveland Ave, ☏ . Massage therapy, and a haircut!
- 6 Anytime Fitness (Inside Wellington Business Center), 6556 Buttercup Drive Unit 7, ☏ . Part of a USA chain of "24/7" gyms, this location was remodeled in 2019. Provides a place to workout and relieve travel stress.
Stay in touch
- 7 Owl Canyon Coffee (and internet cafe), 3745 Cleveland Ave (On Cleveland Ave, right next to town hall), ☏ . M-F 6:30AM-4PM, Sa 7AM-2PM, Su 8AM-1PM. One of Wellington's few internet cafes, however, locals may appreciate it more if you just talked to them. There is wifi, coffee, and pretty much everything one would need to connect, just ensure you know the hours, as they don't run long into the afternoon.
- 8 Wellington Post office, 3829 W Cleveland Ave, toll-free: . M-F 7:30AM-4PM, Sa 9AM-noon. The good old United States Postal Service (USPS).
- 9 Wellington News, 3725 Cleveland Ave. Wellington's local newspaper.
Radio and television stations are practically non-existent within the borders, however Wellington has a few owned by Townsquare Media.The town is easily within the coverage of many stations in Fort Collins and Cheyenne. Namely, rock stations such as the STAR, as well as Christian stations. Use Radio Locator to find out the full list of stations heard here.
- KCOL (AM 600). Conservative station tied to Wellington area with studios in Fort Collins. On AM Band.
- 10 KMAX (94.3 The X). A contemporary alternative rock station licensed to Wellington that also runs the news and community calendar.
- KKPL (99.9 The Point). The sister station of KMAX, which was formerly an oldies format under KRRR (which became 104.9), and now is contemporary. Based in Cheyenne.
- K-Love (Found at 90.9 or 91.1 (and HD1)) (transmitters in Laramie and Morrison). Contemporary Christian Hits.
- Air1 (Found at 103.9, 89.1 or 91.1 HD2) (translators in Cheyenne and Severance). Favors more Worship hits than CCM, especially since January 2019.
- KFCT/KDVR (RF 21 Channel 22). KFCT, a Fort Collins Semi-Satellite of KDVR, a Denver FOX affiliate.
- KCDO (K3 (RF 23 Channel 3)). A television station under CBS licensed to Sterling with a transmitter in Kimball (Nebraska). Provides Colorado News. Used to be owned by KGWN of Cheyenne, which handled Northern Colorado News.
- Fort Collins is a 10 miles south, and Wellington is often combined with the city. With over 130,000 people, and Colorado State Universtity, and straddling the Front Range on one side with the Great Plains on the other, there is plenty to be found in this bustling city.
- Greeley, home to the annual Greeley Stampede, is a modern city that retains it's western feel and hospitality. Walk the streets or drive around this 100,000 population city to experience a place where old and new meet. Off of US-34 at Loveland, it is one of the largest cities without an interstate, but to residents it is part of the charm.
- Loveland seems to be stuck between Fort Collins and Longmont. One might be surprised that for all the shopping it has although the population is only around 70,000.
- Denver: The crown jewel of Colorado, the state's largest city, (population 700,000), and the state capital. Where does it all begin, and end? Perfect for tourists and enthusiasts alike, the skyscrapers, the mall, the sports, and the parks are just a fraction of what Denver has to offer, and not all could be accomplished in one trip, with events and hidden gems throughout the city. While rush-hour traffic that ends up miles from Denver metro seems paradoxical (and frustrating), good things come to those who wait the 5-15 minutes, as visitors to Denver will soon find out.
- Cheyenne is the grand entry point for Southeast Wyoming, and is a good tourist destination for all ages that is just north of the border, about 30 minutes away. With a medium sized population (67,000), Cheyenne continues to keep the Western spirit alive. During the last week of July, this spirit roars in Cheyenne Frontier Days, which attracts crowds of over 200,000, and provides anything from parades to rodeo to music. However Cheyenne is not just CFD, as the Botanical Gardens, Depot Museum, and more keeps people entertained for days.
- Rocky Mountains: When one is tired of visiting the cities, or looking for something authentic, the very scenic Rocky mountains is only an hour's drive from most Front Range towns and cities, and will leave you wanting to come back for more natural beauty. Skiing is possible in many slopes near Aspen and Vail, and many Rocky Mountain towns offer gambling.
|Routes through Wellington|
|Casper ← Cheyenne ←||N S||→ >Fort Collins → Denver|
|Laramie ← Becomes ←Fort Collins ←||W E||→ END|