Things To Do In Northern Colorado – Fort Collins has a lot of great things to do, from quaint streets to historic buildings and the Cache La Poudre River. Although it can sometimes be overshadowed by the more densely populated city of Denver, you’ll have a lot of fun exploring this beautiful city in northern Colorado.
I’m from Colorado and I’m always interested in finding new things to do in Fort Collins. The area is full of natural beauty, but those same Rocky Mountains are much different in Fort Collins than in other parts of the state.
Things To Do In Northern Colorado
Whether you’re visiting this college town for university or just want to relax and explore, you’ll find plenty of unique things to do in Fort Collins. While you’re here, check out my picks for the 25 best hikes near Fort Collins.
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Old Fort Collins is a beautiful and historic place to spend an afternoon browsing the shops, drinking coffee or ice cream, and people-watching. The man responsible for Disneyland’s Main Street USA grew up here and used the buildings of downtown Fort Collins as part of the inspiration for Disneyland’s design. Downtown Fort Collins is within walking distance, but there are historic streetcars and modern buses to get you around.
🛎️ Need a hotel? Located in historic Fort Collins, the Armstrong Hotel opened in the 1920s. It’s within walking distance to breweries and restaurants and retains the old town feel of the area. This is one of the best places to stay in Fort Collins.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 221-1244 | Website | Admission: $9, ages 10 and up, $6, ages 6-9, free for children under 6
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Go old school and visit one of Colorado’s few remaining drive-in movie theaters. The Holiday Drive-In features the latest releases on two screens. They also have a snack bar and grill on weekends.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 498-5610 | Website | Admission: $10 per vehicle, $20 per vehicle and boat trailer
Horsetooth Reservoir is a popular destination for a day outdoors in Fort Collins. The reservoir has everything from hiking trails to mountain bike trails, fishing spots, and swimming spots. There are also campsites, so you can reserve a spot and spend a lot of time at the reservoir.
There are many great hiking trails around Fort Collins and northern Colorado, from Horsetooth Mountain Open Space to scenic trails through the Poudre River Gorge. Roosevelt National Forest has many hiking trails. Your biggest problem is choosing just one.
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Whitewater rafting is a quintessential activity in Colorado, and you can try it on the Cache La Poudre River in Fort Collins. The Cache La Poudre River is a little less popular for river rafting than other rivers in Colorado, which means you’ll have fewer crowds to contend with. Visit Mountain Whitewater, a local tour company, for a variety of tours.
Fort Collins is known for its beer, so spend an afternoon (or more…we won’t judge) wandering around the many breweries that have sprung up in the area.
New Belgium Brewing Co. especially good, Odell Brewing Co. and has been growing in Fort Collins since 1989.
Horseback riding through the Roosevelt National Forest is one of those Fort Collins activities that you and your family or loved one will remember for a long time. Beaver Meadows Stables offers one-hour horse rides each and half-hour pony rides for children. It’s a fun and exciting way to spend an afternoon in the mountains outside of Fort Collins.
What To Do In Fort Collins, Colorado
👉 Tip: Book in advance to ensure enough space for riders.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 491-7179 | Website | Hours of Operation: Sunrise – Sunset | Admission is free
Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University, and the school has a year-round garden for students and researchers to engage in horticultural research. And – good luck! – You can see their results for free. The beautiful gardens are open to the public, so you can tour the area and learn about the unique horticultural challenges of the Rocky Mountain region. Or look at beautiful flowers, it’s up to you.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 221-6738 | Website | Opening hours: daily from 10:00 to 17:00, closed on Mondays Admission: $12.50 adults, $9.50 under 19
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At the Fort Collins Discovery Museum, you’ll learn about local history and their contributions to science, music, astronomy, and more. The Music and Sound Lab teaches you the science of sound and you can play a variety of instruments. The Schatz Family Exploration Zone teaches kids about light, color, movement and more in a kid-friendly way.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 221-6665 | Website | Opening hours: winter and spring 10:00 – 16:00 Wed – Sat, 12:00 – 16:00 Sat; Summer and Fall Hours 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday, 12:00 p.m. Sunday. – 17:00 | Admission: $4, ages 2 and older; Pony rides are $6
Bring the kids to meet farm animals at Lee Martinez Park and learn about farm life in the area. Every day there are pony rides and hands-on experiences where you can learn how to care for these animals. The park along the river Podre is a great place for picnics and relaxation.
By the way, for more fun activities for kids, check out our full list of things to do for kids in Fort Collins.
The 15 Best Things To Do In Fort Collins
This scenic drive starts in Fort Collins, passes through Cache La Poudre Canyon, and ends in Walden. The trip takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes, but I recommend allowing about three hours if you take time to stop and enjoy the view.
📚 Further Reading: If you’re spending time in other parts of Colorado, check out our best Colorado travel guide!
City Park has an outdoor pool with a lazy river, fall slide and water features, perfect for cooling off on hot summer days. Lake Sheldon has fishing boats and canoes. Visit the Statue of Liberty replica in the park or take a self-guided tour of the arboretum.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 416-2486 | Website | Working hours: every day from 10:00 to 16:00 | Admission: $11 adults, $8 under 18
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The Gardens at Spring Creek is a botanical garden with a visitor center, gift shop, butterfly house, gazebo, and large lawn. With a variety of themed gardens, including a nursery, a rose garden and a food garden, and a miniature railway, Dr. Seuss Playhouse and kid-friendly sandbox.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 221-0533 | Website | Guided tours: Saturday 11:00 – 14:00, Sunday 13:00. – 16:00 | Admission: $6, adults, $4, children
Franklin Avery was an early resident of Fort Collins. He explored the city at the end of the 19th century and is responsible for the beautiful and wide streets of the city. He founded the First National Bank and helped implement plans for agricultural development in the region. Visit the home he built for his family, which was built of sandstone from local quarries and eventually included the Queen Anne Tower.
Learn how the people of Northern Colorado lived in the 18th century and beyond.
Epically Awesome Things To Do In Fort Collins, Colorado
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 224-5372 | Website | Opening hours: 12:00 – 17:00 May 6 – October 1, 2023 Saturdays, Sundays and holidays | Tickets: $2, adults, free for ages 3 and younger
One of the most fun and unique things to do in Fort Collins is to ride the historic streetcar around town. You can ride a restored trolley through the streets of old Fort Collins and experience a vintage electric vehicle.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 482-9168 | Website | Working hours: from 9.00 to 16.00. Fri & Sat, May – Oct | Admission: Adults $8, $4 under 12, free under 3
The Bee Family’s Centennial Farm Museum showcases the efforts of a bee family to farm and make a living in the dry prairie climate of northern Colorado. Visitors will learn about the history and importance of irrigation in the region, the large sugar beet industry and the care of farm animals. As a side note: the family that farms here is named Bean – no beehives on the property!
Best Things To Do In Northern Colorado This Weekend, Jan. 24 26
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 482-2787 | Website | Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Wednesday – Friday, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday Admission: $5 for adults, $1 for ages 18 and under, 7 and under free for those
See sculptures, paintings and works of art
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