A Basic Introduction to Fort Collins for CSU Students

September 4, 2019

view of Fort Collins, ColoradoWhether you’re an excited freshman living in the dorms at Colorado State University or a returning student sharing a Fort Collins rental apartment, there is plenty to know about the city you live in. Fort Collins is regularly ranked as one of the best places to live in Colorado and rightly so with all that it has to offer. To help you make the most of your college years here, read a few tips from our basic CSU’s student guide to Fort Collins.


What Makes Fort Collins Special?

Fort Collins is a well-loved community for locals and visitors alike. With all the amenities of a big city and the charm of a small town, FoCo, as it’s commonly referred to, is the perfect mid-size city for any college student to call home. In Fort Collins, you will get close to 300 days of sunshine each year and endless opportunities for an exciting college life.


Living On Campus

As a student at CSU, a significant amount of your time will be spent on campus. Thankfully, the university has worked hard to create a campus experience that is welcoming, engaging, and worthwhile.


On campus, you will find a wide range of dining, recreational, and social opportunities to give you a fulfilling experience beyond the classroom. With hundreds of options from sports clubs and intramurals to student organizations, you will surely find a group that interests you. The Student Recreation Center, considered one of the best in the country, provides yet another opportunity for you to connect on campus.


Getting Around Fort Collins

Although the CSU campus is well-equipped, there will be times when you’ll want to venture out past the campus. Whether you have a personal vehicle or not, there are several ways for you to explore or commute within the city.


  • Transfort: Transfort is the public bus system in Fort Collins. With more than 500 bus stops and over 20 regular bus routes, Transfort provides a convenient option for getting around town. Route and stop information can be found at www.ridetransfort.com or through the Ride Transfort mobile app. You can also find information about the MAX Bus Rapid Transit with an additional 12 stations and stops.
  • Bicycling: Biking is one of the most popular forms of transportation for many of Fort Collins’ residents. Across Northern Colorado, you will find an extensive network of bike trails and bike lanes to help you get around town safely and efficiently.

Staying Active Outdoors

Fort Collins is the perfect place for people who love to be outdoors and stay active. With an extensive amount of parks, open spaces, hiking or biking trails, dog parks, lakes, and more, you are sure to find the perfect spot for your favorite activities.


Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains with the Cache La Poudre River flowing close by, Fort Collins is surrounded by outdoor charm and a sense of adventure. At just a short drive outside of the city, you can find your way to Horsetooth Reservoir or Rocky Mountain National Park, two of the most popular spots for Northern Coloradoans. Horsetooth is located just west of town and offers a picturesque setting for boating, hiking, fishing, swimming, water skiing, stand up paddleboarding, horseback riding, camping and much more. RMNP offers some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the state or the perfect mountain spot for a picnic.


Old Town Fort Collins

Just north of campus is the charming, pedestrian-friendly area known as Old Town Fort Collins. Here you will find great places to eat and drink along with a wide range of shops, live music, and inviting energy. Downtown Fort Collins is also home to a number of the most popular local festivals and events throughout the entire year. 


Eating in Fort Collins

FoCo has an extensively diverse food scene with countless restaurants, eateries, and cafes located throughout the city. Whether you’re looking for pizza at midnight or a cute local bakery, Fort Collins is sure to have what you’re craving. One of the best things about the Fort Collins dining scene is that the best restaurants are found all throughout the city, so regardless of where you are in town you will find something for every appetite. 


Shopping in Fort Collins

Whether you like to buy in bulk at Costco, splurge on high-end brands, or score a vintage find at a second-hand shop, Fort Collins has an extensive range of shops to choose from. All throughout town, you can find a convenient place to stock up on daily necessities, while Foothills Mall or Old Town offer specialty stores for any interest or budget.


Staying Healthy in Fort Collins

Fort Collins is well-known for being an extremely health-conscious community. With countless opportunities, its easy stay focused on fitness, healthy eating, and overall wellness. Whether you enjoy lifting weights, CrossFit, yoga, pilates, cycling, or any other fitness activity, you are sure to find a place close to campus or your Fort Collins rental apartment. In Fort Collins, you can also find extensive availability of fresh, organic produce and foods to keep your diet in line with your activities.

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