Fun Things to do in Fort Collins

Year-round activities in Northern Colorado

  • Horsetooth Reservoir

    Horsetooth Reservoir is a popular outdoor recreation area, where you can hike, bike, camp, boat, fish, and swim. The reservoir is surrounded by scenic views of the foothills and offers many opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Horsetooth Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir is a large reservoir located just west of Fort Collins, Colorado. The reservoir is a popular outdoor recreation area that attracts visitors from all over the state and beyond. Here are some key features and activities to enjoy at Horsetooth Reservoir: 

Scenic Views: Horsetooth Reservoir is nestled between the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the mountains and the reservoir's sparkling water. 

Outdoor Recreation: The reservoir provides many opportunities for outdoor recreation, including fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, and camping. The shoreline has several picnic areas, boat ramps, and swimming beaches. 

Boating and Fishing: Horsetooth Reservoir is a great place for boating and fishing enthusiasts. The reservoir has several boat ramps and marinas, making it easy to access the water. Visitors can fish for a variety of species, including trout, bass, walleye, and catfish. 

Hiking and Biking: The reservoir has several trails that provide scenic views of the area. There are several hiking and mountain biking trails that range in difficulty from easy to strenuous. One of the most popular trails is the Horsetooth Falls Trail, which leads to a beautiful waterfall. 

Camping: Horsetooth Reservoir offers several camping areas, including RV parks, tent campsites, and group camping areas. The camping areas are equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, and restroom facilities. 

Horsetooth Reservoir is a beautiful outdoor destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a peaceful getaway, an adventurous outdoor experience, or a fun-filled family vacation, Horsetooth Reservoir is a great place to visit. 


To reach Horsetooth Reservoir from Fort Collins, head west from Harmony and Taft Hill Road onto County Road 38E for approximately 4 miles to the entrance at the south end of the Reservoir. To get to Inlet Bay (including Inlet Bay Marina and Inlet Bay Campground), continue west on 38E 1 3/4 miles past the South Bay entrance. Turn right on Shoreline Drive.

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Old Town
Fort Collins

A mix of old and new, Old Town Fort Collins is conveniently located in the heart of downtown and features 20 restored historical buildings alongside favorite shops, restaurants, and boutiques. This downtown area is so charming, it was even the inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street USA design. Old Town Fort Collins is a unique experience and a favorite place for locals and visitors. With new events and activities, every visit can bring something new. There’s no better place to experience Fort Collins year-round than Old Town. 

With more than 80 restaurants and bars, there’s something for everyone in Old Town Fort Collins. You’ll find everything from food trucks and coffee shops like Lima Coffee Roasters and to casual lunch options like Babalu’s Cuban Café and Blue Agave Grill to sit-down dinner restaurants like Austin’s American Grill. Fort Collins is known for its unique local flavors, including locally grown meat and produce. And with beautiful gardens, string lights, and cobblestone paths, Old Town also provides countless options for outdoor dining to get the full Colorado experience.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT: Old Town Fort Collins is a hub for arts and entertainment—everything from theater to art galleries, live music, and more. There are performances throughout the year and a monthly Gallery Walk that highlights local and national artists. During the summer months, Old Town hosts a concert series with an impressive lineup. Other galleries and museums regularly host special events and attractions. Plus, as a college town, Old Town Fort Collins also has an active nightlife scene. 

Fort Collins is also home to some of Colorado’s best live theater at Bas Bleu, OpenStage, and the Lincoln Center. These theaters put on a variety of productions throughout the year and are a favorite attraction for locals and visitors. 


Old Town Fort Collins is located in the heart of downtown. Traveling on 1-25, take Exit 268 for Prospect Road. Head west on Prospect Road for about 4 miles. Turn right on S. College Avenue and head north for 1 mile. Old Town is a one-mile stretch on the east and west of College Avenue. Parking can be found throughout Old Town or on side streets off College Avenue. 


To get to the CSU Welcome Center, take exit 269B off I-25 toward Fort Collins. Head west for 4.2 miles and then turn left on S. Howes St. After .4 miles, turn right on Music Drive and continue to the parking lot ahead. During the weekdays, campus visitors need a free parking pass. Parking after 4pm on weekdays or on the weekend doesn’t require a pass. 

State University

One of the biggest attractions is Colorado State University. Ram Pride is celebrated throughout the city, but especially across the sprawling campus. As one of the largest colleges in Colorado, CSU is home to not only thousands of students, but also incredible opportunities for visitors and community members, including a gorgeous campus, sporting events, and a calendar full of cultural events. CSU also offers organized or self-guided tours of campus that showcase the many historical and innovative buildings. Put on your Rams gear and enjoy the excitement of CSU!

Sports: From basketball to football, swimming and gymnastics, cheer on some of the best college athletes in Fort Collins. Colorado State competes in NCAA Division I sports and has a full lineup of competitions that are open to the public. Take in a football game at the massive Canvas Stadium, catch a diving meet at Moby Pool, or watch a race at Jack Christiansen Track. Tickets to sporting events are available to spectators of all ages and make for a great Fort Collins event. 

Flower Gardens: One of the most colorful and peaceful places on campus is the Flower Trial Garden. These stunning gardens are designed to teach students, researchers, community members, and others about horticultural design. The diverse and stunning flowers and plants rotate throughout the seasons, and the gardens offer educational programs for homeowners and botanists about growing plants in the unique Rocky Mountain region. The CSU gardens are free to the public and open every day.

Vet Hospital: CSU is the proud home of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The Vet program is one of the best and most exclusive Vet programs in the entire country. Fort Collins residents can bring their small or large animals to the hospital. On average, 42,000 patients visit each year, making it a staple in the Fort Collins animal-loving community. 

Art: Colorado State University offers world-class arts, from its beautiful Gregory Allicar Museum of Art and Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising to student displays and performances. Take in a show, watch a dance team, or listen to talented musical groups all on CSU’s campus. 

Nearby Restaurants: CSU’s campus is centrally located in Fort Collins and puts you right next to a variety of delicious restaurants. Favorite restaurants include The Colorado Room, which offers a variety of sandwiches and a lively bar and arts scene. Students and visitors also love The Bluebird Cafe, The Mayor of Old Town, and Chopstickers.

The Cache la Poudre River

Carved through a canyon, the Cache la Poudre River is a stunning natural playground in Northern Colorado. From hiking and biking on nearby trails to fishing and whitewater rafting, the Poudre River has something for everyone. In the summer, it’s a popular place for kayaking and picnicking. In the winter, the nearby trails are perfect for snowshoeing. It’s easy to see why the river draws visitors from around the country and locals who love its laid-back vibes and beautiful views. If you want to get a true taste of Colorado, a day of the Poudre River is a great experience. 

Rafting: See the Poudre River up close with a whitewater rafting adventure. Colorado has rafting like nowhere else in the world, and the Poudre is one of the best places to experience this unique and thrilling adventure. Rafters of all ages and experience levels can enjoy the Poudre. Novice rafters can experience the Class II rapids on the Lower Poudre, while more experienced rafters can take on the Class IV rapids of Mishawaka Falls. There are numerous rafting expeditions and companies that operate along the river. Most offer trips for ages 7 and up, making it a great family-friendly activity. Rafting availability depends on the water level of the Poudre, but the typical season runs mid-May through August. 

Helpful Tip
Don't Forget Sunscreen

Colorado’s high altitude means you’re even closer to the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing sunscreen every day is a must! 

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Trails: Fort Collins boasts a multitude of trails suitable for activities such as walking, jogging, in-line skating, biking, or simply taking a leisurely stroll. These trails are meticulously maintained throughout the year, including snow removal during the winter season. They not only provide recreational opportunities but also serve as convenient commuter routes for numerous students and residents. Amidst the captivating natural scenery, it's easy to momentarily forget you're within the bustling urban environment of Fort Collins.

Nature: The Poudre is the only river in Colorado that has been designated “Wild and Scenic,” and that scenery is around every turn. Along the Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway, you’ll see amazing views of the canyon and river, plus nearby forests and mountains. There are numerous picnic areas, wildlife viewing areas, and trails along the road. The Home Moraine Geological site was carved by glaciers and is a common grazing area for bighorn sheep. The Poudre is a popular fishing river and home to plenty of wildlife and various plants, trees, and wildflowers. 


The Poudre River runs along the Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway, with stops along the way for various attractions. To get there, take I-25 to Highway 14. Head west to Highway 287. Take 287 north until you reach Highway 14, turn left and head west to experience the river.

Local Breweries

Craft beer is a way of life in Northern Colorado. Fort Collins alone has more than 20 breweries, including the fourth largest brewery in the U.S. Visiting a brewery in Fort Collins is as much about the experience as it is about the drinks. Each brewery has a unique feel and menu, and locals and visitors love to explore the many breweries to see what they all have to offer. Some breweries offer free tours, while others have a full calendar of live music and other events. Visiting a local brewery is one of the best ways to experience the culture of Fort Collins. 

Prost Brewing is a Fort Collins staple and housed inside a renovated historic home with European detailing. Take a visit to Germany with their wide variety of German-style craft beers brewed in Denver and Fort Collins, plus all the coordinating snacks like soft pretzels and cheese. Prost Brewing has been recognized for its unique flavors and experience. With indoor and outdoor seating options, it’s a great place to grab a drink any time of year.

1510 S College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524

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Monday                 12-8 PM
Tuesday                 12-8 PM
Wednesday           12-8 PM
Thursday               12-8 PM
Friday                     12-8 PM
Saturday                12-8 PM
Sunday                   12-8 PM

Horse & Dragon Brewing Company
Epitomizes a passionate and innovative approach to craft brewing. With a deep-rooted dedication to quality and creativity, they have carved out a distinct niche in the craft beer industry. The brewery's commitment to community shines through in its emphasis on sustainability, local partnerships, and a welcoming atmosphere. Through their website, they offer a glimpse into their diverse range of handcrafted beers, each brewed with precision and a blend of traditional techniques and modern flair.

124 Racquette Dr, Fort Collins, CO 80524

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Monday                 2-7 PM
Tuesday                 2-7 PM
Wednesday          2-7 PM
Thursday              2-7 PM
Friday                    12-6 PM
Saturday                Closed
Sunday                   12-4 PM

One of the most well-known breweries in town, Odell is also one of the most beloved. With more than 30 years of service in Fort Collins, Odell has established itself as a go-to destination for great craft beer and a fun atmosphere. Odell offers daily tours and hosts weekly live music and a rotating array of food trucks. The brewery also features a large outdoor seating option with beautiful views and large shade trees.

800 E Lincoln Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Monday                 12-6 PM
Tuesday                 12-7 PM
Wednesday          11-8 PM
Thursday              11-8 PM
Friday                    11-8 PM
Saturday                11-8 PM
Sunday                   11-7 PM

Attend a Festival

Fort Collins is known for its welcoming community, and a lot of that comes from its many festivals that celebrate the community and its people and gives neighbors a chance to come together for fun and celebration. The events calendar is full of unique festivals, some that are Fort Collins traditions and other that are new and reflect the many people in the community. The best way to get immersed in the city is to visit one of its many festivals. 

The Taste of Fort Collins is an annual three-day festival that locals look forward to every year. Do you love good food and beer? This is the festival for you. Try tastes from local and national restaurants and enjoy live music from local bands and big-name headliners, artisan artwork, and other entertainment. With a beer garden and kids area, this is an event the entire family can enjoy. You’re sure to come away with a full belly and a new favorite restaurant.

Dates and Details:

The  Taste of Fort Collins runs each June  at Washington Park.  A limited number of weekend passes are available for sale, as well as single-day tickets for either Saturday or Sunday. Children age 5 and under are free. The event is very popular and can get busy, so arrive before 4pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday for the smallest lines.

It’s one of the most unique—and cutest—festivals around. The Tour de Corgi is a one-day corgi extravaganza when dogs in costume take over Fort Collins. The event features a costume contest, vendors, food, and other fun activities for dog owners and their dogs alike. The highlight of the event is a corgi parade around town that draws crowds from the local community.

Dates and Details:

The Tour de Corgi event normally takes place on a Saturday in early October. The parade will normally leave Civic Center Park and circle through Old Town Square before returning to the park for more festivities.  Visitors can also support dog-friendly local charities by purchasing a limited edition shirt or other merchandise. 

Fort Collins History

Fort Collins has a rich history that is a source of pride for its residents. In the early 1800s, fur traders were caught in a terrible snowstorm. To lighten their load, they buried large amounts of gunpowder along the banks of the river, which today is known as the Cache la Poudre River. 

In 1862, the Kansas Volunteer Cavalry built Camp Collins to protect settlers along the Overland Trail that ran through Colorado. The fort was named about William O. Collins, a commander of the Ohio Cavalry troops at Fort Laramie. In 1864, a devastating flood forced the camp to higher ground, near what today is Old Town. The fort was abandoned by 1865. 

In 1972, the fort site had grown to include a hotel, general store, post office, mill, brick yard, and school. The city took off in 1877, when the Colorado Central Railroad came to town and established Fort Collins as an agricultural and economic hub in Northern Colorado. The Colorado Agriculture and Mechanical College, which today is Colorado State University, was founded in 1879. 

In recent decades, Fort Collins has grown into a thriving business, education, and medical area. It is one of the fastest growing areas in Colorado but stays true to its pioneering roots. 

Did you know?
Annie the Railroad Dog...

In 1934, a railroad worker found a stray dog near the blacksmith's house. He named her Annie and brought her to the train station, where she greeted every passenger for years. Today there is a statue of Annie the railroad dog at the Ft Collins Library.


Fort Collins and Northern Colorado are full of history and fascinating stories of the settlers who called the area home. The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery offers hands-on learning for guests of all ages and is home to an expansive collection of Northern Colorado artifacts and history. Visit the Archive & Collections areas or catch a show in the 360° immersive theater. The Poudre Valley Library District also has a large collection of historical documents and collections.

Explore Fort Collins

Fort Collins, CO

Visit Fort Collins: Northern Colorado is a beautiful place to live, work, and play. With year-round sunshine and easy access to a wide variety of outdoor activities, it’s no wonder people love to call this area home. Fort Collins is a growing community with lots of resources and amenities for visitors, residents, and businesses to settle in and be at home.