When looking for Fort Collins homes to rent, a popular location to consider is downtown—and for good reason. Downtown Fort Collins offers many amenities for renters and has something for everyone, whether you enjoy being outdoors, seeing great art, or trying the hottest new restaurant. And you can do it all without having a mortgage payment!
No matter your lifestyle or stage of life, downtown Fort Collins is a fantastic location with a great quality of life.
Here are the six reasons to rent in downtown Fort Collins:
Great Food and Drinks
No matter your culinary or beverage preferences, Fort Collins is a food and drink paradise. Many of Fort Collins’ more than 25 craft breweries operate downtown, making for easy access to some of the best breweries and craft cocktails in the country. You can even enjoy great beer while helping local charities. The Fort Collins Ale Trail app includes deals at dozens of local breweries, with all proceeds from your $20 membership going straight to a local organization. That’s a great way to explore downtown breweries and help the community.
It seems that everywhere you look downtown along College Avenue is a great restaurant, brewery, or bar. Downtown boasts a large number of locally-owned restaurants including organic farm-to-table options like The Colorado Room, bakeries and cafes like Little Bird Bakeshop, casual dining like 415, and international fare like Lulu Asian Bistro. Fort Collins also has been recognized for its large number of family-friendly restaurants, which means you can enjoy food and service that is unique to Northern Colorado.
From your rental unit in downtown Fort Collins, you can easily walk or bike to dozens of top bars. No matter the time of day or night or what you’re craving, it’s within arm’s reach downtown with hundreds of choices. The wide variety means there’s something for everyone, and it’s sure to be delicious.
Safe and Walkable Downtown
If old town Fort Collins seems familiar to you, it could be because it was the model for Disneyland’s Main Street USA. The area is so safe and walkable that it became the model for The Happiest Place on Earth—not a bad recommendation!
Downtown Fort Collins is a bustling mixture of history and modern and celebrates the past and future of the area. The red brick streets and sidewalks are a nod to Fort Collins’ pioneer past, and the new restaurants and music venues showcase where the town is going. A favorite activity at any time of year is wandering through downtown to see the huge variety of quirky shops, bars, galleries, and other businesses. In the spring and summer, the downtown streets are lined with colorful flowers and hanging baskets. In the fall, downtown offers beautiful views of the changing leaves, and wintertime features holiday decorations and lights throughout downtown.
Getting around downtown is easy, as the area is home to many walking and biking paths to connect you to the rest of the city. Many of the trails are recently renovated with improved safety for walkers and bikers, including safe intersection crossings and dedicated bike paths. Instead of feeling like an outsider on a bike, you’ll be part of the crowd downtown using the preferred mode of transportation.
The downtown area is also incredibly safe, which means that spending time walking around downtown and Mountain Avenue at all times of day is a favorite activity of many locals. No matter if you’re renting alone or living with roommates, you can feel safe living in downtown Fort Collins.
Small-Town Feel With City Amenities
Fort Collins is the best of both worlds: the community and charm of a small town with the amenities and convenience of a big city. It’s not exclusively a college town, urban area, or small suburb but has the best features of them all.
With local restaurants, flower gardens, and patio dining, downtown Fort Collins feels quaint and has a small-town feel. Downtown features a mix of historic buildings and more modern architecture for a quaint and unique atmosphere. And with 33,000 students at Colorado State University, Fort Collins feels like a connected college town where everyone is united in cheering on the Rams. This year, Fort Collins was ranked the number one city in Colorado to raise a family because of its safety, charm, and recreational and educational features.
But even with the feel of a small town, Fort Collins has all of the amenities you would want in a bigger city, including a great educational system, shopping opportunities, and access to world-class medical care. Fort Collins has a renowned public library system with great parks, recreation, and entertainment opportunities you wouldn’t see in a small town, especially downtown. You’re also only 65 miles from Denver, where you have access to professional sports teams and an international airport, but without the traffic.
Fort Collins is regularly ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S., as well as one of the happiest cities in the country. Downtown offers a great community feel with happy people who are eager to make new friends and share new experiences. Fort Collins is also accepting of all types of people and offers a diverse and welcoming population.
Growing Job and Housing Options
With all of its amazing features and central location, it should be no surprise that Fort Collins is growing. People are drawn to the strong community presence, charming downtown, and beautiful nature. In the past 50 years, Fort Collins population has quadrupled. And with all that growth comes new rental options, updated city amenities, and great job opportunities. In the last decade, the number of rental properties has increased by around 15%.
Downtown is seeing exceptional growth, with new businesses, restaurants, bars, and music venues opening in recent years. Many of these businesses, including a luxury hotel and teaching kitchen, are locally focused. That means you can only experience these incredible offerings in downtown Fort Collins.
Many companies are also seeing the benefits of being in Fort Collins. Many major employers have offices downtown, in industries ranging from engineering to finance and pharmaceuticals. And with more companies allowing employees to work remotely, Fort Collins is a great place for a home office, no matter where you work in the world.
With growth comes improved transportation through the city. Aside from the great biking trails, Fort Collins has a growing bike-share program and bicycle co-op. No matter where you are in the city, you can find a bike to get you wherever you need to be. Public transportation uses eco-friendly buses and a large network of stops and service areas. Unlike other major urban areas, Fort Collins is known for its clean and reliable bus system to connect you from downtown to anywhere in Northern Colorado.
Amazing Outdoor Recreation
One of the biggest draws to Fort Collins is its location. Everywhere you look, there are amazing views and great access to outdoor activities. If you love skiing, hiking, biking, climbing, kayaking, or any other activity in nature, you can find it in Fort Collins. There’s something for everyone at any time of year.
Downtown serves as a hub for the city and can easily connect you to any nature activity. From your downtown home rental, you can easily get to the Poudre River or Horsetooth Reservoir for water activities, the Rocky Mountains for hiking, or participate in the large number of races and marathons that come through town.
It’s easy to get outside in Fort Collins. The Pitkin Bikeway transformed five miles of low-traffic streets into a biking corridor through the heart of the city with additional bike safety measures. Ride your bike while running your everyday errands or take it for a longer adventure on the weekends. With easy access and great features, the outdoor recreation choices are limitless.
Fort Collins is home to nearly 50 parks, each of which can serve as a great gathering place to walk, hike, and explore. People come to Fort Collins to experience the outdoors, which adds to the great adventure culture of the city. Fort Collins is known for its active population who take advantage of living in such a beautiful place. There aren’t many places in the country where you can rent a home or apartment in a walkable downtown area and be so close to such a variety of nature and outdoor activities.
Great Community Events
Part of the reason for Fort Collins’ strong community and welcoming aesthetic is the huge number of community events that bring people together. No matter what you enjoy, you can find an event that reflects that in Fort Collins.
There’s no better place to hear live music in Colorado than downtown Fort Collins. The neighborhood regularly hosts concerts from all types of musicians in a great atmosphere. But if live music isn’t your scene, there also always seems to be something else going on, and often for free. Downtown Fort Collins hosts beer festivals, art shows, community festivals, car shows, parades, and so much more.
The city’s events calendar is full all year round from the Lagoon Summer Concert Series to Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, Fortoberfest in the fall, and First Night Fort Collins on New Year’s Eve. Even smaller events like regular farmer’s markets for local produce throughout the summer and performances on the CSU campus bring people together and showcase the talents of local farmers, artisans, and performers.
People in downtown Fort Collins are excited to get to know their neighbors, interact with new people, and explore the area together. One of the most social and welcoming places in Colorado is made possible through fantastic community events.
With a great combination of entertainment, shopping, food, and outdoor recreation, downtown Fort Collins has something for everyone. There’s nothing else like renting in downtown Fort Collins and experiencing all the city has to offer. These six reasons to rent in downtown Fort Collins are just the beginning. With a growing city and great energy, downtown is only set to get better in coming years. Be sure to check out this Fort Collins neighborhood.