Fort Collins, CO downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 65
Demographics 17
Economy 56
Education 70
Health 68
Housing 55
Infrastructure 47

#42. Fort Collins, CO

Nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins, CO is an active, outdoorsy college town with a charming downtown and a fast-growing tech scene. Families, young professionals, creatives, college students, adventurers and retirees all love Fort Collins for its outdoor recreation amenities, proximity to nature, local bars and restaurants, and craft beer culture. What’s more, Fort Collins has a thriving economy and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, which makes it the perfect place to grow your career or start a business.

Top Colleges/Universities: Colorado State University & Front Range Community College

Top Industries & Employers: Manufacturing and high-tech are two key industries in Fort Collins, with companies like Noosa, Otter Products and Anheuser-Busch opting to do business here, just to name a few.

Weekend Plans: After coffee and a cinnamon roll at the historic Silver Grill Cafe, plan your own brewery bike crawl that includes spots like Odell Brewing, New Belgium, Funkwerks and Horse & Dragon. Refuel with lunch or dinner from local food trucks at the breweries.

Favorite Place to Feast: Ginger and Baker, a downtown community hub located inside a historic mill building. There are several eateries inside, including a fine-dining restaurant, a cafe and a bakery specializing in heavenly pies.

Beloved Beverage: Fat Tire, an easy-drinking amber ale made by New Belgium. An annual event pays homage to this popular beer, the Tour de Fat. Since 1999, people have been showing up in costumes to ride their bikes in a parade, drink beer and have an all-around good time.

Outdoorsy Activity: Fishing, kayaking or whitewater rafting the Poudre River (full name “Cache la Poudre River”), which meanders down from the Continental Divide and through Fort Collins.

Rooftop Bar: Sunset Lounge, located atop The Elizabeth Hotel. It has an upscale lounge vibe, complete with sophisticated cocktails and sultry live jazz, making it perfect for an intimate date or a night out on the town.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: The city loves dogs so much that it commissioned a bronze statue at the Old Town Library and named a walk at Library Park in honor of Annie the Railroad Dog, who greeted arriving train passengers in the 1930s and died in 1948. Her gravesite is located near the Downtown Transit Center.

Remote Work Perk: It’s not uncommon to see people typing away on their laptops on the patios of many Fort Collins breweries. If you need a change of scenery from the home office, you can do your work while sipping a hazy IPA or a sour.

One More Thing … Fort Collins’ historic Old Town area is so charming that it served as the inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A. Walt Disney asked Hollywood art director Harper Goff to help design the park. Goff, who grew up in Fort Collins, drew on his childhood memories when sketching out the park’s main street.

– Sarah Kuta

Find a Home in Fort Collins, CO

Movoto by OJO is a home search site that provides personalized recommendations and highlights local listings best suited to your needs and preferences.

See Homes for Sale in Fort Collins

Continue Reading Best Places To Live in the US in 2021

Newsletter Sign Up

Keep up to date with our latest rankings and articles!
Enter your email to be added to our mailing list.