Here's why you should pack your bags and see why this Colorado city is a great place to put down roots.
If your idea of a perfect place to live is surrounded by nature, culture, history and beer – look no further than Fort Collins.
The Colorado town, also known at FoCo, regularly lands on Best Places to Live lists and for good reasons. Nature lovers can enjoy miles of biking, hiking and kayaking. Culture lovers have the town’s historic buildings, art galleries, live music venues and events. And, beer lovers have at least half a dozen breweries to visit, including breweries for Budweiser and New Belgium.
If you need more convincing, below is an in-depth look into why you should move to Fort Collins.
1. Nature everywhere you look
Situated along the edge of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins’ location and topography naturally lend themselves to all kinds of outdoor activities. In addition to the miles of hiking and biking trails, the Poudre River flows right through the middle of town and sections of it offer a challenge to even some of the more experienced kayakers out there.
Fort Collins also has 48 parks and countless breathtaking views.
2. A brewery with a winning culture
New Belgium Brewery isn’t just a place that makes tongue-tingling beer; it’s also a great place to work. In 2015, the brewery was named a Best Place to Work by Outside Magazine, coming in at Number 35. The brewery is owned by its employees, and features volleyball courts, a cyclocross track and a gear shed.
In addition to empowering its employees, New Belgium also promotes beer culture as a part of its mission, as well as “social, environmental and cultural change.”
3. A historic, walkable downtown
The first things you might notice about Fort Collins’ Old Town neighborhood is that it looks eerily familiar, that is, if you’ve been to Disneyland. That’s because the iconic theme park modeled its Main Street USA after Fort Collins’ historic downtown district.
The very walkable Old Town neighborhood isn’t stuck in the past, however. It features a number of farm-to-table restaurants, music venues and specialty stores that emphasize the city’s vibrant maker culture. Each summer, the Colorado Brewers’ Festival turns all of downtown into a giant street party.
4. College-town energy
With a student population of more than 33,000, Colorado State University injects brainpower and youthful energy into the Greater Fort Collins area. The university was founded in 1870 and is well-known for its veterinary science and agricultural programs. The school even features a well-reviewed veterinary teaching hospital where locals can bring their pets in for treatment.
5. Addictive local comfort food
Despite its college energy and nature-centric ethos, Fort Collins isn’t just serving high-minded chef concepts and vegetarian options. The town also has a number of popular comfort food spots that locals rave about.
At Big Al’s Burgers and Dogs, the 60/40 Burger (60 percent beef, 40 percent bacon) is a must-try. The California-style burritos at Big City Burrito offer coastal flavors. Choice City Butcher and Deli has a fantastic range of Eggs Benedicts. Little Bird Bakeshop has great coffee and pastries. And, the massive cinnamon buns at the Silver Grill CafÃ© are straight crack.
6. A budding marijuana industry
While it’s technically illegal on the federal level, the marijuana industry does have a presence in Fort Collins, and bears mentioning as a possible reason to move there, especially for people seeking the drug as a medical treatment.