Northern Colorado’s Gem: Fort Collins

“…You have the mountains to the west, and the Great Plains to the east, and the colliding of those two things makes for a unique community filled with an abundance of outdoor activity.”

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Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Northern Colorado is a town that will forever hold a piece of our heart: Fort Collins! I honestly don’t even know where to start. You have the mountains to the west, and the Great Plains to the east, and the colliding of those two things makes for a unique community filled with an abundance of outdoor activity.

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Looking west from the eastern part of Fort Collins (sunflower fields in the plains are gorgeous)

As a major bonus, it is the city we got married in, and the home we found out we were expecting our first child. Not to mention the group of amazing people we surrounded ourselves with in the time that we resided there!

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Gateway Natural Area is where we held an intimate wedding ceremony with around 20 guests

It truly is a magnificent place, and not more than a few hour drive from any and all of what Colorful Colorado has to offer. From someone who has lived there, here are the top 5 places and activities in Fort Collins, Colorado:

  • Gateway Natural Area is perhaps the greatest secret spot we found. It is about twenty to thirty minutes southwest of the heart of town, and the drive alone will make your jaw drop as you pass agricultural land and then suddenly are entering a national forest. It’s an easy place to miss, and because of that it is even more of a gem! There is a huge grassy area with multiple areas to park, gorgeous trees, and the best part—the Poudre River! Not to mention the many hikes you can start from this location, or the rafting adventures you can embark on nearby… Honestly, I could probably write a whole piece just on Gateway if that was something you were interested in. It is that amazing (and our intimate wedding location!)
  • Old Town Fort Collins: breathtaking and fun.
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Fun fact: some of the architecture in Old Town was inspiration for Main Street in Disneyland!

During the warmer months, it becomes a shopping district meets streets festivals meets concert venue. As the holidays near… It is a complete winter wonderland. Twinkling lights are placed throughout the entire area, and when it snows it feels like you are in a movie. Plus, there are so many lounges and cafes, as well as places specializing in desserts, that you always have a place to cozy up and relax or study. Better yet, a horse drawn carriage goes through this quaint downtown, and if that doesn’t scream beautiful fairytale, I’m just not sure what does.

  • Beau Jo’s: Colorado Style Pizza! Their thing is having delicious thick crust filled with whatever you could possibly desire, ordered by the pound! Their unique topping is… Honey! Don’t knock it til you try it! I assure you, it’s somehow beyond amazing.
  • City Park is one of many gorgeous parks that Fort Collins boasts.
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Birds sitting on the lake at City Park

Our first apartment we lived in walking distance to it, and there is a small lake you can sit on swings and relax by or, if you’re feeling active, jog around! In the autumn, which is my absolute favorite season, the colorful foliage on the many trees contrasts the mountains in the background, green grass and water perfectly. It is especially breathtaking to see right after it rains when the sky is still white and gray, but the leaves share the most brilliant oranges. The whole park honestly begins to look like a giant, glowing ember in these moments. Soak it in! As a side note, Rolland Moore is also beautiful, as is Overland Park. In the photos, Rolland Moore is on the left, while Overland is on the right.

  • The Oval: Colorado State University. CSU is a beautiful college campus, and the most glorious section of it is the well-known Oval. As the name would suggest, there is an oval shaped grassy area that has a line of big, tall trees and a pathway to walk through under them. Every single season is just as pretty as the last at Colorado State University, especially at The Oval. Rain, snow, or sunshine! Since the campus opened in the 1800s, the buildings around The Oval have ancient-looking architecture that only adds to the magic of this heart of the school and town.

Have you been to Fort Collins? What did you think? You should visit if you haven’t before, and don’t be afraid to ask me any questions you may have! There are so many hidden gems, like the café that is served entirely on donations so that homeless people have a place to eat, or the Indie board games that you can play if you are at the Alley Cat. How about a day each month that you can sample foods from different restaurants and shops downtown? The Foodie Walk is a real, delicious thing! Not to mention, we saw The Fray perform for free in Fort Collins a few years ago since they are from Denver, Colorado! I’m just not sure I can ever do justice to how uniquely wonderful this city at the base of the Rockies is.

Remember, I would always love to chat with you or collaborate! Follow along on our stories and on media, and never, ever stop adventuring!

Breanna

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