Top Fort Collins Tourist Attractions: Must-See Sites & Activities


Fort Collins, Colorado is a vibrant city settled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It offers an array of outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, and culinary delights. With its picturesque natural landscapes, thriving craft beer scene, and rich history, Fort Collins has become a popular tourist destination in the state.


  • Fort Collins, home to the Colorado State University campus, boasts diverse outdoor activities, from hiking and biking trails to water sports and winter recreation.
  • The city is renowned for its craft breweries, earning it the title of "Craft Beer Capital of Colorado."
  • Historic sites like the Old Town Historic District and cultural landmarks showcase Fort Collins' rich heritage.

Destination Overview

Fort Collins seamlessly blends natural beauty with urban charm, catering to outdoor enthusiasts and city dwellers. The city’s proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, the Roosevelt National Forest, Pawnee National Grasslands, and the Cache la Poudre River provides ample hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, fishing, and camping opportunities.

The vibrant Old Town Historic District offers a glimpse into old town Fort Collins’ past, with its charming brick buildings, art galleries, and locally-owned shops and restaurants. The Fort Collins trolley is a great way to get around town and explore Fort Collins’ old town square.

One of the city’s most iconic attractions is Horsetooth Reservoir, a stunning natural oasis perfect for water sports like stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, and water skiing. The reservoir is surrounded by Horsetooth Mountain and Horsetooth Mountain Park, where hiking and mountain biking trails abound.

Local Experiences and Culture

Fort Collins’ local culture is deeply rooted in its craft beer scene, with over 20 breweries calling the city home. Exploring these icons is one of the best things to do in Fort Collins.

From the iconic New Belgium Brewing to the innovative Odell Brewing Company, visitors can embark on self-guided brewery tours or attend one of the city’s many beer festivals. The local cuisine is equally impressive, with farm-to-table restaurants showcasing the region’s fresh produce and locally sourced ingredients.

Cultural events like the annual Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest and the Fort Collins Music Experiment further enrich the city’s vibrant arts and music scene. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local community by attending these events or exploring the city’s museums and art galleries, such as the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising.

Outdoor Adventures

Fort Collins is a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering diverse activities throughout the year. In the warmer months, visitors can explore the city’s extensive network of hiking and biking trails, including the iconic Horsetooth Rock Trail and the Poudre Trail along the Cache la Poudre River.

Whitewater rafting on the Poudre River or rock climbing at Horsetooth Reservoir and the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space are popular options for those seeking a more adrenaline-fueled adventure.

During the winter, Fort Collins transforms into a winter wonderland, with opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling in the nearby Rocky Mountains. The city also offers ice skating rinks and sledding hills, making it a perfect destination for families seeking winter fun.

Family-Friendly Attractions

Fort Collins is a family-friendly destination with many activities suitable for all ages. The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery offers interactive exhibits and educational programs, while the Environmental Learning Center provides hands-on experiences with nature and wildlife. Families can enjoy mini-golf, paddleboating, and the giant slide at Funplex Family Entertainment Center for outdoor recreation.

There’s a city park for everyone in Fort Collins, including Spring Canyon Community Park, Lee Martinez Park, and Fossil Creek Park, to name just a few. All provide ample opportunities for picnicking, playground fun, and exploring nature. Additionally, the annual Taste of Fort Collins event in downtown Fort Collins offers a delightful culinary experience for families, featuring local food vendors and live entertainment.

Craft Breweries and Culinary Delights

Fort Collins’ reputation as the “Craft Beer Capital of Colorado” is well-deserved, with over 20 breweries calling the city home. From the iconic New Belgium Brewing to the innovative Odell Brewing Company, visitors can embark on self-guided brewery tours or attend one of the city’s many beer festivals.

Beyond the craft beer scene, Fort Collins boasts a thriving culinary landscape, with farm-to-table restaurants showcasing the region’s fresh produce and locally sourced ingredients. The city’s farmers’ markets, like the Fort Collins Farmers’ Market and the Ginger and Baker, offer a delightful shopping experience for foodies and those seeking locally-made artisanal products.

Historic and Cultural Landmarks

Its historic sites and cultural landmarks reflect Fort Collins’ rich history. The Old Town Historic District, with its charming brick buildings and tree-lined streets, is a must-visit destination. Visitors can explore the district’s locally owned shops, art galleries, and restaurants or take a guided walking tour to learn about the area’s fascinating past. Here, you’ll also find landmark buildings like the Elizabeth Hotel and the Armstrong Hotel, both housed in historic buildings.

The city’s museums, such as the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and the Avery House, offer insights into the region’s history and cultural heritage. Art enthusiasts can appreciate the works of local and international artists at galleries like the Center for Fine Art Photography and the Lincoln Center Art Gallery.

Nature and Wildlife Exploration

Fort Collins offers ample opportunities for nature and wildlife observation, with its proximity to the Rocky Mountains and the Cache la Poudre River. Horsetooth Reservoir and the surrounding open spaces are prime locations for spotting a variety of bird species and larger mammals like deer and elk.

Visitors can participate in guided nature walks or educational programs offered by organizations like the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources and the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program. These programs provide opportunities for wildlife viewing and promote conservation efforts and responsible outdoor practices. You can also hit the trails for self-guided adventure in family-friendly spots like the Coyote Ridge Natural Area or the Poudre River Trail.

Adventure Sports and Recreation

Fort Collins offers a plethora of exciting activities for thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts. The city’s mountain biking trails, such as those at Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park, challenge riders of all skill levels with their technical terrain and stunning vistas.

Rock climbing enthusiasts can explore the bouldering opportunities at Horsetooth Reservoir or take part in guided climbing tours at nearby destinations like the Vedauwoo Recreation Area. Additionally, visitors can experience the thrill of horseback riding through the scenic trails of the Rocky Mountain foothills.


What is the best time to visit Fort Collins?

Fort Collins is a year-round destination, with each season offering unique experiences. Summer is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and water sports, while fall brings stunning foliage and the annual Fortoberfest celebration. Winter is perfect for snow-based activities like skiing and snowshoeing, and spring offers mild temperatures and blooming wildflowers.

Are there any guided tours available in Fort Collins?

Yes, Fort Collins offers a variety of guided tours, including brewery tours, historic walking tours, and outdoor adventure tours. Companies like Magic Bus Tours, Fort Collins Brewery Tours, and Wanderlust Adventures provide knowledgeable guides to enhance your experience.

What are some family-friendly accommodations in Fort Collins?

Fort Collins has several family-friendly hotels and resorts, such as the Hilton Fort Collins, the Marriott Fort Collins, and the nearby Remington Ranch Resort. These properties offer amenities like pools, game rooms, and proximity to local attractions.

Are there any free or low-cost activities in Fort Collins?

Absolutely! Fort Collins offers plenty of free or low-cost activities, including exploring the Old Town Historic District, visiting the Horsetooth Reservoir, hiking the Poudre Trail, and attending free outdoor concerts and festivals throughout the year. Pinball Jones, a family-friendly arcade, is another spot to consider.

How can I experience the craft beer scene in Fort Collins?

Fort Collins is home to over 20 breweries, and visitors can explore the craft beer scene through self-guided brewery tours, organized tours like those offered by Fort Collins Brewery Tours, or attending one of the city’s many beer festivals.

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About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.