Don’t overlook this laid-back city when you are on the hunt for adventure. It’s full of action, good eats and, of course, damn fine local beer.
Get sticky fingers indulging in a giant cinnamon roll at the Silver Grill Cafe, which has been serving breakfast and lunch in the same location since 1933. No doubt, you’ll roll out with a full tummy: The vast menu includes everything from omelets and benedicts to sandwiches, salads and chicken fried steak. If chicken and waffles are more your thing, head to The Waffle Lab, which began as a food truck and opened a full restaurant this year. Or just stroll around Old Town and the recently renovated Old Town Square. Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar never disappoints, with a buzzing scene, creative cocktails and fish with a decidedly modern twist.
The Armstrong Hotel is a class act with an art deco lobby, comfy rooms and hip underground lounge in the heart of Old Town. In 2004, the owners renovated the 1923 building, maintaining its historic charm but adding a modern touch. For an artistic experience, inquire at The Artery, a vibrant art gallery and community space with three bed-and-breakfast rooms. Or, if you’re working on a low budget, book a bedroom at one of the chain hotels near I-25’s exit 269.
Tucked along the foothills where the Rocky Mountains meet the plains, Fort Collins bursts at the seams with parks and open space. Most trails are accessible all winter (check nocotrailreport.org for conditions). Head for the 9.6-mile Foothills Trail, which skirts the hogback west of town that connects Reservoir Ridge, Maxwell, and Pineridge—three of the city’s 46 natural areas. Climbers can satisfy their itch by tackling problems at Pineridge’s Piano Boulders. Hard-core mountain bikers will find thrills on logs, jump, and other features along the Ginny Trail at Bobcat Ridge. Menawhile, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space serves up 29 miles of looping, multiuse trails you can piece together to suit your pace. Or hike to the top of 7,000-foot Arthur’s Rock at Lory State Park. Backcountry skiers can nab stashes at State Forest State Park up the highway near Cameron Pass. To maximize turns, nestle into a Never Summer Nordic yurt. Cap your play day by sampling craft beers at Fort Collins’ over 20 breweries. Magic Bus Tours will be your designated driver.