Fort Collins lies at the base of the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It takes just over an hour to drive from Denver to Fort Collins via I-25, but once you’re there you’ll love the small-town feel of the city.
If you’re traveling to Fort Collins from the north, it takes about 50 minutes to drop down from Cheyenne, Wyoming into the Fort Collins city limits. Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University, but it’s also a family-friendly city with loads of parks and green spaces.
Fort Collins was recently crowned one of the Top Beer Tourism Destination in the US by Expedia, and it’s an extremely bike-friendly city with great access to hiking, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, and a variety of other outdoor recreation options. In the rest of this article, we’ll provide an RVer’s guide to Fort Collins, CO!
Where To Stay
If you want to stay right in the city and have the ability to bike to different attractions, the most obvious RV park to stay in is the Fort Collins/Lakeside KOA Holiday.
However, if you’re looking for a Good Sam park within easy driving distance to Fort Collins, you’ll have to head a bit south. Be sure to check out the amenities and accommodations at Loveland RV Resort and Riverview RV Park & Campground. Both of these parks are less than 30 minutes from Fort Collins and located in an area that can be a bit less crowded.
If you want to head up into the mountains to the west of the city, Estes Park is one of the most obvious destinations to check out. In Estes Park, you’ll find several great Good Sam RV Parks to chooe from, including Spruce Lake RV Resort and Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Resort. For reference, Estes Park is located about an hour southwest of the Fort Collins city limits.
What To Do
Ok, where do you start? I suppose this depends on your preference. If you want to get a good feel for the city without worrying about navigating traffic, check out Beer and Bike Tours.
They’ll take you a tour of several of the great breweries in Fort Collins and tell you some about the city’s history and other attractions. They also offer mountain bike adventures and a brew cruise through Estes Park if you happen to stay up that way!
If you’re interested in whitewater rafting while you’re in Fort Collins, the Cache la Poudre River (Colorado’s only nationally designated wild and scenic river!) comes bounding down from the Rockies and offers some great waters for a fun-filled, splash-zone adventure.
If mountain biking is your go-to recreation activity, there are many trails to choose from in the mountains just outside of Fort Collins. Some of the most popular intermediate trails are Blue Sky to Indian Summer, Devil’s Backbone Loop, and Hewlett Gulch.
A couple accessible advanced trails are Ginny Trail via Powerline Trail and Lory State Park Small Loop. If you’re looking for a guided mountain biking tour, check out Front Range Ride Guides and their various offerings.
If getting out on the lake on a powerboat is your thing, Horsetooth Reservoir sits just above Fort Collins and offers a variety of water-based recreation options and hides the history underwater city of Stout.
Buckhorn Ridge Outfitters offers boat rentals on the reservoir, including wakeboard boats, fishing boats, and pontoon boats for a party day on the lake. Inlet Bay Marina is also a great place to rent boats or jet skis to explore the lake.
Where to Eat and Drink
The downtown Fort Collins area—which was actually used as a model when Walt Disney created Disneyland’s Main Street USA—offers a wide variety of quick bites and fine dining restaurants. It’s also home to many coffee shops, boutique stores, and a movie theatre!
If you want to get going early and sample some of the breakfast and brunch options in town, check out Snooze, Urban Egg Eatery, and (my personal favorite!) Lucile’s. In addition to the food trucks that rotate locations around the city, there are also a number of location for quick bites if you don’t want to bother with sit-down fare. Some options include Slyce Pizza Co., Big Al’s Burgers and Dogs, and Moe’s Original Bar B Que.
There are also various fine dining locations in Fort Collins’ downtown area. According to Yelp, the top five fine dining restaurants in Fort Collins are Chimney Park, Sonny Lubick Steakhouse, The Still Whiskey Steaks, The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm, and Simmer.
In addition to the restaurant and eatery scene, Fort Collins attracts many annual visitors to its bustling craft beer scene. Fort Collins is in the Top 15 on Food and Wine’s list of cities with the most breweries per capita in the United States. This means the options are plentiful for beer you can’t find anywhere else and the prices are so good that it’s dangerous.
Aside from the more popular selections, such as New Belgium and Odell’s, there are many smaller breweries to stop by while you’re in Fort Collins. Some of the smaller microbreweries that are tops on our list include Equinox, Crooked Stave, Prost, and Freedonia.
Many of these locations are more than just taprooms. Destinations like New Belgium and Odell’s offer extensive outdoor seating areas and regularly host live music and have a rotating selection of food trucks on their properties.
Visit Fort Collins
Fort Collins is a truly unique destination in Northern Colorado. It is the birthplace of 70 percent of all of Colorado’s craft beer (ironic because it was a “dry” city until 1969), home to a Platinum Level Bike-Friendly Community (courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists), and was ranked as the Best Bike-to-Happy-Hour Town by Outside Magazine.
We hope that this RVer’s Guide to Fort Collins, CO, gives you plenty to see and do while you’re in Fort Collins and we look forward to hearing about your adventure in Northern Colorado. Please be sure to share your story with us after you visit Fort Collins!
What do you want to do in Fort Collins? Leave a comment below.