Day Trip to Fort Collins
Fort Collins, Colorado is an easy day trip from Denver, Colorado! That was one of the things I loved about staying in Denver, was how easy it was to make weekend day trips. Fort Collins is a small town about an hour and a half from Denver, known for its craft beer! From hiking, food, and brews, it is easy to pack in a day trip and explore this fun town!
Ready for a road trip? Here's what I would recommend when visiting Fort Collins!
The one thing I love about Colorado is the number of hikes and trails you can find. For instance, each town I would visit I would always try to hike one of the trails in the area. Above all, I think hiking is a good way to start the morning. From here you can get a workout in and work up an appetite for good food and drinks later in the day!
Horsetooth Trail is a popular near Fort Collins. This trail can be a short and easy 2.35-mile hike just to Horsetooth Falls. Or, from the falls you can continue to Horsetooth Rock for a total of 6.4 miles. Since we felt like a little longer hike, we did the whole 6.4 miles and loved every minute of it!
There is a $9 fee to park by the trailhead and parking can be very limited. Because of this, I recommend coming in early as the lot can fill up quickly and you don’t want to get scrambling to find a parking spot. Also, this hike is a lot of areas offers little to no shade. For this I recommend going early in the day during the summer to try and beat the heat.
After a good morning hike, head towards Fort Collins Old Town and park near The Exchange. Here, The Exchange has food, drinks, and shopping in an open area central plaza. This is a good place to recharge, grab a snack, relax and people watch as it is often buzzing with activity.
My favorite ice cream that I’ve had so far in Colorado comes right from The Exchange. Right in the center of the plaza is a huge ice cream churn, called Churn, selling the most delicious ice cream. Inspired by Denver’s famous Little Man Ice Cream, Churn offers ice cream and malts. Here, my personal favorite was the salted cookies and cream!
Downtown Fort Collins
From The Exchange, it is easy to walk around Downtown Fort Collins. Filled with shops, restaurants and breweries, there are endless places to go in downtown. From here, it’s a great way to fuel up on some drink, grab some food and knockabout the shops to find little knick knacks. There are also kids’ activities in the center where we saw a lot of families playing with their kids.
New Belgium Brewing Company
My husband is a lover of craft beer and coming to Fort Collins was such a treat for him. Without a doubt, if beer is your thing, and even if it’s not, it’s hard to come to Fort Collins and not check out their breweries. After all, it is one of the things they are most known for!
One of our favorite breweries that we got to check out was New Belgium Brewing Company. Only a quick drive or short walk from downtown, this brewery is one of the tops in our books. With a huge outdoor lawn, it was a good idea way to unwind outside and grab a couple brewskis.
While we were a bit tired, as seen with Apollo in the photo below, New Belgium was all we had time for. However, if we had some more time there were a couple more, we would have checked out including Odell Brewing Company which is supposed to be popular. Next time we will definitely check out a brewery tour to check out a few more spots on our trip to Fort Collins!