For the last few months, you haven't been able to go on social media without reading about ChatGPT. It's EVERYWHERE (literally with over 100 million users!). So, why not join them and learn about ChatGPT in the most touristy way possible: having it plan a day for some team members in Fort Collins! We blocked our calendar on Monday and gave ChatGPT a simple prompt: We need an itinerary for a Monday in Fort Collins, Colorado from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. that includes local breakfast, an outdoor activity, a place to relax, a quick lunch and then a cocktail outside. Simple enough, right? After the first few suggestions included places that were closed (or didn't exist anymore) we landed on an outline that was possible. (Pro tip: ChatGPT has a knowledge cutoff currently of September 2021, so a few things are out of date.)
Here's how it went:
First up: Local breakfast at Lucile's Creole Cafe. Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Lucile's Creole Cafe, a local favorite known for its Southern-style breakfast dishes. Try their famous beignets, shrimp and grits, or eggs benedict.
If you haven't been to Lucile's, you definitely need to go (like now). Who could say no to beignets, chicory coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice? We also got Eggs Jennifer with a side of grits for a hearty, delicious breakfast. ChatGPT suggestion: 10/10
Up next: Outdoor activity at Horsetooth. Head to Horsetooth Reservoir, located just west of Fort Collins, for a scenic outdoor activity. You can go hiking, biking, fishing, or kayaking depending on your preference. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains and the reservoir.
Get out in nature during the workday? Say less. We decided to do Horsetooth Falls (2.2 miles, 450 ft. gain) for a quick hike, and had a blast. With something for pretty much everyone, heading to Horsetooth at anytime of the year is a winning suggestion. Don't forget to buy a pass ($10 per vehicle)! ChatGPT suggestion: 10/10
Next: Relaxation time at the Gardens on Spring Creek. After your outdoor activity, take a break and enjoy some peace and quiet at the Gardens on Spring Creek, a beautiful botanical garden in the heart of Fort Collins. Stroll through the various gardens, including a rock garden, herb garden, and children's garden.
Heading to The Gardens on Spring Creek we decided to make The Butterfly House our first stop. After paying our dues ($11 per adult) we were let into the Butterfly House. We both had a great time finding all the different types of butterflies and letting them flutter around us (please don't touch!). We also walked around the gardens for a bit, and did as ChatGPT told us and made sure to relax. ChatGPT suggestion: 8/10 (docking a few points since it didn't call out The Butterfly House, which we definitely recommend)!
Next up: Quick lunch at Choice City Butcher & Deli. For a quick and tasty lunch, head to Choice City Butcher & Deli, a local deli that serves delicious sandwiches and soups made with locally sourced ingredients. Try their signature pastrami sandwich or the vegetarian portobello mushroom sandwich.
We were both pretty hungry by this point, so a patio lunch at Choice City Butcher & Deli was a great suggestion. We both grabbed sandwiches and enjoyed them with a side of sunshine. The food was delicious, per usual. ChatGPT suggestion: 6/10 (docking points here since the portobello sandwich hasn't been on the menu for the past three years)!
Last up: Cocktail at The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant. End your day with a refreshing cocktail at The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, a lively spot with a spacious outdoor patio. Order a classic margarita or try one of their specialty cocktails, such as the Paloma or the Rio Grande Cooler. Enjoy the Colorado sunshine and the lively atmosphere.
The patio at The Rio was the ideal way to end a great Fort Collins day. We both grabbed margs (classic Rio marg + Agave coin) with a side of chips and salsa. ChatGPT suggestion: 8/10 (docking some points here since there was no paloma on the menu!)
Final takes? We had a pretty great day following what ChatGPT put together, BUT it did take a lot of tries for it to spit out an itinerary that included 1) places that were open on a Monday and 2) places that still existed and 3) some food/drink suggestions that were still on the menu. It was a fun experiment, but we might have to keep planning our own itineraries, and hope you'll hit up the folks at Visit Fort Collins when you're in town!