Fort Collins holds a different place in the minds of every visitor and local. How you identify with Fort Collins comes from your experience as a whole, the activities you choose to do and the personal interests you hold. Everyone is able to have a unique experience in Fort Collins, Colo.
Fort Collins is a diverse tourist destination and offers activities for every personal interest. A huge part of the community is our rich outdoor recreation. From Horsetooth Reservoir, to our natural areas, to the Poudre Canyon, you can do nearly every outdoor activity imaginable.
Old Town offers dining, nightlife, and of course blocks of shops and unique boutiques. Enjoy a unique experience during your visit to Fort Collins with our interest-focused itineraries developed from the ideas of locals who share your passions.
Touring can be a wonderful way to learn about a city’s character. Exploring Fort Collins history and cultural heritage through our tours weave together some of the many tales the city has to tell. Our ghosts, farms, and breweries all have stories to share with you, and engaging tours take you skillfully through each experience. There are many ways to tour Fort Collins based on your mode of transportation including on bicycle, in an art-covered bus, by a horse-drawn wagon, or on foot.
Exploring our western landscape and area’s history is easy to do when you tour Fort Collins by car and by driving the Colorado Scenic Byway up the Poudre Canyon.
Closer to the core, you can take a self-guided walking tour of Downtown’s history learning about her architecture, wild characters, and iconic historic sites. Tour companies also offer experiences guided by docents in costume or even lead by experienced bicyclists.
Novelty tours such as those focusing on ghosts, brothels and bootleggers, desserts, gourmet foods, underground history, and farms are also offered. And seasonal tours can include haunted, Farm to Table, Valentine’s Day, and even elaborate séance themes. Whichever you chose to enjoy, all of these tours paint the picture of a city that’s history is rich, people are welcoming and innovative, and all share a love of the Colorado landscape.
Tour companies in town include Fort Collins Tours, Beer & Bikes Tours, Front Range Ride Guides and Magic Bus Tours. Lots of self-guided tour brochures are available at the Downtown Fort Collins Visitors Center in Old Town Square. Tours of the many acres of Colorado State University can be scheduled through the Visitors Center and RamTrax.
History buffs will have a wonderful time exploring Fort Collins history and the picturesque downtown and Western landscape. Visitors can ride our working Birney Car Trolley between City Park and Downtown, explore the history of Annie the Railroad Dog, and take a ghost tour to explore the paranormal activity of Old Town. There is rich western history to explore as well! Take self-guided Historic Walks throughout the original Old Town area with the comprehensive Historic Explorations Map, or opt for a quicker self-guided walking tour with interesting architecture by doing the Historic Walking Tour.
Downtown’s historic buildings showcase innovative architecture, tell the pioneering story of Colorado’s west and have faint shadows of the military encampment. Fort Collins even has a tie to Disneyland USA, the historic strip on Walnut Street and the old Firehouse served as inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street. Take part of the self-guided walking tour of Downtown’s historical highlights; click here for the Historic Walking Tour map. And tour companies offer many guided history tours including one via horse drawn wagon! The Poudre Landmarks Foundation also runs regular events and tours of 1883 Water Works and of the Avery House, and an annual historic homes tour each September.
Spirits, aberrations and specters are all about as you walk through the historic streets of Old Town Fort Collins. The original location for the town’s earliest residents, Native American tribes before them, and the home to the civil war military encampment, Old Town is the keeper of many secrets. There are underground tunnels, a secret river and a seedy underworld that lead to many haunted stories from Fort Collins’ past.
If you love to be frightened or just intrigued by auras, Fort Collins Tours and Magic Bus Tours are just the ticket. Knowledgeable actors and guides take guests through the area’s history and ghost stories as you walk or ride through the enchanting Western streets of Old Town.
Located near the Burlington Northern and the Santa Fe Railroad, the original parade grounds for the Fort and the city’s jail, Old Town has over a century of characters, villains and strange occurrences that create its haunted past. Sharing legends and ghostly recounts are the forte of the costumed guides whose stories will make your heart pound.
Strange sightings and energies have been noticed in the area for well over 100 years. You can experience ghosts, séances, haunted tours, and stories of historical criminal behavior by bus, foot, or horse-drawn wagon year around.
Want to know more? A wide variety of brochures are available at both the Colorado Welcome Center (Prospect and I-25) and at our Downtown Visitors Center (1 Old Town Square, Suite 107). You can also pick up one of the many Fort Collins history books about all our stories, characters, and buildings at our Downtown bookstore. Or read from our online Fort Collins Historic Connection or visit our official archives at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.
Delicious beer and innovative brewing techniques bring people from around the world to tour Fort Collins’ award-winning breweries each year. More than 20 breweries offer beer-tasting tours with trays of dark, light, hoppy and seasonal beers. Ales, Hefeweizens and IPAs are easy to appreciate while sitting in the causal settings of the outdoor patios, listening to live music and meeting friendly people in the taprooms. Many breweries offer tours of their manufacturing operations as well as special features like New Belgium Brewing’s innovative energy and sustainability practices and Anheuser-Busch’s famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses.
Throughout most of the year, Fort Collins is best explored from the saddle of a bike. It’s a fast and fun way to get around the city and visit nearby areas – the foothills, mountains, lakes, etc. You can take it upon yourself to plan your own tour of the city or check out our suggested routes. There are also several companies in town that specialize in bike tours. You can find a list of these companies below as well as maps and more information about touring Fort Collins on two wheels.
View the Fort Collins Bike System Map here.
Fort Collins offers a Bike Share program called Pace which is a public transportation program that includes a network of bicycles for short-term use. Pace is a collaboration of Bike Fort Collins, FC Bikes, Zagster, Transfort, and a number of local business sponsors. For more information, please visit www.bikefortcollins.org.
If it’s mountain biking you’re after, we have lots of great trails minutes from downtown. Visit the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas for information on riding the foothills trails or check out Lory State Park, or Horsetooth Mountain Park for prime mountain biking action.
Fort Collins is proud to be the home to Colorado State University, and campus is a wonderful exploration of agricultural heritage, collegiate sports, and beautiful architecture. Explore the old historic Oval, the buildings of the original Colorado Agricultural College born in 1870 and early 20th century buildings surrounding the Victorian lawn. Tours explore the newer construction, stadiums, dining halls, the CSU Trial Flower Gardens and the University Center of the Arts. RamTrax offers engaging visitor tours sharing the university’s outstanding academic programs and rich heritage of innovation and research.