In the third week of our road trip, we shifted gears and met up with my parents in Colorado. Our first stop was my Mom’s college stomping grounds: Fort Collins.
Here’s the trip report on what we did to maximize one long weekend there:
Explore Old Town
Sometimes, the best thing you can do in a new place is just walk around. So that’s exactly what we did. We loved the charming feel of Old Town and were surprised at how many restaurants there were to choose from!
Where We Stayed
The historic Armstrong Hotel is one of the few places of lodging in Old Town. The building, which also hosts some great eateries on the first floor, was restored in 2003 in an updated-yet-historic style.
As mentioned above, Old Town seems to have an abnormal amount of restaurants for its size. (apparently there are over 80) While we by no means hit all the hot spots during our weekend visit, we definitely got a great taste of the options, thanks to our trusted restaurant resource:Yelp.
Where We Dined
Silver Grill Cafe, the oldest restaurant in Northern Colorado, has undergone several expansions over the years, due in part to its famous Giant Cinnamon Rolls.
As mentioned in previous posts, my family and I are cinnamon roll aficionados, and these were legit. You can get them or giant size or “mini” (which is still big).
Lucky Joe’s Sidewalk Saloon is a lively Irish restaurant and pub with peanut shells on the floor and live music. We enjoyed the outdoor seating and tastier-than-average pub food.
Restaurant 415 uses predominantly local ingredients in their small plates, pizzas, and entrees. We especially enjoyed the balsamic vinaigrette-topped Woodland pizza. Sharing small plates is always one of our favorite ways to eat because you get to try a little of everything and don’t over-eat!
Lucile’s Creole Cafe actually has five locations in Colorado. The Fort Collins restaurant offers cozy indoor and outdoor seating with Louisiana favorites like beignets, various styles of grits, po’ boy sandwiches, and more. Thanks to our top-notch and very generous waitress, we had an amazing brunch and took home plenty of delicious left-overs.
The Chocolate Cafe is the perfect spot for chocoholics like me. Conveniently located on the first floor of our hotel, we stopped by for an early dessert one night. The white chocolate croissant bread pudding and ultimate chocolate cake were especially excellent!
Tour a Brewery
Odell Brewing Co and New Belgium both offer free daily brewery tours. They are apparently very popular places for 20- and 30-somethings like us to hang out. You can catch some live music while enjoying a beer from the Tap House- or sample several different beers from their taster trays. We drove, but there were plenty of folks who got there (carefully) by bike.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
If there’s one thing we noticed quickly about Colorado, it’s that people here like to be active. Being in a place surrounded by people with healthy habits is quite refreshing!
Fort Collins has a wealth of recreational trails for all those outdoor enthusiasts. The most prominent and easy to access from town are the Poudre and Spring Creek Trails, which are great for biking, walking, or jogging.
These are just a few of the many sights you can see along the city trail systems:
Why We Wouldn’t Mind Living in Fort Collins
We’re not looking to settle down, but if we had to end up somewhere, Fort Collins would probably be high up on our list. The main reasons being: lots of sunny days, plenty of outdoor activities, a college prominent in town, and a fun downtown with great character. So you’ll probably see us heading back here again at some point…