Fort Collins is a vibrant city of more than 150,000 residents. It is the fourth largest city in Colorado, located 65 miles north of Denver. It is named for a short-lived military installation established in 1864 along the banks of the Cache la Poudre River, which flows through the city.
Fort Collins annually ranks among America’s most livable cities, appearing on top 10 lists in such magazines as Forbes and Money, and scores high in surveys of health, fitness and well-being. It is also gaining a reputation as an innovation hub, attracting entrepreneurs from across the nation to live and work.
The area has a moderate, four-season climate marked by low average humidity and an abundance of sunshine. The city has 600 acres of parks, 30,000 acres of natural areas, 29 miles of off-street hiking and biking trails, four public golf courses, a racquet center, three public swimming pools, an ice rink and several community centers.
The city’s most recognizable feature is Old Town, a collection of 23 historic buildings that served as the model for Disneyland’s Main Street USA.
In the heart of downtown Fort Collins, Old Town features one-of-a-kind shopping as well as more than 80 restaurants and brewpubs. It is also the hub of the city’s vibrant nightlife.
The Fort Collins Municipal Railway Society operates the only original trolley car west of the Mississippi River. Car 21, in the city’s fleet when trolley service ended in 1951, has been fully restored by volunteers and provides a nostalgic look at a bygone era in public transportation.
The 1.5-mile, 30-minute ride originates in City Park, travels down historic Mountain Avenue, and ends on the edge of Old Town. The trolley runs on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, noon to 5 p.m., May through September.
Fort Collins, fast facts
Population: 155,400 (2014)
Elevation: 5,003 feet
Size: 47.1 square miles
City Nicknames: The Choice City, Fort Fun, The Fort, FoCo
• In 2014, a Gallup poll reported that 94.9 percent of Fort Collins residents were satisfied with the city — more than any other American city.
• Fort Collins has the most microbreweries per capita in Colorado and produces 70 percent of the state’s craft beer. That’s even more impressive when you think that the state is ranked first in the nation for craft breweries per capita, No. 1 in beer volume, and No. 2 in number of craft breweries by state and in craft beer volume.
• Professional baseball players Marco Gonzales, a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals; Andy Burns, an infielder in the Toronto Blue Jays minor-league system; and Jess Amedee, a pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor-league system, are all graduates of Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins.
• Fort Collins is among the most educated places in the country, based on
education levels of its adult population.
• In 2015, Fort Collins was named one of the top 10 healthiest cities, one of the 50 Best College Towns to Live in Forever, and one of America’s Most Innovative Tech Hubs.
• Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Oscar for her portrayal of Mammy in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind, lived in Fort Collins as a child.
For more information, check out visitfortcollins.com or download the 2016 Visitors Guide to Fort Collins and Colorado State University.