October 5, 2012:

Old Town Fort Collins

So many cities boast downtown areas with great, locally owned shops and restaurants. Downtown Fort Collins, however, has more to offer than just fun restaurants and quirky shops. Without having to look too far, you will also find that it has a rich history of early settlement and architecture. And, at the heart of Downtown Fort Collins is Old Town, radiating from the intersection of Mountain and College Avenues.

The fascinating history of early Euro-American settlers and Native Americans in our area can be explored at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.  Located at 408 Mason Ct., this family-friendly museum houses a vast collection of artifacts. Or, to learn more about Fort Collins’ architectural history, just take a walk!  The Linden Hotel, one of our most well-known and admired buildings, is located at the corner of Linden Street and Walnut.  Once there, you will find great shops such as Nature’s Own Imagination.  Check out a map for the Historic Walking Tour of Fort Collins – grab your walking shoes!  

The Downtown Business Association is a wonderful resource for all things Fort Collins, particularly if you are looking for information about Fort Collins history, tours, and businesses. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Downtown/Old Town community, and you can visit them at 19 Old Town Square, Suite #230, or give them a call at (970) 484-6500.

And, while feeding your fascination with history and architecture is certainly important, don’t forget the fantastic shopping and dining that Downtown and Old Town offers.  There is something for everyone: whether it’s gifts, clothing, souvenirs, or food. The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant may have a three-margarita limit, but there is no limit to your enjoyment of the fun atmosphere and food!  Coopersmiths Pub & Brewing is a local favorite offering pub fare, their own locally brewed beers, and several billiard tables, all in an upscale yet casual atmosphere. 

Fort Collins is home to many unique shops—you could spend an entire day Downtown and still not hit them all!  The Cupboard, an always-lively kitchen specialty store has been locally owned and operated since 1972. Foodies and home chefs alike can spend hours wandering through this beautiful, two-story establishment. For you bookworms,  Old Firehouse Books is an independent bookseller offering new and used titles of all genres, located in the historic Firehouse building on Walnut Street. After purchasing a great book, hop next door to Happy Lucky’s Teahouse and Treasures where you can sip on unique and flavorful teas, or choose from a huge selection of bulk teas to take home. (They also offer lattes and cappuccinos for you coffee die-hards.) There, you will also find many fairly traded and recycled goods for sale.

For a list of Downtown and Old Town businesses, click here.

The DBA also hosts a number of popular events throughout the year such as the First Friday Gallery Walk, Colorado BrewFest, Farmer’s Markets and more! For a month-by-month list of events, click here.