Introduction to Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins is a Colorado city nestled along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, about 64 miles north of the state capital of Denver and 55 miles northeast of the city of Boulder. The city is the county seat of Larimer County. Located at the junction of Colorado State Highway 14 and U.S. Route 287, Fort Collins affords easy access to Interstate I-25 and is also close to U.S. Route 34. One of Colorado's most populous cities, Fort Collins is also a large college town and home to Colorado State University (CSU).
As its name suggests, Fort Collins began as an army post whose original name was "Camp Collins" in honor of Lt. Col. William O. Collins, the commander of Ohio Cavalry troops headquartered at Fort Laramie. A devastating flood virtually destroyed the original army post in 1864 and the present location of the city was chosen as the site of the new military reservation. The new post became known as Fort Collins, and although the fort was decommissioned in 1867, a new town soon emerged. The town of Fort Collins was officially incorporated in 1873 and another significant milestone was achieved six years later with the opening of Colorado Agricultural College, which would later become Colorado State University. Originally founded as Colorado's only land grant institution, CSU has today become a focal point of Fort Collins' culture and recreation, in addition to the city's largest employer.
Things to do in Fort Collins
Events and festivals are abundant in Fort Collins. The Historic Old Town District is the host site of the annual New West Fest, held every August, and also June's Colorado Brewer's Festival which draws tens of thousands annually and features beers from dozens of Colorado brewers. The city has a vibrant performing arts scene, with local groups including the Canyon Concert Ballet, the OpenStage Theatre Company, and the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra. A prominent cultural arts site is the Lincoln Center, one of the state's largest venues for professional theatre, music, dance, and visual arts. Other cultural sites in the city include the Fort Collins Museum, founded in 1941; and the Sweatsville Zoo, a sculpture park whose numerous exhibits are made entirely from scrap metal.
The cities of Denver and Boulder are less than an hour away from Fort Collins. Some of the attractions that can be found in these cities include the following:
- Denver Zoo
- Colorado Academy of Art
- Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
- National Center for Atmospheric Research
- Denver Museum of Nature and Science
- Boulder History Museum
- Denver Art Museum
- Denver Aquarium
- Chautauqua Park and Theatre (Boulder)
- Flagstaff Mountain and Summit Nature Center
Fort Collins boasts a lively sports scene, thanks to the presence of Colorado State University and its first-rate athletic teams. Originally nicknamed the Aggies, CSU's athletic teams are presently called the Rams and compete as NCAA Division I teams (I-A for football) in the Mountain West Conference. Rams football teams have won several conference championships and CSU teams have been highly competitive in other sports as well, including lacrosse, hockey, archery, and polo.
Professional sports can be found in the Denver metropolitan area, home of MLB's Colorado Rockies, the NFL's Denver Broncos, the NBA's Denver Nuggets, and the NHL's Colorado Avalanche. Other pro teams in Denver are soccer's Colorado Rapids (MLS), arena football's Colorado Crush (AFL), and lacrosse's Colorado Mammoth (NLL).