The college town of Fort Collins, Colorado, has plenty to brag about: a mountain paradise in its backyard and a historic downtown so charming that Walt Disney modeled his Main Street, U.S.A. after it. In fact, the town has shown up on so many “best of” lists that locals have nicknamed it Choice City. Translation: There’s a something-for-everyone vibe here that offers an escape from the ordinary and a chance to gather, reflect and enjoy.
Fort Collins is all about savoring the good life, which starts with its incredible landscape. The wild and scenic Poudre River flows right through town, drawing anglers and boaters to play. Nearby Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park lure hikers and nature-lovers for inspiration. The town owns thousands of acres of open space for hikes, guided walks, tours and adventures, while nearby Horsetooth Reservoir and Lory State Park beckon stand up paddleboarders, kayakers, hikers, picnickers and anyone looking to spend time in the Colorado sunshine.
Planners can keep the outdoor inspiration flowing in Fort Collins, which, with nearly 300 days of sunshine per year, has many opportunities for outdoor events. Colorado State University’s Laurel Village Pavilion has lounge, meeting and exhibit space including an outdoor classroom and amphitheater. The Lincoln Center has a 2,400-sq.-ft. open-air treetop venue above the performing arts center, and the sleek new Museum of Discovery has a rooftop deck with sunset views and 2,9000 square feet of event space.
Photo Credit: Ryan Burke