THE BREWERY IS NORTH OF FT. COLLINS A FEW (5?) MILES RIGHT ON THE WEST SIDE OF INTERSTATE 25. Of course they have tours.
There is a stable there for Clydesdale horses. Budwieser owns about 250 Clydesdales at their various brewery locations. These horses are descended from Great Flemish workhorses from Scotland. In 1933 the original hitch clip-cloped through St. Louis carrying the brewery's first case of post-Prohibition beer. Physical requirements are strict: A Clydesdale must be a gelding at least 4 years of age, must stand 72 inches at the shoulder, weigh between 1800 and 2300 pounds, be bay in color, have four white stocking feet, a blaze of white on the face, and a black mane and tail.
This beautiful mountain river flows through Fort Collins. Commonly called the Poudre River, its full name is French for "Hide the Powder", because early French explorers cached, or hid, their gunpowder above the banks of the river.
Take a drive up the Poudre River Canyon; you will find it much less full of traffic than the Big Thompson Canyon west of Loveland.
RMNP is actually just outside Estes Park, which is about one hour east of Ft. Collins. However, you can stay in Ft. Collins, and take a scenic drive through Big Thompson Canyon to get to the eastern entrance of the park. At this point, you can start the scenic drive of Trail Ridge Road.
It's a bonus scenic drive, and you can often find decent lodging rates and a wider dining selection in Ft. Collins.
To get to the park, drive south out of Ft. Collins on 287 to route 34 and take that west to Estes Park.
The downtown area is full of really nice 19th century architecture, dating back from the mineral rushes of the town (when Ft. Collins actually had a fort). As you shop and dine, keep an eye on the structures, the elaborate brick work throughout the older downtown areas. Makes for an interesting backdrop to your visit to the town.
This area has just opened for mountain biking now that the new loop has been added. While short (plan on about an hour), it is really a fun, beautiful and technically challenging trail.
The trail runs to the east of the "Devil's Backbone" and then cuts across a wash. Here the fun begins...a 5-10 minute climb to a gorgeous view from above the Backbone, with Long's Peak in the background.
How to get there....
Drive west on US 34. When you see a large concrete water tower on your right, you are getting close. Take a right on Wild Lane and park in lot about 1/4 mile ...
This is located about 10 minutes south of Ft. Collins in Loveland, just off the interstate. Live racing comes and goes here, so be sure to check up on it at the website prior to making your plans. You must be 18 to enter the track. The most fun can be had on Friday and Saturday nights, when they race under the lights starting after 7:00. Generally, there are 15 races, minimum bets of $2. Throw in a beer and a few bucks for some programs, and you've got a relatively inexpensive, yet exciting evening.
Fort Collins is the second largest producer of beer in the state (the state that is ranked third in the country in volume of brewpubs and craft breweries).
Taste their award-winning beers and ales year-round, or visit when the city hosts the annual Colorado Brewer's Festival on the last weekend in June.
You got to be 18 tto be able to sample the free beer...Usually 1 beer glass per person but all you can eat nuts..:)
Tours: June-Aug: 9:30am-5pm daily;
Sept: 10am-4pm daily;
Oct-May: 10am-4pm, Thurs-Mon.
2351 Busch Drive
(Near I-25 & County Road 50)
VISIT THE "NEW BELGIUM" BREWERY in Fort Collins. It's the third largest microbrewery in the United States (Sam Adams is first).
Its located in the 500 block of Linden Street. From Linden Street in Old Town, drive northwest, cross the Poudre River, and in a couple more blocks you will see the brewery on your right. There are tours at 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, and 4 pm. The brewery opens at 10 am and it is wise to get your (free) tour tickets shortly after that, then come back for the tour. After your tour (or before), the tasting is free.
Their most famous beer is "Fat Tire." I like "1554" which is a darker, heavier beer. There are many different kinds to sample.
Leave Fort Collins on Highway 287 northbound to go to Poudre River Canyon just a couple of miles outside town. It´s a wildwater canyon where you can go rafting. Poudre River Canyon is also known as Cache la Poudre and was Colorado's first National Wild and Scenic River. It got its French name from some French trappers who discovered the canyon in the 1840s.
And nowadays where there are rapids, there are whitewater rafting trips - the river is a hot spot with both rafters and kayakers. Accessible from the canyon, the Cache la Poudre Wilderness Area ranges in altitude from 6,000' to 8,600' and its steep, rugged terrain is seldom traveled.
This photo was taken while I was driving back home to Philadelphia a mere 1800 mile drive from Fort Collins. My record time was 31hrs. Non-stop by myself.
I title this photo 'BORING'
Horsetooth Mountain Park is a scenic 2,100 acre park located 4 miles west of Fort Collins. The park features a rustic trail system that winds throughout the park allowing mountain bikers and hikers alike to experience the beauty of Northern Colorado. Horsetooth Park ranges in elevation from 5,000 feet to 9,000 feet.
Its not far off the beaten path, in fact you can see some of the dams which hold back the waters of the reservoir, from Fort Collins. The roads along the sides of Horsetooth are paved. The reservoir is not a small one; its about seven miles long, although fairly narrow.
Nestled in the cradle of the Poudre Canyon, right on the banks of the Lower Mishawaka river bend, is a hidden yet large amphitheater and bar that hosts some incredible shows, festivals, events, concerts, and parties. The Lunar Fire Solstice celebration on 6/20/09 was my second time attending this fabulous venue. (The first time was to see Kan'nal) Apparently the Mishawaka Amphitheater was birthed in 1916 by the well known musician Walter S. Thompson who found this small stretch of the Cache La Poudre River Valley and settled this sacred land. It was here he built his summer home. Having to homestead the piece of land in order to own it he moved there. His home became known as the Mishawaka Dance Hall where there was a dance almost every night. It is this hall that evolved into the legendary Mishawaka Amphitheatre which is otherwise known as “The Mish”. One of my favorite concert venues in Colorado! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
Less than 90 minutes from Fort Collins lies Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the jewels of the park system in this country. The park is stacked, with over 300 miles of hiking, plenty of peaks over 14,000 feet, and enough natural splendor to fill you for a lifetime. Well at least a week.
In the winter, many of the trails are closed, and plenty others do not look too inviting, covered in snow and ice. There are areas of the park which get buried under 25 feet of snow! But don't despair, there is still fun to be had within the park. There are a fair number of roads open, and the breathtaking vistas make for a great road trip. I had a lot of fun wandering through the roads which were open in the park, watching the white alpine vistas unfold before me. There are places still to get out and enjoy the view, so don't fret if you feel stuck in a car all day. But for those wishing to escape the cabin-fever of winter, this provides a beautiful and relaxing way to get your eyes around Rocky Mountain NP.
Directions: From Fort Collins, take 87 south to Loveland, and catch the the 34 west to the park entrance. Signs will guide you from there.
A daytrip down to Denver would is a perfect opportunity to visit the Denver Zoo. This zoo has been around for nearly a hundred years, yet is constantly being updated. Bear Mountain was crafted in 1918, and was the first zoo enclosure in the US to try and approximate natural settings. And now they're working on a new 10-acre area for the Asian animals, with an unprecedented elephant bridge to allow greater movement for the animals.
The zoo has a lot of attractive animals to visit and learn about, beyond the usual run of lions, tigers, and bears (oh my). There's a good collection of tropical reptiles, with snakes of all sizes and shapes, and the famous Komodo dragon. There are okapis, a family favorite, and all sorts of monkeys and primates. The rates are reasonable, with plenty to keep kids active and interested, while enough to satisfy curious parents as well. All in all, a good day out!
The Zoo is open all days of the year, though hours vary between summer (March1-November1, 9am-5pm) and winter (November2-February 28, 10am-4pm).