Fort Collins, Colorado

The Skiing Suburb



Sunny Days: 237
50100 Affordability
95100 Schools
36100 Diversity
86100 Safety

Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.
-Anonymous, Fort Collins, Colorado

The Best Thing About Fort Collins?

Water, water everywhere

Fort Collins offers a great climate for skiers, but boaters, paddle boarders and other water aficionados will love the Poudre River, the Horsetooth Reservoir and the many lakes sprinkled around town. Sure, there will be snow -- and plenty of it -- but that’s the case everywhere in Colorado. Fort Collins has the snow and water.

Point of view from a local on living here:
Fort Collins is definitely switching over to a more family-oriented area rather than the type of recreation-focused college town where you get people who have like two masters degrees tending bar because they want the time to mountain bike or raft or rock climb.

Mostly I think this is simply due to the cost of living here. It's gone up to the point that you need to be further along in your career to really afford to live here and enjoy it, especially if you want to own a home and/or have no roommates.

The reasons to live in Fort Collins would be that you want all the things you mentioned, but want to live in a more suburban environment, with more of the amenities of a city nearby as well as an actual big city not too far away.

The Worst Thing About Fort Collins?

Can get too hectic

As the home of Colorado State University, Fort Collins can get kind of loud. The school has a reputation as a party school, and that coupled with an increase in the city’s permanent population, gives it a more bustling, big city feel that represents a change for some residents. Still, CSU brings diversity, culture and energy to the city, and adds to its unique charm.

Here's how a local feels about living here:
Housing and Employment are still very tight and challenging. I think the Wikipedia article on Fort Collins lists the "big employers". If you work for them you can find some long term stability, but Fort Collins just doesn't have the same employment scene as a Denver or San Fran,etc (perhaps obviously). There's a pretty big valley still between blue-collar working service-jobs and white-collar Gov or big industry jobs.

Lifestyle of Fort Collins

Fort Collins is a great place to live. Many people work at the university or tech companies, who are just starting to put their stakes in the ground in Fort Collins. There’s plenty of green space, great city parks and fun places to shop like the boutique-filled Old Town. The cost of living is decent, and the politics tend toward the independent. Families will enjoy Huntington Hills and City Park, while younger people will like the area around the university.

Check out the calender of events to get a better sense of everything happening in Fort Collins:

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Fort Collins is booming

Fort Collins is growing faster than the state of Colorado itself, at a rate of about 2% per year, partially due to an influx of tech companies. That means more jobs and more cash, and more money directed into the city coffers to go toward growth and improvements. It’s an exciting time.

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Living in Fort Collins

What are the best neighborhoods in Fort Collins to raise a family?

There aren’t any “bad” neighborhoods in Fort Collins in which to raise children—it’s a small city (a “college town”), very safe, and reasonably prosperous. In fact, I think it’s an extremely boring town (I’m from New York City), but I can see where “boring” would be a good thing if you’re raising children. So what the “best” neighborhood would be depends on how you define “best.” Do you want to live close to downtown, so you can access the amenities of downtown (called “Old Town”), like free concerts in the summers, various festivals, and a concentration of restaurants? Or do you want to be “far from the madding crowd” where it is even quieter—and how far would that be?! I don’t have children, so I don’t know what the “best” schools are—I do not have a high opinion of education in Colorado, especially the colleges in Colorado. But then again, education is abysmal in the United States in general. I’d recommend private schools, in which case it wouldn’t matter where in the city you lived (unless you wanted as short a commute to bring your kids to school as possible, and I know there are private schools here, but I know nothing about them.

Neighborhoods in Fort Collins

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Old Town

Young Professionals

Downtown is where all the youngsters start their search if moving to Fort Collins. The neighborhoods in this area include Old Town, which is filled with breweries, pubs, restaurants and walking access to the professional business district and the Colorado State University campus.

  • Old Town Fort Collins

Old Prospect


Old Prospect is another interesting choice for those ready to get away from the business of downtown/Old Town but still look for some commercial options. It pulls in a lot of families but is growing in popularity with singles and couples looking for the intersection of city and more rural outdoor spaces.

  • Old Prospect
  • Old Town

Fossil Creek


There are so many options for families in Fort Collins it is hard to narrow it down to a few. Old Prospect was just mentioned as a growing in-demand option due to its combination of outdoor spaces and restaurants, and boutique shopping. Fossil Creek is another interesting option with very cool eclectic homes at a range of different prices. The neighborhood has great schools and a passion for getting outdoors so families love raising children there.

  • Fossil Creek
  • Old Prospect
  • North Fort Collins