Fort Collins, Colorado

The Skiing Suburb

Looklyloo Score: 86

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What's it like to live 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.

Moving to CO, potentially Ft Collins! What can you tell us?

Here’s some advice:

The state of Colorado is growing rapidly and infrastructure can’t keep up. Last I knew, 800-1000 people move to Denver every day, while 100-200 people leave.

Stay away.

It’s a beautiful state, but it’s slowly becoming a disaster. Crime is on the rise, prices of everything is on the rise.

I’ll probably get super downvoted for this, but I moved here 4 years ago and it’s been a steady decline in QoL since.

Moving to CO, potentially Ft Collins! What can you tell us?

Honestly, I think you'd love it. I'm going to just assume some things about you :) Mostly that you like riding bikes. So, when you get here ,buy a pair of bikes, and saddlebags for at least one of them.

From the apartments you mentioned, a ride to King Soopers (Grocery Store), is about 1.3 miles, mostly on sidewalks. Nearest Brewery? .8 miles ( Climbing gym? .8 miles. Down to old town? 5 miles. It's very reasonable to do 99% of your trips on a bike, traveling on bike paths or quiet roads. From those apartments you have a Disc Golf Course close. The bike trail is very close, and once you're on the trail, you can go a very very long way on it. (Down to Loveland, all the way around town).

Hiking - Any decent hiking is a drive. Look up Horsetooth Mountain, Lory State Park, and Grey Rock for the closest. Up highway 14 there's more, but due to a lot of fires last year, who knows what that'll look like.

Trips -- Depends on how much you want to drive. Wyoming is of course quite close, but the part of Wyoming you probably want to visit is ~8 hours away. Salt lake is a little further than that, Moab is ~7 hours. The nearest Airport is Cheyenne, but their flights are limited. It's about a 35 minute drive. DIA is ~1:20 or so, but you can get flights to anywhere from there, many of them non-stop.

Personally, I still think Fort Collins is a great town. It's growing, but at least for now, I think it would fit your bill quite nicely.

Moving to CO, potentially Ft Collins! What can you tell us?

I'm originally from the Boston area and the winters hear are nothing like the north east (well the two winters I have lived here for). Ft. Collins gets the occasional larger storm but it melts within a few days. They also clear the bike paths (and there are many) so you can always bike on those. The only time I really don't feel comfortable biking is when it is actively snowing or really icy but just wait a few days and the weather will change completely (not unlike NE).

I work remotely so I have been trying to hike on weekdays instead of weekends (just shifted my work schedule to work on a Saturday or a Sunday instead) and that way I really avoid most of the crowds on the trails. If you can do that it is great (but I personally just hate really crowded trails even before COVID). There are amazing trails within 2.5 hours from town (some way closer than that) so you will never run out of options year-round. Definitely buy spikes for the winter though. You can also rent snow shoes/skis if you don't own them for winter hiking/outdoor adventures in town or nearby.

I will say meeting people in this town is not the easiest. There are a lot of active meetup groups so if you get lucky and find the right group of people you will be set. But it is a little "clicky" and harder to break into the scene than other places I have lived. But folks are friendly and there are people to meet, it just might take some patience and work.

Denver airport is great as a hub for flying both back east and out west. You won't have trouble finding flights. Just be careful of driving to Denver during rush hour as traffic can be horrendous on I25.