Fort Collins is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, Fort Collins is located 65 miles north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. Geographic landmarks include Horsetooth Reservoir and Horsetooth Mountain — so named because of a tooth-shaped granite rock that dominates the city’s western skyline. Longs Peak can also clearly be seen on a clear day to the southwest of the city.
Much of Fort Collins’s culture is centered on the students of Colorado State University. The city provides school year residences for its large college-age population; there is a local music circuit which is influenced by its college town atmosphere and is home to a number of well known microbreweries. The Downtown Business Association hosts a number of small and large festivals each year in the historic Downtown district, including Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest in late summer, which features local cuisine, music, and businesses. The Colorado Brewer’s Festival is held in late June annually in Fort Collins. The festival features beers from as many as 45 brewers from the state of Colorado and averages around 30,000 attendees. New Belgium Brewery also hosts the Tour de Fat which draws over 20,000 people riding bikes and dressing in costume. The Fort Collins Museum, established in 1941, is a regional center focusing on the culture and history of Fort Collins and the surrounding area. The Fort Collins Museum houses over 30,000 artifacts and features temporary and permanent exhibits, on-going educational programs and events, and is home to four historic structures located in the outdoor Heritage Courtyard. The Gardens on Spring Creek is an 18-acre botanical garden. The site includes several themed gardens ranging from a children’s garden to a rock garden, to several themed demonstration gardens.
Fort Collins has gathered many top rankings in recent years for health, well-being, and quality of life. In 2012, the city was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS Money Watch. In 2011, Allstate Insurance listed Fort Collins as “America’s Safest Driving City” in their annual “Best Drivers Report”. In 2006, Money ranked Fort Collins as the best place to live in America.
K-12 public education is provided through Poudre School District (PSD). Colorado State University heads up the choices in higher education. Front Range Community College also maintains a campus in the city, and grants associate’s degrees in arts, science, general studies, and applied science. The college offers 17 high school vocational programs and more than 90 continuing education classes. Additionally, the University of Phoenix and Regis University maintain satellite campuses there.