Moving to Fort Collins

Fort Collins, the colorful gem of Northern Colorado, delicately balances the charm of a small town with the energy of a thriving metropolis. As you contemplate a relocation to this diverse and dynamic city, our comprehensive guide is ready to swoop in, offering a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. From exploring the vibrant local culture and riveting outdoor adventures, to unearthing housing gems and mapping your commute, this guide ensures your move to Fort Collins is as smooth and delightfully stress-free as possible. Buckle up; you're in for an amazing journey!

Moving to Fort Collins, CO landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Fort Collins

1. It's Heaven For Nature Lovers

If clear, sunny skies, mountainous environs, and a taste for adventure are your life's most valued bookmarks, then Fort Collins is the place to be. The city boasts a whopping 300 days of sunshine a year, offering ample opportunities for outdoor activities all year round. You can go hiking, biking or casual strolling along the city's extensive trail system, or get your adrenaline pumping with kayaking or white-water rafting on the Cache La Poudre River.

2. The Craft Beer Scene is Off the Charts

Raise a glass to Fort Collins, which is often hailed as the Napa Valley of beer! Whether you're a craft beer connoisseur or a casual ale aficionado, the city has you covered with 20+ breweries including the renowned New Belgium Brewing Company and Odell Brewing Co.. Plus, local brewery tours offer a peek into the world of beer-making, ideal for a relaxing weekend activity.

3. The Music Scene is Underrated

What's cool, funky, and has a beat you can get down to? The incredible Fort Collins music scene! Though not traditionally known as a music city, Fort Collins has a vibrant and diverse music scene, featuring everything from bluegrass to indie rock. We also host FOCOMX, an annual music event showcasing Northern Colorado's bands and artists in a variety of downtown venues.

4. Education is a Big Deal

Home to Colorado State University, Fort Collins takes education seriously. With a range of high-achieving public, private, and charter schools, plus a community that actively supports educational growth and achievement, it's a great place for fostering academic brilliance. Plus, CSU isn't just for students - they often host public lectures, arts performances, and community events.

5. The Old Town is a National Treasure

Ever walked around Disney's Main Street and thought, "Gosh, I wish I could live here?" Well, you can! Fort Collins' charming Old Town was one of the inspirations for Disneyland's Main Street USA. Complete with historical buildings, lovely boutiques, delightful eateries, and a picturesque city square, it's like stepping into a movie set.

6. You Can Talk to the Animals...Kind of

Here's a nifty tidbit most folks don't know. In Fort Collins, it's customary to "greet" the animals using what locals charmingly call 'The Ack'. When you see deer, elk and other locals of the four-legged variety, you stop, raise your hand, and say, "Ack!" Apparently, the animals understand this as a friendly acknowledgment. So, gear up to converse with nature like never before!

Moving to Fort Collins, Colorado can be a real breath of fresh mountain air. With its outdoor allure, happening brewpubs, eclectic music scene, prioritized education, historical richness, and fun local quirks, you'll find it's a place that definitely doesn't 'Ack' for want of character!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Collins

Pros of Living in Fort Collins

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

From hiking and mountain biking to river rafting and skiing, outdoor enthusiasts enjoy a host of year-round activities in Fort Collins. Its proximity to the Rocky Mountains and numerous city parks make it an excellent choice for those who love to explore nature.

Local Brewery Scene

Fort Collins has a robust brewing culture with over 20 breweries, including the nationally-recognized New Belgium. Apart from offering a great selection of craft beers to sample, many breweries also provide educational tours and events.

Strong Educational System

Home to Colorado State University and several well-regarded public schools, education is a high priority in Fort Collins. This could be a big draw for families with children or those who are interested in pursuing higher education.

Low Crime Rate

Compared to other cities of comparable size, Fort Collins has a relatively low crime rate. This makes it a safe and attractive place for individuals and families to live and work.

Vibrant Art and Culture Scene

Fort Collins boasts a thriving art scene with many galleries, art events, and a monthly Art Walk. In addition, it's home to theaters, historical museums, and an array of festivals throughout the year.

Cons of Living in Fort Collins

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Fort Collins can be higher than national averages, primarily due to housing costs. While this is quite typical for desirable locations with a high quality of life, it could be a challenge for some individuals or families.

Traffic and Congestion

As Fort Collins and the surrounding region have grown, so has the traffic. The city can experience significant congestion during rush hours, which may be a challenge for those accustomed to less crowded areas.

Potential for Isolation

As it's somewhat removed from other major cities, some may feel isolated living in Fort Collins. This might require longer travel times for shopping, dining or entertainment options not available locally.

Snow and Winter Weather

While the snowy, winter weather contributes to a variety of outdoor recreational activities, it can also bring challenges. Navigating snowy and icy roads can be stressful and require appropriate winter gear and vehicles.

Housing Prices

The housing market in Fort Collins tends to be competitive and potentially expensive, making it harder for some to find affordable housing. This can especially be a hurdle for younger individuals and families looking to buy their first home.

Modern day picture of Fort Collins, CO highlighting pros and cons of living in Fort Collins, CO

Is Fort Collins a Good Place to Live?

Fort Collins, CO is a great place to live because of its stunning natural beauty, terrific weather, and rich cultural history. This vibrant city offers a wide array of recreational activities, from scenic hikes and outdoor sport adventures to thriving craft beer culture. Moreover, it is home to Colorado State University, which ensures a youthful, energetic vibe and a constant influx of new ideas and creative energy.

What Is Fort Collins Famous For?

Beer Brewing

Fort Collins is known as the Napa Valley of beer, with more than 20 breweries calling it home. New Belgium Brewing Company, the makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale, is one of the largest operations in town and offers free tours daily that are as enlightening as they are quenching.

Colorado State University

CSU is one of the nation's leading research universities and the city's largest employer. The university brings a youthful vitality to the city, hosts world-class events, and contributes to the city's thriving art and dining scene.

Outdoor Adventures

At the front door to the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins offers a variety of outdoor activities. Whether it is hiking, biking, fishing or camping, this city is a popular playground for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

Pristine Historic Preservation

The city has a charming Old Town historic district, lovingly preserved with 19th-century houses transformed into modern boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. In fact, Fort Collins served as the model for Disneyland's Main Street, USA, capturing the spirit of small-town America.

Capital building of Fort Collins, CO in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Fort Collins, the property tax rate for 2023 is 0.914%, which is considerably lower than the national average property tax rate of 1.211%. Thus, homeowners in Fort Collins pay less property tax than many other homeowners in the US.

Sales Tax

The combined sales tax rate for Fort Collins in 2023 is 8.25%, including state, county, and city tax rates. This is slightly higher than the average combined sales tax rate in the US, which stands at 7.12%.

Income Tax

For 2023, the income tax rate in Fort Collins, as in all of Colorado, is a flat rate of 4.55%. This is below the median top state income tax rate in the US, which is at 5.3%.

Housing Market

The housing market in Fort Collins, CO remains more affordable than popular metropolitan areas in the US. Its median home value is currently around $440,500, a 5.1% year-over-year increase. Future predictions see continuous growth, with a 3.6% rise within the coming year. Renters can anticipate paying about $2,200 per month for a typical home, lower than the national median. Favorable loan programs, quality of life, and a strong job market make Fort Collins an appealing housing market, although potential buyers and renters should also consider the city's above-average cost of living and competitive market conditions.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Fort Collins, CO, is higher than the national average, attributed to higher costs in housing. Despite this, it's considered more affordable than many other cities in Colorado, including Denver and Boulder. The health care, grocery, and transportation costs are near or slightly below the national average, aiding in its overall affordability. It's crucial to note that the specific cost of living can vary depending on personal lifestyle and income.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Fort Collins, CO boasts a semi-arid climate that hosts four distinct seasons. Winters can be chilly with light snowfall, while summers are typically warm, with temperature peaking in July. The annual precipitation averages around 16 inches, contributing to a generally dry weather pattern. Spring and fall seasons are mild and peculiarly beautiful courtesy of the blooming flowers and changing foliage respectively. As for natural disasters, Fort Collins is reasonably safe, but it is not entirely immune. It has experienced wildfires, floods, and occasional tornadoes in the past. In particular, the hilly and mountainous terrain to the west can be a catalyst for wildfires during hot, dry summers. However, the city is consistently investing in disaster preparedness to ensure the safety of its residents.

Typical weather in Fort Collins, CO

Economy & Job Market

The Education Sector

Health Care Services

Retail Trade

Professional and Technical Services

Accommodation and Food Services

Fort Collins, Colorado, is more than just a college town with a pretty face. Over the years, this scenic city located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains has grown from a strong agricultural hub into a diverse and vibrant economy. Fort Collins nails the balance between old and new, with stalwart industries like farming and ranching coexisting peacefully beside modern sectors like education and healthcare. Home to Colorado State University, the educational sector is unsurprisingly a major employment arena. However, today's Fort Collins also sees a flourishing healthcare scene boosted by three major hospitals, as well as a spirited retail trade industry full of quirky shops and boutiques. Rounding out the city's economic backbone are the professional and technical services sector and a lively accommodation and food services scene - because good work deserves good play.

If you've got your heart set on moving to Fort Collins, you'll be glad to know that you'd be stepping into a thriving job market with a relatively low unemployment rate. The educational and healthcare sectors are especially ripe with potential, so the city is a wonderful choice if you're thinking of starting or advancing a career in these fields. Fort Collins' retail trade sector also offers a wealth of opportunities, from selling unique local products to joining a large national retailer. The professional and technical services industry, which includes professions such as lawyers, accountants, engineers, and designers, is also fairly robust. Lastly, if your idea of a good job involves making people's days a little brighter - or tastier - you'll likely find the city's accommodation and food services sector the perfect fit for your career aspirations.

Traffic and Transportation

Welcome to the fabulous Fort Collins, where the average commute is a breeze! Typically clocking in at just under 20 minutes, you'll barely have time to finish a podcast before you're at your office! Wondering how to get around? Rest easy, we've got you covered! If being green is your thing, Transfort runs 365 days per year and its MAX Rapid Transit Service offers a quick, stress-free way to navigate the city. Round it off with around-the-clock Dial-A-Ride for those needing assistance and you're set! Now, if you roam from your range, note the Northern Colorado Regional Airport (once dubbed as 'Fort Fun's' Skyline) is always at your service. With regular flights to major regional hubs, you'll have the world at the tips of your wings. Whether you're up in the air or down on the ground, Fort Collins surely knows how to keep you moving!

What is the traffic like in Fort Collins, CO?

Best Neighborhoods in Fort Collins

1. Old Town

If you're a fan of historic charm mixed with a lively, upbeat vibe, Old Town is the place to be. Think of cobblestone streets lined with local boutiques, delicious eateries, galleries, and nightlife hotspots. This area is the heart and soul of Fort Collins, and it is quite literally illuminated--a full canopy of twinkling lights blankets Old Town's streets during late autumn and winter months. It's like living in your personal heartwarming Hallmark movie.

2. City Park

The neighborhood of City Park is perfect for lovers of the great outdoors. With its beautiful trees, parks, and a picturesque lake where you can rent paddle boats or simply sit and enjoy the tranquility, it's a nature-lover's heaven in the heart of the city. The sense of community is strong here, with many of the residents hosting and participating in neighborhood activities. When you're not hiking, biking, or picnicking, check out the famous City Park Pool and Sheldon Lake for a fun and relaxing time.

3. Midtown

If easy access to everything is what you're after, then Midtown is for you. Situated between Old Town and southern Fort Collins, this neighborhood offers a wealth of conveniences. Here you'll find a blend of fantastic shopping centres, diverse dining experiences, and several parks for recreational activities. Besides, it's close to Colorado State University, making it a hit with students and faculty alike.

4. Harmony Corridor

For those seeking a sleek, modern lifestyle, Harmony Corridor is the place to be. This neighborhood is home to many of Fort Collins' most innovative businesses and organizations. You'll find a host of shopping outlets, business parks, and health facilities in this area, not to forget some of the best golf courses around. And when you need a retail therapy break or family dinner out, head to Harmony Road--the main lifeblood of this neighborhood--for a range of options!

5. Kechter Crossing

Moving in with kids? Look no further than Kechter Crossing. Known for its top-rated schools and excellent family-friendly amenities, this neighborhood is a dream come true for parents. It offers plentiful outdoor spaces including parks, trails and green belts for kiddos to burn off daily energy while parents enjoy the peaceful, suburban setting. The community vibe is strong here with neighborhood events and gatherings throughout the year.

In conclusion, no matter what you're looking for in a neighborhood, you're bound to find it in Fort Collins, Colorado. Whether it's historic charm, a sporty lifestyle, a vibrant downtown scene, a modernized living or a family-friendly environment, this city has it all. So, pack your bags and prepare for a refreshing new chapter in one of these amazing neighborhoods. Welcome to Fort Collins!

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Things to Do


Welcome to Fort Collins, Colorado! Named as one of the best places to live in the U.S., it's the perfect combination of small-town charm and big-city convenience. But what is there to see and do in the city that has more days of sun than Florida? Here are our top seven picks for all the newcomers in town.

1. Explore Fort Collins' Beer Scene

Fort Collins is often referred to as the 'Napa Valley of Beer' and is home to over 20 craft breweries. Make sure to add a brewery tour to your to-do list. You can't miss the New Belgium and Odell breweries, which offer fantastic tour experiences and tasting options.

2. Discover the Natural Beauty of Horsetooth Reservoir

Nothing beats the scenic beauty of Horsetooth Reservoir. Head out there for a day packed with outdoor activities...

3. Visit the Historic Avery House

Step back in time and discover Fort Collins history by visiting the Avery House...

4. Stroll Along the Cache la Poudre River

Follow the Cache la Poudre River...

5. Enjoy Food and Shopping in Old Town Square

For shopping enthusiasts and foodies, Old Town Square is the heart of the city. Adorable boutiques, antique stores, bookshops, restaurants, and cafes dot this area providing hours...

6. Go Wild at The Farm at Lee Martinez Park

An often overlooked treasure, The Farm at Lee Martinez Park...

7. Unwind in The Gardens on Spring Creek

This is another local secret. The Gardens on Spring Creek...

So there you have it - a mix of the well-known and the hidden, covering the urban and the natural. That's just a taste of what's on offer in Fort Collins, a city that truly has something for everyone. Here's to the beginning of many adventures in your new city. Welcome home!

' Things to do in Fort Collins, CO?

Find Movers for Your Fort Collins Relocation

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