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Daytripper: Fort Collins




For averting meltdowns
Cool down with a scoop of Walrus Ice Cream, a local standby that’s been going strong for decades and has won “Best Ice Cream in Fort Collins” for the last 11 consecutive years. Flavors change frequently and run out quickly, so make haste to try the caramel sea salt or Jack Daniels chocolate chip. 125 W. Mountain Ave. walrusicecream.comFor a nostalgic summer night
Spring is the time to get out of the living room and see a movie the way it was meant to be seen: in your car. One of eight drive-ins left in Colorado, the Holiday Twin makes for a classic way to catch the latest flick. 2206 South Overland Trail. holidaytwindrivein.comFor organic indulgence
Locals and foodies agree that Tasty Harmony makes being vegan, however briefly, a no-brainer. Owner/chef Sacha Steinhauser, who opened the restaurant in 2009 after a 10-year stint in Southern California, adds finesse to all the usual suspects and innovates the rest with zesty abandon (try his jackfruit tacos). 130 S. Mason St. tastyharmony.comFor the best foam on the range
The second largest beer-producing town in Colorado, Fort Collins boasts nine craft breweries. Locals and tourists alike flock to New Belgium Brewing, the first wind-powered brewery in the United States, which offers free tours daily, complete with generous beer samples (reserve your spot online as they tend to fill up fast). This Colorado company has created a vibrant culture of suds, sustainability and fun, including bike-in cinema during the summer. 500 Linden St. newbelgium.comFor the most satisfying treat
Serving up a scrumptious assortment of sweets, Starry Night Espresso has plenty of ambiance to go with its confections and coffee. Pull up a chair, share a slice of decadently rich chocolate mocha cake, and—before you sip—admire the barista’s Van Gogh-worthy impression in your froth. 112 South College Ave. (970) 493-3039
FOR A FULL DAY
STAY Make a weekend of it by staying at Armstrong’s, the only historic Fort Collins hotel still in operation, which offers a quirky mix of vintage chic and modern sleek. Choose from 43 distinctive rooms and suites, some of them pet-friendly, and ride one of the hotel’s complimentary cruisers through bucolic Old Town (the model for Disney-land’s Main Street, U.S.A.). Feeling parched? Head to the hotel’s underground lounge,
Ace Gillett’s, which pays homage to the big band era with live jazz four nights a week. 259 S. College Ave., thearmstronghotel.com

SHOP Stroll down South College Ave., the town’s main drag, and explore the many eclectic boutiques: White Balcony for pretty, feminine items, The Cupboard for all things kitchen and Clothes Pony for stylish threads for the kids.PLAY Head west for a scenic hike, replete with gorgeous views of the Front Range, at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. For the more adventurous, the Cache la Poudre River is a local mecca for whitewater rafters and kayakers. co.larimer.co.us/parks


 

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