About 70 miles north of Denver and just south of the border with Wyoming, nestled between the plains and the mountains you will find the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park and the Roosevelt National Forest. If you retire in Fort Collins, Colorado, you will be in a town of about 155,000 including 24,000 students attending Colorado State University.
Fort Collins has the distinction of being a model for Disneyland’s ‘Main Street, USA’ and the old town historic district is a must see. There are galleries, shops, and a really fine museum. Sign up for a walking tour or ride the trolley around town. This is a place to grab an ice cream cone, have a sit on a sidewalk bench, and just people watch on a fine summer day.
Beer drinkers will be happy to know this is home to several micro-breweries (New Belgium Brewing Co, Odell Brewing Co and Fort Collins Brewery to name a few) and you are welcome to take tours and sample the wares. Anheuser-Busch has a Budweiser Beer brewing plant in town with free tours for guests. See the Clydesdale horses! The annual Brewfest is in July.
Money Magazine voted Fort Collins “The Best Place to Live” in 2006 and it often ranks in top retirement lists. This due to low violent crime, high quality schools, clean air, and attractions. Fort Collins is just a nice mid-size town with plenty of festivals and lots of things to keep you busy.
Fort Collins is known for outdoors activities (not unusual in Colorado) its diverse cultural attractions, and its college where you can audit classes and watch sporting events. The town also retains many of its students after graduation who go into high tech and professional jobs. More than 52% of all those over 25 have at least a Bachelor’s degree compared to the national average of 21%.
But what would it actually be like to live in Fort Collins? First of all the weather. In January it ranges between 17 and 44 degrees and July is between 58 and 86. They get about 4 feet of snow a year and have just 28 snow days. The climate is quite dry with only 16 inches of rain each year.
The violent crime rate is well below the national rate and slightly below the rest of Colorado. Property crime, however is higher than the state rate with theft being the chief cause.
The average home value in Ft. Collins is $275,400. The median rent price is $1,295. Due to the college, there are a lot of rentals in town, but seniors might not want to rent close to campus!
One of more unusual things we found to do in Fort Collins is to take a Cemetery Stroll in September. The guided event takes tours through the graveyard and actors do graveside portrayals of people buried there. In 2014, the theme was “Valuing our Veterans: Service and Sacrifice” marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War as well as the 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This historical presentation is always well attended and tickets must be purchased in advance.
Fort Collins has an active volunteer community with all manner of work that needs to be done.
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Photo Courtesy of Chamber of Commerce
Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!