Colorado Real Estate News

Hidden Gems in Northern Colorado

Think you’ve seen all there is to see in Northern Colorado? Think again! From sculptures to a shoe-making school, experience a few of the following hidden gems from our Northern Colorado bucket list.

Swetsville Zoo – 4801 E. Harmony Road, Fort Collins, CO 80528
Though not a real zoo with live animals, this roadside attraction is filled with over 180 unique and wacky metal sculptures, welded from car parts, scrap metal and farm machinery, by “zookeeper” Bill Swets. Located just off the Poudre River, this is definitely worth the detour. It is free to the public and open during daylight hours, with donations accepted. Learn more about Bill Swets and his legacy, here.

White Pine Fire Lookout – 3745 E. Prospect Road, Fort Collins, CO 80525
Located within the Running Deer Natural Area, this converted wildlife viewing pavilion was
once the top of a fire lookout tower on White Pine Mountain until 1967. As the name suggests, if you make the trip out here, there’s a good chance you could spot some mule deer or whitetail deer during your visit. Be sure to leave your bikes and dogs at home, as they are not permitted in the natural area.

Howling Cow Cafe – 5821 W. Colorado Road 54E, Bellvue, CO 80512
Howling Cow Cafe is located on the Morning Fresh Dairy Farm, home to the famous Noosa Yoghurt. Pop in for an espresso and a bagel sandwich and enjoy it on the patio. When you’re finished, there are paths and green spaces nearby that you can check out as well. The farm also has Halloween tours coming up in October for $10 if you’re looking for a fun, spooky activity for everyone!

Colorado Shoe School – 2829 N. Colorado Road 23, Bellvue, CO 80512
Make your own pair of Chuck Taylor’s at the Colorado Shoe School! This full-day activity takes
you from start to finish through the shoemaking process using vegetable-tanned leather and soles
made from recycled tennis balls. They also offer multiple-day workshops for other types of
footwear like boots! A 50 percent deposit is required to secure your workshop spot on the
Colorado Shoe School website.

Faces Bridge – 700 N. Wilson Ave. Loveland, CO 80537
A collection of more than 25 bronze faces, crafted by Randy Hand, reside under this Loveland
bridge just to the right of Wilson Avenue. Faces range in design, from peculiar and abstract to
those that may very well look like your next-door neighbor. There’s even a face of an alien!
Whether you want to explore more of what Northern Colorado has to offer for just an hour or
two on a Sunday, or plan an all-day adventure, these attractions and activities are
sure to delight.

Colorado Real Estate News

Fine Dining In Fort Collins

Picture this: you are searching for an upscale, sit-down restaurant in Northern Colorado, an area unfamiliar to you that you’ve wanted to explore. Casual places to eat lie on every block, and you’re looking for something a notch above. On top of finding a location, looking for fine dining restaurants can be difficult if you are unsure about the type of cuisine you’d like to enjoy as well. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of fine dining restaurants based on each food category to aid you in your search.

STEAKHOUSES
The Still Whiskey Steaks Restaurant, located at 151 N College Ave., is one of the three Fort Collins steakhouses in the city. This restaurant not only has staff that goes above and beyond but also serves extravagant food including whiskey-marinated steaks and sustainably sourced burgers.

If you are looking for a steakhouse that serves high-end steaks and seafood, then Sonny Lubick Steakhouse is the place for you. This warm and homey restaurant located at 115 S College Ave. (Old Town Square) in Fort Collins is the perfect place for a date night or night out with friends. Along with the delicious food, a wide selection of tasty wines are also available.

AMERICAN EATERIES
If you are looking for high-class American dining then The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm is a great place to visit. Located at 1957 Jessup Drive, this rustic restaurant serves seasonal American food with house cocktails and local beers.

The Emporium: An American Brasserie, located in the Elizabeth Hotel, is another American-style cafe that is not to be missed! This is not your typical cafe; you can sit and dine in the restaurant or shop the unique and traditional wines in the wine shop and market.

The third American Eatery restaurant located on 135 W Oak St. in Fort Collins is Jay’s Bistro. This establishment has a swanky atmosphere with American-style food, cool art hanging on the walls and live jazz music.

ITALIAN
Located on 101 S College Ave. in Fort Collins, RARE Italian is a must-visit restaurant. This elegant Italian restaurant serves an amazing selection of wines and pasta. There is both inside and outside seating available as well.

SEAFOOD
Did you ever think you could find good seafood in Colorado? Well, you absolutely can! A popular seafood restaurant that is available in some parts of Colorado is Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar. Located at 123 N College Ave. in Fort Collins, this wonderful restaurant serves gourmet seafood dishes and homemade cocktails. This restaurant has a relaxed setting, letting you really enjoy the food and company.

These are just a select few of the more popular fine dining restaurants in Fort Collins. Whether you are more of a seafood lover or like classic American food, then Fort Collins has all the answers for you!

Colorado Real Estate News

Indoor Activities to Beat the Heat in NoCo

Summer is one of the best times to enjoy the outdoors, hang out with friends and family and travel. But those intense, high temperatures can be exhausting to spend a full day in. If you’re looking for a fun summer experience that doesn’t require being under the sweltering sun, check out these NoCo activities that are sure to keep you cool.

Visit a Brewery / Go on a Tour
There’s a vast, diverse range of breweries that lie in Fort Collins. Gilded Goat Brewery Company, Odell Brewing Company, Black Bottle Brewery, Maxline Brewing and Snowbank Brewing are just a few on the list. One of the top-rated breweries in NoCo with fantastic tours is New Belgium Brewing. This brewery has many tasty beers ranging from IPAs to wood-aged beers. Along with the drinks, New Belgium Brewing also features a food truck with indoor and outdoor seating. Although you have to be 21+ to drink, this is a very kid and dog-friendly place. If you’re an IPA and Pilsner enthusiast, this will be the best way to quench your thirst and beat the heat.

Investigate an Escape Room
Escape rooms have become a global sensation. Each person or group must solve the riddles and collect all the clues in order to open the door and clear the room. The Markey Escape Rooms, Fort Collins Escape Room, Time Emporium Escape Rooms: Fort Collins, Somewhere Secret Escape Room, ConTRAPtions Escape Room and The 47 Seals are the six locations to visit in NoCo if you want to try something new while staying in an air-conditioned space.

Walk Around a Museum
A great way to escape the summer heat in Northern Colorado is to visit a local museum. Fort Collins offers a wide variety of museums, each with its own rich history that lies within the walls. The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, The Museum of Art and Center for Fine Art Photography are all worth a visit. Explore the new “FOOD FOR THOUGHT Micro Views of Sustenance: Threats and Prospects” exhibit at the Museum of Discovery and learn about the sources and impacts of the foods we consume in our daily lives. This exhibit is open until September 4, 2022. The other art museums mentioned previously contain multiple forms of art like visual art and contemporary pieces. If you want to walk amongst fine and contemporary art, The Museum of Art and the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins are sure to satisfy.

Grab a Bite to Eat
Walking around in the heat all day can take a toll. Fort Collins offers cool restaurants that you do not want to miss out on. Totally 80’s Pizza and Museum doubles as a pizza parlor and museum; this restaurant holds the world’s largest collection of 1980s pop culture artifacts. Other restaurants worth a visit in the area are Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, The Emporium: An American Brasserie, The Colorado Room, Blue Agave Grill, and RARE Italian.

Whether you are looking for something more adventurous or more relaxed to spend your day away from the blistering weather, Northern Colorado has a plethora of activities for everyone to enjoy this summer.

Colorado Real Estate News

Best Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins

With a rising demand for gluten-free alternatives, it can feel like a mission to find great restaurants where you don’t have to ask the server a hundred questions, scour the menu for the one or two things to eat, and eventually make a choice for the only option that won’t make you sick. Fortunately, the number of restaurants that are solving this problem has grown! If you’re around the Fort Collins area, these are the four best gluten-free friendly restaurants you need to check out!

Urban Egg (230 South College Ave)

One of the best places to find gluten-free alternatives and a delicious menu is the Urban Egg. What makes this place special is nearly all of its ingredients come from local producers offering fresh and chemical-free produce and meats. This clean philosophy extends to the gluten-free flour which they use to make savory pancakes, English muffins, and their famous eggs benedict. Their wide variety of gluten-free options makes it a can’t miss for this upcoming summer!

Blue Agave Grill (201 South College Ave)

Hate asking your waiter if something contains gluten every time you go out? At Blue Agave Grill, that is eliminated with their super helpful menu that highlights what is and isn’t gluten-free! Choose from their unique selection of modern Mexican-inspired dishes like the Blue Agave Fish Tacos with tempura-battered tilapia and pan-seared Southwest Pork Medallions.

Restaurant 415 (415 South Mason St)

Earning a reputation as one of Fort Collins’ best restaurants, at Restaurant 415 nearly everything on the menu is designed for those with specialty diets. Whether you are vegan or gluten-free, there are a plethora of amazing dishes to choose from such as pizzas, yummy bruschetta on gluten-free bread, polenta plates, steak, and veggie skewers, and much more.

Beau Jo’s (205 North College Ave)

Can you even call yourself a Coloradan if you’ve never been to Beau Jo’s? If Colorado had a signature pizza, it would be one of their delicious Mountain Pies, which have some of the best gluten-free crusts you can find. Nearly everything on the menu is gluten-free and is a good time for everyone looking to enjoy a Colorado-style pizza!

Finding gluten-free alternatives at a restaurant shouldn’t be a hassle. Fortunately, Fort Collins has several delicious options that will make everyone feel more at home while they dine in. Bon appétit!

Colorado Real Estate News

How to Enjoy a Day Off in Northern Colorado

There are few better ways to retreat from the bustling city than to explore the adventurous regions of northern Colorado. NoCo is a popular destination due to its vast wilderness and beautiful scenery. After grueling hours of staring at a computer screen, getting outside can refresh your mind for the upcoming week. Not only does spending time outdoors decrease stress, but research suggests it can provide real health benefits such as reducing pulse rate, depression, fatigue and anxiety.

Even if you don’t want to devote your day to nature, simply changing your environment can still considerably reduce stress. Here are some NoCo locations you should check out during your next day off:

Unwind in a Hot Spring

There aren’t many states where you can regularly soak in a natural hot spring. Why not take advantage of it? Not only does it provide unique seclusion, but the high mineral content of the water has supposed numerous health benefits. NoCo is home to some of the most renowned Colorado hot springs, including Strawberry Park Hot Springs and Hot Sulphur Springs Resort and Spa.

Trek Through the Rocky Mountains

As stated earlier, an outdoor retreat is a proven way of reducing stress. With 355 miles of hiking trails, Rocky Mountain National Park is the perfect place to escape your daily routine, gain some perspective and get lost in natural beauty.

Admire the Wildlife

Wildlife is scattered all over NoCo. Head up to the official moose capital of Colorado, State Forest State Park. Drive down U.S. Highway 34 near Big Thompson Canyon to observe bighorn sheep. There are countless options, and you’re bound to have an unforgettable experience discovering animals amidst the gorgeous Rocky Mountain landscape.

Venture Through the Stanley Hotel

Stay in this picturesque 155-room hotel where haunted meets extravagance. The Stanley Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a popular stop among travelers. Though a lush backdrop encompasses the Stanley Hotel, it is best known for being the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in The Shining by Stephen King.

Visit the Cultural Hub of NoCo

Fort Collins’ creative district is one of the most notable in the state, with over 20 galleries, museums and various creative spaces. Features include the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, The Downtown Artery and The Music District.

While this list helps narrow down some approaches to appreciate NoCo, the options are truly endless. If none of the above are particularly enticing, simply sightsee the vast regions of NoCo, and you’ll undoubtedly find something that inspires and invigorates you.

Colorado Real Estate News

Exploring Old Town Fort Collins

Colorado is packed full of beautiful mountain towns, ski resorts and dazzling cities, but it’s important not to miss the many hidden gems, one of them undoubtedly being the historic Old Town Fort Collins. Located in Northern Colorado, Old Town Fort Collins has been growing in popularity as a weekend destination with beautiful scenery, great places to eat and a passion for displaying local art! Read on for a whole day’s worth of food, drinks and incredible socially distanced experiences that you just can’t miss when visiting Old Town.

Breakfast: The Waffle Lab
Calling all waffle lovers! This unique restaurant puts a scientific twist on the classic Belgian Liege waffle. With a variety of fun menu categories such as “The Control Group” and “The Sample Size,” you can choose from a plethora of savory and sweet toppings for your waffle, satisfying any breakfast craving you may have. They also offer patio seating if you opt against indoor dining and want to enjoy the scenic surrounding area. If you’re seeking a breakfast stop on your visit to Old Town that will leave you feeling happier and fuller than ever, The Waffle Lab is a must.

Lunch: La Piadina
La Piadina, a food truck located within Old Town’s outdoor market, The Exchange, specializes in Italian flatbreads with a recipe dating back to 1371 AD! Their classic flatbread includes prosciutto, arugula, a divine cheese sauce and olive oil, and they also offer a variety of vegan plates. This is one of the many prime dining options at The Exchange, so you can enjoy an authentic Italian sandwich while admiring the beautiful views Fort Collins has to offer. 

Happy Hour: The Welsh Rabbit Cheese Bistro
This divine cheese shop and bistro is the ideal spot for a relaxing afternoon enjoying a delicious cheese plate with friends. The Welsh Rabbit is a family-owned business where “Slow Food,” an industry that values health, sustainability and fair pricing, is the top priority. You can customize your own cheese platter and pair it with a flight of beer or glass of wine, making for an excellent happy hour or after-dinner treat with outdoor table options.

Dinner: Big Al’s Burgers & Dogs
Big Al’s takes “local” to a whole new level. Aside from being locally owned and operated, they pride themselves on their strong sense of community within the Old Town area, from collaborating with a nearby company to build all of the tables and chairs, to supporting neighborhood artists and displaying unique and eye-catching pieces throughout the restaurant. They claim to serve the best burgers in Fort Collins, along with delicious vegetarian options and sensational fries topped with Big Al’s signature seasoning that can also be enjoyed at a picnic table outside the restaurant. For an authentic Old Town experience, Big Al’s is the perfect dinner destination.

Experience: Museum of Art
The Museum of Art is an excellent representation of the passion and appreciation for art that radiates through Old Town. You can check out their website for updates on current exhibitions on display, available time slots and ticket options. At just $5.00 for an adult ticket, a walk through the Museum of Art is an excellent way to spend a socially distant afternoon admiring the works of the latest artists.

While there is no shortage of sites to see and places to eat in Old Town Fort Collins, these are just a few of the best that combine for a wonderful day exploring the town square. As an added bonus, every restaurant we discussed is included in the Downtown Gift Card, which can be ordered on the Downtown Fort Collins website. This gift card is the perfect present for a friend or loved one, so you can enjoy a day exploring the area and experiencing all of the amazing dining options Old Town has to offer.