Our family roadtripped to Colorado for the first time in 9 years last weekend. Can you believe it?! We used to go to Colorado for an annual ski trip with friends—but hadn’t made the trek since I was a senior in High School! Wow.

Most of you know that I have been back to CO multiple times since college. In fact, I’ve been to Colorado seven times in the past four years! So, I’m no stranger to the wonderful mountainous state… but I’ve mainly only spent time in Denver and CO Springs. When we heard Erik and Kellyn were getting married in Fort Collins, I jumped up and down! After all, a chance to attend a wedding in a new (to me) city doesn’t come along every day.

Flying to Colorado from the midwest is definitely your fastest move—but not generally cheap. You may be able to score a cheap flight through Frontier, if you’re lucky. Otherwise, plan to take the extra day and make the drive. Just make sure to pack snacks and lots of music!


You can stay a variety of places. Our parents fronted the hotel cost, so we spent two nights at the FoCO Quality Inn & Suites. The service was great; they actually upgraded our room for no extra cost! Also, two words: hot cookies and hot tub. What’s better than that?! If you’re looking for another option, you can always use AirBNB!

Before our trip, I thought Fort Collins was a small college town. BOY, was I wrong! 157,000 is not small. At least compared to cities in Iowa! The Old Town/Downtown area has more restaurants than you can count- in fact, I read that Fort Collins may have the most restaurants per capita! Talk about options. Friday evening, we headed downtown to see the lights and sights. Brilliant white lights are dotted among the tree branches, creating a magical atmosphere. Shops are open for tourists and locals alike, you can ice skate on an outdoor rink, and even take a horse-drawn carriage ride!

fort collins Christmas lights

I can’t tell you how to pick a restaurant for dinner in Ft. Collins— but I can suggest you try Lulu Asian Bistro. Clarissa and I shared an order of sushi, and our dad had the tempura. Both were great! We sat down about 5:45, and just beat the dinner rush. My suggestion? Plan to eat a little early and then walk off your meal on the way to coffee or drinks. (Fort Collins has tons of local breweries!)


Since our folks don’t like alcohol, a brewery was out of the picture for us. (Next time, FoCo!) My dad hoped for ice cream, but it was cold and we walked the wrong way. Oops! Instead, we ran into Mugs, a coffee house with plenty on the menu. All of us opted for Hot Chocolate and it hit the spot! Definitely check them out if you’re in town.


Saturday morning we had time to kill before the wedding. We decided to drive up into the foothills for some “hiking” or walking, more likely. Haha! It was cool (30-40 degrees) and a bit breezy, but totally gorgeous and worth it for the views.


This area is called the Horsetooth Reservoir, and the perfect spot to catch both views of the city and all the nature you could desire. The reservoir sits in the foothills on the western side of the Dakota Hogback, which contains the reservoir along its eastern side. We saw deer, elk, lots of birds, rabbits, and a few rouge fishermen. ;)

sisters hiking fort collins horsetooth
fort collins easy hikes to do as a family

Saturday afternoon was wedding time! Erik & Kellyn’s ceremony was in Old Town, at the cutest cafe. Check out Everyday Joe’s as either a wedding venue or a coffee shop! It was a gorgeous ceremony, after which we stopped by Walrus for some ice cream and then headed to Club Tico’s for the reception!


That concludes our short but soooo sweet weekend in Fort Collins! I’m so exited to find an excuse to visit again… whether for a future wedding or just weekend away, FoCo will always be a fond city in Colorado to me. :)