Aerial view of Downtown Fort Collins during sunrise, including some of the top choices for where to stay in Fort Collins

Where to Stay in Fort Collins (Best Places & Areas)

Wondering where to stay in Fort Collins, Colorado? Fort Collins attracts many kinds of visitors to the area, so where you stay will depend on what’s on your itinerary and what you’re looking for in a vacation.

I’m a Colorado local and I’m here to share the different options for your stay in Fort Collins. Whether you’re checking out the university, exploring the natural areas, or strolling the picturesque streets of Old Town Fort Collins, I’ll help you find the perfect spot. 

And while you’re here, be sure to bookmark these great things to do in Fort Collins.

Let’s dive in!

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Best Places to Stay in Fort Collins

A fountain with an eagle statue in Fort Collins
(photo: Page Light Studios / Shutterstock)

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Fort Collins? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Fort Collins: 

5 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Fort Collins

As you’re considering where to stay in Fort Collins, you’ll notice there are several neighborhoods and areas.

 If you’re coming to town as a tourist or to visit a student at Colorado State University, you’re going to want to stay in downtown Fort Collins. If you’re planning hiking trips or other activities while you’re visiting, or if you simply want to be out of the hustle and bustle of the historic district, you may want to consider one of the other areas of town.

Let’s get into the 5 best areas:

Old Town Fort Collins

View of a street in Old Town Fort Collins
(photo: americanspirit / 123RF)

👉 Best Area For Tourists | ✨ Best Old Town Fort Collins Hotels: The Armstrong HotelThe Elizabeth HotelRemington Flats

Old Town Fort Collins is your best choice if you’re headed to Fort Collins on vacation or to visit Colorado State University. The area is, famously, one of the inspirations for Disneyland’s Main Street USA. There are lots of restaurants, shops, bars, the Old Town Square, and other things to do within walking distance of the Old Town Fort Collins hotels. 

The Armstrong Hotel is a fun place to stay for a taste of history, but with amenities. The Elizabeth Hotel Autograph Collection is another lovely Fort Collins hotel in the city center that features upscale accommodations with fun touches like in-room record players. 

You’ll also be close to Colorado State University if you stay downtown, so if you’re visiting a student or checking out the college, this makes a great home base.

👉 Related Reading: Check out my list of the 25 best things to do in Fort Collins to help plan your trip!

Pros of Staying in Old Town Fort Collins Neighborhood:

  • Close to shops & restaurants
  • Quaint streets and hometown feel
  • Close to CSU

Cons of Staying in Old Town Fort Collins Neighborhood:

  • Hotels can be pricey
  • More crowds downtown

📚 Old Town Fort Collins Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Tourists
Google Map

  • ✨ Best HotelsThe Armstrong HotelThe Elizabeth HotelRemington Flats
  • 🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Fort Collins
  • 🍽️ Where to Eat – Ginger & Baker ($$), Union Bar & Soda Fountain ($$), Penrose Taphouse & Eatery ($$)
  • 🍸 Where to Drink – CopperMuse Distillery, Odell Brewing Company, Union Bar Soda Fountain
  • 🎟️ Top Attractions – Old Town Fort Collins, Colorado State University, New Belgium Brewing Company

North Fort Collins

Aerial view of a basketball court in North Fort Collins

👉 Best Area For Cheap Hotels | ✨ Best North Fort Collins Hotels: Fort Collins Inn •  Quality Inn & Suites Wellington626 Country Club Rd

If you want to get away from the more expensive hotels in Fort Collins, you’ll find much more affordable places to stay in the north end. Like with most hotels in this area, you’ll get what you pay for, and the motels and hotels available have lower reviews and fewer fancy amenities. There are also some nicer (and more expensive) privately-owned homes for rent near the country club, however.

The area of North Fort Collins is less populated than downtown, and you’ll get a more rural feel. You’ll also be closer to the Wyoming border if you want to check out another state while you’re there.

Pros of Staying in North Fort Collins Neighborhood:

  • Hotels are less expensive than downtown
  • The area is less-populated

Cons of Staying in North Fort Collins Neighborhood:

  • Hotels and motels have fewer amenities
  • You’ll need a rental car to get around

📚 North Fort Collins Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Cheap Hotels
Google Map

South Fort Collins

Aerial view of a neighborhood in South Fort Collins
(photo: pixelsaway / 123RF)

👉 Best Area For Business Travelers | ✨ Best South Fort Collins Hotels: Candlewood Suites Fort CollinsHoliday Inn Express Hotel & SuitesHome2 Suites by Hilton

The hotels in Fort Collins south of Old Town feature many extended stay options and rooms with suites. South Fort Collins has more of a suburban feel, so it makes sense that it would also have hotels that mimic the feel of a homey, longer stay. South Fort Collins has plenty of parks, a reservoir, and several lakes that make it a picturesque area as well. 

Pros of Staying in South Fort Collins Neighborhood:

  • Several extended-stay hotels make this a great option for business travelers
  • Several nearby parks and reservoirs 

Con of Staying in South Fort Collins Neighborhood:

  • You’ll need to drive to Old Town Fort Collins and other attractions

📚 South Fort Collins Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Business Travelers
Google Map

East Fort Collins

Aerial view of East Fort Collins before night time

👉 Best Area For Rural Feel | ✨ Best East Fort Collins Hotels: Best Western Kiva InnLa Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Fort CollinsComfort Inn Fort Collins North

East Fort Collins is near several designated open spaces and natural areas. This means the region has an uncrowded, rural feel. You’ll also get a great view of the mountains to the west. You’ll be near the CSU Environmental Learning Center and the Jessup Farm Artisan Village where you’ll find small businesses, food, and gifts. 

Pros of Staying in East Fort Collins Neighborhood:

  • Less crowded
  • Hotels are cheaper
  • Lots of open space

Con of Staying in East Fort Collins Neighborhood:

  • You’ll need a rental car to get around
  • Farther from downtown attractions

📚 East Fort Collins Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Rural Feel
Google Map

West Fort Collins

A picnic table with a mountain lake view on West Fort Collins

👉 Best Area For Horsetooth Reservoir | ✨ Best West Fort Collins Hotels: Best Western University InnHilton Fort Collins

West Fort Collins features a great spot for outdoor adventuring both on and off the water – Horsetooth Reservoir. In summer, visitors can paddleboard, kayak, fish, and more on the reservoir. There’s year-round hiking and, in the winter, outdoor enthusiasts can snowshoe or cross-country ski. Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Open Space are both close to the reservoir as well, with more outdoor areas to explore. 

Most hotels are back toward downtown Fort Collins, and if you want to be right on the reservoir you can consider camping. However, it’s not a far drive back to the hotels from the reservoir.

🚐 Pro Tip: If you want to truly experience the Colorado outdoors, try camping in an RV from Outdoorsy and wake up with amazing views right outside your door!

Pros of Staying in West Fort Collins Neighborhood:

  • Near outdoor spaces like Horsetooth Reservoir
  • Lots of nature and activities

Con of Staying in West Fort Collins Neighborhood:

  • Farther from downtown Fort Collins attractions

📚 West Fort Collins Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Horsetooth Reservoir
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Fort Collins

Save Money

A bridge over the Cache la Poudre River

If you’re looking to save money on hotels and activities in Fort Collins, then look for hotels farther from Old Town. Old Town area hotels are going to be nicer and closer to Fort Collins attractions, but you’ll save money as you head away from the city center. Plus, an extended stay Colorado hotel will usually allow you space to store and prep your own food in a small kitchen. 

Consider Your Transportation

Depending on your plans, you may well want a rental car. Getting to Fort Collins from Denver International Airport takes just over an hour, so an Uber or Lyft ride can get pricey. There are shared shuttles you can take from the airport if you don’t want to rent a car.

If you’re staying in one of the hotels in Fort Collins in the downtown area, you’ll be within walking distance of restaurants, attractions, shops, and more. However, if you want to do some hiking, rafting, or want to enjoy a day at Horsetooth Reservoir, you’ll likely want your own car. Discover Cars is a great spot to start if you’re looking up a rental for Fort Collins. 

📚 Related Reading: Getting Around Denver (How to Do it With or Without a Car)

Drink Lots of Water

A man going on a hike in Fort Collins

The high altitude and Colorado’s many exhilarating outdoor activities can lead to getting dehydration pretty quickly if you’re not careful. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and bring a water bottle (or several) wherever you go. This tip goes for visiting just about anywhere in Colorado. 

Bring Sun Protection

Another consideration when you’re spending lots of time in the Great Outdoors is to make sure you’re well-protected in the sun. You’ll definitely want a hat with a generous brim, sunglasses, and sunscreen. 

Bring along sun protection even on cloudy days, because Colorado’s weather changes quickly. Cloud cover can lift and leave you exposed to the sun…and then five minutes later, you’ll find you’re putting a sweatshirt back on again. 

Bring Layers

Since Colorado’s weather changes fast, you may find that you’re chilly one moment, then peeling off layers in a sweat the next. Bring several layers that are easy to take on and off, plus a backpack to store them when you don’t need them.

Use Our Colorado Packing List

Knowing what to pack for Colorado is a great way to prepare for your trip. Our Colorado packing guide is a great reference point to make sure you pack all the necessities for Fort Collins. 

👉 More Guides to Staying in Colorado: Where to Stay in Denver, Where to Stay in Boulder, Where to Stay in Colorado Springs

FAQs About Where to Stay in Fort Collins

Is Fort Collins worth visiting?

Fort Collins is worth visiting as the city has a relaxed college town vibe that makes a stay in Fort Collins feel like a genuine, relaxing vacation. The are plenty of outdoor activities, a thriving craft beer scene, and a charming old town.

How do I spend a day in Fort Collins?

Spend a day in Fort Collins by grabbing some breakfast and coffee in Old Town, browsing the shops, and people watching. You can then head out for a hike before spending the day at Horsetooth Reservoir or rafting on the Cache la Poudre River. Finish up with dinner at Ginger & Baker, or a boozy treat at Union Bar Soda Fountain.

What is there to do in Fort Collins at night?

There is a lot to do in Fort Collins at night including Totally 80’s Pizza & Museum, Union Bar Soda Fountain, Washington’s Live Music Venue, and Holiday Twin Drive-In Theater.

***

Whether you want to experience Fort Collins’ renowned craft breweries, visit a college student or check out the campus, or spend a day hiking and exploring the outdoors, there’s a place to stay in Fort Collins that’s perfect for you.  Check out this epic list of the best hikes in Fort Collins if you plan to spend some time outdoors.

I hope I’ve helped you sort out where to stay in Fort Collins!

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