There is a city in northern Colorado called Fort Collins. To get there, you take a one-and-a-half hour ride from Denver, past bobbing oil rigs and these expansive fields of blonde wheat. At first glance, Fort Collins, itself, looks unremarkable: a college campus that's rapidly expanding, quiet residential blocks that could be found pretty much anywhere in those quiet mountain towns out west. But mention the city to outdoor enthusiasts and they'll immediately respond: go downtown.
About a week ago, Matt and I had the incredible fortune of visiting Fort Collins as guests of LifeProof. The company is looking to hire a pair of tech-savvy storytellers who will travel in and live out of an Earth Roamer for close to three months promoting the brand. (Pretty sweet gig, right?) The best part: we're finalists.
But although we absolutely loved being an honorary part of the LifeProof team during our two-day stay, we fell IN love with Fort Collins' downtown vibe. Renovated storefronts from the 1800's line the streets, but don't be fooled by their nod to the "old west." Inside, these businesses are embracing new trends and technologies, and have some of the most infectious spirit you'll probably ever experience.
Here are a few of our favorite places:
1. The Colorado Room
This is a place you want to hang out in. With a daily rotation of local craft beers and "sammys" made with locally sourced meats, veggies and homemade sauces (think braised buffalo brisket, pickled veggies, cilantro, teriyaki sauce), The Colorado Room was a definite game-changer on our trip. And that's even before we knew that a portion of every sale goes to a local nonprofit. Winning.
2. Equinox Brewing
Equinox Brewing is possibly our most favorite and most memorable visit (besides LifeProof HQ) in Fort Collins. Though it's on the smaller side with no official brewery tours, the owner, Colin, and head brewmaster, Jared, gave us the low-down on what goes on behind the brewery's garage door out back. Even better? We got to take their keg-delivery bike out for a spin.
3. Brave New Wheel
Bike shops in Fort Collins are like Dunkin Donuts' here on the East Coast - they're on just about every block. In fact, biking is so popular that the city even has a Bike Library, where you can rent bicycles for the day instead of a car. (= awesome) Even though we didn't get to visit the Bike Library, we did get a chance to meet the guys over at Brave New Wheel, a place that has a cult following and is in the midst of applying for a license to serve beer and wine to customers while they shop.
Learn more about the LifeProof contest with Earth Roamer.
Many thanks to the LifeProof team for hosting Matt and I during our stay in Fort Collins, and to the fantastic people at the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, Equinox Brewing, Brave New Wheel and The Market Skate Shop for welcoming us into your community. As always, opinions are our own.