You probably already know that Fort Collins is often called the “Napa of Wind,” but did you know that this city of 150,000 is home to much more than just world-class wind engineering, dispersion modeling, and atmospheric science? The Fort is so widely recognized as the epicenter of wind engineering excellence that it’s easy to overlook some of our town’s lesser known attractions. Whether you’re traveling here for a tour of our world-famous wind tunnels or you’re simply here to enjoy the holidays with your family, don’t forget to seek out these little-known gems during your stay in the Choice City.
Did you know that Fort Collins has a university? Colorado State University (CSU) started life as Colorado Agricultural College in 1870, later changing its name to Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1935, and ultimately CSU in 1957, as it is known today. CPP has its roots in CSU, having originated in the Fluid Dynamics and Diffusion Laboratory in CSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Many of CPP’s staff are alumni of this quaint school down the road.
CSU’s mascot is CAM the Ram, a domesticated Rambouillet sheep. The University is also home to a small athletic program.
It’s easy to get so caught up in wind effects on structures and air quality that you overlook life’s simple pleasures, like enjoying a well-crafted beer. Fort Collins is home to several world-class breweries and brewpubs, including a little mom-and-pop operation known as New Belgium Brewing Company. They brew a beer you might have heard of called Fat Tire. Odell Brewing Company is also a perennial regional favorite and is particularly notable for its sophisticated graphic design.
Other local establishments include the Fort Collins Brewery, Coopersmith’s, Funkwerks, and Equinox Brewing.
When you witness for the first time the early morning sun casting its warm hues upon the majestic wind tunnels of Fort Collins, it’s easy to understand the depth of emotion that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen her immortal lines:
O atmospheric energy
Doth steer a weathervane
With turbulent intensity
About its hourly mean!
But believe it or not, Fort Collins is also home to an inspiring mountain range, just a short drive to the west of the Christman Field Weather Station. Up in the high country you’ll find snowcapped peaks, pristine streams, and crisp, cool air. Also, the wind blows a lot. Rocky Mountain National Park attracts a handful of visitors each year and is home to an up-and-coming elk population.
Whether you’re in Fort Collins for one day or one week, take some time to branch out beyond the structural aerodynamics and flutter phenomena that we’re so famous for. We’re sure you won’t regret it!