July 22nd marks Skylar and I's 3rd year together as a couple and almost 8 months of marriage! So we decided to get someone to watch the dogs for us while we went off to Fort Collins for the day for some exploring!
Fort Collins has always been one of our top destinations to visit while in Colorado so what's a better day to come visit other than our anniversary. We headed straight into downtown and just started walking around enjoying all the street art and outdoor shopping.
As we were walking, we stumbled on a small cafe called The Little Bird Bakeshop. So we popped in there and got one of their lavender lemonades to sip on while we walked around enjoying the sights.
As we walked around, up and down different alley ways and streets, we came across a cool old book shop called The Old Firehouse Books, which Skylar loved. It was super tiny, but had a ton of options from new to used books for you to buy. Once we finished checking that out we were hungry so we started to look around for someplace to eat.
We ended up walking into a Beau Jo's, which is a Colorado chain restaurant. They had a pretty decent tap list, so I ended up ordering a Juicy Bits by WeldWerks Brewing Co. and Skylar had a water because she didn't feel like having a beer that day. We weren't super hungry so we just ended up ordering a couple things off their appetizer menu: a small order of the Boneless Buffalo Wings and a Hipster Pizza Skillet, which is cheesy skillet with roasted garlic, olive oil, spinach, fire-roasted red peppers, pineapple, peperoncini, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses all on top of a wheat tortilla served with two pieces of garlic toast. We thought this large skillet needed more than just two pieces. Overall, the food was okay and the service was pretty poor.
While we were eating, we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do next. So we searched around on our phones and noticed that New Belgium Brewing was only about a 10 minute walk down the street so we decided to head there to check it out since we've heard so many cool things about it. The walk there was pretty nice. We saw some cool apartments buildings and crossed a bridge over a small river.
When we finally arrived at New Belgium, all we could say was "WOW, this place is huge." It was gigantic. They had an entire field out front to play corn hole and other games, a few food trucks, and plenty of seating room. We signed up for their brewery tour then headed inside where I saw they were serving up a Hazy IPA called Ales for ALS, which I'm assuming was some kind of charity or fundraising beer. It was actually so delicious that I ended up having two pours. When it finally came for our turn to go on the tour we noticed that the person taking tickets had switched. Long story short, the guy working the booth now basically told us we couldn't go, even though we had our names in line. So he turned us away and left us with a little bit of a bitter taste in our mouth, kind of ruining the end of our trip to the brewery. The only perk of going there was that I have an AHA membership which gave me 10% off my beers plus sent me home with a free glass. Other than that the whole brewery tour thing killed our experience of going there.
After leaving New Belgium, we headed back towards downtown and went straight to this cookie shop that Skylar saw when we first came into town and we said we would stop there before our day was over. It was called Mary's Mountain Cookies. They had so many sweet treat options! We ended up leaving with a few too many cookies. We got 2 snickerdoodles, 2 peanut butter, a caramel sea salt, a s'mores cookie, and even a bite size edible cookie dough. We felt a little guilty leaving there, but it was well worth it! And the cookies lasted us into the next week.
After walking around some more, we decided we better get something to eat for dinner, so we stopped at a place called Austin's American Grill. They had a ton of american style cuisine to choose from. We ordered the hot artichoke dip, chicken street tacos, and chipotle chicken salad. It was all great, but reminded us of eating at BJ's or another chain restaurant.
We took one more spin around town before leaving. We ran into a cute little spice shop called Old Town Spice Shop. Neither of had ever been in one so it was a really cool experience. Seeing all the different varieties of salt, peppers, chiles and more that we aren't usually used to or that you can't just get at your local grocery store. We had to at least get a few things to try at home, so we left with lavender flowers (so that Skylar could make her own lavender lemonade) and hop salt, which is salt made with, yep you guessed it, hops! There was still a few more things we wanted to check out, but we were so tired and missed our dogs so we decided it was time to head home. Next time we come to Fort Collins we already have a few places in mind that we need to stop by!