Sohltravels: Fort Collins, CO

Back in June, Craig and I were lucky enough to travel to Fort Collins, Colorado for the wedding of our dear friends Josh and Kristine. “Jostine” were both at our wedding and started dating shortly there-after. (Everyone thought they were a couple at our wedding anyway.) So needless to say, we were more than excited to head out west to celebrate.

mandy weddings
Enjoying the beautiful wedding of our dear friends Josh & Kristine! My mom helped me pick out this awesome fit and flare dress from J Crew. On sale now!
craig wedding
My guy Craig. Best wedding date ever. We are renowned for our dorky dance moves. Taylor Swift had us hitting the floor big time for #jostine2015.
craig mandy
Fun at the photo booth. Did I mention this wedding had a food truck serving the best sandwiches?! Amaze.

Since both of us are in school, this is a light year for vacations. So we decided to live it up for CO and take a good few days of real vacation along with the wedding. It was the best time. Fort Collins blew me away! I would highly recommend taking a trip. And if you go, here is what you should do: Day 1 – Fly into Denver and rent a car. The car was a lifesaver and helped us to be able to make the most of our time. The drive to Fort Collins is less than 2 hours. Upon arrival, head straight to The Welsh Rabbit Cheese Bistro to get your drink on. Order a red flight and a white flight. And all the cheese. And all the meats. And all the bread. Seriously, this place is perfect. Sit by the window and people watch. Book your stay at the Armstrong Hotel. When you tell people in town where you are staying, they will nod along and say “the only place to stay” – our waiter at the Welsh Rabbit even says he stays there for fun to treat himself! The room was adorable. The staff attentive. And the amenities spot-on. My favorite perks? Free bottles of water and pixie sticks in the lobby and free use of an amazeballs gym a short walk away. Once you’re at the Armstrong, stay at the Armstrong for the night. Enjoy one of Fort Collins best dessert spots The Chocolate Cafe for a drink and a sweet and then head down to Ace Gillett’s Lounge for jazz and a night cap.

craig wine
First stop post airport. The Welsh Rabbit Cheese Bistro. All smiles. All wine.
white rabbit
Bread and olive oil after my own heart. Have you ever tried a caper berry? You should. So good with wine and cheese of course.
Double chocolate martini and white chocolate croissant bread pudding at The Chocolate Cafe. Enough said.

Day 2 – Start the day off at Lucile’s Creole Cafe. Get exactly what we got and do not stray. Chicory coffee. Beignets. Cajun omelet with both grits and potatoes. Lemon poppyseed pancakes with strawberry rubarb jam. Game over. Since you are now very full, walk around a bit. Fort Collins has tons of adorable, original shops to duck into. (Tell your husband to head back to the hotel.) My favorite store was Rain. Bought the cutest wedding gift and gorgeous scarf. Next head out for an afternoon hike at Horsetooth Mountain. This is a great starter hike (and post ridiculous breakfast hike). You won’t need lunch so stop at a grocery store, grab some trail mix, water and green juice and get going. We picked a hike that took about 3 hours and was the perfect workout to fill the day. After you get back, shower up and look yo best, head out to dinner. There are so many great options. We would recommend going Italian with the eggplant parm at Bisetti’s or pizza at Uncle’s Pizzeria. Lastly, end your night by finding the hidden clock in the heart of downtown and slipping into Social for a cocktail (or three).

Mandy hiking horse head
Day 1 Hike at Horsetooth Mountain. A rough start after too many beignets. (Worth it.)
rocky mt national craig
Beautiful scenery. Handsome guy.

Day 3 – Get ready to be one with nature! Rocky National Park day! But first coffee. Hit up Snooze for some grub. We loved the pineapple upside down cake pancakes and fresh breakfast tacos. (You’ve picked up on that we always share a sweet and savory meal, right?) And if you are like my husband, get bourbon in your coffee. When in Rome. Afterwards, spend your day in Rocky Mountain National Park! We actually had some luck leaving Fort Collins a little later (around 11am – we were in vacation mode) as morning traffic had died down. RMNP is well worth the drive. Don’t miss it! We parked our car in the park and ride and took a bus to our hiking destination (Bear Lake). We had an amazing day hiking, talking and enjoying the fresh air at 10,000 feet. My favorite part was eating lunch with 2 hangry squirrels on a rock.

Rocky Mountain National Park was the highlight of our trip!
rmn scenery
And that my friends is how you do CO.

Until next time.