64. Thai Pepper

Thai Pepper, Fort Collins, Colorado

If I ordered the posts I write based on how much I like a place, Thai Pepper near the corner of Laurel and College in Fort Collins would be much higher. However, it’s good to save some gems for the future, and Thai Pepper is number 64.

Based on the people I know, I feel like Thai food is one of those things that evokes a strong sense of passion when it’s brought up in conversation.  Most people I know seem to have a favorite Thai Place  and also get very excited about telling you what the best said Thai food place is in their mind.  So, as a disclaimer I have not yet been to all of the Thai food restaurants in Fort Collins. I hope to, and maybe they will make a future post, but I digress…

Inside Thai Pepper near Laurel and College

I enjoy Thai Pepper because the portions are very tasty (not to mention filling), they always seem to have a great lunch special, the atmosphere is laid back, and finally they have a great outdoor patio which is always a plus in my book.

Thai Pepper Specials & Happy Hour

Thai Pepper is located at:

109 E.Laurel Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524


63. Music at the Griffin Concert Hall

etown at the Griffin Concert Hall on Colorado State University Campus

Last night I went to see the live taping of etown at the Griffin Concert Hall at Colorado State University.  I really had no idea what an amazing performance I was in for.  I have never actually listened to the show, which airs weekly on NPR around the country. I really only new that Josh Ritter was playing, and that he sang a few songs I had heard and liked.  Boy was I in the dark.  The show was a 2 hour live performance with 2 bands: Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band as well as Hold Steady.  Intermixed between songs were interviews with the band members hosted by Nick and Helen Forster. It was an awesome experience and I was blown away by how good the performance sounded in the hall. I will definitely be going back next time etown comes to the Fort Collins.

After a little research today, it’s no surprise that it sounded so great.  The concert hall is home to all kinds of great musical performances and is one of the 5 best venues to listen to classical music in Colorado according to the Denver Post.

Here’s what I found out on the CSU School of the Arts website:

  • 550-seat concert hall includes some of the most advanced acoustical design features in the region, including articulated walls, ceiling clouds and raked seating designed to provide the highest quality sound.
  • Named in honor of Edna Rizley Griffin, a longtime advocate and benefactor of the performing arts including the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra and the Lincoln Center Concert Hall.
  • The Griffin Concert Hall hosts nationally and internationally acclaimed performers who found the space extraordinary.
  • Ranked as one of the 5 best venues in Colorado for classical music by the Denver Post.
  • Square Footage: 7,800.

62. Salsa Dancing Above the Rio

Easily a 10 out of 10 on the Fort Fun Factor scale.  Every Tuesday night the Rythm Company teams up with the Rio Grande Mexican Restuarant and provides Salsa Dancing in the Agave room above the restaurant. Don’t go into the Rio to get there, the door for the Agave Room is just west of the restaurant enterance. Arrive at 7:30 and you’ll get a quick 30 minute mini lesson. Then it’s open dancing from 8-10. Lots of fun, friendly people show up; plenty of first timers as well as jaw-dropping salsa aficionados. Cost is $3.

Here’s what it looks like early in the night, just after the lesson:

Then a bit later, usually around 9:00 the action heats up:

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
143 W. Mountain Avenue
Downtown Fort Collins, CO 80524
The Rythm Company

61. Take a Walking Terror Tour of Downtown!

If you’re looking to make some last minute plans for tonight, consider taking a Walking Tour of Terror through downtown Fort Collins! The 10th annual Terror Tour is put on by the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center. The tours are held 2 days a year,  October 23 and 30, from 8-10pm (only 9:45 and 10pm are available tonight). Tours leave the museum every 15 minutes. You and a group of 20 or less will explore haunted locales around Fort Collins and hear the spooky and historically accurate stories that accompany each place!

This excerpt from the Museum’s website will give you an idea of what to expect:

Bloody accidents, murders, apparitions and strange noises…learn the creepier side of life in Fort Collins in this 60 minute walking tour of Old Town. Museum staff members share the true tragedies as well as the myths and legends of haunted Fort Collins. Painstakingly researched through interviews with Old Town residents and business owners as well as through the written accounts preserved at the Local History Archives, the museum has documented the many cases of gruesome, paranormal and bizarre incidents in Fort Collins history. Dress in costume and join us for a hauntingly good time! Recommended for ages 16 and up due to content.

Tickets are $4 in advance and $5 at the door but the tours are filling up fast so call 221-6738 to pre order tickets for tonight’s 9:45 or 10pm tours (October 30, 2010) . Happy Holloween!

Map to the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center at 200 Matthews st. Fort Collins.

60. Savor a Margherita Pizza at Pulcinella’s Pizzeria

Fort Collins Gourmet Pizzeria

I’ve been starting to make a habit of visiting Pulcinella’s Pizzeria recently for lunch.  I just can’t get away from their fantastic margherita pizza.  It’s fresh, crispy, and delicious.  What’s even better is that pizza lovers can enjoy this gourmet pie for half-price every Monday!  Honestly, if you can find a better pizza deal in Fort Collins please email me, I want to know about it.

Pulcinella’s has been serving up great pizza from the restaurant’s original location at the corner of Drake and Shields since 1991. Shortly afterwards, this locally owned and operated restaurant opened a second location on Harmony Road.  There are now 4 locations open in Colorado with the most recent pizzeria having just opened in Cherry Hills just 9 months ago.

Fresh Pizza Ingredients

One of the things that makes Pulcinella’s unique is their commitment to top quality ingredients and gourmet selections.  All of their ingredients are fresh and hand prepared daily.  You’ll pay a few extra dollars but the quality will be well worth it.  If you love white pizzas you need to stop by on Wednesdays for the restaurants White Wednesday special where you can get any white pizza for half price.

Another unique thing that Pulcinella’s started doing recently is offering wine tastings and pairings a couple of times a month from their new bar.  I’ve never attended but talking to the staff it sounded like a great event.  The restaurant went through the trouble of obtaining an import license and serves imported Italian wines paired with collection of different pizzas. The bar is also open for local, live music most Friday’s of the month.

Pulcinella Pizzeria bar specials

59. Equinox Brewing

Beer lovers have yet another reason to love life in Fort Collins. Equinox Brewing opened  their doors earlier this year and is receiving a warm welcome not only from our town’s beer connoisseurs but also from the judges at the Great American Beer Festival. Equinox’s Eclipse Brown Ale went up against 46 other beers from around the world and won bronze in the English style brown ale category. No small feat for a brewery less than a year old.


Owners Colin and Shannon Westcott moved from Achorage, Alaska where Colin brewed at Midnight Sun Brewing and before that Kettlehouse Brewing in Missoula, Montana. Shortly after moving to Fort Collins they were shocked to find that no homebrew supply store existed so they opened Hops and Berries and filled a void for homebrewers across town. The next logical step was Equinox Brewing. Immediately next door to Hops and Berries, this small taproom is has a cozy and unassuming atmosphere, perfect for you and a friend to chew on the happenings of the week and the nuances of your beer.

Equinox features six standard drafts covering everything from pilsner to stout to IPA as well as 2 cask beer engines and a “firkin” or 10 gallon vessel that feeds naturally carbonated beer into your glass via gravity. The firkin beer this week is their award winning Eclipse Brown conditioned with shredded coconut and cacao nibs! Equinox seems to have found a niche in beer mecca. Go check them out at 133 Remington st.

Equinox Website

Equinox on Facebook

58. Northern Colorado Corn Maze

Fort Collins Corn Maze

A visit to the Northern Colorado Corn Maze is a perfectly suited outing for the month of October. Bring the kids out during the day for plenty of fun activities or plan to be spooked during the night as you wind your way through a giant maze of fully grown corn.

Fort Collins Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

During the day visitors will enjoy pedal cars, and inflatable air castle, a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, a giant trebuchet made for chucking corn, and many more fun attractions. At night, prepare to be spooked as you wind your way through the labyrinth of corn and confusion filled with ghosts and ghouls hungry for the next soul to devour.

Giant Corn Hucker Trebuchet

Check out this Giant Trebuchet for throwing Corn!

Fort Collins Corn Maze Activities

Jumping Air Castle and Pedal Cars

The Northern Colorado Corn Maze was started by Jason Martindale who still owns and runs the maze today.  Jason is a Northern Colorado native and purchased the 15 acres about 9 years ago as a home for his Landscaping and Nursery business which still operates today.  With 15 acres located on the outskirts of Fort Collins he realized that the land was also perfectly suited for a corn maze in the fall.  It was one of the first corn mazes in Northern Colorado and since that time the corn maze has grown in both size and popularity haunting visitors each year.

Northern Colorado Corn Maze Petting Zoo

The corn maze operates from October 1st thru October 31st.  A full list of prices can be found on the Northern Colorado Corn Maze website as well as a discount coupon.

Corn Maze Prices

57. Golf at City Park 9

We have some beautiful municipal golf courses here in Fort Collins. What better way to spend a warm fall day than a round at the City Park 9? Widely considered one of the best 9 hole rounds in the state, this regulation length course, built in 1940,  is located on the west side of City Park at 411 South Bryan Avenue. Raw city water and 300 days of sunshine make for intensely lush greens and fairways and you’ll find some of the most magnificent blue spruce trees in the city lining this course. Greens fees are reasonable and there are annual and 10 play passes available for the frequent golfer. If you’re just playing a single round here’s a link for a fall discount coupon for all 3 of the city’s municipal courses; Collindale and Southridge are two other high quality city owned courses.

56. Tour the Historic Avery House

Historic Avery House Fort Collins

If you’re a history buff, love museums, or are looking for something to do next time your parents come to town, check out the Historic Avery House located on the corner of Mountain Ave. and Meldrum. The home is made of sandstone mined from local quarries and was originally purchased for $3,000 in 1879 by Franklin and Sara Avery. Mr. Avery surveyed Fort Collins in 1873 and is responsible for the extra wide streets we currently enjoy. He also founded the First National Bank and developed water projects to help establish Fort Collins.

Visitors will learn all kinds of unique things about the history of Fort Collins and the way of life over one hundred years ago.  Littered throughout the home are all kinds of antiques, and restored items and artifacts from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Avery House in Fort Collins

The Home is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays between 1-4pm.  It is owned by the City of Fort Collins, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and managed by the Poudre Landmarks Foundation, Inc.

You may also notice weddings being held outside the home in the Avery House gardens and Carriage House which are available for special occasions.

55. Breakfast at Rainbow Restaurant

Fort Collins Breakfast Restaurant

When John Gunther stated that, “All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast” I think he had the Rainbow Restaurant in mind.

I discovered another Fort Collins gem today when I visited the Rainbow Restaurant. Quaint, local,  charming, vegetarian friendly, and welcoming are some of the first words that come to mind when I think of my experience.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been here yet. The food was great, and the staff were very friendly. This morning was a little bit chilly and I’m bummed that winter is fast approaching because I’ll have to forgo that leisurely breakfast on their great patio til next year. Just one more thing to look forward to in Fort Collins and of course this doesn’t mean I can’t go back in the mean time.

Vegetarian Restaurant in Fort Collins

The location on Laurel right across from the north end of campus is great for CSU students looking for a good breakfast joint between classes or a early start to the day.

Things to love about Rainbow:

  • Awesome outdoor patio
  • A plethora of vegetarian friendly dishes
  • Down to earth friendly staff
  • The Groatmeal – a combo of homemade granola and oatmeal
  • Bloody Mary’s

The Rainbow Restaurant specializes in offering vegetarian meals but meat lovers shouldn’t be turned off. There are plenty of meat options available too.

Fort Collins natives may recall that the Rainbow was located at the current Thai Pepper location for its first 16 years before it moved to its current location.

Rainbow Restaurant Fort Collins

A little too cold for the patio in October. Can't wait til Summer!

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.”