With the holidays approaching, it's time to talk shop ― vintage shop, that is. In Fort Collins, 65 miles north of Denver, the beauty of buying old is in vogue. Along with treasure troving, explore the town's historic Old Town district, sprawling Colorado State University, and kitschy food temples.
A&J Antique Mall. WHAT: Ninety-three individually owned booths span the spectrum from shabby-chic furniture and estate jewelry to an Old West chandelier constructed from a wagon wheel, horse saddle, and stirrups―yours for $860. WHEN: 10-6 Sun-Tue, 10-7 Wed-Sat. WHERE: 6012 S. College Ave.; 970/226-6070.
Front Range Antiques. WHAT: The expansive emporium is shelved and floored with Native American art, military memorabilia, old coins, furniture, glassware, and vintage clothing. WHEN: 10-6 Mon-Sat, 11-6 Sun. WHERE: 6108 S. College Ave.; 970/282-1808.
Oldies N' Goodies. WHAT: Nearly everything in this cluttered shop comes flanked with handwritten descriptions, including the charming collection of tiny wooden snuffboxes carved into shoe shapes. If snuffboxes don't tickle your fancy, indulge your childhood fantasies with the 1950s Merry-Go-Round carousel. WHEN: 11-6 daily. WHERE: 6124 S. College Ave.; 970/225-2500.
The Avery House. WHAT: A stately sandstone Gothic cottage, built in 1879, chockablock with antique furnishings and surrounded by lush grounds. WHEN: 1-3 Sun and Wed. How much: Free. WHERE: 328 W. Mountain Ave.; www.poudrelandmarks.com or 970/221-0533.
Silver Grill Cafe. WHAT: Indisputably the top breakfast place in town, this perpetually packed 70-year-old cafe lures locals with its medieval-size cinnamon rolls, eggs Benedict, and griddled hotcakes. WHEN: Breakfast and lunch daily. HOW MUCH: $. WHERE: 218 Walnut St.; 970/484-4656.
Taqueria Los Comales. WHAT: A taqueria boasting Mexican street eats, including indelible soft corn tacos with barbacoa, carnitas, and chorizo, all of which pair perfectly with the freshly made salsas that deliver a sweat-inducing head rush. WHEN: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. HOW MUCH: $. WHERE: 111 W. Prospect St.; 970/407-9998.
INFO: U.S. 287 becomes College Ave. in Fort Collins, which is located off I-25; for information, visit www.fcchamber.org or call 970/482-3746.