In terms of bragging rights, Fort Collins has plenty to crow about. In 2006, Money magazine named the collegiate community just one hour north of Denver as the country's best place to live.
Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A. was modeled after Fort Collins's historic Old Town, which is packed with shops, restaurants, and watering holes perfect for chasing off early-winter's chill.
Order a pizza, sip a locally brewed beer, catch an innovative play, and check out the town's pre-holiday celebrations, which continue into December.
From Denver, drive 64 miles north on I-25 to exit 269-B. For more info, visit fortcollinschamber.com or call 970/482-3746.
Enzio's Italian Kitchen Wood-fired, thin-crusted pizzas (the Mediterranean, with white clams, is especially notable) tossed in an open kitchen. INFO: $$; 126 W. Mountain Ave.; 970/484-8466.
Jay's Bistro The romantic date spot offers everything from duck done three ways to New Zealand red deer loin. INFO: $$$; 135 W. Oak St.; 970/482-1876.
Silver Grill Café Weekends are packed to the rafters with locals lingering over the giant cinnamon rolls and plate-spanning omelets. INFO: $; 218 Walnut St.; 970/484-4656.