21 things you should know before turning 21 in Fort Collins

Amanda Thompson

Fort Collins has a nightlife and bar scene that is different and more than just your average college town’s. For one, Fort Collins has so many bars that are each more unique than the last, that you could guarantee a successful 21st birthday.

After asking the experts (aka other Colorado State University students over 21), I have compiled a list that is essential to read before the big day. 


1. Fort Collins has many unique bars. Mostly a beer drinker? Love to dance? Want to drink but avoid the crowds? You could most likely find a bar that best suits your preference. 

2. Prepare ahead of time. Some bars tend to get busy on Friday and Saturday nights, and you may end up waiting in a line outside to get in if you do not arrive early enough.

3. Bring a coat in the winter. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many girls choose to look cute over the possibility of getting hypothermia. Many bars have a coat check, so it is better to bring a coat just in case than to freeze while waiting in line outside. 

4. Beware of the bathroom stalls. Not only is there usually a long line to the bathroom, but some of the stalls are extremely tiny and there is the potential of getting stuck in one. (Trust me on this.)

5. For those who love to dance, Bondi Beach Bar is known for its dance scene. If you are feeling extra crazy (or tipsy), you could even dance on top of the bar.

6. Know what drinks to order beforehand. There is usually no menu at the bar except for the drink specials. 

7. If you do not know what to order, ask the bartender what their favorite drink is. 

8. Lucky Joe’s has live music and a great atmosphere. For those who prefer live music, this is a great place to enjoy both music, and a drink.

9. If you do choose to go to Lucky Joe’s, wear closed-toe shoes. There are peanuts and barrels and the shells usually end up on the floor. Also, those who have peanut allergies, beware.

10. Start saving money now. Drinks are expensive at bars.


11. Pregame beforehand to save money. 

12. Trust in Ramride and Uber. Getting a safe ride there and back is essential and could not be stressed enough.

13. Some bars have their “specialty” that you usually do not see at other bars. For example, The Drunken Monkey substitutes swings for bar stools. Again, go explore and try different bars instead of sticking with the same bar every weekend.

14. Most bars have really great food and drink specials throughout the week. Check here for a general list of happy hours each day of the week. 

15. If you are a fan of whiskey, check out The Whiskey in Old Town. They are famous for carrying over 1,500 different types of whiskies. 

16. Go to Old Town for your 21st birthday. Bars will give you free shots all night long.

17. Meet new people. Fort Collins is a college town so there are always other college students out at the bars on any given day of the week.

18. Try different drinks. Fuzzy’s is known for their beeritas, which basically consists of a beer bottle inside a big glass of margarita. 

19. Bring a penny to the Rec Room on Monday. A well known special at the Rec Room is their Penny Pitchers on Monday because you could buy an entire pitcher of beer for just a penny! Of course, since this deal is ridiculously cheap, it is always good to tip the bartenders extra. 

20. For those who are not really into bars in general, there are many other fun activities to do in Fort Collins. Click here for a brief list. 

21. People are not lying when they say turning 21 is both a curse and a blessing. Prepare your wallet and liver for when that big day comes. 

Collegian Nightlife Blogger Amanda Thompson can be reached at blogs@collegian.com or on Twitter @amanduhh3003.