There is said to be a “curse of the Flatirons,” feel by travelers calling back to Boulder after experiencing it once. Maybe it’s the mountains. Boulder is located right at the base of the foothills and within walking distance of the Eldora ski area. Maybe it’s the hiking trails, the historic buildings, the yoga. Boulder has international film festivals, world-renowned chefs, healthy food, pet-friendly hotels, and quirky charm that we can only describe as “only in Boulder.”
It’s hard to pinpoint a reason why Boulder tourism continues to grow and so many people want to live there. These are just some of the best things to do in this Front Range town.
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1: Go outside
Boulder has amazing trails through the foothills, along Boulder Creek, and through the city. The city is protected by open space and nature, so it’s easy to find a way to connect with beautiful Boulder outdoors.
In the summer, it is common to rent inner tubes and go down Boulder Creek. While this can be a bit dangerous (the creek can run quite fast and there are some sharp rocks along the way), visitors can also take a dip in the calmer stretches of the creek or go swimming in the Boulder Reservoir. One of the most popular places to hike in Chautauqua Park, right in the shadow of the Flatiron Mountains.
2. People-Watch Downtown
This historic brick-lined pedestrian mall offers many shops (local and chain), tons of cafes and restaurants, and even more people watching. The buskers and street performers that line Pearl Street provide endless entertainment during the warmer months, and it’s just as fun to watch the unusual cross-section of residents pass by. You’ll see hippies, college students, competitive athletes, scientists, artists, and more on a street.
Have a coffee at Trident Coffee and find a seat on a bench or on the courthouse lawn. Relax under the often blue sky and enjoy the lively and energetic atmosphere of this crazy downtown.
3. Say greetings
Boulder County has more than 50 different breweries and taverns to choose from, and Boulder is home to several craft beer festivals and brewing tours.
You can also find renowned bartenders preparing creative cocktails at unique bars, such as License No. 1, a speakeasy-style bar below the historic Boulderado Hotel. This bar was supposedly the first place to get his liquor license back after Prohibition.
There is also the unusual Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place, where cocktails take the form of “potions” containing healthy herbs and are also made with “intentions” and “sound frequencies.”
Boulder also has great happy hours ($ 4 margaritas) and rooftop bars with views of the mountains. The Lazy Dog and Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant are two favorite places to relax with a cold one and watch the sunset from the rooftop.
4. Fill you up
Boulder has been named the “richest city in America.” Here you can find James Beard award-winning chefs, as well as a restaurant run by one of the “Top Chef” reality shows. Find seafood and oysters are flown daily, many options, and vegan and vegetarian menus that focus on the local gardens of the restaurants.
One of the main recommendations: oak in fourteenth. This popular restaurant, located just off Pearl Street, rotates its menu daily, offering shared, small, large, and family dishes to choose from. If you’re lucky, you’ll find free-range grass-fed natural Oak Roasted Boulder chicken, squid ink spaghetti, or tomato-braised barbecued meatballs served over local, gluten-free, homemade grits. of house stracciatella cheese.
Wash with homemade soda or the Steph cocktail (Reyka, St. Germain, Aperol, and grapefruit), always on tap.
Bonus: Oak creates different flavors of fresh donuts every morning and late at night get free giant flavored pretzels with your drink.
5. Experience the art
Boulder has been named the third best place for living artists in the nation, and you can see signs of that across the city. From the bustling Dairy Arts Center with its many galleries and stages to the renowned Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art to the colorful murals and street sculptures that adorn the city, art is everywhere.
If you’re in Boulder during the summer, make it a priority to get tickets to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, where you can see famous performances on an outdoor stage under the stars.
6. Get active
Boulder has been named the Fittest City in America and has a long list of health and fitness events. Boulder also happens to be a hot spot for professional and competitive athletes to live and train, and is home to the annual Hanuman Yoga Festival that draws yogis from around the world.
It’s just not a Boulder vacation without taking advantage of that healthy environment.
Plan an outdoor adventure or book a yoga class with world-famous yogi Richard Freeman. Rent a bike (you can find red B bikes at stations throughout the city) and explore the city through the wheels. Hike Mount Sanitas for a panoramic view of Boulder and the University of Colorado.
Or sign up for some of the many sports competitions in town, like the annual Bolder Boulder (a street party that ends with a can of beer) or the toughest Iron Man race.
Boulder is also a popular place to go rock climbing (both indoors and outdoors), do aerial dance (one of the best schools in the world is based here), or try parkour, pole dance, Kundalini yoga, meditation, surfing. rowing and more.
Every day is an adventure in Boulder, and it seems like there is always a new way that Boulderites are getting active.
7. Get drunk
Boulder has a thriving food and nightlife scene. You can find innovative, impressive, and expertly made cocktails all over the city. For something totally unique, see what the bartender is mixing up for the day at Bramble and Hare. The cocktail list (and food menu) is constantly changing seasonally in the owner’s nearby garden. Cocktails here are often made with herbs, spices, and leftovers from the dinner prep. You can find cocktails focused on beets, asparagus, dill, you name it. And somehow, they all taste amazing.
8. Listen to music
Boulder’s music scene is impressive. Top spots to catch big-name musicians include Downtown Boulder Theater, Fox Theater on University Hill, Macky Auditorium on the University of Colorado campus, Chautauqua Auditorium in the foothills, and eTown Hall, which also records shows. live radio.
9. Pamper yourself
While Boulder doesn’t have a ton of luxury hotel spa resorts, it does have one that’s destination-worthy: the St. Julien Hotel and Spa. This award-winning spa hotel features a large, high-end spa with some exciting offerings, including a vegan treatment and even products made with herbs from the hotel’s garden. Don’t miss the famous nail technician from social media in the hotel lounge. Katy Parsons is an acclaimed nail art genius.
10. Brunch Hard
Boulder loves its brunch, and brunch loves Boulder. There are so many great brunch spots in the city that it’s hard to narrow them down. Sleeping in the Pearl Street Mall always has a long line, especially on the weekends. For an elegant and sophisticated brunch, visit the Greenbriar Inn, with its white tablecloths and champagne. For something creative, the Center serves Latin-influenced breakfast dishes and a big spicy Bloody Mary.
11. Immerse yourself in history
Boulder cares about its past and makes special attempts to preserve historic buildings. The downtown pedestrian mall is clad in ancient architecture that has been renovated but still protected. Stay at Chautauqua Cabins for a private, authentic, turn-of-the-century setting at the base of the Flatiron Mountains. The Hotel Boulderado in the city center is a work of architectural art and its corridors are filled with artifacts and antiques; Stay in one of the Victorian rooms.
12. Do something strange
Boulder is known for being quirky, so when you’re in town it’s only appropriate to get a little weird. Visit a psychic pet. Take a trapeze class. Try to fool the “zip code man” at Pearl Street Mall, who knows all the zip codes in the world. Stay in a hotel made of small houses. Take a group ride dressed as a cruiser bike. Visit Shoes and Brews, a shoe store with a brewery inside.