Top 10 Things to Do in Boulder
January 24 2018 – Tabitha Yeasley
You’ve probably heard that Boulder, Colorado is a great place to visit and even to live, but what is there to do here, exactly? We’ve taken some of our favorite reasons we love Boulder and laid them out for you, plain and simple.
- Brunch – No city is complete without some great brunch options, and whether you hit Lucile’s for Southern influenced brunch in a quaint atmosphere, Snooze for a popular diner setting, or The Buff for hearty breakfasts and drinks, you won’t be disappointed.
- Lunch/Dinner – Some great options for lunch or dinner near the heart of Boulder include The Kitchen, which also has a great happy hour at its upstairs bar, or try out Leaf for some excellent vegetarian options. West End Tavern has a great atmosphere for grabbing a drink and some hearty grub, including 87-cent wings on Wednesdays and the best grits you’ll ever have. Sherpa Restaurant offers a home-like atmosphere for enjoying some authentic Tibetan & Nepalese food, or visit Blackbelly Market’s restaurant for great cocktails and farm-fresh small plates, charcuterie or family-style eats.
- Dessert – Ice cream is a Boulder staple, and some local favorites are the many flavors of Glacier’s home-made Ice Cream, or Fior di Latte’s locally sourced, made-from-scratch gelato. Want something warm? Visit Boulder Baked on Broadway for some comfort food and fresh baked goods.
- Coffee – Boxcar Coffee offers great coffee and a relaxed vibe, The Laughing Goat features local coffee as well as live music with beer & wine in the evenings, and Ozo Coffee is a local favorite. You really can’t go wrong.
- Juice – Wonderpress offers a bright, laid-back atmosphere to go along with its fresh cold-press juices, smoothies, and coffee drinks.
- Bars – License No. 1 is a popular bar located in the basement of Boulderado, Boulder’s oldest hotel. With a rich history, License No. 1 feels sort of like a prohibition-era underground maze that often features live music. For something a little more lounge-y, try out The Bitter Bar for creative cocktails, and an extended weeknight happy hour.
- Chautauqua Park – Located just south of downtown Boulder, this beautiful park is the gateway to Boulder’s most iconic natural landmark – the Flatirons. Home to dozens of trailheads for hiking, biking, climbing, or just a leisurely evening stroll, Chautauqua Park is a Boulder must.
- Sanitas – This trailhead is located at the west end of Mapleton Street, which leads to several options for trails that are moderately challenging and both dog- and family-friendly. The classic Mt. Sanitas trail loop is a bit of a stair stepper with beautiful views of Boulder. Just up the street is Settler’s Park and Boulder’s own picturesque Red Rock formations.
- Valmont Bike Park – Located just south of Boulder’s tiny airport, here you can find riding trails for all levels – ranging from toddler to BMX.
- Bike Paths – Boulder is one of the most bike-friendly cities in America. An extensive trail network connects not only all around town, but to neighboring areas as well.
- Pearl Street Mall – 12 blocks of shopping lines this main road at the heart of Boulder. A Boulder staple, the most popular stretch of Pearl Street is pedestrian only, and encompasses some of the best eateries, shopping, and street performers Boulder has to offer.
- 29th Street Mall – Here you’ll find your more standard mall shopping, with stores such as Loft, West Elm, and H&M. This is also the place to catch a flick at Century movie theater.
- Boulder Adventure Lodge - http://a-lodge.com/ Just up Boulder Creek Canyon, a few minutes-drive from downtown, this cozy accommodation offers the ultimate Colorado experience for any out of towner. They help arrange guided tours and adventures, provide easy access to pretty much any outdoor activity as well as to the center of Boulder, and offer cozy, comfortable amenities including a free weekend shuttle to nearby Eldora Ski Resort.
- Boulder Creek Canyon – Drive up along Boulder Creek towards Nederland, one of Boulder’s neighboring mountain towns. The winding road is home to some great climbing spots, and on a sunny Saturday, climbers can be seen all along the canyon walls.
- El Dorado Canyon – A great place to watch some serious climbing action, or go on a climb yourself. There are also a few hikes that start from the parking lot.
- Movement – Arguably Boulder’s top indoor Climbing Gym, here you’ll find a great place to practice climbing and bouldering of all levels. The gym also features a free weight room as well as various group classes including cycling and yoga.
- WATCH & LISTEN
- Boulder Theater – If you’re in the mood for dinner and a live show, or attending one of Boulder’s film festivals, Boulder Theater is your spot. This historic theater in downtown Boulder originally opened as an Opera House in 1906.
- Fox Theatre – Boulder’s premier music venue is located on “The Hill” just near campus. The Fox was recently voted 4th best music venue in the country by Rolling Stone Magazine.
- Summer Concert Series – Boulder hosts several outdoor concerts during the summer, whether it’s at Chautauqua Amphitheatre or Bands on the Bricks at Pearl Street Mall, which features live music and outdoor beer gardens every Wednesday night during the summer.
Photo from Rayback Collective @therayback
- DRINK AGAIN
- Rayback Collective – One of the best spots in Boulder for food, beverage, and socializing, this indoor/outdoor space features a continuous rotation of food carts, outdoor games and fire pits, local coffee, kombucha, beer and wine on tap, and plenty of indoor space as well. Whether it’s watching the big game with some good grub, grabbing happy hour drinks, catching some live local music, or playing trivia on Tuesday nights - there is something for everyone at Rayback! It’s also located just off of one of the city’s main multi-use paths so it’s easy to get there by bike or on foot.
- Breweries – Boulder is known for more than its accessibility to the outdoors, it’s also known for its beer. A local brewery is a perfect spot to grab some good food and a local beer after a long morning hike or a day of skiing. Some of the local favorites are Avery, Sanitas, and Mountain Sun.
- GET OUTTA TOWN
- Nederland – This quaint mountain town is just up Boulder Canyon. A perfect stop before/after a bike ride or a long hike, there are some great local coffee shops and eateries. It also has its own live music venue – the Caribou Room.
- Rocky Mountain National Park – Just an hour and a half from Boulder is one of America’s most beautiful National Parks featuring an iconic mountain range – The Rockies. It’s only $20 per vehicle for a day pass, or $30 for a 7-day pass.
- Estes Park – At the foot of the Rockies is Estes Park, a resort town just north of Boulder. Estes is perfect for a day-trip or a beautiful weekend get-away in a mountain setting, featuring skiing, hiking, biking, and more.