Must See, Eat, Do Recommendations for Boulder, Colorado

BOULDER, COLORADO

Many Thanks to Tolga Tutar, Heather Lopez,

JP, Jennifer Cheryl, and Molly Brown

for their awesome recommendations!

For More Info:

MUST SPEND AT LEAST 3 DAYS

to maximize and fully experience the
“Must Eat, See, Do” recommendations listed below

Boulder

No longer filled with many of the hippies this town is known for, Boulder is a great college city. Here you can find excellent shopping, eateries and nightlife. Follow a stroll down Pearl Street with a hike up the Flat Irons in the famed Chautauqua Park.

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CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

 1. Rent a bike and explore the city via bike paths.

You can get a maps at one of the numerous local bike shops. Boulder is a fantastically bike-friendly place and in many instances it is much faster to get around town by bike rather than by car. Bonus karma points for reducing your carbon footprint during your stay.

2. Banjo Billy’s Bus Tour:

Always a ton of fun. Billy is a great entertainer and really knows his Boulder history. http://www.banjobilly.com/

3. Take a hike.

Chautauqua is a great place to start, you can hike up to the base of the flatirons among other places. Mt. Sanitas is a popular trail as well and had great views of the city from the top.

4. Drink beer.

Boulder is crazy about beer and has multiple (7?) excellent microbreweries within city limits. Pair with bike exploration and you have the perfect day set out for you 🙂

5. Stroll Pearl St.

It’s outdoor, busy, and beautiful. You can easily spend a day walking up and down if you go into all the shops and take time to snack/drink/eat at the excellent restaurants in between.

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BEST MONTH/SEASON TO VISIT

 The best time to visit Boulder is summer season (June to September); the weather is beautiful and there are lots of outdoor activities going on in downtown. However if you like skiing, you can enjoy winter season (November to February) since there are lots of ski sites nearby such as Eldora, Summit County and Aspen.
May-June and Sept-Oct are personally my favorite times of the the year in Boulder due to the excellent weather. Midsummer and early fall are wonderful times to visit if you are planning to explore the higher elevations as well, since you will have the wildflowers peaking early-mid July, and the aspens turning in the early fall.

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TRANSPORTATION

Bus and bike are definitely my choice. You can easily take a bus from DIA to downtown Boulder, and rent a bike once you are in town. It is almost always faster to get around town on bike during the day.

 

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 SIGHTSEEING

1. Chautautua Open Space/Park

Beautiful park that hosts cultural events, lovely gardens and picnic areas. Lots of hiking trails also start form here

A favorite of everybody and their dog in Boulder.

Excellent views of the iconic flatirons and tons of opportunities for hiking, both mellow and more strenuous. Plus, from the trailhead you can easily start driving up Flagstaff Mountain, which offers ample opportunities to get a view of the city from higher elevation.

The Royal Arch trail is my favorite, great views of the city at the top and not a very long walk, 3.2 miles round trip. http://www.protrails.com/trail.php?trailID=69

2. Pearl St. Mall: Historic Downtown

The ultimate Boulder tourist destination/cultural hub. The pedestrian part of the mall runs from 15th to 11th St. and contains all of the street performers, vendors, and general weirdness that makes the town so interesting… walk around and soak it in.
There are many, many fabulous restaurants in the area too: Boulder was voted as “America’s Foodiest Town” for 2010. Don’t wait too long to do your sightseeing though, shops tend to close down early. The student drinking crowd comes out in full-force Thurs-Sat from 10pm-2am and there are a lot of fun dive bars in the area if you’re into the scene. http://www.boulderdowntown.com/

3. University of Colorado at Boulder

An insanely beautiful college campus located in the heart of town. The student population definitely contributes a lot to the city culture, so it’s worth walking around for a while.

4. Boulder Farmer’s Market

I can’t think of a better place to more efficiently absorb the local culture than here. Excellent people-watching and generous samples of all sorts of locally grown/made food and natural products. Farmers Market right near Boulder Creek on Arapahoe Ave pretty close to campus
The very best lazy start to a Saturday morning. Runs beginning the first Saturday in April through the third Saturday in November, 8 a.m to 2 p.m. http://www.boulderfarmers.org/

5. Columbia Cemetery

A gorgeous cemetery where many Boulder pioneers have been buried. At 9th and Pleasant in the historic University Hill neighborhood.

6. Flatirons

Rock formations and symbol of the city of Boulder.

7. Local Breweries

Boulder is definitely one of the best destinations in US

8. Mt. Sanitas

Very nice hiking trail and amazing view of the city
Boulder hikes – Senitas kicks your butt and is worth it!

9. Take a walk on the Boulder Creek Path

(one block from Pearl street/right next to Tea house) Leads to the Library and Ebin G. Fine Park

10. if you drive up Baseline Rd

you can get to some great lookout spots that are only about 20 min’s up the mountain, amazing views. And of course definitely walk around CU’s campus it is one of the most beautiful in the nation for sure.

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FOOD

So much amazing food in the city…

it’s really hard to go wrong if you are downtown.

Some of my favorites are:

1. The Mountain Sun:

Ultimate outdoorsy yuppie funky hangout on the East End of Pearl St. Cheap, delicious food and excellent microbrewed beer. If you only get one chance to visit a local brewery and eat at the same time, go here.Mountain Sun restaurant (on Pearl St) is always a nice local haunt in Boulder (and they have good selections of beers). But they’re cash only, which is a bit strange, but their prices are relatively cheap and the food   is good. http://www.mountainsunpub.com/

2. The Black Cat:

An upscale restaurant where most all of the ingredients are sourced from the owner’s local organic farm: http://www.blackcatboulder.com/

3. Sherpas:

Himalayan restaurant stated by Nepali Sherpas in the area. A great place to get some excellent Indian (well, Himalayan) food and learn about the local climbing/mountaineering culture and history. I can’t recommend the yak though… http://www.sherpaascent.com/restaurant.htm

4. Snooze AM Eatery:

Ridiculously delicious breakfasts. http://www.snoozeeatery.com/

5. Snarfs:

Straight-up awesome sandwiches. A staple of the gluten-tolerant Boulderite diet based on their popularity. http://www.eatsnarfs.com/

6. Centro

http://centrolatinkitchen.com/

 Awesome HAPPY HOUR! Cheap Shrimp Tacos, spicy salsa, greens, hush puppies, and local brewed beer

Amazing Margaritas, Manchego & Chimichurri fries, and enchilada!

7. Have lunch/afternoon tea or dinner at the Dushanbe Tea House

(a hand carved/hand painted traditional teahouse gifted to the city of Boulder from our sister city Tajikistan. http://www.boulderteahouse.com/

Diverse Food Selection

Indian, Spanish, Thai, Itailan..Very International!

Tea Brewing Process

No Tea Bag! Straight Tea Leaves!

They even have a sand TIMER for how long to keep the cup of tea leaves in!

Foreign and Rare Teas from All Over the World

8. Illegal Petes is super good super quick Mexican food.

http://www.illegalpetes.com/

9. Med

Best Appetizers and Happy Hour (Happy Hour everyday from 3:00 to 6:30pm)

http://www.themedboulder.com/

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NIGHTLIFE

*** The Boulder nightlife is really dominated by the college crowd, which equates to a lot of binge drinking, partying, and bad Top 40 music being played at the popular bars. If you are looking for a more balanced or mature experience and better music, I would suggest you head to Denver. Downtown is excellent for pub crawls and also happens to be the location of Beta, voted the best dance club in North America for 2011 and 15th in the world. ***

1. Catch a show at the Fox or Boulder Theater.

There is an amazing variety of artists that come through these venues on a monthly basis. Pair that with historic, intimate venues and you’re in for a great show. http://www.foxtheatre.com and http://www.bouldertheater.com/

2. Pearl St. Bar Crawl:

There are a ton of places to drink on Pearl St., ranging from the perpetually over-crowded-with-students dive bars to high-end restaurant bars and a wine bar on the West End. It’s easy to find places that do not charge a cover, and many have live music and dancing many nights of the week. Just go explore until you find a place with the right drink menu and atmosphere for you.

Head up to Boulder to experience college nightlife on the Pearl Street Mall. Covers are rare, if not unheard of, and you can easily bar hop from one rowdy college bar to another.

3. Left Hand Brewery

It is located in Longmont, a bit outside of the city but you have to taste its porters.

http://lefthandbrewing.blogspot.com/

4. St.Julien

Check the bar of the hotel especially on Friday nights for live music.

5. Trilogy Wine Bar & Lounge

funky place. Good music, wine and appetizers.

6. The Hill

This neighborhood is located across the street from the CU campus. If you want to check bars and restaurants that are mainly frequented by students this is the place for you!

2 thoughts on “Must See, Eat, Do Recommendations for Boulder, Colorado

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