Boulder, CO

Travel Guide
Photo provided by Colorado Tourism Office/Matt Inden/Weaver Multimedia Group
Outdoor adventures, wild mountain scenery, vast open spaces and a lively downtown area are the big draws of this attractive Colorado town.

Boulder is a university town tucked into the Flatirons foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Students are a quarter of the population, giving the town a young, lively atmosphere. With access to more than 40,000 acres (16,000 hectares) of open spaces, Boulder residents enjoy nature and active pursuits. Between hiking, skiing, downtown shopping and rich cultural experiences, you’ll find no shortage of fun things to do in this exciting city.

Boulder has more than 200 miles (321 kilometers) of hiking and bike trails with routes for all abilities, from gentle countryside paths to challenging uphill treks. In Chautauqua Park, the heart of Boulder’s trail network, take the scenic hike up to the Royal Arch, a large, rocky sandstone formation. The park also has picnic areas, a children’s playground and tennis courts. Try tubing along Boulder Creek and swimming and sailing in the Boulder Reservoir. During winter, head to the Eldora Mountain Resort for skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding.

One of the city’s prettiest walks is the 5.5-mile-long (9-kilometer) Boulder Creek Path. The route passes along the banks of the creek, past shady patches and swimming spots and through parks and the downtown area.

Away from nature, spend a few hours at Pearl Street Mall. This large pedestrian-only precinct encompasses independent stores, nationwide chains and cafés. As you stroll through the four-block mall, you’ll be entertained by a lively array of street performers. The bars, microbreweries and restaurants make Pearl Street a popular nighttime destination as well.

To experience the city’s culture, visit museums, art galleries and theaters. Appreciate the artwork of local, national and international artists at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the Ken Bernstein Art Studio. View fossil and geology exhibits at the University of Colorado Natural History Museum. Catch a jazz performance at the Boulder Theater.

Boulder is less than 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Denver and is within easy reach of many wineries and breweries. The city is an ideal base for exploring the Rocky Mountains.

Where to stay in Boulder

Boulder featuring kayaking or canoeing and a sunset as well as a large group of people

Central Boulder

4.5/5(433 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in Central Boulder, Boulder Theater and Pearl Street Mall are top sights worth seeing.