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Named for the sun-drenched creek that snakes its way around granite boulders through town, Boulder is an idyllic destination that appeals to adventurous college students, active outdoor adventurers, and everyone in between. For those who want to fill their days with rewarding treks and their evenings with extraordinary entertainment, Boulder delivers. Beyond being graced with nearly three hundred days of sunshine, Boulder is home to top-notch contemporary art, an airy commercial center, and enough activity to keep you going for your entire trip.
Locals joke that Boulder's fair skies mean that "the best time to visit Boulder is right now." That's not the only reason to make haste—a laid-back commercial center and views of the Rockies nearly everywhere you look make Boulder's enclaves the ideal place for a getaway.
With restaurants dishing up everything from paleo-style granola to eggs benedict, Boulder's downtown food scene brims with diversity. The civic center is also home to world-class accommodations, cultural institutions like the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and some of the best espresso in the west.
Pearl Street Mall
More than a mere business district, Pearl Street Mall serves as a gathering place pace for residents and travelers alike. In this pedestrian enclave, independent tea houses and kite shops sit beside high-end sports outfitters and chic yoga studios.
Directly west of the University of Colorado Boulder, the Hill bustles with up-and-coming boutiques, popular bars, and nightclubs like the Fox Theatre, which showcases contemporary music in an intimate, standing-room only venue.
North Boulder is the residential neighborhood near the base of Boulder's recreation region. Relaxed cafes sprout up between beautiful mountain homes, making “NoBo” an ideal place for a leisurely stroll.
Beyond gazing at the saw-toothed peaks in the distance, there are a bevy of things to see in Boulder. Begin in the Pearl Street Mall, where the Boulder Theatre hosts independent films, comedy routines, and live music inside an Art Deco institution. If your tastes veer more toward the classical, head to the Macky Auditorium Concert Hall at the University of Colorado Boulder to see the Boulder Philharmonic play. In addition, many of the breweries in town feature American roots music during the week—simply head downtown and follow the tune of the banjo to the nearest venue.
From heart-pumping hikes to exhilarating river trips, Boulder offers an array of things to do outdoors. Get in touch with the city's namesake during an invigorating jog along the Boulder Creek Path, which follows the waterway through town. Then, pair your sightseeing with a bit of activity at the Colorado Chautauqua—the site of a former adult sleepaway camp, which Theodore Roosevelt notoriously referred to as “the most American thing in America.” Today, the site hosts a summer concert series, in addition to acclaimed lectures and plays. From there, grab your hiking poles and sally forth into the Flatirons and Green Mountain outdoor recreation area via the Chautauqua Trailhead. Finally, if you’ve got rapids on the brain, a tube float on Boulder Creek or a whitewater rafting trip on Clear Creek can be arranged.
Boulder is a fantastic destination for a family getaway. Bring the kids along and enjoy these top family friendly experiences together:
Some say the best things in life are free. Be sure to visit the following around Boulder:
CU Art Museum - Talk to the staff and discover more about the special collections on exhibit at this museum.
The Spot Bouldering Gym - Find time to play and add some excitement to your escape here.
Naropa University - Architecture fan or not, get set to be wowed by this landmark's modern design.
Colorado Chautauqua - If you're interested in bygone eras, this is one stop you ought to visit.
Boulder Falls - Spend some time close to the water to relax and replenish your energy.
Carnegie Branch Library for Local History - Pull out your guidebook and discover why this place is worth a spot on your to-do list.
Flatirons - Take a break from the big city and get in touch with Mother Nature at this picture-perfect landscape.
Scott Carpenter Park - Refresh your mind and soul by spending some time in nature.
If it's pelting down during your trip, ditch the umbrella and have a go at one or two of these fun indoor activities:
Don't return home without checking off the following list of superb sights:
There are lots of activities and tours here that are ideal if you're traveling on a tight budget:
Your break in Boulder needn't blow the budget with free things like these to keep you busy: