Boulder's Mackey Auditorium — Photo courtesy of Diana Rowe
Boulder’s distinctive personality is often playfully described as “seven square miles surrounded by reality,” but once you enter the “Republic of Boulder,” you can’t help but be drawn to its independence and love of life, from its plethora of outdoor activities to its award-winning chefs.
Boulder is enhanced by its natural beauty, starting with its location in the scenic foothills surrounded by wide open spaces. Its love of outdoors is celebrated with 300 miles of hiking and biking trails.
Start your outdoor adventure in Boulder by renting a bike or pedaling your own along the combination paved/dirt Boulder Creek Path. The scenic path runs through historic downtown and follows Boulder Creek with 12 opportunities to stop, enjoy the scenery and learn about the city’s history.
Located only 5 minutes away in the city’s surrounding open spaces, visitors can also explore 45,000 acres of land, enjoyed by bird watchers, photographers, hikers and mountain bikers. Take a hike up Mountain Sanitas Trail for views of the city. Take trails that wind around the towering Flatirons rock formations at Chautauqua Park. Towering sandstone cliffs and “Eldo’s” sheer golden walls are your reward when hiking El Dorado Canyon, just outside Boulder.
The heart and soul of the city is the brick-paved pedestrian-only Pearl Street Mall. Home to dozens of shops, outdoor cafes, and award-winning restaurants, the four-block Pearl Street runs vertical to the mountains cutting through historic downtown Boulder with four blocks making up the Pearl Street Mall. Besides its dozens of independentl-owned shops, galleries and restaurants, a stroll here is priceless for its living stage filled with street performers (licensed by the city) and people-watching. Pearl Street Mall — Photo courtesy of Boulder CVB
Bon Appetit named Boulder “America’s Foodiest Town” as a nod to its thriving restaurant scene, also highlighted in Wine Spectator, Gourmet, Food and Wine and on Top Chef. Most of the restaurants are independently-owned, and owner chefs lead the dining scene with creative and sustainable cuisine. Chef Bradford Heap will wow you with his farm-to-table cuisine at SALT, or dinner with a view at the Flagstaff House. Follow the college students and alumni with a visit to the 80-year-old Sink Restaurant & Bar, for a beer and a burger.
When the sun sets, it's the perfect time to scope out Boulder’s brewpubs such as the Mountain Sun and Walnut Brewery, pouring some of Colorado’s best craft brews. Handcrafted cocktails more your style? Have the winner of the Cocktail World Cup demonstrate his talents at the speakeasy-esque Bitter Bar.
A day trip to Boulder will only tempt you to stay, and this mountain college town will welcome you with accommodations to fit every budget from its inventory of hotels. Choose from historic accommodations at Hotel Boulderado; European style at St. Julien’s Hotel and Spa; or budget-friendly digs at Best Western.