You've just stepped outside of the St. Julian Hotel and Spa after a restful night of slumber. Yesterday, you challenged yourself to a day hike in Chautauqua Park by tackling the Royal Arch and, today, you're rewarding yourself with food, drinks and shopping. Luckily, you've situated yourself in the perfect location, because Boulder's bustling Pearl Street is just a hop, skip, and jump from your hotel. But before you join the thoroughfare, you are sure to take an ever-so-small detour just down the street to Sherpa's, which serves Tibetan and Nepalese delights. You sit on their outdoor patio, as the lush greenery of the arbor shades you and creates an almost secretive and seclusive atmosphere. You order cheese and garlic naan with the house chai – you've decided to start the day off with something savory and sweet.
Boulder's Pearl Street boulder — Photo courtesy of Kate Ter Haar
Your good friend who has lived in Boulder for many years texts and suggests that you meet for coffee and then Mexican for lunch. She knows this great, local, spot where you can grab one of the best burritos in town. Since you've just had chai, you decide to take a brisk walk down Walnut Street to the coffee shop where you're meeting your friend. As you stroll through downtown Boulder, you are amazing by the abundance of trees, flowers, and urban art. You pass free- standing sculptures and vibrant murals painted on the sides of businesses. Off in the distance, you can hear Boulder Creek ambling along, and your view of the Flatirons is very rarely obstructed. You glance at them ever so often as a reminder that you are taking your rest at the base of the mountains.
When you arrive at The Cup, you are greeted by the decadent and pungent aromas of java, bakti chai, hot chocolate, and Ethiopian beans. You spot your friend and she immediately insists that you order the hot chocolate, claiming that it is the best you'll ever taste. You sip in the sweet flavors and give a quiet nod of your head, acknowledging that she's right.
Menu at The Cup — Photo courtesy of The Cup Espresso Cafe
Walking and chatting has caused you to work up an appetite, so off you and your friend go to Illegal Pete's, one of Boulder's best Mexican joints. You order one of their giant burritos, chalk full of peppers, beans, fresh cilantro and cheese as you people watch from the patio.
Pearl Street performer — Photo courtesy of Kate Ter Haar
For the rest of your stay on Pearl Street you stroll past bathing suit clad children jumping and dancing merrily in the pop-jet fountain and local musicians playing their instruments for alms, including an upright piano that has been wheeled down the street purely for your entertainment. Shopping comes next, when your friend suggests that you stop by HIP Consignment shop to check out gently used treasures, and Patagonia, where you decide to purchase some outdoor attire for your next trip to the mountains. Not wanting to forget friends and family back home, you stop into the quaint and unique Boulder Art Mart, where you peruse local artist's work, buy baubles and come away with a hand-painted wine glass or two.
Finally, as you make your way back to your hotel room and away from Pearl, you decide to stop in to The Rio and grab one of the best margaritas in town. Though you've had your fill of Mexican food, you could always use a tangy, tequila infused beverage. You sip your margarita on the the outdoor patio, as you stare at the Flatirons and think about the hikes you're going to tackle on your next vacation to Boulder. Cheers.