If you're in need of an escape from downtown Boulder's traffic, throngs of people, festivals and general mayhem then South Boulder is perfect for you. Pack a picnic or dine out, take your bike or the bus, hike or merely drive around. This part of Boulder is surprisingly varied and ensures that you leave well-fed, recreated and rested.
Chautauqua Trail — Photo courtesy of The Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark
Your first stops should, no doubt, be Chautauqua Park for hiking and Chautauqua Dining Hall for breakfast. Get up early for a sunrise hike on one of the many beautiful trails: Royal Arch, Green Mountain or the Mesa Trail are good places to start. If you're a climber, jump on a Flatiron, or take the Amphitheater Trail in Gregory Canyon to get in a few routes at sunup.
Many of the hikes and climbs at Chautauqua are relaxing and less demanding than what you might find in Boulder Canyon or on Mt. Sanitas. As such, you'll round out the morning feeling relaxed and restored.
If you worked up an appetite, the Dining Hall offers one of the most fresh, filling and traditional breakfasts in town, so you can down some pancakes, fresh juice and eggs afterwards.
For the afternoon, you'll no doubt want to explore the shopping of "SoBo" (what the locals call South Boulder), which is complete with several thrift stores where you're sure to find fabulous take-home trinkets or the used gear that you need for your next mountain adventure.
Be sure to stop into Savers or Play it Again Sports, where you'll find some of the best deals in town. For the hardcore mountaineers and climbers, a local favorite is Neptune Mountaineering. Here, you'll find tents, climbing gear and outdoor apparel sure to get you up any mountain.
As the sun sets over the Flatirons, it's time to stake out a place with good views and brews. Enter Southern Sun, one of the favorite local breweries - complete with a patio, hot wings, tacos and burgers galore. Live music plays throughout the week, and the Colorado kind ale is the perfect way to cap off a lazy day of purchasing and exploring.
Brews and views at Southern Sun Brewery in South Boulder — Photo courtesy of Southern Sun Brewery
Their newest venture, Under the Sun, sits just below the main brewery and touts itself as a more high-end-eatery take on the Southern Sun concept. Decadent dishes are paired to perfection with the brewery's complex micro-brews. Southern Sun is the perfect spot to stop off if you need something just a bit more substantial than pub grub.
As you sip yourself to happiness while gazing at SoBo's unmatched scenery, you're sure to raise your glass with friends and family to a day well spent.