Pearl Street Pulse: The Attractions You Simply Can't Miss

Pearl Street, along with the Flatirons, is part of the very heart and essence of Boulder. To visit Boulder without enjoying the sites, tastes, and sounds of Pearl would be like visiting New York without taking a stroll through central park. That being said, Pearl Street can seem a bit overwhelming without some sort of attractions compass pointing you in the right direction. But, never fear, for we've crafted a list of the most exciting, inexpensive, local, and down-right cool activities to do on this famous street. Our list includes theaters, museums, restaurants, breweries, bars, a farmer's market, local concerts, and even a bus tour, so no matter what you're in the mood for, you're sure to find it on our list and on Pearl.

Topping our list is a seasonal favorite, Bands on the Bricks; an event put on my the City of Boulder that brings local musicians to downtown Pearl for an all-out jam-session with Boulder citizenry and visitors alike. A beer garden, put on by rotation local breweries, is there each week to help you knock off that edge so you can get your groove on. Food vendors line the streets and everywhere there is dancing.


Some other unique attractions to be found on our list is the Boulder County Farmer's Market where you can get fresh produce and local wares, along with Mountain Sun Brewery where you can drink your fill of Boulder beer.


Stick to our list and you'll understand what all the Pearl hoop-la is about.


This festival features a local orchestra, chorus, soloists, and nationally recognized guest artists. Naturally, the music featured is that of the revered and prolific composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Special events include Bach Uncaged, where the composer's music is set to dance, as well as Bach for Kids, which invites children, educators, and parents to explore the composer's greatest works. Performances take place throughout the year, including a wide variety of performances during the Spring and Summer months. Located on or near Boulder's famed Pearl Street, you can take in the many sights and sounds of Boulder's downtown before or after a concert.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Attractions because: A variety of performances featuring the music of Johann Sebastian Bach are sure to delight and inspire.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to enjoy all of the sights and sounds that Pearl Street has to offer by taking a walking tour of downtown.

Read more about Boulder Bach Festival →

On the Banjoy Billy Bus tour you'll hear all of the local legends and lore as you drive around in this "shack on wheels." 10 ghost stories and 5 crime tales detail Boulder's "history" as you cruise the streets. You'll also take a trip to Pearl Street where you'll be encouraged to take note of all the restaurants and attractions available to you after your extensive tour. Fun fact? Passengers get to vote on multiple stops throughout the ride that they want to hear about making each ride unique. What's more, this is only a 90 minute tour leaving plenty of time for shopping, dining, and adventuring downtown.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Attractions because: This 90 minute, fun-filled tour takes you around the streets of Boulder on the Banjo Billy Bus so you can learn local history.

Hope's expert tip: This tour is great for adults and kids alike so don't hesitate to bring the family.

Read more about Banjo Billy's Bus Tours →

This lovely restaurant was a gift from Boulder's sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, which donated the building to the city in the late 1980's. The ornately decorated structure was imported and then rebuilt by workers from Tajikistan. Appetizers include Persian grilled chicken strips marinated in yogurt and spices. Koresht Bademjan, which is Persian braised beef stew with eggplant, onions, tomatoes and spices served with orange currant couscous, and Persian tamarind shrimp are two of the featured main dishes. In the spring, be sure to take a seat on their patio and enjoy Boulder Creek as you sip on their delicious iced chai.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Attractions because: Exquisite food, exceptional service, and photo-worthy decor earn the Dushanbe Teahouse a spot on our list.

Hope's expert tip: Go for brunch and be sure to sit on the beautiful canopied patio near Boulder Creek.

Read more about Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse →


West End's motto of "Definitely Not Your Daddy's Tavern" rings true. Take in a beautiful Rocky Mountain sunset or enjoy an evening under the stars on the cozy rooftop patio at this popular and local spot. The interior is comfortably designed with brick and natural wood. The menu burgers, wings, and other traditional pub fare are exceptional. But let's get to the exciting parts. The West End prides itself on turning its staff and patrons into beer geeks by featuring unique and rare craft beers. Need something with more punch? This tavern-done-right features the largest bourbon list in Colorado including 75 varieties and 4 single barrel bourbons.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Attractions because: Great views and brews can be found at the West End, along with live music earning it a spot on our list.

Hope's expert tip: Sit outside for an unmatched view of the Flatirons.

Read more about West End Tavern →

The Grateful Dead are alive and well, at least as a decorative motif, at this tie-dye styled brewpub that features some of the best beer in the region. For a kick, try the coffee-inspired Java Porter. Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will appreciate the well rounded menu, affordable, food featuring high-quality pub fare. So, wanna know more about the beer? Mountain Suns beers have won 6 Gold Medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver and is consistently ranked among the best brewpubs by Boulder locals. For a blast of hops, just ask for "the dank", also known as Mountain Sun's Colorado Kind Ale.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Attractions because: Mountain Sun Brewery offers live music, a "very Boulder" atmosphere, and great beer that makes it a not-to-missed attraction.

Hope's expert tip: The patio is the place to be during the spring and summer months so you can enjoy the Pearl Street thoroughfare.

Read more about Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery →

This beautiful Art Deco theater was built in 1906 as an opera house and was later converted to a movie theater. Today, it's one of the city's finest venues for live music, independent films, and community events. Concerts draw everything from local jazz bands to international performers and speakers. "E-Town," an NPR program focusing on entertainment and the environment, broadcasts from here as well. What's makes this theater special? Its intimate atmosphere. The stage and it's players can be seen well from any vantage point in the theater and, for most shows, the audience moves about so fluidly that you can often make your way to the front or various parts of the theater during the course of the show.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Attractions because: An eclectic array of the arts can be found at Boulder Theater and its intimate atmosphere earns it a special spot on our list.

Hope's expert tip: If you're planning a trip to Boulder, be sure to order your tickets well in advance as shows sell out fast.

Read more about Boulder Theater →

Airport - Wbu

Park your car and enjoy a peaceful, scenic stroll or bike ride through the heart of Boulder. The path stretches for seven miles and provides access to numerous parks, ponds, historical markers, gardens, rock-climbing opportunities, botanical sites, and a farmers' market. You'll also come across landmarks such as the art museum, library, the Senior Center, CU-Boulder Research Park, and the Stazio Ballfields. If you're hungry for a bite, the creek path takes you by several famous local spots, including the Dushanbe Teahouse. You can also fish and picnick along the path which segues into other routes and may be accessed at several points.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Attractions because: The outdoors is such a staple in Boulder that the Creek Path simply had to be included as an attraction.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to stop off at the library to enjoy one of their many free art exhibits or have a spot of tea at the Dushanbe Teahouse, both of which sit conveniently near the creek path.

Read more about Boulder Creek Path →

This non-profit contemporary arts center exhibits a wide array of current works by local, national, and international artists. Artwork runs the gamut from landscape painting to conceptual installations and everything in between. The multidisciplinary center houses a local theater company and is a venue for avant-garde musical and dance performances. Furthermore, some exhibits have even included artistic food creations to be sampled by the public and numerous live performances by artists. Special activities and workshops for young artists are also offered and teachers leading field-trips are given a special, reduced rate.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Attractions because: Exceptional and informative art exhibits for cheap earn the Museum of Contemporary Art a spot on our list.

Hope's expert tip: Don't miss the museum's musical and dance performances.

Read more about Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art →

Boulder County Farmers' Market

Independent farmers and growers offer their wares at this lively community farmers' market. You'll find fresh, locally-grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, along with plants, trees, shrubs, coffee beans, baked goods, and crafts. The market emphasizes and supports local agriculture. Where the free part comes in has to do with the delicious samples offered by local vendors and the free music put on my local artists and bands. You can walk the Farmer's Market to get a taste for the true flavor of Boulder, including its people, its food, and its music. The Boulder Library and Creek Path are both nearby if you need to stop in for free wifi, to grab some books or games for the kiddos, or go fishing in the free children's pond.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Attractions because: Local farmers and business owners join together in Boulder's beautiful and lively open-air market.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to bring cash, so most vendors don't take a card and feel free to barter.

Read more about Boulder County Farmers' Market →

Bands on the Bricks is a free, weekly concert put on by the City of Boulder on downtown Pearl Street at absolutely no cost. A beer garden featuring local brews from Avery, West Flanders, and Upslope Brewing Company can be enjoyed, as well has the delicious food from Pearl Street restaurants. At this event you'll find all ages and creeds of people dancing and enjoying the merry-making together. A pop jet fountain nearby, entertaining street acts, and a small rock playground are perfect for entertaining the little ones in between sets. If you're looking to spend a little dough, you can always shop before or after at the numerous local and big-named retail shops along the mall. This event runs June-September.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Attractions because: Free, live, and local music along with a beer garden and food vendors earns Bands on the Bricks the top spot on our list.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to take advantage of the beer garden and nearby restaurants on Pearl Street.

Read more about Bands on the Bricks →


Meet Hope Gately

Hope Gately should have a bumper sticker proclaiming "Not a Native...But I Got Here as Fast as I Could!" A transplant from the Midwest, Hope has fallen in love with Colorado's mountains playing...  More About Hope