Best Sightseeing in Boulder

Sightseeing Gone Wild: Boulder's Most Beautiful and Exciting Destinations

Putting together a Sight-Seeing List for Boulder, Colorado is like shooting fish in a barrel. With the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, the towering Flatirons, and Boulder Canyon offering its depth and rocky twists there's is so much to see and experience in this town that a visitor could get very quickly overwhelmed. 

Luckily, we've narrowed it down for you from the artsy venues to the downright breathtaking natural sights. 

Start with Chautauqua Park, where you can hike, rock-climb and just generally take pictures 'til your heart's content. Green Mountain is easily accessed for an awe-inspiring day hike and the Flatirons taunt those who seek the high places. 

If you're not the outdoorsy type but still wanna experience places that are aesthetically pleasing and interesting, the Boulder County Farmer's market offers the tastes of Colorado while the Boulder History Museum invites you to learn about how the area was established. 

For those who love music and the outdoors, Red Rocks Amphitheater is a world-class music venue where you can rock out, run the stairs for exercise (if you dare) and gaze at the lights of Denver in the distance. 

With so much to do and see in Boulder, make sure your camera is charged and your friends have been warned that your Facebook feed is gonna be exploding with jealousy-invoking images. 


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 Sightseeing because: The Boulder Creek Path offers a unique opportunity to see the creeks, open spaces, and downtown area of Boulder on foot or by bike.

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 →

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 Sightseeing because: Banjo Billy's Bus Tour helps you take in all of the history and majesty of downtown Boulder.

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 →

Originally, this century-old home was the summer residence of a New York merchant. Today, it houses the Boulder Historical Society's extensive collection of photographs and historical documents, as well as permanent and changing exhibits that include a pre-electric Victorian kitchen, 19th century pharmacy, agricultural, mining and ranching tools, and an antique safety bike designed to keep a lady's skirt and bloomers out of the spokes. Lectures, classes, and special events are scheduled throughout the year. Wanna get out and about? Take the Boulder Creek Path History Tour and be sure to bring your bike or pets. If the little ones are in tow, bring them to the Discovery Room for hands-on history fun. Currently open by appointment only.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: Come and enjoy the exciting history of this wild place at the Boulder History Museum which offers a variety of interactive and educational exhibits.

Hope's expert tip: Keep an eye out for the antique safety bike and pre-electric Victorian kitchen. Look for their new location in 2015.

Read more about Boulder History Museum →


Truly unique to the area, Red Rocks combines natural geological wonders with a stellar concert and event schedule. Come during the day for the best view of the red sandstone formations, over 250 million years old and 300 feet high. A moderate 1.4-mile trail loops around the area for the best views. Return in the evening to experience acoustic perfection as some of the biggest stars in music take the stage, including acts like Fleetwood Mac and Mariah Carey. A summer film series provides a change of pace when two bands perform before the screening of a classic movie. For fitness enthusiasts, Fitness on the Rocks is held during the spring and summer months as well as a variety of yoga and dance festivals.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: Red Rocks offers one of the most beautiful outdoor concert venues in the world where you can watch your favorite bands and attend unique festivals.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to check out Film on the Rocks during the summer months.

Read more about Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater →

Boulder Falls

Boulder Falls is located in Boulder Canyon off of Highway 119 and allows for the perfect sightseeing adventure. Best still, accessing the falls only requires a short and very easy hike, so people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy. The drive to the falls alone is enough to satisfy your outdoors itch; located in Boulder Canyon, mountainous walls of rock jut up along the highway as the canyon road twists and turns along Boulder Creek. Be sure to pack a camera, because photos are a must. Also, if you're a rock climbing enthusiast, there are plenty of walls and routes to tackle near the falls.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: Boulder falls offers easy access for children and the elderly.

Hope's expert tip: Take a picnic and sit right at the base of the falls.

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Mt. Sanitas

This 3.1 mile moderate to strenuous trail will lead you to one of the most breathtakingly beautiful summits overlooking all of Boulder Valley. Sanitas, which is Latin for health, wellbeing, and clarity of mind, is the perfect day hike whether you're wanting to work out, relax, or just be with nature. For a strenuous workout, take the trail at a fast pace and power to the top. For a more laid back approach, the Sanitas Valley Trail ambles gently along until it shoots up to the summit at the end of the hike. This mountain has several false summits, so be sure to pack a good lunch, plenty of water, and keep truckin' up the trail. Your effort will be worth the view.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: Mt. Sanitas offers a rigorous hike and spectacular views of Boulder Valley.

Hope's expert tip: Sanitas has several false summits, so be sure to pack a good lunch, plenty of water, and keep truckin' up the trail. Your effort will be worth the view.

Read more about Mt. Sanitas →

Chautauqua Park
Photo courtesy of © 2014 City of Boulder Parks & Recreation

This meadow-like foothills park is ideal for a lazy afternoon with a book, a family picnic, bird watching, or a vigorous hike on numerous trails that will suit any skill level. The hiking trails take you into the Flatirons and the Bluebell Shelter or the top of Flagstaff Mountain. A century old community center occupies the middle of the park. Numerous lectures and musical performances are scheduled, including the Colorado Music Festival, which is held each summer. The Royal-Arch and Green Mountain hikes are not-to-be-missed but should only be attempted if you're in good shape, have plenty of water, and have had a few days to acclimate to Boulder's altitude.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: The Flatirons, rolling meadows, and scenic trails of Chautaugua provide hours of sightseeing.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to tackle the strenuous Royal-Arch hike which provides a spectacular view well worth the climb.

Read more about Chautauqua Park →

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 Sightseeing because: Boulder County Farmer's Market offers the opportunity to hear local music, taste and purchase local produce all in Boulder's beautiful downtown area.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to bring cash and reusable bags.

Read more about Boulder County Farmers' Market →

Indian Peaks Wilderness
Photo courtesy of Hope Gately

Indian Peaks Wilderness, located along Colorado's scenic Peak-to Peak Highway just above Ward and Nederland is known for its pristine wilderness, jutting mountains, roaring streams, and challenging hikes. Just the drive alone is an adventure with sweeping vistas as far as the eye can see. Spring and Summer hiking provide opportunities to see some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the state. A winter wonderland come January, backcountry skiing and snow shoeing can be accessed near the Brainard Lake area. However, the road it closed, so hiking in is your only option well worth the effort. Some favorite areas include Lake Isabelle, Blue Lake, and Isabelle Glacier. When skiing or snowshoeing in the backcountry, it is essential to be familiar with avalanche conditions. It is also recommended that adventurers bring an avalanche shovel and avalanche beacons.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: Indian Peaks Wilderness is one of the most scenic areas of Colorado and is located close to Boulder and several quaint mountain towns.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to research weather and avalanche conditions before snowshoeing or skiing in the backcountry of Indian Peaks.

Read more about Indian Peaks Wilderness →

With Longs Peak towering over this spectacular state park and plenty of backcountry skiing in the winter, along with hiking and climbing galore, RMNP is Colorado's iconic destination. The highlight of the 415-square mile park is the Trail Ridge Road. Travel 50 spectacular miles over Trail Ridge Road, the nation's longest continuous road at such a high altitude, and experience incomparable changes in climate, vegetation, and eco-zones. Witness panoramic views of mountain ranges and peaks and close-ups of deer and elk grazing, bighorn sheep, birds, and other indigenous critters. If you're camping, stop off at Moraine campground that boasts a crystal clear view of the Rockies from almost any site, bathrooms, and easy access to hiking. The Cub Lake trail is moderate and perfect for travelers who have yet to acclimate to the high altitude. Pack a camera and get ready to take some shots of mountain lakes and wildlife.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: Rocky Mountain National Park, located less than an hours drive from Boulder, is the perfect day trip and provides scenic driving, hiking, and camping.

Hope's expert tip: Take a joy-ride on Trail Ridge Road or hike the Emerald Lake and Bear Lake hikes to tackle one of the 10 Best Hikes in America.

Read more about Rocky Mountain National Park →


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