Boulder, Colorado is a bustling town nestled where the High Plains and Rockies meet. Its active outdoors and cultural scene has made it a wonderful place to visit. Plus, its perpetual sunny weather means there's something to do year round. Here are some of our favorites:
Some of the best restaurants, bars, shops, and people watching can be found on beloved Pearl Street. Four blocks have been closed to traffic so that locals and tourists can stroll down the brick-lined street at a leisurely pace. SALT bistro is a great option if you're craving some delicious locally sourced and seasonal dishes. Plus they have a fun make-your-own cocktail menu where you can choose your spirit, house-infused syrup, and style of drink. For a great beer experience, check out West Flanders Brewing Co., a Belgium-inspired microbrewery with unique flavors and house-made bites. Another iconic stop is the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, a beautiful attraction that was hand-crafted in Boulder's sister city, Tajikistan, disassembled and reassembled in Colorado. Beautiful elements in the Teahouse include hand-carved and painted tables, ceilings, and exterior decorations that were crated, shipped halfway across the world, and rebuilt as a symbol of global friendship and cultural exploration.
Looming over the city, the Flatirons are Boulder's most iconic landmark. This striking reddish-brown titled rock formation, five massive slabs in total, stand proudly along the east slope of the Green Mountain and provide awesome hiking and climbing opportunities. Trails for hikers are plentiful; many start at the Chautauqua Trailhead. One that we love is the Royal Arch Trail, which is a somewhat-strenuous 3-mile hike that ends at a beautiful natural arch through which you can see sweeping views of the city below. If you really want to get up-close and personal with the Flatirons, try your hand at climbing them! The First and Third Flatirons offer some of the most popular climbs in the country. In 1953 a guy even made headlines when he climbed the Third wearing roller skates.
In 2015, USA Today named the Boulder Farmers Market the #1 Farmers Market in the U.S. and it's no surprise why. More than 150 vendors, selling everything from ripe fruit to dried flowers to handmade soap, host the longest market season in the state of Colorado. The market runs from the first Saturday in April through the Saturday after Thanksgiving, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is also a Wednesday night market that runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m from the first Wednesday in May to the first Wednesday in October. All items marked as "organic" have been grown on farms that were certified by the state. It's not one to be missed if you're looking for a local experience.
Eldorado Canyon is a beautiful oasis right in Boulder's backyard and is an outdoor lover's paradise. Intricate climbs on the sandstone cliffs are up to 700 feet high and there are more than 500 routes to choose from—so no matter your skill level, there's a climb for everyone. Hike under the towering canyon walls or climb over rocks, enjoy a picnic along the beautiful South Boulder Creek, or even horseback ride through the park. But just know, this is a day-only park, so camping is not permitted.
Enjoy tea? Take a free tour of the Celestial Seasonings headquarters campus and factory. This tea conglomerate, which serves up 1.6 billion cups of tea annually, offers a 45-minute tour during which you learn how their products are blended, packaged, and shipped. Plus, taste some free samples! A highlight of the tour is the famous Mint Room, which houses all the varieties of mint used in their teas. The aroma and flavor of the mint is so strong that if it was housed with the other tea ingredients, the mint would permeate the other items and make them unusable. The Mint Room is sure to clear out your sinuses, though! Tickets to hourly walk-in tours are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Take a ride on this school bus that has been converted into a hillbilly shack equipped with disco balls and saddles and recliners for seats. This funky 90-minute tour of Boulder will entertain you with stories of scandals, murders, and hauntings. While the stories may sound silly and the guides crack jokes the whole time, everything you'll hear is true and has helped shaped the city to be what it is today.