Boulder, a city not too far from Denver, is a great place that appealed to me the second I arrived. It’s got just about everything – a nice downtown, friendly people, great food, entertainment, sports, and nature. I couldn’t say enough good things about it.
A good place to start exploring is Pearl Street and the pedestrianized Pearl Street Mall. It’s four blocks lined with colorful historic buildings, and there are all kinds of shops and restaurants to choose from for just about any budget. The official website for downtown Boulder has plenty of information on what to do.
One building to look out for is the Boulder County Courthouse. It’s surrounded by a nicely manicured green area with a few benches. There are some statues out front.
Just off Pearl Street are two more buildings of interest. The Boulder Theater, built in 1906, first opened as an opera house. It got its present name and look in 1936 and was renovated as a concert venue in 1981. After closing its doors on and off, it’s been open permanently since 1995. It’s always featuring great concerts and other shows. The Boulder Theater is located next to the courthouse.
The other building, Hotel Boulderado, is a historic hotel built in 1909 and located behind the courthouse. It’s got a beautiful interior that’s worth checking out.
To learn more about the city, visit the Museum of Boulder. It’s a private museum that features artifacts and displays about the history of the city and area. It will move into a new state-of-the-art facility in 2017. We couldn’t visit because the museum was preparing to move into the new building. Check the website for more info.
One of the nicest university campuses in the country can be found at the University of Colorado. It’s worth taking a walk through the campus to see its signature red brick buildings or to pop into the Museum of Natural History or Art Museum. It’s also got a great view of the Flatirons, which is covered later in this entry.
Folsom Field is the university’s historic football stadium that opened in 1924. With a capacity of over 53,000 and an incredible backdrop, it’s a great place to watch the Colorado Buffaloes play on a Saturday. There are several other men’s and women’s sports to take in while visiting the university. Check the official athletic site for schedules and info.
The Hill is a neighborhood just west of the University of Colorado campus. It’s full of businesses, restaurants, shops, and more.
The best of Boulder is the nature surrounding it. Chautauqua Park is a historic landmark that opened in 1898. It’s located at the base of the Flatirons and was built as a retreat. In addition to the several historic buildings, including the lodge, auditorium, and dining hall, there are excellent trails that go up into the Flatirons. It’s a great place to go hiking.
High above the city is Flagstaff Mountain. Visitors can hike, bike, or drive to the top. For breathtaking views of Boulder and the plains to the east, stop at Panorama Point. At the top, there are more trails and an amphitheater with more excellent views. Parking lots provide fee boxes to pay the parking fee.