Boulder, Colorado is a city of about 100,000 residents, located at the base of the Flatiron Mountains just northwest of Denver. The city is the home to the University of Colorado‘s main campus. It boasts thousands of acres of recreational open space, 300 days of sunshine, and frequently wins awards for health, education and quality of life.
THE LOCALS: Anna & Eric
WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST THEM: (From Eric) I’ve lived in Boulder for seven years and still explore town like I’m on vacation each day. Trust me because if you’re curious about a hiking trail or bike route, I’ve probably done it. I could go on about more attractions, but one quick addition is that Pearl Street and nearby Walnut Street offer many great restaurants. I can count the number of okay or bad restaurants with my fingers, but the number of good or great ones are too numerous to count!
1. Favorite Street to Wander/Stroll in Boulder?
Pearl Street is Boulder’s living room. Stores and restaurants often have their doors open to the extensive walking mall (plus 300 days of sunshine!), inviting you to come in to simply browse or to stay awhile. If you’re not interested in shopping or eating, the street performers and people-watching opportunities make for an entertaining experience.
2. Best Coffee Shop or Bakery?
Spruce Confections on Pearl Street’s West End. Try the scones! Alternatives include Ozo (Central Pearl) and The Cup (West Pearl). P.S. Trust the Locals just tried Wonder Press, which is a damn good addition to Pearl Street’s coffee scene!
3. Best Area to Shop Local?
4. Favorite Sunny Day Agenda?
Rise early to beat the heat and hike Chautauqua or Sanitas. Biking options include mellow cruising along Boulder Creek Path or mountain biking in Betasso Preserve. Head up to Flagstaff Mountain Amphitheater for an afternoon picnic and to enjoy views of the city and cooler temperatures. Walk downtown afterwards for drinks and dinner.5. Most Essential Boulder Tip: Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking. Cars yield to people in this town, not the other way around. Plan to put in a mile or two just milling around town.
TRIPADVISOR’S TOP FIVE BOULDER ATTRACTIONS
1. Flatirons– Thumbs up!
These are Boulder’s iconic rocks, which can be seen from most places in town. Head up to Chautauqua Park for closer views from the meadow. Better yet, take the moderate to strenuous hike up to the top of the 1st and 2nd flatiron irons.
2. Chautauqua– Thumbs up. Numerous hikes originate from Chautauqua, ranging from light to strenuous on difficulty.
3. Private Tours- Thumbs down. Banjo Billy’s Bus Tour gets an honorable shout-out, but it’s a bit kitschy.
4. Pearl Street Mall– Thumbs Up
5. University of Colorado at Boulder– Thumbs sideways.
The University of Colorado, or CU, resembles an Italian village with its terracotta tile roofs and red sandstone exteriors. While the architecture is unique and something to marvel, do so from afar (e.g., from the high point of a hike or atop Flagstaff Mountain). The campus buildings have little to offer for visitors.
TRIPADVISOR’S TOP FIVE BOULDER RESTAURANTS
1. Riff’s Urban Fare– Thumbs Up
2. Snooze– Thumbs up.
3. Rincon Argentino–
4. Brasserie Ten Ten– Thumbs up.
Formal dining by Boulder standards. Food is fresh and on the lighter side. Another must for finer dining is Frasca, an award winning restaurant with an extensive wine program.
5. Flagstaff House Restaurant– Never been, but views are outstanding. $$$$