Gateway to the rockies ARTICLE DO NOT USE
Photo Credit: Heeb Photos / eStock
Marion Winik

The mountains are so breathtaking and the air so fresh and clear, you feel like you're in Switzerland. The legal marijuana culture recalls Amsterdam, the brewery scene is straight out of Munich, and the institutionalized progressivism reeks of Denmark and Sweden. Add 300 days of sunshine a year and a kaleidoscopic street culture to go with it... where are we?

It's Boulder, Colorado, "the city nestled between the mountains and reality," according to its tourism website. What used to be a pretty college town in the Front Range of the Rockies has bloomed into an exhilarating Eden for yoga mavens, tea and beer drinkers, health-conscious foodies, cyclists, hikers and regular old station-wagon families on their vacations out West.