New York Times 36 Hours

Melissa Coleman
New York Times

A crowd of 4,000 gathered at the base of Boulder’s Flatirons in July of 1898 to celebrate the opening of the Colorado Chautauqua, part of a national movement promoting “wholesome, pleasurable study in sylvan surroundings,” according to the brochure, as well as “abundant recreational opportunities.” These days, Boulder offers the same formula. It has a college-town base of 30,000 students at the University of Colorado Boulder, 45,000 acres of protected open space and 300-plus days that see the sun, with an outdoorsy populace of former Deadheads, many now business owners and endurance athletes.