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    Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art

    Boulder Museums

    While there's little doubt you'll be spending time frolicking outdoors in Boulder's remarkable natural beauty, be sure to save some energy for perusing some of the area's lesser known — but just as stimulating — cultural assets inside Boulder museums.

    Visit the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) for an always-provocative selection of contemporary works. And the assemblage of sculptures and paintings at Leanin' Tree Museum & Sculpture Garden of Western Art is better than a John Wayne movie for reigniting your imagination about the American West.

    Boulder's history museums aren't the yawn-inducing kind you've seen elsewhere. Take the Boulder History Museum (currently only open by appointment), which is known for putting together fun exhibits such as "Only in Boulder," "Tea to Tofu: Boulder's Natural Food Phenomenon" and "Thirty Years of Rock and Roll." Or the small but impressive collection at The Shelby American Collection Museum, whose dazzling displays in celebration of the cult-favorite race car consistently surprise visitors. The CU campus is home to the University of Colorado Heritage Center in the school's historic Old Main building, the CU Art Museum and University of Colorado Natural History Museum — all of which are intimate gems worth a peek.