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    Hiking the Flatirons

    48 Hours in Boulder

    Got just a weekend to spend in Boulder, or a couple of days mid-week? Make the most of them with these highlights around Boulder. 

    Day 1: Essential Boulder

    Chautauqua Dining Hall


    • Rise and shine with a delicious breakfast on the veranda of the historic Chautauqua Dining Hall, whose menus feature fresh picks from the owners’ local farm. Try the Chautauqua croquet monsieur or the Southwestern frittata with a side of green chili.

    • The restaurant is at the foot of Boulder’s beloved Flatirons, those slanting slabs of sandstone you’ll see depicted in logos and signs around town. This is the most iconic view in town.


    • Stop in the Ranger’s Cottage at the Chautauqua Trailhead for maps, then burn off the morning’s calories with a hike on the delightfully shady Amphitheater Trail, iconic Chautauqua Trail (returning via Bluebell Trail Road) or Woods Quarry Trail, where you’ll happen upon reclining “chairs” made of sandstone slabs.

    Flatirons with Yellow Flowers


    • If it’s a Saturday from April to November, then saunter the Boulder Farmers’ Market to sample some locally made goodies, ogle the flower and fruit displays, hear some live music and grab a plate of steaming dumplings or tamales from the outdoor “food court.” Nab a seat under the towering cottonwood trees at adjacent Central Park for an impromptu picnic.

    • Not visiting on a Saturday? Then definitely head to the Celestial Seasonings tea factory, where free tours happen every hour. You’ll get to walk the production floor, step inside the invigorating mint room and sample as many teas as you like.


    • Time for a drink on the patio of Pearl Street’s Centro Latin Kitchen + Refreshment Palace, where locals gather for happy hour and aspen trees quiver in the breeze. Try the Hot Rosser if you like a little kick or a mojito for minty perfection.


    • The quintessential Boulder meal might just be at The Kitchen. Named one of the greenest restaurants in the West by Sunset magazine, it’s all about local, sustainable and downright delicious farm-to-table cuisine here. 

    The Kitchen Boulder


    • Head to the historic Boulder Theater in downtown, where there’s a rock show, movie or other event on the calendar many evenings a week. You’ll want to snap a few pics of the theater’s iconic marquee and order up some local beers during the show.

    Day 2: Adventure Like a Local


    • Shake off any cobwebs from the previous night out with a yoga class. Try Yoga Pod’s warm Vinyasa yoga or Yoga Loft’s Sacred Flow class, accompanied by a live sitar.


    • Now you’ve earned your beignets, served piping hot and covered in powdered sugar — just one of many raved-about specialties at Lucile’s, a café in an old Victorian home that serves sumptuous Creole cuisine. These owners have their own farm, too!


    • You’re ready to check out the heart and soul of Boulder: Pearl Street. This brick-paved street is closed to vehicles, filled with people out walking, and lined with flower beds and great boutiques. Shop your heart out, or grab a bench and simply enjoy the people watching or street performers — magicians, musicians and contortionists, oh my!

    Pearl Street Performer Boulder


    • Opt for some Boulder eats at one of the many places that offer healthy meals without sacrificing any of the deliciousness: Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place, Fresh Thymes, Blooming Beets, Leaf or Zeal

    Avery Brewing Bar


    • No trip to Boulder would be complete without a stop in one of our 20 breweries. Step into Avery Brewing’s shiny new, open-concept facility and you’ll get a whole new appreciation for the art of brewing. Head to the tasting room, restaurant or patio to order from a staggering list of inventive beers, paired with delicious gastropub fare.

    Want more ideas? Check out the must-see list or the New York Times' "36 Hours in Boulder". And here is another two-day Boulder itinerary from Paste magazine.