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    Historic Boulder

    Boulder's History Is No Mystery 

    Boulder's history is easily experienced. From its aesthetically-appealing historic downtown and neighborhoods, historic walking and bus tours, to its own National Historic Landmark, this college town of 103,000 residents is a history-lover's dream town. 

    Downtown Boulder 

    The Downtown Boulder Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Pearl Street is the main street and four blocks of it are closed to traffic, making up the Pearl Street Mall. It is the heart and soul of Boulder and the perfect spot to see Boulder's distinctive lifestyle.

    • Stay: Overnight at one of Boulder's downtown historic properties — the Hotel Boulderado, the Bradley Boulder Inn, or the Briar Rose B&B.
    • Eat: Many of Boulder's favorite restaurants are located in historic downtown Boulder.
    • Play:  Little kids cool-off by playing in the pop-jet fountains located on the pedestrian mall in front of the art deco Boulder County Courthouse.
    • See: Historical signs with words and photographs displayed along the Pearl Street Mall.
    • Learn: The Museum of Boulder at the Tebo Center is the place to hear all about Boulder's past. 

    Teddy Roosevelt called it "the most American thing in America." He was referring to the Chautauqua Movement, which was at its height in the late 1800s through the early 1900s. Americans traveled to gather for multiple days to enjoy stimulating lectures, music, camaraderie and nature. The Colorado Chautauqua was, and still is, located in Boulder. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 2006. It is located on 40 acres at the bottom of Boulder's mountains — exactly where the mountains meet the plains — and is made up of nearly 100 cottages, a restaurant, an auditorium, a park, hiking trails and wide open spaces.

    • Stay: Overnight in a historic cottage (studios to three-bedrooms).
    • Eat: Linger on the wrap-around porch of the restaurant, circa 1898.
    • Play: Throw a ball, run around or take a nap under the big old trees in Chautauqua Park.
    • Listen: Attend a concert — symphonic or rock n' roll — in the historic auditorium.
    • See: Stroll through the streets, gardens and hiking trails.
    • Learn: Dial 303-952-1600 for a mobile phone audio tour.

    Boulder was first populated by miners who flocked to the area when gold was discovered in Boulder Canyon. The city's beginnings date to 1859 when a group of foresighted settlers organized the Boulder City Town Company. In the early years, the town grew slowly, because lots were expensive and business was limited to trades which supplied the mining towns in the mountains. In 1873, railroads connected Boulder to other major areas. Between 1873 and 1880, the population tripled. The young community of Boulder began preserving land in 1898 with the purchase of Chautauqua Park. By the end of the 19th century, Boulder had already established itself as a center for health, recreation, and culture. In 1967, Boulder became the first city in the US to tax itself for the acquisition, management, and maintenance of open space. Today, there are 45,000 acres of this open space surrounding the city.

    Media Contact

    Kim Farin

    Director of Marketing