Self-Guided Tours of Boulder
Looking to get out, do some sightseeing and have an adventure with your family or go solo? We've uncovered a number of self-guided tours that let you explore and discover fascinating aspects of Boulder at your own pace.
Many of these have places to stop for snacks, coffee and beverages along the way in famously foodie Boulder. If you're headed out on a trail, be sure to bring some snacks, a bottle of water and sunscreen.
Downtown Public Art Walking Tour
What do bears, buffalo, doves, Southern Arapaho Chief Niwot and Persian teahouses have in common? They’re all part of our self-guided public art walking tour. Some of Boulder’s best public art is included on this easy, downtown walking tour, every step of which is detailed here. And you’ll find plenty of spots to stop for beverages and snacks along the way.
Self-Guided Bike Tours
Beyond Boulder Bike Adventures offers two clever self-guided tours that you can do by bike (either on yours or rent one through them). Their Mystery and History Scavenger Hunt guides you safely through Boulder while imparting little-known fun facts as you check out some of Boulder's top sights and historic and artistic features around town. The Brews Cruise lets you pedal at your own pace along mostly flat bike paths beside babbling brooks and prairie dog towns, checking out Boulder's growing craft beverage scene and enjoying special discounts along the way. Both come with detailed maps and instructions and trivia games with prizes.
Walter Orr Roberts Weather Trail
Named after the pioneering astronomer and atmospheric scientist who founded the National Center for Atmosphere Research (NCAR) in Boulder, this mini-hike is a 0.4-mile loop in one of Boulder’s prettiest locations — on a piney hilltop in NCAR's backyard. Excellent signage will guide you through the landscape, encouraging you to learn about the area’s weather and ecosystems along the way. Here's more info on the Walter Orr Roberts Weather Trail.
Historic Self-Guided Tours
Have a penchant for the past? Dive deep into Boulder’s history on a detailed Boulder Historic Neighborhoods Walking Tour. Highlights include an outdoor theater named after one of America’s first female professors, a historic crown-jewel hotel and a cemetery where many of Boulder’s earliest prominent figures are buried. For a more adventurous outing, you can purchase a "History Hunt" guide created by a local eighth grader that will lead you on an educational scavenger hunt through some of Boulder's most interesting historic sites.
Photo: City of Boulder
Shopping Tour for Gearheads
If you’re gear-obsessed and love to shop outdoor adventure retailers, then Boulder will be like heaven to you. We’ve got a page about Boulder’s gear shops, but the easiest way to take a self-guided tour of them would be to start at Front Range Anglers on Pearl Street’s east end and make your way down to the far west end of Pearl Street to University Cycles. Along the way, there are at least 20 outdoor retailers at last count, including a Patagonia flagship, Montbell, prAna and many more.
CU Self-Guided Tour
The University of Colorado Boulder campus is rich with architectural marvels, spectacular views and photo ops. While a lot of the college’s museums remain closed to the public due to the pandemic, an outdoor stroll is well worth your time. Follow CU’s own recommended self-guided tour.
Tea Tour of Boulder
Boulder is certifiably tea obsessed. If you are, too, you can make a self-guided tour out of visiting these tea hot spots: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, a dazzling, hand-carved and hand-painted Persian teahouse; Ku Cha House of Tea; Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary; Pekoe Sip House; and A Cup of Peace. A tad unconventional but oh-so Boulder, you can also try unique experiences like The Root Kava Bar, which offers ethnobotanical teas, or try kombucha (a fermented, bubbly and cold tea full of probiotics) at bars and breweries across town. Kombucha brewer Rowdy Mermaid even has its own tasting booth at Rayback Collective.