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Top Fall Activities in Boulder

The crunch of leaves underfoot, that deliciously earthy smell in the crisp air, the embrace of your favorite cozy sweater and the warmth of a hazelnut latte.... Fall is a sensory delight in so many ways, especially in Boulder, where a short hike can lead to spectacularly colorful treetop views and acclaimed chefs are eager for you to taste their favorite harvest-time dishes. If you're visiting during this season of splendor, check out these activities below.

Go Leaf Peeping

Here are just a few ideas on where to see the fall colors in and around Boulder.

  • Mapleton Hill: One of Boulder’s most historic and beautiful neighborhoods, Mapleton Hill bursts with fall color each year. Stroll Mapleton Avenue between Broadway and 4th Streets to admire the stately homes and old-growth trees.
  • Mesa Trail: The south end of the Mesa Trail is a great place to walk among the turning leaves. Yellow cottonwoods and red sumac are prevalent in this area. The trailhead is on the north side of Eldorado Springs Drive. 
  • Wonderland Lake: A gentle loop trail at Wonderland Lake provides reflecting views of the golden cottonwoods and the Flatirons in the distance.
  • Bobolink Trail: For a mellow, 2-mile cruise with excellent bird-spotting opportunities, follow the path south from the Bobolink Trailhead. Bikes are allowed on the paved section of trail (just be careful not to veer onto the unpaved pedestrian section that parallels the creek through the trees). Because this trail is on the eastern edge of town, you’ll get to admire foothills views and open space vistas along the way, with yellow Aspens lining your path.

Bobolink Trail

  • Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway: For a scenic fall drive from Boulder, take Hwy. 119 (Canyon Blvd.) west ScenicDrives2018up to Nederland and you’ll hit Hwy. 72, part of the Peak-to-Peak Scenic and Historic Byway. The byway runs from Black Hawk to Estes Park and is one of the best places in Colorado to see fall colors.
Drive Wisely

Please use caution when driving mountain roads. It's best to download a map before you leave in case you go into areas with no cell coverage. In winter (or even late fall!), ensure you have snow tires or chains. And if you need to take a moment to enjoy the scenery or consult your map, pull over in a safe, out-of-the-way spot.

Take a Mural Tour

Boulder has seen an explosion of murals in the last handful of years, largely thanks to the local nonprofit Street Wise Arts. Be on the lookout for new murals created during their summer, fall and spring festival series that bring community-informed and accessible mural projects to Boulder. Check out our mural page for current mural maps, grab a hot drink from a coffee shop and hit the streets. 

Street Wise Boulder Mural

Sip Some Fall Beers

Boulder has about 20 breweries, many of which serve food and have gorgeous outdoor patios. Special seasonal releases are common, so check the latest tap lists for gems like Avery's Rumpkin (pumpkin-infused with rum notes) or Upslope's Pumpkin Ale. 

It's also the perfect time for cider, with a fantastic local option to try in Boulder: BOCO Cider.

Man and woman drinking beer outside at Sanitas Brewing

Stop by a Farm Stand or Pumpkin Patch

Boulder is surrounded by acres of farmland, the bounty of which supplies our acclaimed restaurants with the tastiest ingredients. You can go right to the source and shop the following Boulder County farm stands — while enjoying some amazing fall landscapes along the way.

Enjoy a Coffeeshop Patio

Sip a warm, creamy latte or maybe a hazelnut-spiced cappuccino while you relax on a coffeeshop patio and people-watch or read a book. A few favorite coffeehouse patios include Ozo Coffee on Pearl, Alpine ModernBeleza Coffee Bar and Dry Storage Bakery.

Stroll Pearl Street

With mountain views and a canopy of changing trees, Pearl Street is a sight to see in autumn. You'll likely catch street performers, shop sidewalk sales and grab a patio seat for open-air dining on our chefs' incredible fall flavors.  

Pearl Street, Boulder, CO

Taste Fall's Bounty

Boulder's chefs are renowned for their ingenious use of ingredients readily available on Boulder County's 800+ farms. Now's the time to grab a table (outside, if that's most comfortable for you) and taste their amazing creations. 

2024 Fall Events

September Events | October Events | November Events

Plan your visit around a fall festival or event. Below are a few annual events to get you started, with a complete calendar available here


CU Buffs Football Season
August 29-November 29, 2024
Watch the Pac-12 CU Buffs compete on beautiful Folsom Field.

Boulder Farmers Market
Every Saturday, April 6-November 16, 2024 (8am-2pm) 
Every Wednesday, May 1-October 2, 2024 (3:30-7:30pm)
Come sample, shop, meet local farmers, smell the flowers, hear live music, sit by the creek and eat great food.

Boulder Farmers Market


Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema
August 30-September 1, 2024
Check out a stellar selection of international dance films, along with workshops, installations and performances. 

Boulder Fall Fest
September 13-15, 2024
This three-day autumn festival features live music, great food, local microbrews, wine and margaritas, with the added excitement of children’s activities and featuring Firefly Handmade Markets.

Street Wise Mural Festival
September 13-15, 2024
Street Wise Mural Festival explores the intersection of art and activism while centering womxn, BIPOC, LGBTQIA and emerging artists.

Street Wise Murals in Boulder

CU Homecoming
September 19-21, 2024
In-person events will include the annual Alumni Awards ceremony, Spirit Days on the Quad, Buffs on Tap, the 50-Year Reunion for the class of 1971 and the Ralphie’s Corral tailgate.

Festival del Sol
September 22, 2024
Disfrute musica en vivo, camión de comida, bebidas en el jardìn, bailes tradicionales, juegos, actividades para ni­ños, cabina de fotos, y ventas de arte local ubicadas en el auditorio de Chautauqua y jardines circundantes. 
Enjoy live music, food trucks, outdoor beer/wine garden, traditional dance, games, children’s activities, photo booth, and local art vendors at the Chautauqua Auditorium and surrounding gardens.

Mapleton Hill Porchfest
September 22, 2024
A free event where dozens of local musicians play and sing on quaint porches of the historic homes in the Mapleton Hill neighborhood.


Open Studios
October 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20, 2024
Boulder artists open their homes and studios to the public for a unique and intimate arts event that spans three weekends.

Indigenous Peoples Day
October 14, 2024
A series of events across Boulder become part of a national effort to recognize and honor the existence, culture and contributions of the original inhabitants of North America. 

World Singing Day Boulder
October 19, 2024
A free community sing-along where people of all ages, backgrounds, and singing abilities are invited. No rehearsals or preparation needed. Just show up!

BOCO Flamenco Festival
TBA, 2024
The Dairy Arts Center hosts two days of music with 2021 Grammy Nominee Rafael Riqueni headlining along with well-known guitarist Juani de la Isla and singer El Cañejo.

CU Family Weekend
October 24-27, 2024
CU welcomes families of students for a football game, 5K run/walk, educational sessions and more family fun.

Munchkin Masquerade
October 31, 2024
Each Halloween, Downtown Boulder is invaded by tiny ghosts and goblins, dinosaurs and dragons, fairies and princes, superheroes and animals of every size for trick-or-treating along Pearl Street.

Munchkin Masquerade


Boulder Jewish Film Festival
TBA, 2024
This intimate film festival explores the human experience through film and provides audiences with insight into the Jewish experience.

Firefly Handmade Holiday Market
November 9-10, 2024
Artisans fill the blocks of Pearl Street to shop the best of local, handmade craft, art and design in a festive setting.

Switch on the Holidays
November 24, 2024
Come see the lighting of downtown in holiday lights and an appearance by Santa Claus, too.

St. Nick on the Bricks
Friday, November 29, and Saturdays, November 20-December 21, 2024
Kids of all ages can visit with Santa at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center for free.

Snow Much Fun Light Displays
TBA, 2024
During Snow Much Fun, hundreds of thousands of colorful LED lights illuminate Boulder’s Civic Area, next to the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and throughout downtown Boulder, including all along historic Pearl Street. Each year there are fun, themed light displays. Grab a hot cup of cocoa and enjoy a wonder-filled stroll outside.