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.
Boulder is arguably one of the best weekend getaways in Colorado — if not the whole Western United States!" —TripAdvisor
• 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 sits 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.
• 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.
• The farmers market happens on the doorstep of the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, an ornate Persian teahouse gifted to Boulder from our sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Stop to admire the hand-carved and hand-painted architecture.
• 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. (Celestial Seasonings is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.)
• Time for a Paloma cocktail and yucca fries on the patio of Pearl Street’s Centro Mexican Kitchen, where locals gather for happy hour and aspen trees quiver in the breeze.
• 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.
• 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.
Jesse Varner/Flickr Creative Commons
Low ceilings, sheepskin-draped chairs, a window into the kitchen, a cool cocktail bar — it all creates an intimate atmosphere, at Bramble and Hare, that compliments the elegant cooking of chef and farmer Eric Skokan (a James Beard nominee). We are partial to the cocktail named "My Mom Listens to Slayer," but there are extensive cocktail, wine and beer lists, too. (Bramble and Hare is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.)
• 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!
• No trip to Boulder would be complete without a stop in one of our many breweries. Step into Avery Brewing’s 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.
• Catch a dance, theater or comedy performance at the Dairy Arts Center, a hub for creativity in what Expedia calls "One of America's Most Artistic Towns." Art house films also show nightly within the center's Boedecker Cinema.