Looking to get out, do some sightseeing and have an adventure with your family, your quaranteam or solo? We've uncovered a number of self-guided tours that let you explore and discover fascinating aspects of Boulder at a safe distance and 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.
What do bears, buffalo, doves, Indian 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.
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.
Did you know Season 15 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” featured Boulder? See where they filmed, where contestants shopped for kitchen supplies, and where to eat Top Chef-caliber food on this Top Chef Boulder Itinerary.
The City of Boulder has put together an excellent, step-by-step guided trek that will tell you all about the ancient geology on display at Spring Brook North Trail and Goshawk Ridge. Print out the guide, then park on Hwy. 67 at the Fowler Trailhead to get started. Among the discoveries, you’ll see exposed cliffs of Dakota Sandstone, which is a 100-million-year-old beach.
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.
At Colorado Chautauqua Historic District, stroll around Chautauqua Park and enjoy an excellent self-guided audio phone tour. Use your mobile phone to tap into explanations of the history and uniqueness of the Colorado Chautauqua at nine stops with four interpretive panels located throughout the National Historic Landmark.
Have a penchant for the past? Dive deep into Boulder’s history on this 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.
Photo: City of Boulder
Thanks to several city-supported art programs, Boulder has seen a recent explosion of murals, with over 90 scattered across town. On our murals page, you’ll find a map, so you can visit clusters of murals in neighborhoods across Boulder.
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.
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.
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. Of course, our big tea attraction is the Celestial Seasonings factory, but their tours are currently suspended due to the pandemic. There's still plenty to give you a taste of Boulder's tea scene, and we invite you to come back for the Celestial tour when they reopen.