Recently named the eighth most vibrant arts community among medium-sized U.S. cities, Boulder has a lot to offer when it comes to arts and culture! Not sure where to start? Follow this itinerary for a day spent exploring Boulder's art scene.
A great way to start your day off is to grab a coffee at the Laughing Goat Coffee House. Since it's still early, relax with your cup of coffee while you take a peek at the local artwork. This artisan coffeehouse and gallery also features community performances in the evening hours, so if you can, stop back for poetry readings and acoustic music.
After you catch your morning buzz, head south to the campus of Naropa Institute. This liberal arts university is one of the few major accredited Buddhist-inspired universities in North America. Sit on the campus lawn where Beat Generation poets Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman discussed ideas on founding Naropa's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.
Head west from Naropa University to the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, which is another example of Asian influence in Boulder. This beautiful Persian teahouse was given to the city of Boulder by its sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Be sure to notice the intricately carved cedar columns and colorfully painted ceiling while you sip a spicy chai or one of dozens of tea flavors.
When you've finished admiring the art and enjoying your cup of tea, wander next door to the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. BMoCA is dedicated to the presentation of dynamic art of our time through the works of local and regional talents. Beyond the museum's exhibits, BMoCA also holds educational classes and monthly evening events.
An active morning of touring has probably given you a fierce appetite. A great way to satisfy an afternoon hunger is to grab a Spanish-inspired lunch at Corrida. Start with the olive oil bread with tomato butter, try the patatas bravas (roasted potatoes and fried egg) and then finish with a banana cream tart — all with one of Boulder's most spectacular views of the Flatirons.
After you wrap up your lunch, it's time to visit a few galleries. Boulder is home to hundreds of artists, and finding their work in this town isn't difficult. You could spend all day perusing galleries, so get going! A great way to visit a lot of Boulder's galleries is to start at 11th and Pearl St. and head east. Look out for Smith Klein, Art Mart, Boulder Arts & Crafts, 15th Street Studio, Art & Soul and Mary Williams Fine Art.
When your gallery tour is complete, it's time to reenergize before you hit the town. Receive a relaxing aromatherapy massage or a soothing seaweed body wrap at Essentiels Spa. This full-service spa can remedy your aches and blemishes from head to toe.
After you've spruced up for the evening, make your way to Corrida, with its stunning rooftop patio, for dinner. The dishes themselves are works of art at this high-end gourmet restaurant.
If you'd like to finish off the night with a little live entertainment, check the schedule for The Dairy Arts Center. This venue holds a wide variety of programming covering many genres in music, dance, theater and workshops.
When the doors let out it's time to wrap up the evening with a night cap at The Kitchen Upstairs. This casual urban wine lounge has a great ambiance for you to enjoy a cocktail and chat about your artsy day spent in Boulder.
Explore our Boulder Arts & Culture Guide.