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What to Do Before Check-in in Boulder

Got a little time to kill before you check-in at your hotel? Here are a few easygoing activities that will help you maximize your time so you don't miss a thing in Boulder. 

Visit the Museum of Boulder

The Museum of Boulder is an ideal first stop during your visit. That's because you'll see what has made this town tick from the very beginning — a lens that will give you a new view of the city for the rest of your stay! The museum's fun, interactive exhibits are in a historic and innovative space that's also dedicated to hosting popular traveling exhibitions, art shows and events. And don't miss the rooftop, which has some of the best views of the Flatirons around.

Museum of Boulder

Get a Spa Treatment

Just arrived via plane or a car ride? Release the tension of travel with a massage, facial or spa treatment. Boulder has been called “the most relaxed city in America” by Inc., based on the fact that the city has 122% of the national average of wellness-focused small businesses. Go for the Colorado Bliss CBD massage at St Julien Hotel and Spa, which also gives you access to the steam room, sauna, pool and hot tub for the day, or the Calming Retreat treatment at Woodhouse Spa that includes exfoliation, therapeutic stone massage, neck and shoulder massage, acupressure and a scalp massage.

Have Tea at the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

This dazzling Persian teahouse was a gift to Boulder from our sister city of Dushanbe. Handcrafted by artisans, the elaborate structure was shipped piece-by-piece from Tajikistan and assembled in Boulder. It is an inviting and peaceful place to enjoy one of dozens of types of teas and a bite to eat while taking in the vibrant carvings and paintings that cover every inch of the interior.

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Insider Tip

On Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons, spring through fall, the Boulder Farmers Market happens right in front of the teahouse. Take in the sights and smells of the market, have tea or lunch at the teahouse and visit the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) next door.

Go Shopping at Twenty Ninth Street

Centrally located and with amazing Flatirons views, Twenty Ninth Street is an outdoor shopping center with favorite national retailers. They've added a number of rare outposts for brands you can usually only find online: Vuori's uber-cozy workout wear, Parachute Home's luxe bedding, Roark's travel-ready apparel, and Bonobos men's clothing — plus eateries with fanatical followings like Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, Shake Shack and Crumbl cookies, alongside local cafes like Alpine Modern and Birdcall. In summer, there's live music on select evenings and a fun, open atmosphere year-round.

Twenty Ninth Street

Pedal Around on an E-Bike

With the pedal assist of an electric bike, you can zoom around Boulder and barely break a sweat. In this bike-obsessed town, you’ll enjoy a huge network of paved paths and bike lanes, plus if you opt for a tour, a bike-loving guide will share fascinating facts as you cruise around town. Electric Cruiser Bike Tours, Beyond Boulder Adventure ToursJD's Joyrides and Boulder Bike Tours offer scenic e-bike tours for all levels — and all of them are awesome! There are plenty more ways to e-bike in Boulder, too, detailed in our e-biking guide.

JD's Joyrides E-bike Mural Tour

Explore Boulder's Coffee Crawl

Boulder has nearly four dozen independent coffee shops. Honestly, every single one has a cool atmosphere, and some double as a plant shop, bike shop or outdoor gear store. Bring your laptop or tablet and cozy up in a corner while you do some people-watching and plan the rest of your stay in Boulder.

Photo by Gwen Gray

January Coffee

Visit a Taproom

In Boulder, we like beer as much as we like coffee. Our craft brewers — many of them engineers who graduated from CU — are always coming up with new brews. Right downtown is Mountain Sun, which has a delightful Boulder hippy vibe and delicious food, or head to one of Upslope's modern-alpine taprooms with innovative beers to try. 

Avery Brewing

Stroll Pearl Street

Stretch your legs after your journey to Boulder with a walk down the brick-paved pedestrian promenade that is the heart and soul of downtown Boulder. Lined with independent shops, cafes and restaurants, you'll find plenty on Pearl Street to entertain you — including the famous street performers that draw crowds on sunny days. Explore "off the bricks" to discover even more on West Pearl and East Pearl. 

Photo by Denise Chambers

Pearl Street

Picnic or Photo Ops at Chautauqua

Chautauqua is the general term Boulderites use for the area at the foot of our famous Flatirons mountains. Here, you'll find historic cottages, a restaurant, the General Store, which sells coffee and ice cream, a huge park for picnicking, and a trailhead with paths leading up into the Flatirons. Grab a bite to eat from Alpine Modern on the way and enjoy the view. It's uphill to get to Chatuauqua, so it's best to Uber, Lyft or e-bike. If you have a car, you can drive, but be warned: parking is scarce. On summer weekends, there's a free Park to Park shuttle that is especially convenient.

Photo by Gwen Gray

Chautauqua Park