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Truth or Myth?

6 Questions About Boulder

It's always fun to hear what visitors from other places thought was true about Boulder before they actually got here. ("I thought you were located near Oregon," or "We thought it would be below zero all winter.") Understandable, since the only way to really get to know a place is to see it for yourself (and we invite you to come for a visit!). But until then, let’s sort the fact from the fiction. 

True or False...

Boulder Is Located Up in the Mountains

False. Some pics can make it look like Boulder is in the mountains at high altitude, but Boulder is located exactly where the plains and the Rocky Mountains meet. Yet we are nestled right into the piney foothills — so the scenery is still spectacular. When you land at the Denver airport, there are no mountain passes to traverse. It’s an easy, 45-minute cruise down the highway. Boulder's elevation is just 5,430 feet above sea level (in comparison, Vail’s elevation is 8,150 feet and Estes Park’s is 7,522 feet).

Summer Aerial

We Are Buried in Snow All Winter Long

False. We get it — you think Colorado, you think piles and piles of snow! But Boulder has a mild, fairly dry climate, and the sun shines much of the time. The average temperature in January is 47 — not too shabby. When it snows, it’s often just a pretty dusting that makes the Flatirons look like they’ve been sprinkled in powdered sugar. Could you experience a blizzard here in winter? Sure. But it’s more likely that it will be sunny and locals will be bundled up and riding their bikes, out hiking or even sitting on patios for lunch. Here's a slideshow of Boulder in every season.

Winter Hiking at Chautauqua

Our Only Obsession Is the Outdoors

False. There are indeed a lot of people here who live and die for outdoor recreation. And, yes, a large segment of the population regularly asks itself, "Should I wear my regular yoga pants to dinner or my fancy yoga pants to dinner tonight?" But we’re also into the urban side of life: great places to dine (after we’ve burned all those damn calories on the trails!), drink coffee (so much coffee), sample beer (so much beer) and the arts (Boulder was named one of the top ten most vibrant arts communities among medium-sized U.S. cities)

Dairy Arts Center gallery

Boulder’s Just a Bunch of Hippies

Tr…alse? We love our flower-power, hippy-dippy past — Visit Boulder even has a vintage VW Bus that serves as a mobile visitor center. Hippie culture definitely thrived in Boulder in the 70s and that vibe is still around, but times change, and so do towns. Boulder’s now as much of a tech town and center for scientific research as it is a peace-sign-flashing hippy hub. So, yes, you can eat raw, vegan food and buy incense at an unusually high number of Tibetan import shops, and you can also tour a national research labdine fancy or attend a Ted Talk.

VW Visitor Bus at the Flatirons

This Is a Big City

False (but kind of true). Boulder has all the amenities of a big city, but our modest population hovers around 100,000 (and some 30,000 of those are University of Colorado students). You’ll feel like you’re in a much more developed city than a small town of 100K — especially because of our thriving restaurant scene — but you will also be able to walk most places and get to a hiking trail within five minutes.

Man Walking Boulder Neighborhood

Boulder Is So Far Away

False. You might think of Colorado as “out West,” but really, we’re geographically in the center of the country. So even if you are flying from one of the coasts, you’re likely not more than a couple of hours via airplane to Denver International Airport. And from there, it’s an easy, flat 45-minute drive into Boulder. 

Maps of DEN flight paths