Boulder is a mere 25 miles from Denver, but it is not considered a suburb. Rather, it is a world unto itself. Locals jokingly call it “the bubble” or “25 square miles surrounded by reality.” A Boulder vacation encompasses the best of Mother Nature, the charm of a smaller town, and easy access to Denver and the Rocky Mountains. Located in a broad valley set against the eastern slope of the Rockies, Boulder does seem to be a world apart. It is physically separated from surrounding communities by a ring of green space. It’s pioneering Open Space and Mountain Parks Department manages tens of thousands of acres of public land that is laced with recreational trails. The three side-by-side slabs of striking red sandstone known as the Flatirons are the local symbol. But Boulder is more than just a pretty face. Its about 100,000 residents are among the best educated, fittest and most politically progressive in the country. The Pearl Street Mall, one of the country’s first pedestrian malls, is the...See More centerpiece of downtown, lined with unique, locally owned shops and restaurants. Just a few blocks away is the main campus of the University of Colorado. Some 30,000 students give brainy, beautiful Boulder an overlay of youthful energy, enthusiasm and great nightlife. Not surprisingly, many students stay around after graduation. The city is aggressively, emphatically green. Boulderites embrace alternative energy, alternative transportation, conservation and recycling. The climate for entrepreneurship is favorable, as well. A local incubator has enabled people to hatch new business of various types, and more than 40 percent of Colorado’s venture capital has helped fund Boulder start-ups. Innovation and energy radiate. It seems as if everyone in town finds time to run, cycle, hike, climb and work out in the city’s several public and private health clubs. Boulder is also a practical jumping-off point for day trips to Denver and to Colorado Springs and all of their appeals, and the scenic splendor and outdoor recreational opportunities of Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness are within an hour’s drive. See Less
Don't know where to go? Check out our 2 and 7 Day Itineraries to get an idea of what you could do in this great city!
2 DAY ITINERARY
1Have breakfast at the Chautauqua Dining Hall in Chautauqua Park (or elsewhere during most winter days). Take a long or short hike directly from the park. Leave the park and drive west on Flagstaff Road with several roadside overlooks. Turn off to the Sunrise Amphitheater for fantastic views across Boulder to the endless plains.
2The City of Boulder manages 144 miles of trails for hiking, biking, walking or running. And since you're here, you may as well enjoy nature's bounty. If you're up for a day hike, pack your lunch, grab lots of water and a jacket and head out on the 6 ½ mile Mesa Trail at the base of the foothills between Chautauqua Park and Eldorado Springs.