by Seema Nande Updated on 15 Oct 2018
Set in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder in northern Colorado is possibly one of the quaintest places to spend a vacation. The entire city is a hub of art, culture, heritage, and natural beauty. Overlooking the city is a patch of craggy rocks that offer spectacular views while the city itself is full of galleries, cafés, museums, restaurants, and boutiques – all the best that any city could have to offer. Here are the best places to visit in Boulder and improve the travel experience by experiencing these top tourist attractions in Boulder.
Let's explore the best things to do in Boulder:
1. Go Shopping at the Pearl Street Mall
The Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado is one of the most happening and lively places in the city. The Mall stretches on for four street blocks and is a completely pedestrian mall. Home to a number of amazing businesses including breweries, coffee shops, bookstores, gift shops, and eateries, the Pearl Street Mall is simply one of a kind. Street performers put on shows right at the mall all the time; so, there is no dearth of entertainment options either while on a shopping spree or a food tour.
2. Go Hiking in Flagstaff Mountain
The easiest way to get to Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder, Colorado is by hiking. Located on the eastern flank of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, the six thousand nine hundred and eighty-three feet peak stands proudly as a foothill. The view from the top of the mountain is fantastic and the journey there is just as remarkable. The hiking trail up Flagstaff Road through Realization Point up to the summit is one of the best that Colorado has to offer with a clear view of the city of Boulder.
3. Drink in at the Avery Brewery
Formed in 1993, the Avery Brewery in Boulder, Colorado is one of the most epic local breweries. Their specialty is their craft beer and some very interesting ales. They have a very informative tour that provides a deep insight into their manufacturing process and the equipment that they use. The Avery Brewery is also famous for their organic products and fresh samples along with some finger food. Taking the guided tour is well worth it because it is absolutely free and fresh from the tap.
4. Visit the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
Galas, events, fundraisers, and performances are quite common at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. The Museum hosts several pieces from both local and international artists that bring variety and perspective to the art scene of Boulder. There are also some auctions held at the museum that can be quite exciting and invites even more artistic exploration from the visitors and patrons. Truly one of the most remarkable places to visit in Boulder, Colorado.
5. Check Out the Fiske Planetarium
The Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, Colorado is a remarkable place and visiting it is one of the best things to do on a trip to the city. Any planetarium is a place of learning and a higher understanding of the cosmos. The Fiske Planetarium is no exception and the discourses on astronomy and astrophysics are riveting. The laser show that is part of the experience also makes the planetarium more palatable to people without an interest in astronomy and astrophysics. In short, definitely worth a trip.
6. See the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History
Natural History is a fascinating subject and the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History makes it even easier to fall in love with the subject. They often have live enactments involving the visitors to make things even more interesting. They also have the one thing that all kids go crazy over – dinosaur skeletons. The museum actually has a diverse range of exhibits considering its size and makes for a really enjoyable day out with the family and kids.
7. Take a Tour of the Andrews Arboretum
A small Arboretum on the east side of Broadway between Grandview Street and Marine Street in Boulder, the Andrews Arboretum is the pride of Colorado. Open every day free of charge, the Andrews Arboretum includes biking trails and walkways for a tour absolute floral heaven. Established in 1948, the Andrews Arboretum showcases a wide variety of plants and affords some much-needed peace and quiet right in the middle of the busy city of Boulder.
8. Check Out the University of Colorado Art Museum
Located on the campus of the University of Colorado, the Art Museum is full of sophisticated artworks that provoke deeper thought. The gallery hosts several events including academic lectures, workshops, and the occasional auction. The major selling point of the museum is its strong connection to local history and the guided tours are totally worth it. The best thing is that several art students have had their pieces showcased here as well, which makes it even more inspiring.
9. Visit the Shelby American Collection
Race cars have a certain appeal to them for almost anyone. With the featured vintage race cars, the Shelby American Collection makes it a tough place to ignore on a trip to Boulder, Colorado. The vintage cars have been kept in mint condition and the memorabilia that can be purchased here are certainly one of a kind. The only flip side is that it is only open on Sunday. One of the most prominent exhibits is the GTM40 Mk IV that makes visitors go wild. Savor the afternoon spent at the Shelby.
10. Take a Trip to the Flatirons
The Flatirons are five large, numbered flatiron rock formations overlooking the city of Boulder, Colorado in the western United States. The Flatirons are numbered from north to south and these are the only famous Flatirons. But there are numerous other named peaks such as Bear Peaks. Estimated to be over two hundred million years old, the Flatirons were originally composed of conglomeratic sandstone and over time, was reoriented and eroded into its current form. Spectacular views and a superb hiking and trekking experience are to be had here and not ones to be missed.
11. Take a Trip to Bear Peak
The famous Bear Peak is a summit in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder Colorado and is believed to be a part of the Flatirons. With an elevation of over two thousand and seven hundred feet, the summit provides some remarkable views that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The hiking trails are rife with wildflowers in full bloom and the loop is difficult to navigate. It may not be a great idea for beginners to travel the entire loop but for the experienced hikers, it is a dream.
12. Tour the Eldorado Canyon State Park
The Eldorado Canyon State Park is located near Boulder, Colorado and is a part of the Colorado State Park System. The entire park is split into two regions – the Inner Canyons and the Crescent Meadows. The sandstone cliffs make for a superb rock-climbing experience and there are multiple hiking trails along the canyon. Be sure to bring along a pair of binoculars as the State Park is home to several Golden Eagles. Ideal for a family trip with kids, the Eldorado Canyon State Park is simply superb and it is best to take a ranger along as a tour guide for an even better experience.
13. Take a Trip to South Boulder Creek
The South Boulder Creek in central Boulder, Colorado is a tributary of the Boulder Creek. With a source near Roger’s Pass on the Continental Divide, the stream flows inwards to meet the Boulder Creek in the northeast part of Boulder. Located within half an hour of the city of Boulder, it is easily one of the most scenic river routes in all of Colorado. Truly one of the best ways to spend a vacation to Boulder is to take a drive along South Boulder Creek and follow it to Boulder Creek.
14. Stand atop the Gross Reservoir
The Gross Reservoir in Boulder, Colorado is completely owned and operated by Denver Water and it flows out into the South Boulder Creek, which is another great place to visit. The Gross Reservoir is very well-known for fishing and harbors several kinds of fish including Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Sockeye Salmon, and Tiger muskellunge. It is completely open to the public and offers activities such as hiking, camping, picnicking, and paddle boating for some wholesome family fun.
15. Stop and Shop at the Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery
The Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery near Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado is a cute shop that is run by an artist’s cooperative. The pieces and articles on display are all handcrafted works of art including jewelry, ceramics, sculptures, and prints. Each item on display has its own unique backstory and the local artisan make vibrant, delightful items that are an absolute steal. The same items would cost a lot more elsewhere and this unique shopping experience also presents several fabulous gifting options that will leave the recipients totally wide-eyed.