15 Best Things To Do in Boulder, Colorado

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

Pearl Street Mall - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

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

Museum of Contemporary Art - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

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

Boulder AttractionsImage Source: flickr.com

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

Shelby American Collection, Boulder - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

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.

Author: Seema Nande
A deep-dyed Piscean, Seema is a dreamer. This extends to the fact that she is seldom in another world of her's or dreaming of the place she would rather be. A wild-child at heart and a keen observer otherwise, Seema's free-spirited psyche is eternal...

Must see places in Boulder ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Boulder and point of interests to visit.

  1. # 1 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 177 times in trip plans

    Tags: Outdoors, Mountain, Hiking Trail, Adventure

    Address: Colorado 80302, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Situated high in the backdrop of boulder, is this five strikingly slanted rock formations coming together to forge one of the most popular and beautiful tourists destinations in the country. ‘Th...Read more

  2. # 2 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 315 times in trip plans

    Tags: Trail, Park, Landmark, Hiking Trail

    Address: 9th St & Baseline, Boulder, CO 80302, USA

    Timings: 05:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    The park is situated a little away from the city of Boulder and is known for the stunning view of its surrounding. You can get to see the high Flatirons from here. Along with the scenic view, the plac...Read more

  3. # 3 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 90 times in trip plans
    Pearl Street

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Performance, Mall, Shopping Center

    Address: Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302, USA

    Timings: 08:30 am - 05:00 pm Details

    If you are planning to go on a shopping spree in Boulder then this is the one place you must definitely visit. Located alongside the Pearl Street area in the heart of Boulder, this giant pedestrian ma...Read more

  4. # 4 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 347 times in trip plans
    Boulder Creek Path

    Tags: Trail, Biking Trail, Walking Area

    Address: Boulder, CO 80302, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Popularly referred by natives as Boulder Bike Path, this 5.5 miles long trail runs from Boulder Canyon in the west to Stazio Ballfields in the east. It is a popular attraction among bicyclists and jog...Read more

  5. # 5 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 55 times in trip plans
    Eldorado Canyon

    Tags: Outdoors, View Point, Hiking Trail, Biking Trail

    Address: 9 Kneale Rd, Eldorado Springs, CO 80025, USA

    Timings: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Today, Boulder has established itself as a popular backpacking destination among hikers and explorers. The city is surrounded by the numerous rocky formations, and has provided refuge for those who wi...Read more

  6. # 6 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 63 times in trip plans
    Leanin' Tree Museum Of Western Art

    Tags: Art And Culture, Art Museum

    Address: 6055 Longbow Dr, Boulder, CO 80301, USA

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    One of the very popular places in the city of Boulder, this museum enchants its visitors with its colorful variety of exhibits and numerous art pieces renowned for their originality and uniqueness. Th...Read more

  7. # 7 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 317 times in trip plans
    University Of Colorado Boulder

    Tags: Educational Site, University

    Address: Boulder, CO 80309, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Established in 1876 in the city of Boulder, the University is considered to be one of the most frequented premises in Colorado, both by students and tourists. The place has a beautiful campus lapped b...Read more

  8. # 8 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 294 times in trip plans
    Flagstaff Mountain

    Tags: Forest, Mountain, Hiking Trail, Picnic Spot

    Address: Colorado 80302, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Standing proud at the edge of the town is Flagstaff Mountain. A very popular hiker destination in Boulder. The place attracts a lot of visitors especially hikers and cyclists who wish to explore the r...Read more

  9. # 9 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 52 times in trip plans
    Avery Brewing Company

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Brewery, Adults

    Address: 4910 Nautilus Ct S, Boulder, CO 80301, USA

    Timings: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    Established in 1993, the company has since been a distinguished part of city’s brewery culture with its wide range of seasonal and year-around beers. The company is known to produce its own rang...Read more

  10. # 10 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 79 times in trip plans
    National Center For Atmospheric Research

    Tags: Science Museum, Educational Site

    Address: 1850 Table Mesa Dr, Boulder, CO 80305, USA

    Timings: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    A federally funded research center established to work for the research and development regarding weather, atmosphere and its science. Though the place is inaccessible for tourists, visitors can walk ...Read more

  11. # 11 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 19 times in trip plans
    Colorado Shakespeare Festival Image

    Tags: Entertainment, Performance, Theatre

    Address: 1301 Grandview Ave, Boulder, CO 80309, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Colorado Shakespeare Festival was established in 1958 with the association of University of Colorado in order to encourage the festive and art culture in the city. Considered to be the second oldest o...Read more

  12. # 12 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 18 times in trip plans
    Boulder Farmers Market

    Tags: Market

    Address: 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302, USA

    Timings: 08:00 am - 02:00 pm Details

    ‘Food is culture’, a phrase that we all are acquainted with and rightfully so. Every country has its uniqueness and variety when it comes to culture and what is the best way to explore it ...Read more

  13. # 13 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 343 times in trip plans
    Boulder Public Library

    Tags: Art Gallery, Library, Cafe

    Address: 1001 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Situated near the creek of the Boulder city,the public library is popular among people for its unique and modern engineering. The building was brought to life with a mission to enhance personal and pr...Read more

  14. # 14 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 23 times in trip plans
    Mount Sanitas Trail

    Tags: Trail, Biking Trail, Walking Area

    Address: Boulder, CO, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    It is one of the many mountain trails in the city, known for the beautiful scenery of enchanting wild flowers and numerous exciting activities that it offers. A great Colorado hike, the place sees a l...Read more

  15. # 15 of 627 Things To Do in Boulder | Added 166 times in trip plans
    Valmont Bike Park

    Tags: Trail, Park, Entertainment

    Address: 3160 Airport Rd, Boulder, CO 80301, USA

    Timings: 05:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    A park specifically dedicated to biking, it is a very interesting place for travellers who shares a great liking for this sport. Known as North America’s most picturesque bike park, the place of...Read more

Explore the best things to do in Boulder. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

  • Arnett-Fullen House

    646 Pearl St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Mork and Mindy House

    1619 Pine St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Sewall Hall

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Hall of Justice

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Chautauqua Auditorium

    312 Morning Glory Dr

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Hoverhome

    1309 Hover St

    Historic and Protected Sites
View On Map
  • Sawhill Ponds

    75TH St

  • Baseline Lake

    6191 Baseline Rd

  • Coot Lake

    5600 63rd St

  • Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat

    Boulder , Boulder, CO 80301, United States

  • Marshall Lake

  • Thomas Reservoir

View On Map
  • Leanin' Tree Museum and Sculpture Garden of Western Art

    6055 Longbow Dr

  • Boulder History Museum

    1206 Euclid Ave

  • Shelby American Collection

    5020 Chaparral Ct

  • Fiske Planetarium

    Regent Dr

  • Longmont Museum & Cultural Center

    400 Quail Rd

  • Arvada Historical Society

    7307 Grandview Ave

View On Map
  • Mystery Box

    1001 Lee Hill Dr

    Amusement Parks
  • Bolder Boulder

    5500 Central Ave

    Amusement Parks
  • Gateway Park Fun Center

    4800 28th St

    Amusement Parks
  • Pearl Street Haunt

    1836 Pearl St

    Amusement Parks
  • Boondocks Fun Center

    11425 Community Center Dr

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Lyons Classic Pinball

    339 Main St

    Amusement Parks Arcades
View On Map
  • West End Tavern

    926 Pearl St

    American Bars
  • Conor O'Neill's

    1922 13th St

    American Barbecue Bars
  • Sundown Saloon

    1136 Pearl St

    Bars Restaurants
  • The Glenn Bar and Grill

    11140 Irma Dr

  • Twelve Degree Brewing

    820 Main St

    Bars Pizza Breweries
  • The Burns Pub

    9009 Metro Airport Ave

    Bars Restaurants
View On Map
  • Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk

    401 Main St

    Casinos and Gaming Hotels and Motels
  • Global Casinos Inc.

    1507 Pine St

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Casinos USA

    1507 Pine St

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Casinos USA

    5455 Spine Rd

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Colorado Central Station

    401 Main

    Casinos and Gaming
  • The Bingo Company

    6520 Wadsworth Byp

    Casinos and Gaming
View On Map
  • Rocky Mountian National Park

    Natural Parks
  • Pawnee National Grasslands

    Natural Parks
  • Eldorado Springs National Park

    Natural Parks
View On Map
  • Valmont Dog Park

    5275 Valmont Road

    Dog Parks
  • Foothills Dog Park

    4550 8th St

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Tantra Park

    W moorhead cir

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Tony Grampsas Dog Park

    4471 Salvia St

    Dog Parks
  • West Arvada Dog Park

    17975 W 64TH Pkwy

    Dog Parks
  • Great Bark Park

    597 N 119TH St

    Dog Parks
View On Map
  • The Creative Pioneer

    795 Lehigh Cir

View On Map
  • Mesa Trail

    Eldorado Springs Dr

  • Boulder Falls

    33456 Boulder Canyon Dr

  • Bobolink Trailhead

    5904-5926 Baseline Rd

    Hiking Landmarks
  • Canyon Loop Trail

    Canyon Loop

  • South Mesa Trailhead

    Eldorado Springs Dr W Hyw 93

  • Skunk Canyon

View On Map
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