VISITING BOULDER COLORADO
If you have plans to visit Boulder you will need to know where to stay, what to do , where to eat and where to go. This page will help you answer all of those questions. The information below is a mix of information developed by me and information from other sources I found on the web. I hope this information is useful and enjoy your trip to Boulder.
Located at the doorstep of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is the jewel of the Colorado Front Range. With its outstanding climate and healthy economy Boulder provides an excellent quality of life for the nearly 100,000 that call it home. The University of Colorado founded in 1876 gives Boulder its vibrant “college town” feel. The technology economy has a firm hold in Boulder and the surrounding area. Firms such as IBM, Oracle, Ball Aerospace, Google and Level 3 Technologies have recognized the benefits of living and working in this area.
Statistically, the citizens of Boulder are the most highly educated per capita in the country. In the 1970’s Boulder devised a plan which eventually allowed for the purchase of key land in and around Boulder. These acquisitions over time have created a greenbelt that now surrounds the city. The open space plan has served to provide recreational opportunities, preserved the view and separated Boulder from its neighbors. The beautiful backdrop of the flatirons has been preserved for many generations to come.
People coming in from other parts of the country perceive Colorado as being cold and rugged. Although Colorado including Boulder is ruggedly beautiful, our climate along the Front Range is wonderful. It can get cold during the winter but it is common to be sunny and warm just a few days later. It is not uncommon to have 60 degree weather following a snow storm. During the summer the heat is made more comfortable by the low humidity and the cool nights. We have all four seasons and sun over 300 days per year. Overall, Boulder is a great place to live, work and play. The population enjoys the outdoors and everyday of the week you will find runners and bikers enjoying the miles of bikeways and walkways within the city.
Just the Facts:
Population: 95,000 plus ~30,000 students
Area: 25 square miles surrounded by open space and mountain parks.
Founded – 1858
Altitude – 5,430 feet
National Honors and Accolades:
Best Places to Live in America 2014 (#23) – Money, Sept. 19, 2014.
These Are America’s Best Cities For Cycling (#6) – Fast Company Co.Exist, Sept. 14, 2014.
The 50 Best College Towns In America (#1) – Best College Reviews, Aug. 11, 2014.
Watch These 10 U.S. Cities for Big Growth (#9) – Urbanful, July 16, 2014.
10Best: Bike-friendly Cities (#2) – USA Today, July 1, 2014.
America’s Best Towns for July 4th (#5) – Travel + Leisure, June 2014.
The Best College Towns in America – GQ, June 2014.
Street Smarts: 5 College Towns That Offer Way More Than Education – FlipKey, May 20, 2014.
These Are The 10 Most Exciting Places In Colorado (#1) – Movoto, May 13, 2014.
What are Colorado’s Best Cities for Jobs? (#1 Medium-sized City) – Denver Business Journal, May 13, 2014.
The Best Small And Midsize Cities For Jobs 2014 (#1 Midsize City) – Forbes, May 12, 2014.
The 10 Greenest Mid-Size Cities (#9) – MyLife, May 8, 2014.
Tree City USA (30th Consecutive Year) – National Arbor Day Foundation, April 2014.
Most Compact, Connected Small Metro Areas (#16) – Smart Growth America, March 2014.
America’s Fittest Cities – The Active Times, March 26, 2014
Top 10 Mid-size Communities for Well-being (#2) – Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, March 2014
Six Small Cities with Big Food Scenes – USA Today, March 2014
The Dozen Regional Powerhouses Driving the U.S. Economy (Denver-Boulder Mega-region) – The Atlantic Cities, March 12, 2014.
9 Fittest Towns of the West – Yahoo! Shine, Feb. 17, 2014.
Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2014 (#3) – Movie Maker, Jan. 29, 2014
Five Secret Foodie Cities – Forbes Travel Guide Blog, Jan. 7, 2014.
“Ten best cities for the next decade” – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
Best Quality of life for Mid-Sized US Cities – Portfolio.com
#2 Healthiest Town in the US – Men’s Health Magazine
#1 “America’s Foodiest Town” Bon Appétit Magazine
Americas Brainiest Cities – Portfolio.com Americas
Top 25 Arts Destinations (#9 among smaller cities) American Style Magazine
Top 10 Winter Towns – National Geographic Magazine TripAdvisor.com #19
“Top 25 Destinations in the US”
Where To Stay
There are many lodging options in Boulder and the list of hotels is growing every year. Below are a few links to online resources and then a curated list of hotels that I have put together.
Hotel Boulderado – ~$270 http://www.boulderado.com/ The Hotel Boulderado is located right in Downtown Boulder, one block from the Pearl Street Mall. Staying at the Boulderado will give you a great sense of what Boulder is all about. If you have never been to Boulder this is a great place to stay. It was built in 1909 as a joint project to attract tourists. It is still attracting crowds.
St. Julian Hotel – ~$350 http://www.stjulien.com/ If you are looking to be pampered in Downtown Boulder this is the place. Located right downtown with easy access to all that downtown Boulder has to offer. If you really want to do it up request a room with a view of the Flatirons. Spa on site.
Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast – $165 – $205 http://www.briarrosebb.com/ A bed and breakfast conveniently located near downtown Boulder and the University of Colorado. Great option if you are looking for something different than a normal hotel.
Courtyard by Marriott – ~$230 http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/denbd-courtyard-boulder/ This hotel’s location is an easy drive to anywhere in town but there are no restaurants within walking distance.
The Bradley – ~$175 – $275 http://www.thebradleyboulder.com/ The Bradley is a small boutique hotel right in Downtown Boulder. Quiet rooms, nicely decorated. This would be a great escape from the everyday lodging choices. Just a few blocks east of the Pearl Street Mall and right near many great restaurant choices.
Boulder Marriott – ~$250 http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/denbo-boulder-marriott/ A nice full service hotel located near everything. Close to CU, 29th Street Mall.
Chautauqua Cottages – ~$200 (Varies with cottage) http://www.chautauqua.com These cottages are especially popular in the summer but are available year around. If you have hiking and relaxation on the schedule this would be a great option. Located right at Chautauqua Park.
To see the whole list click here
Transportation In and To Boulder
Once you are in town you will need to get around. Depending upon where you are staying and what you plan to do it will be handy to have a car. But there are some other options. In Boulder you will find a bus system, a compact downtown area, extensive bike and walking paths.
One of my favorite options to get around town is the public bike rental program called B-Cycle. With a B Cycle rental you can sign up for a 24 hour rental which allows you to borrow a bike for no additional charge so long as you check in at on of the 39 B Cycle stations every 30 minutes. If you miss your check in additional fees apply.
If you want to do a traditional bike rental that doesn’t require you to find a station and check in head to my favorite bike shop, Full Cycle which is located at 1795 Pearl Street and rent a bike for a fixed period of time.
To look at general transportation options in Boulder go to GoBoulder.
Here are some alternatives to renting a car when you arrive at Denver International Airport. Shuttle Services – Super Shuttle, Green Ride. There is also a public bus that goes from the airport to downtown Boulder. Here is the link to the RTD airport bus service.
Where To Eat
Boulder is known as a mecca for foodies. Visitors are always surprised by the variety and quality of the restaurants in the Boulder area. Here are some resources to help you find some great places to eat while you are visiting Boulder.
Boulder Walking Tours
When I visit a new place my most favorite thing to do is to walk and explore. By taking it slow you can get a deep sense of the flavor of the place, explore nooks and cranny’s that would be missed by car and take a good look at how people live. A few years back, in anticipation of a trip to San Francisco I bought a book that gave detailed walking tours highlighting the hidden staircases of San Francisco. I only had time to do one of the walks but in doing so, I explored an area of town that I had never seen, stumbled on a great restaurant and at the end of the day felt very satisfied in the journey. In that spirit I’ve created a few Boulder walking tours that highlight fun neighborhoods to walk through. The tours are detailed but feel free to explore on your own off the designated route.
Things To Do In Boulder
Boulder is an outdoor town. After arriving in town you will find that spending time outside is the thing that people do here. Whether it is a stroll, a hike, a bike ride or an excursion to Rocky Mountain National Park if the weather is good (and most of the time it is) doing something outside is a great first option.
Here are some resources for outside activities: If you are interested in taking a hike head to Chautauqua Park. It is located at 9th and Baseline Roads. Chautauqua Park Hiking Map The Boulder Creek Path runs 5.5 miles through town along the banks of Boulder Creek. It is a great way to easily get places on your bike and is also good for a relatively flat walk. But watch for the bikes. If you are looking to play golf during your stay. There are many golf courses in the area but just one public course in Boulder. Flatirons Golf Course is located at roughly 57th and Arapahoe Road.
Other Links For Things To Do In Boulder
Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Summer Only)
Boulder Farmers Market (Wednesday evening and Saturday morning in season)
Boulder Neighborhood Guide
Interested in learning about the different neighborhoods in Boulder? In this report I have split Boulder into eleven different areas and present the lifestyle highlights, schools, shopping districts, local recreation and real estate statistics for each area. If you’re interested in learning about where to live in the City of Boulder this is your guide. It is recognized that Boulder is a great place to live but the neighborhoods in Boulder are a bit hard to characterize. Boulder was developed over time in a piece-meal fashion. The result is that many of the neighborhoods are only a few hundred homes in size. It is common to have two adjacent neighborhoods developed at different times and have completely different price ranges. While this report is not comprehensive, it will give the reader valuable information from which to start understanding the real estate market in Boulder. I have arbitrarily split up Boulder into 11 different segments. I will highlight the major neighborhoods in each area. Click here to view and download the latest Boulder Neighborhood Guide.