Boulder, Colorado can be described as a true gem of the Denver area, as it is a college town of 108,000 with so much to offer. There is a vibrant art scene, farmers market, plenty of hiking trails and nature, a great variety of cuisines and much more. Here are five things that are not to be missed if you visit Boulder:
- Chautauqua Park: The Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark is a 40 acre piece of land with historic buildings and a 14 acre park located on Baseline Road. It also provides access to a variety of trails and hikes in the Flatiron mountains, including the famous Royal Arch Trail. The trail is only about 3.5 miles round trip, but includes a strenuous uphill hike with an elevation gain of 1400 feet, a lot of steep rock steps and an ascent that often takes novice hikers two hours to complete. Taking on this challenge is extremely worthwhile, and if you make it to the top you are rewarded with a view of the famous Royal Arch rock formation and stunning views of Boulder.
- Dushanbe Tea House: This beautiful building is a gift to Boulder from its sister city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan. It was built by hand in Tajikistan, and shipped piece by piece to Boulder, where it was reconstructed. The building features a hand carved and hand painted ceiling, columns, ceramic paneled exterior and the “Fountain of the Seven Beauties.” The tea house serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, as well as an elegant afternoon tea. If you plan to attend afternoon tea, you will need to make a reservation 24 hours in advance and you will be treated to your choice of tea and a selection of sandwiches, pastries and scones. The chefs are able to modify the menu to account for food allergies as well as vegetarian and vegan diets upon request.
- Boulder Farmers Market: The Farmers market runs from April to November and is open on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. It is held in downtown Boulder, a short distance from the creek, and the Transit Center. The market has an incredible array of local products, including a wide variety of produce, honey, baked goods, meats and much more.It is also a terrific place to get lunch or a snack, as many local vendors have booths serving food. Popular items are empanadas, Vietnamese crepes, and dumplings. The Thai iced tea and fresh squeezed lemonade are especially refreshing for a hot summer day. Take a break from the hustle of the market to lounge on the grass, play with some friendly dogs or relax by the creek.
- Celestial Seasonings Factory Tour: The Celestial Seasonings herbal teas found in supermarkets nationwide are all made in a single factory in Boulder, Colorado. A popular attraction is the factory tour, which begins in the lovely visitor center. After you sign up for your tour, you can sample a variety of hot and iced teas in a room decorated with colorful original Celestial Seasonings artwork. You are then taken with your tour group to a small theater and shown a video detailing the history of Celestial Seasonings. Finally, you are asked to put on the provided hairnet and led on a tour of the factory. Notable parts of the tour involve a visit to the peppermint storage room, and watching the elaborate machinery package the tea bags into their cardboard boxes and prepare them for shipment.
- University of Colorado Boulder campus: Boulder is also very much a college town, the home of the University of Colorado, known as CU-Boulder. The campus is vast, with beautiful landscaping and features such as McKenna pond, where you can watch colorful koi swim and turtles sun themselves on rocks. Some must see building include Old Main, which houses a museum of the school’s history, the Fiske Planetarium and the Norlin Quad. On your tour, also check out the University Memorial Center, where you can get a bite to eat, visit the bookstore, or even go bowling.
Boulder, Colorado is a relatively small city with endless things to do and places to see. In this city you can go for a morning hike in the mountains, a bike ride along the creek, visit a museum and enjoy afternoon tea and nightlife all in the same day. If you haven’t been to Boulder, why not plan a visit to this incredible place?
If you have already been to Boulder, please write in and let us know some of your favorite things to do in town!