Being a tourist in a beautiful, bustling place like Boulder makes it easy to find fun things to do. With so many spots to choose from, a few great places manage to stay hidden gems. Use this can’t-miss list of activities in Boulder to help build your weekend itinerary.
Start with the best breakfast in town at Tangerine. This farm fresh café has lots of gluten-free and vegan options, but don’t let that shy you away. There are plenty of greasy favorites here too. Everything is made from scratch, and the rush tends to be milder than other breakfast joints in town.
2. Ku Cha House of Tea
Located off of the famous Pearl Street Mall, Ku Cha House of Tea offers a wide selection of tea from all over the world. The baristas have mastered brew time and water temperature, but more noticeably, customer service. The traditional chinese teahouse atmosphere makes this place a must-see.
3. Book Shops
Boulder is home to two of my favorite bookstores. One is the biggest locally owned bookstore I’ve ever seen, Boulder Book Store. It’s three stories tall with over 100,000 titles, but from the outside appears to be just another shop in the Pearl Street Mall. Peacefully browse through their collection while admiring the architecture. One of the can’t miss activities in Boulder.
My next choice, the Innisfree Poetry Bookstore, is one of four poetry-only bookstores in the country. Readings are scheduled regularly, but you can catch open mic Tuesdays.
4. Farmers Markets
The non-profit project known as Boulder County Farmers Markets started in 1987 and has grown each year since. Highlighting over 150 vendors supply fresh, Colorado-grown produce Wednesdays and Saturdays from the start of April into early October.
5. Long’s Garden
On a quest to find drier climate, Jesse Dillman Long found himself settling in Boulder during spring of 1900. Five years later, he started the historical Long’s Garden, still growing today. Three generations of Longs have maintained the gardens since, striving to preserve it’s original features.
6. CU Boulder Natural History Museum
The Colorado University Natural History Museum is free to the public and offers some interesting exhibits, some are even interactive. The focus shifts from local, to state to national history with exhibits ranging from thousand-year-old fossils to research the university is currently working on. Parking is the trickiest part, but this map will help.
7. Fiske Planetarium
While you’re on campus, stop in for a show at the planetarium. Check out the busy, always changing schedule to find a topic and time that suits you. This one isn’t free, but use the Groupon to get over 40 percent off. Parking can be hectic here too, don’t forget about the map!
8.Boulder Creek Path
Spending the whole weekend inside would be a disservice to yourself. You don’t want to miss out on some of the best activities in Boulder. The Flatirons are breathtaking, and home to almost any outdoor activity. As tourism in Colorado increases, it’s becoming more difficult to find hidden spots that aren’t crowded. Here are five I recommend that tend to be more private.
Easy/moderate trail in north Boulder. You follow a creek up into a small canyon. Google will tell you it’s closed, this is simply a way to keep tourists out.
Moderate/intense trail across from Eben G. Fine Park. The mile-long loop takes 30 to 45 minutes to walk, depending on how often you stop and gaze at the view. Between the red rock formations and overlooking the city, I like to stop and take a good look here and there.
Adventurists seeking a more hands-on experience should check out Flagstaff Mountain. There’s a few great hiking trails, varying in difficulty and distance, but I come here to rock climb. Hike the Range View, Plains Overlook and Ute Trails in less than an hour, then head over to one of 20 bouldering routes. If you’re looking to only climb, ask locals about “the gutter” in Chautauqua.
There is a hiking trail at Walden Ponds too, but I recommend coming here so everyone can go their own speed. It’s the perfect place for families, you can set up at a picnic table and let the kids run free. They can swim, hike, bike, fish, bird watch and more. You’ll find it more crowded than my other picks.
This spot is perfect to catch some fresh air without going far, and without big time and energy commitments. Great for dog walking, killing time or simply sitting by the water.
Getting the Most Out of Activities in Boulder
Colorado seems to be on the A-list these days; home to some of our country’s tallest mountain ranges, the outdoor and ski town tourism has recently taken off. Boulder is consistently voted a top city in Colorado. If you’re planning a trip this way, make a point to explore the town, its beautiful surroundings, and a few of these activities in Boulder. No matter what you like to do for fun, there’s something unique here you’ll never forget.