5 Summer Days in Boulder



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Boulder is an incredible place year-round but its charms are especially pronounced in the summer months. This itinerary is a great way to see Boulder and the surrounding area with a 5 day vacation to the famous mountain town.

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Author: James Dziezynski


Day 1 - Boulder


If you are lucky enough to be in Boulder on a Saturday in the summer, an absolute must is starting your day at the Boulder’s Farmer’s Market. (Insider’s tip: the public garage across the street at the bus station offers free parking.) Set in Central Park, next to the Boulder Creek, this lively outdoor market is a hub of activity. The market is located between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue, and runs from April through November on Saturdays (8am-2pm) and Wednesdays (4pm-8pm). It is a feast for the senses. Taste samples of locally produced cheeses, ripe tomatoes, Colorado peaches and gluten-free baked goods. Everything you will find is grown and produced in Colorado. Enjoy the sights of colorful flowers and colorful characters. Listen to the sounds of acoustic blues and the nearby Boulder Creek. Plan to eat breakfast at one of the many food vendors. A local’s favorite is dumplings from the Sister’s Pantry, or the Amazing Corn Tamales. If you prefer a sit down meal, opt for Saturday Brunch at the Boulder Dashanbe Teahouse located next to the food stalls. This unique teahouse was delivered as a gift from Boulder’s sister city of Tajikistan. At the very least, peek your head in the door and admire the hand-crafted sculptures, tiles, and wood carvings throughout. Consider coming back later in the afternoon for a cup of fresh tea or chai. Before leaving the market, check out the often overlooked Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. After you leave the market, cross over Canyon Boulevard, and walk two blocks north, to the historic Pearl Street Mall. Plan to spend a few hours exploring this pedestrian mall filled with interesting boutiques, sidewalk cafes, art galleries, and various street performers. A local celebrity is the “Zip Code Guy”, who is surprisingly entertaining. Pearl Street is also the restaurant district of Boulder. For lunch options, consider a cheese fondue while people watching from the outdoor patio of the Boulder Cafe, or have a burger with mountain views from the rooftop deck of the West End Tavern. When you are ready for dinner, consider the Sunflower Restaurant (17th and Pearl), which offers an all organic menu (very Boulder), or the great ambiance and food of The Mediterranean (10th and Walnut). Boulder, as a university town, supports a lively night life scene. Recently, more upscale trendy bars started opening up on the west end of Pearl Street. The Kitchen (9th and Pearl) is a great new restaurant, but few tourists ever find their way upstairs to the wine bar on the second floor. If music is more your style, then check out what great band may be playing at the art-deco Boulder Theater. This is one of best live venues in town. Another option is to return to the busy parking lot behind the site of the Farmer's Market, which is transformed into an outdoor movie theater on Saturday nights in the summer. Sit back in your lawn chair and enjoy campy movies like "Greese" or "The Princess Bride" under the stars. WHERE TO STAY IN BOULDER: There are all the usual national chain lodging options in and around Boulder. However, if you are seeking a more memorable experience, here are four suggestions: •The Hotel Boulderado is an old historic Victorian landmark plus it is in easy walking distance of all the downtown attractions. The lobby is like walking back into the early 1900s, and is a reminder that they do not build places like this anymore. •Even though the St. Julian Hotel and Spa is the newest hotel in town, it has made its mark as a regular hot spot. The views of the Foothills, the popular Friday afternoon happy hour, and the healthily zen-like atmosphere, surly make the locals jealous of anyone who stays here. •The Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast is that great genuine find that all of us seek when traveling. It sounds cliché to say this is a home-away-from-home, but most of us wish our home could be as charming. •Finally, consider staying at the Boulder Outlook Hotel and Suites. The independent management pride themselves in being in-touch with the outdoor vibe. It has the look of an old Holiday Inn, but they have done some cool renovations, including putting a rock climbing wall in their lobby, and taking extra steps to be environmentally friendly. This may be one of the more affordable options. The one drawback is that the hotel is not in walking distance of downtown, but nothing a mountain bike ride can’t fix.


1

Boulder Farmers' Market

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Location:

13th Street
Between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 910 2236
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2

Central Park

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Location:

Broadway Boulevard and Canyon Boulevard
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 413 7200
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3

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

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Location:

1750 13th St
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 443 2122
fax: +1 303 447 1633
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4

Pearl Street Mall

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Location:

Pearl Street
Pearl St. from 11th to 15th sts
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 442 1044


5

Boulder Café

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Location:

1247 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 444 4884
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6

West End Tavern (The)

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Location:

926 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 444 3535
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7

Sunflower Restaurant

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Location:

1701 Pearl St.
2 blocks east of the mall
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: 3034400220
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8

Mediterranean (The)

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Location:

1002 Walnut Street, Suite 101B
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: 303 444 5335
fax: +1 303 928 8515
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9

Kitchen (The)

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Location:

1039 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: 303 544-5973
fax: +1 303 544 0092
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10

Boulder Theater

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Location:

2032 14th St
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: 303 786 7030
fax: +1 303 440 6455
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11

Boulder Outdoor Cinema

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Location:

1750 13th Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: 303 447 9308
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12

Hotel Boulderado

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Location:

2115 13th St
At Spruce St
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 442 4344
fax: +1 303 442 4378
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13

Boulder Outlook Hotel & Suites

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Location:

800 28th St.
Boulder, CO 80303

Contact:

tel: +1 303 443-3322
fax: +1 303 443 0397
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14

Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast

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Location:

2151 Arapahoe Ave.
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 442 3007 / +1 888 786 8440 (Toll Free)
fax: +1 303 786 8440
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15

St. Julien Hotel & Spa

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Location:

900 WALNUT STREET
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 877 303 0900 (Reservations) /+1 720 406 9696
fax: +1 720 406 9697
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Day 2 - Boulder


There is great debate about who serves the best lazy Sunday brunch, Lucile’s (2124 14th St.)hearty New Orleans style breakfast, or The Greenbriar Inn’s (8735 N. Foothills Hwy) Champagne Buffet Brunch . However an off the beaten path option is going up to the student area know as “The Hill”. The Burnt Toast (1235 Pennsylvania Ave), is a locals favorite. If you can get there before 11 am, the wait is significantly shorter as hung over students do not venture out so early. This family run restaurant has eclectic furniture, home cooking, and an interesting menu. After breakfast, spend the afternoon up in Chautauqua Park. This is the quintessential way to spend a Sunday in Boulder. The park is at the base of the Flatiron Foothills and offers a variety of short and long hiking trails. The classic hike is to walk up the Mesa trail and spend the day in with nature. The more avid hiker should make their way up to the Royal Arch and see the views of town. Others just opt for bringing a picnic lunch and eating on the lawn in front of the 110 year old historical Dinning Hall. Consider this a day at the beach, Boulder style. During the summer Chautauqua sponsors a variety of music ranging from classical, world and folk, in the beautiful restored barn-like concert hall. This would be the perfect setting to end your weekend. It is the best blend of nature, recreation, and the arts which has inspired so many to renting the small cottages during the summer season.


1

Lucile's

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Location:

2124 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 442 4743
fax: +1 303 939 9848
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2

Greenbriar Inn (The)

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Location:

8735 N. Foothills Hwy
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 440-7979
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3

Chautauqua Park

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Location:

Ninth Street & Baseline Road
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: 303 442 3282
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Day 3 - Boulder


Start the morning with the paper and a coffee at the Trident Bookstore on the east side of Pearl Street. While you could spend the whole day people watching at this favorite hangout, opt for renting bikes at University Bicycles. Bike west along the famous Boulder Creek Path through the beautiful Boulder Canyon, or head east and stop at the Millennium Harvest House (right past the tennis courts) for a drink, and a view of the fish at the underwater observatory under the bridge. If biking is not your thing, take a scenic drive up Flagstaff Mountain (Baseline Road) and turn right towards the amphitheater. On the east side you can see all of Boulder County, and from the west side you can see the Continental Divide. When you return to Boulder, stop for lunch at Jill’s Restaurant at the trendy St. Julian Hotel. During the week, Jill’s offers a gourmet lunch buffet at a reduced price. After lunch, take a walk though the University of Colorado Campus. Finish the afternoon at the Bookcliff Vinyards/Belgian Chocolate Shop for a Colorado wine tasting and sampling of chocolates. For a romantic dinner, reserve a table at John’s. This family owned, out of the way restaurant, specializes in contemporary cooking and is considered one of Boulder’s top restaurants. For a less expensive option, try Sherpa’s on Walnut Street. This features Nepalese, Tibetan, and Indian food.


1

Trident Booksellers & Cafe

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Location:

940 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: 303 443 3133
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2

Boulder Creek Path

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Location:

Parallels Arapahoe Avenue
55th St. and Pearl Pkwy., to the mouth of Boulder Canyon
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 441 3200
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3

Underwater Fish Observatory

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Location:

1345 28th Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 413 7200


4

Jill's in the St. Julien Hotel

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Location:

900 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 720 406-9696
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5

John's Restaurant

Location:

2328 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 444-5232
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Day 4 - Boulder


A trip to Boulder would not be complete without a visit to one of the many mountain communities nearby. Head up Canyon Boulevard through beautiful Boulder Canyon to the town of Nederland. Along the way stop to cool off at Boulder Falls. Grab a coffee and bite to eat at Annie's Cafe and Bakery at The Village Shopping Center (20 Lakeview Dr.) in the town of Nederland, then head north on the scenic Peak to Peak highway (Hwy 72) and follow signs to Brainard Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. This area is known for it's jagged peaks, and peaceful mountain lakes. There are many well marked trails to choose from. After a day of hiking, you might want to treat yourself to a great dinner at the award winning Alice's Restaurant in the Gold Lake Mountain Resort and Spa. Continue north on Hwy 72 and turn right on Gold Hill Road. Follow signs to the resort. This rustic resort is set back in a wilderness area, with amazing views of the mountains reflected from the lake. Alice's Restaurant serves a memorable 3-course dinner for $49. Reservations are recommended (303.459.3544).


1

Boulder Falls

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Location:

Canyon Blvd
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 441 3388
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2

Indian Peaks Wilderness

Location:

2140 Yarmouth Ave.
Boulder, CO 80301

Contact:

tel: 303-444-6600
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Day 5 - Boulder


For your last day in Boulder, you may want to head to the South side of town, locals call it SOBO. Start with breakfast at the quirky Southside Walnut Cafe (673 S Broadway St) in the Table Mesa Shopping Center. After breakfast, head up the winding Table Mesa Drive to the National Atmospheric Research Center (NCAR) on the top of the hill. This boulder landmark is featured in the Woody Allen movie "Sleeper", and was created by the famous architect I.M. Pei. NCAR is open to the public and has a variety of interactive exhibits and demonstrations about atmospheric science and climate change. NCAR is located on Boulder openspace that has some of Boulder's best hiking trails. If the weather is not optimal for hiking, you may want to head to east Boulder to take a tour of the Celestial Seasonings Factory. Tours are daily, and free to the public. One of the highlights is entering the "Peppermint Room" for an olfactory explosion. If you are hungry, you can grab a bite to eat at the Celestial Seasonings Cafe. Each summer Boulder hosts the Colorado Shakespeare Festival at the University of Colorado. The Outdoor Theater makes this a popular summertime activity. The experience would not be complete without a picnic on the lawn before the show. Gourmet boxed suppers are available. If Shakespeare is not your scene, try a fine dining experience at Frasca's Italian Restaurant on east Pearl Street. This award winning restaurant has national acclaim, and features the cuisine from a remote region in northeastern Italy. The exceptional service is due to an experienced staff that takes yearly visits to Italy. A more casual option is eating at Foolish Craigs. This restaurant is one block east of the Pearl Street Mall, and has consistently good food at reasonable prises. End your evening with a cup of coffee an live music at the Laughing Goat Coffee House (1709 Pearl St). You can also see live local music every Wednesday night at the Band on the Bricks Program. The music starts at 7 PM and is located on The Pearl Street Mall in front of the Court House.


1

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Location:

1850 Table Mesa Dr
Boulder, CO 80307

Contact:

tel: +1 303 497 1371
fax: +1 303 497 1298
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2

Celestial Seasonings Tour

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Location:

4600 Sleepytime Drive
Boulder, CO 80301

Contact:

tel: 303-581-1202
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3

Celestial Seasonings Celestial Café

Location:

4600 Sleepytime Drive
Boulder, CO 80301

Contact:

tel: +1 303 530 5300
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4

Shakespeare Festival

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Location:

277 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309

Contact:

tel: 303 492 0554
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5

Frasca Food and Wine

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Location:

1738 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

tel: +1 303 442-6966
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6

Foolish Craig's Café

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Location:

1611 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80202

Contact:

tel: 303 247 9383
fax: +1 303 147 9848
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7

Bands on the Bricks

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Location:

Pearl Street Mall
Boulder, CO 80302

Contact:

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