Last week I spent four fun-filled days in Boulder, Colorado. These were the highlights from that trip and the reasons why I grew to love Boulder.
After arriving in Denver and making the short, 35-minute trip to Boulder, I met up with my daughter, her husband, and their dog Moriah where we stopped for lunch at Riff’s on the Pearl Street Mall. While enjoying a deliciously unique lunch on their outdoor patio, I quickly noticed that at age 58, I was one of the older patrons on the mall. Boulder’s residence are noticeably youthful with a median age of 28 years. While this is mostly attributed to the presence of the University of Colorado, the area itself draws younger people to its many outdoor opportunities, fresh air, and mountain scenery. I learned that Boulder consistently ranks high for healthiest cities in the US and its people exercise more regularly than any other state with about 70% of its population owning bikes. I saw plenty of athletic clothing and not one suit!
Located on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, downtown Boulder is just 10 minutes from Chautauqua Park with hiking trails abundant with wildflowers that lead up to Flatirons 1 and 2, which are sedimentary stones tilted up on the foothills. After lunch, this is where we started the first hike of my trip – up to the backside and very tip of Flatiron 1. This strenuous but short hike afforded fantastic views of the city and Flatirons 2 and 3.
During my stay we also hiked Green Mountain, a hike also within the Chautauqua Park, and enjoyed views of the snow-covered Rocky Mountains; and nearby Eldorado Canyon State Park, where we watched dozens of brave rock climbers scale the mega-classic rock, The Bastille.
Boulder is known for its cycling and bike friendly paths. Having just finished a 50-mile Tour de Cure ride the previous week and feeling fully capable, we opted to rent bikes from University Bicycles and ride to Jamestown, a 45-mile scenic loop that started off with a rather long and steep hill. With plenty of gradients, the Boulder area is an ideal place for the serious cyclist to train and enjoy its diverse scenery, but I also noticed that the roads have wide shoulders and motorists are extremely courteous, which made cycling very enjoyable for the not as serious cyclist like me.
Boulder also offers an abundant number of excellent restaurants (The Sink and Hana Japanese Bistro in Louisville to name our favorites), museums, outdoor entertainment and music, and at the end of my stay I concluded that Boulder’s laid-back feel, outdoor attitude, scenery, and progressive culture was why I am charmed by this city by the mountains.
If you are considering visiting Boulder, stop by the Boulder Bookstore where they have a large local interest section and friendly staff who are more than happy to help you find your way around the city and its sights.