Best of Boulder, Colorado
|Bird's eye view of Boulder|
Once dubbed "the little town nestled between the mountains and reality" by the Denver Post, Boulder is a place that lives up to its reputation: A small city of almost 97,000, Boulder sits 32 miles northwest of Colorado's Mile Hile City, at the foot of the Rockies. Within its 27.8 square miles, Boulder lays claim to 200 miles of public hiking and biking trails, over 41,000 acres of open space, 35 miles of bike lanes, numerous on- and off-road jogging trails, and the 16-mile-long Boulder Creek Path, which zips right through the middle of town. Just try not to drool.
Besides quick access to a variety of outdoor activities, Boulder also boasts a mind-boggling 300 days of sunshine a year. Summer thunderstorms and winter snows tend to disappear as quickly as they came—leaving you with more of the warm, sunny weather that lures Boulderites out of doors. Get yourself acclimated to the elevation (5,430 feet above sea level) and you can usually play outside to your heart's content.
Still not convinced that Boulder's worth a trip? You don't have to take our word for it—in a reader survey conducted by Outside magazine in 2001, Boulder popped up as one of the 10 most-beloved outdoor towns. So where to begin? GORP presents its opinionated guide to the best of Boulder, both indoors and out.
Just to sweeten the pot, Boulder offers a unique mix of small-town community and big-city culture—from strong public involvement in conservation issues to top-notch theater and global cuisine. So, if you feel like taking a break from the bike trips or rock-climbing routes, there are plenty of fun ways to pass the time.
Walk the Walk: Stroll along Boulder's popular, pedestrian-only Pearl Street Mall to enjoy a great selection of restaurants, bookstores, boutiques, and sidewalk cafes. Mall-goers meander past seasonal art shows, craft fairs, musicians, and street performers.
Shakespeare Under the Stars: The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, held on the U of C at Boulder campus, puts on four plays each summer (mid June through mid August), three of which are performed al fresco in a 1,000-seat outdoor, Greek-style amphitheatre. Boulder's good weather usually ensures a precipitation-free performance. The festival is the second oldest in the country (next to Oregon's) and puts on an innovative variety of productions that range from a medieval-noir Richard III to a West African Macbeth.
Contact information: Colorado Shakespeare Festival, 303-492-0554, www.coloradoshakes.org
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication