Boulder is well loved by so many, and we should love Boulder because it makes us happy! So happy, in fact, that last year it was named the happiest city in the United States. Here are five (of the many, many) reasons to LOVE Boulder!
The Great Outdoors
The number one reason to love Boulder is it’s incredible location nestled beneath the breathtaking flatirons, surrounded by mountains and green space. Hikers adore Chautauqua’s meandering trails, NCAR’s scenic pathways and challenging treks up Mount Sanitas and South Boulder Peak. Boulder is packed with dedicated bikeways (over 300 miles!) in the city and throughout openspace, making the city a hub for cycling enthusiasts. More adventurous options for outdoor fun include nordic skiing, rock climbing, hang gliding and paragliding. With 110 miles of walking and hiking trails on over 35,000 acres of protected land, the possibilities for outdoor recreation are endless. Many of these activities can be enjoyed throughout Boulder’s seasons, as gorgeous summer days are kissed with fresh mountain breezes and dreamy winterscapes glitter in the sunshine.
The Beer Scene
Boulder is home to some of the best craft breweries in Colorado. Throughout the city, enjoy freshly brewed beer in breweries and restaurants alike. Head downtown to the rooftop bar at the West End Tavern to enjoy a fresh craft beer and that unbeatable view of Boulder’s flatirons. Or check out Boulder hotspot, the Rayback Collective, with over 30 beers on tap (including many of the local favorites) as well as a “backyard party” space complete with games, fire pits, and a chill vibe. Or go straight to the brewery! Boulder Beer is heralded for being Colorado’s FIRST craft brewery, featuring favorites like Hazed Hoppy Session Ale, Mojo IPA, and Shake Chocolate Porter. Avery Brewing wows patrons with over 40 different beers a year, along with a dog-friendly patio and delicious brewpub menu. Check out our complete guide to the breweries in Boulder here.
In addition to the outdoor adventures to be had in Boulder, there are a ton of exciting events happening all year round. Boulder is home of the Boulder International Film Festival, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the Chautauqua Summer Concert Series and of course, the BolderBOULDER. For a relaxed day of summer fun, go tubing down Boulder Creek. In the winter, try sledding down Chautauqua’s epic sledding hill. Kids and adults alike will have a blast with old school amusements like go karting and mini golf at Gateway Park Fun Center. Boulder is not only fun for humans, it is absolute heaven for dogs! Bring your dog to Boulder for a day of outdoor fun with amazing hikes and dog parks, and relax together at Upslope Brewing for a pint, where dogs are welcome inside and out.
The Amazing Food
Boulder is a dream not only for the outdoor geeks, but for foodies this town is home to some of the most drool-worthy food on the planet. Start your day at favorite breakfast spot, The Walnut Cafe for a Boulder scramble, a cup of coffee and the cafe’s famous blueberry cornbread. Head downtown to try the Mountain Sun‘s fresh comfort foods like the Colorado bison burger or the speakeasy steak sandwich and wash it down with a freshly brewed Mountain Sun ale. Take a break in the gorgeous Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, sip some tea and relax in the rose garden. To satisfy your sweet tooth, stop by Piece, Love and Chocolate for decadent truffles and mouth watering chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies. Check out Boulder instagrammer, BoulderGRUB to inspire your next meal out.
Boulder is known and loved for its weirdness, and is a mecca for all things alternative and holistic. Boulder’s tendency to be a little off-beat and different draws us in, and allows us to feel comfortable in our own individuality. The Pearl Street Mall street performers wow you with jaw-dropping displays – I’ve seen everything from contortionists to fire eaters to a guy who (very impressively) plays piano dangling upside down. Open your mind by listening to a poetry reading at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore on The Hill. If you are looking for something different to do on a Saturday you might enjoy some forest bathing, get a psychic reading or try goat yoga! Boulder peeps like to take part in out-of-the-ordinary events like Tube to Work Day (loosen your tie and hop in a tube down Boulder Creek!), the Mall Crawl (a free, unofficial Halloween party on Pearl Street that includes an epic Thriller flash mob) and the Polar Plunge (jump in the icy Boulder Reservoir in January for a good cause!). Nakedness is another part of Boulder’s wacky vibe with the Naked Pumpkin Run on Halloween night (run naked down Pearl Street with a pumpkin on your head), the World Naked Bike Ride (a nude bike ride protest against fossil fuels in mid-June) and local participation in World Naked Gardening Day (I feel like I should mention that participating in these activities could result in arrest). If you are looking for something slightly less mischievous but a ton of fun, check out Banjo Billy‘s tour bus, a travelling hillbilly shack that gives you an entertaining look at Boulder’s history. Stay weird, Boulder!