If you are traveling to Colorado, you have undoubtedly heard of Boulder, and might be planning to visit! It is one of those places in Colorado that many people opt to visit, and it is clear why! There are so many things to add on your Boulder Colorado itinerary, hopefully, you have enough time to do them all!
We live in Longmont, Colorado, which is about 20-30 minutes away from Boulder, so we find ourselves in that neck of the woods often! Longmont is a much smaller town than Boulder with much less hustle and bustle.
Boulder is a big college town, home to CU- University of Colorado. You can expect the city to be full of college students and young adults. I recently heard of Boulder described as “a college town where students never actually leave college” and it is pretty true! The city has a super young vibe. “Hipster”, if you will.
Boulder has a place for everyone. Even if you are into something super obscure and random, chances are, you will find others who like that too here! Nothing is too weird or crazy for Boulder. Here, everything is fair game, and everyone does as they please without any judgment.
This is what makes Boulder so unique! If you are from a small town or a conservative area, it might come as a shock to you what you will see here…
For example, you might see some 20 something-year-olds dancing with a Swiffer in the middle of Pearl Street Mall for 3 hours. You might see someone dressed in a crazy “costume” casually walking the streets. Who knows, really (and yes, these things are true).
Some people don’t care too much for the Boulder scene, because I won’t lie, it is pretty strong. However, it is one of those places you’ve just got to visit! Who knows, you might fall in love with it there!
Boulder does have a reputation here in Colorado for being too hipster, outwildish, and very liberal. Keep that in mind before you visit, because you won’t be able to get away from it! (I personally think it’s awesome though!)
This list will give you some of our favorite Boulder Colorado itinerary activities, as locals to the area. Some of these ideas you will probably see on other lists. However, I have not put anything on this list we personally have not done and loved!
Looking to visit Denver or other parts of Colorado? Make sure you read our other guides!
- Unique things to do in Denver (From a local)
- The ultimate Colorado bucket list
- Hikes in Colorado Springs
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Planning to do some hiking while in Boulder? Of course you are! Don’t forget to grab your hiking log book so you can keep track of all your favorite hikes in the area! Click here for more information on the hiking log book, or click the image above!
Best Hikes in Boulder Colorado
When visiting Colorado, you will inevitably do some hiking. After all, that’s basically all the locals do here. Well, that and drink, but we’ll get to that next!
If you come to Colorado, we definitely recommend getting more into the mountains to do some hiking. The views are spectacular the higher you get! However, Boulder’s hiking trails are unique because they are in the Flatirons.
They are called the flatirons because they resemble flat irons women used to use in the 19th century to iron their clothes! If you take a look at them, you’ll see what I mean!
One of our favorite Boulder Colorado itinerary item is to go to Chautauqua Park. We always recommend this park to newcomers because it is a relatively easy hike with gorgeous views.
Chautauqua park offers a bunch of different trails ranging from under a mile to over 6 miles, depending on what you feel like doing! When you get there, you can hike up the main trail (you will see tons of people climbing a hill). This is what most people do- climb to the top of the hill (yes, it is steep, but it is pretty short), and you will be rewarded with some amazing views! After, you can climb back down or continue your hike.
You will see tons of people getting their pictures taken, having picnics, and you might even see some weddings!
You’ll even find a dining hall and some places to eat! Parking is difficult in this area, so it is recommended you find a spot to park on the nearby roads. Admission is free, but you might need to pay for parking depending on the day and where you park!
The Flatiron Vista trail is another great easy hike for newcomers. The trail is a 3.3 mile loop, and is relatively flat so you won’t be out of breath. That reminds me- try not to go too crazy with the hiking when you first get here- the air is much thinner than you are likely used to, which can make you lightheaded.
This trail will leave you feeling like you are in the middle of a fairytale land. It is a very wide open space and you have uninterrupted views of the beautiful Flatirons.
Fun fact, when we first moved here and still had our NY license plates on our cars, we ran into another couple our age who happened to be from the same town I grew up in! So, who knows, you might make some friends here too 🙂
Boulder Reservoir/Coot Lake
Another one of our favorite Boulder Colorado itinerary activities is visiting Boulder Reservoir/Coot Late. We take our dog here a lot because they have an off-leash dog area where he can run around and play!
This place is truly HUGE and even though we’ve been here multiple times, we still haven’t even scratched the surface. There are two bodies of water you can play in, along with tons of paths and trails.
I wouldn’t necessarily call this one a hike, but more so a leisurely walk. Many people come here to go fishing and the locals come here just to take a walk. It would be a great place to come to in the morning or evening if you have nothing else to do!
However, they also have boating areas, boat rentals, picnic areas, concessions, swimming, and more! So, depending on what you’re looking for, this place has got it!
Twin Lakes is not necessarily a hike, but a beautiful walk. We come here a LOT, because one of the lakes is actually an off-leash dog park (Ollie’s absolute FAVORITE place on earth), and honestly, we love it too!
On one side of the lake is the park, where the dogs run around and play on a path that takes you around the entire lake. The other lake is a loop but dogs must be on a leash. Each lake has tons of large trees which will leave you feeling like you are in the middle of a jungle!
Many locals like to walk or bike this area and bring their furry friends along to play in the lake. You will have a beautiful view of the mountains in a quieter area where many tourists don’t usually come to!
Best Breweries in Boulder Colorado
Now to the good stuff- the beers! Colorado in general has SO many breweries, and we seriously have yet to have a bad beer in Colorado. Like, for real. Not a single one.
So with that said, you can’t go wrong with literally any brewery in Colorado. However, these are some of our favorites in Boulder!
I’ll start with Avery Brewing Company because it is across the street from Twin Lakes, which I previously mentioned! Take a walk around the lakes, then walk over to the brewery for a cold one! (This is something we do a lot!)
Avery is one of the bigger breweries in the area, but it is kind of far from the traditional Boulder scene, so it is less touristy.
They have great beers and good food, with a large outdoor space where you can bring your dog! Take a tour or just enjoy the beers!
One of my favorite beers here is the White Rascal, which is super popular around the area!
Upslope is another one of my favorite breweries in the area. Since we moved here, I just really liked their beers! They have a couple of taprooms, so make sure you visit the one on Flatiron Court because it is better, in our opinion!
I recommend getting the Citra Pale Ale which is one of my favorites. They also have spiked “snow melt” which is a seltzer, which are also really really good!
They sometimes have music going on and food trucks here. You can also bring your dog inside here!
Another one of our favorite Boulder Colorado itinerary activities is going to Gunbarrel Brewing Company. Although Gunbarrel is its own town, it is technically in Boulder. This place is super unique and fun!
It is in an industrial office park and doesn’t look like much from the outside. But inside is HUGE! In the front, there is a large bar you can sit at or some tables where you often find people on their laptops getting work done.
In the back, they often have music of events going on, with arcade games, pool, darts, and more! There is something for everyone here!
They often have food trucks here when you inevitably get hungry!
I had to include this one on the list because we were just here yesterday! This is another lesser visited bar if you are looking for somewhere quieter!
It is actually a food truck park with a beer garden and live music venue/event space. While it is not necessarily a brewery, it still has the same vibe.
We always sit outside by the fire pit here in the cooler months, but they have a huge patio with all types of seating options! They also always have food trucks here, so eat, drink, and be merry!
Boulder Colorado Itinerary!
Now that we’ve got hikes and drinks covered, what else is there to do in Boulder? Luckily for you, there are a lot of things to do! Here are a couple of our favorite things, which you have probably seen on other lists as well!
Pearl Street Mall
If you search “things to do in Boulder Colorado” on Google, I guarantee EVERY list will mention the Pearl Street Mall. That is because it is a huge attraction for both tourists and locals! Definitely add this one to your Boulder Colorado itinerary!
The Pearl Street Mall is a four-block pedestrian mall filled with shops, restaurants, breweries, and live street performers.
I recommend going to the Oskar Blues brewery which I didn’t mention in the last section, which is another popular brewery in Colorado. There are more locations if you can’t make it to this one!
Also check out the Dushanbe Tea House, which we haven’t been to yet but have heard great things about! You can spend all day perusing the shops, sampling foods, and watching street performers here!
Did you know the hub of all things Celestial Seasonings is right here in Boulder?! I didn’t know this when we first moved here and was pleasantly surprised when I found out!
The tea factory tours are FREE, making it an awesome budget-friendly activity! When you get there, you will get a “ticket” for your tour group. While you wait, you get to sample as much free tea as you like (so get there early to take advantage of the tastings!)
The tour itself is actually really fun and informative! You get to see how the teas are made, smell all the different tea leaves, and learn so much about the tea making process!
Even if you aren’t a tea drinker, it is still a super fun activity to do if it is too hot out or rainy (which almost never happens)!
Tubing at Boulder Creek
Tubing is a super popular thing to do in Colorado during the summer months. We haven’t done it yet, but it has been on our list!
Tubing here is at your own risk, so you will need to bring your own tube. However, in the summer months, you can find them at practically any store! You can also find a ton of rental places in Boulder too, so don’t worry!
The creek is 30 miles long, with some whitewater sections along the way!
It is recommended to start at Eben G. Park!
Where to Eat in Boulder Colorado
Lastly, let’s talk about where to eat in Boulder. We actually don’t go out to eat very often (especially now because of COVID), but we do have a couple of recommendations of places we enjoy!
The Post is a brewery that also has the best fried chicken of LIFE. There is more than one location in Colorado, but so far the one in Boulder is the best in my opinion.
If you are looking for some quality comfort food, The Post is where to get it! Think fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, Mac-n-cheese, and more. I’m drooling just thinking about it!
There are so many restaurants to choose from in Boulder that you really won’t be disappointed with any of them, but The Post is where it’s at!
We’ve been to this ice cream place a few times now, and every time I fall in love. Their homemade ice cream and gelato is truly to die for!
But, it is not just ordinary ice cream. They make vegan gelato which was actually SO good, you wouldn’t have even known its vegan! They also make ice creams with CBD if you want it, which is fun!
For the regular ice cream, I recommend the Funky Monkey which is my favorite and a favorite among visitors!
After a long day of hiking, treat yourself with some delicious ice cream!