the flatirons in Boulder

Exploring Boulder

Boulder has enough sights and sounds to keep visitors busy for days. From the Pearl Street Mall to the University of Colorado campus, the town offers plenty of places to explore. Below are some popular spots within the city of Boulder itself.

Downtown

flowers on the Pearl Street MallThe Pearl Street Mall is considered the heart of Boulder. Most visitors begin their exploration of the town with a stroll down the mall. You'll pass dozens of cafes and boutiques as you walk — as well as the independent Boulder Bookstore. You might also come across an impromptu performance from a local street performer or musician. Try visiting the mall in the early morning for a rare tranquil view of downtown Boulder. The walking mall is located on Pearl Street, between 11th and 14th streets (map). The fun also extends several blocks east and west of the no-car zone.

Dushanbe Teahouse, located a few blocks south of the Pearl Street Mall (map), was a gift to Boulder from its sister-city Dushanbe in Tajikistan. Crafted by artisans and shipped around the world to Boulder, the tea house is a colorful display of Persian-inspired art. Tajikistan, a mountainous former Soviet republic, is located between China and Afghanistan. The gift of the teahouse to Boulder in 1990 is currently being reciprocated in the form of a cyber-cafe being built in Dushanbe. In addition to its diverse selection of teas, the Dushanbe Teahouse also serves full meals. Try the patio in warm weather for a nice mid-city retreat.

Nature Spots

Chautauqua Park GroundsIf the mall is the heart of Boulder, then Chautauqua Park is the town's crown jewel. Located at the base of the Boulder flatirons, Chautauqua is a beautiful site for a hike or a picnic. The park was developed as part of the 19th century cultural "chautauqua movement," which involved summer gatherings of people for purposes of learning. Today Boulder's Chautauqua is one of the finest urban parks in the nation. Chautauqua is located at the western edge of Baseline Road (map). There is no entrance fee, although parking spots fill up in the summer.

The drivable summit of Flagstaff mountain provides a wonderful view of Boulder and lands to the east. To get there, take Baseline past Chautauqua Park, and follow the winding Flagstaff Road to Realization Point. Take a right on Summit Road to the Sunrise Amphitheater parking lot (map). At the top is the Flagstaff Nature Center, open on weekends from May until September.

Boulder Falls, located in Boulder Canyon mid-way between Boulder and Nederland, is another fun spot for visitors. The brief walk to the falls is easy — and for those who haven't seen a mountain waterfall, the destination is a treat. Take caution if the rocks on the path are wet and slippery. One little-known fact: on extremely cold days in the winter, Boulder Falls freezes and becomes a challenging ice climbing line.

Other

The University of Colorado Boulder campusThe campus of the University of Colorado is a fun place to explore. Highlights include the Fiske Planetarium — which features star shows, laser light shows, and science exhibits — as well as the CU Museum of Natural History, located in the Henderson building. CU football games and other sporting events are also huge draws. Music and arts events take place at various sites on campus as well. See our music and arts page for more info.

The Celestial Seasonings tea company is headquartered in Boulder, and offers tours to the public. The experience is akin to a winery tour — though instead of chardonnay and merlot, you'll sample peppermint and lemon zinger. A gallery of tea box art gives a cultural flair to the experience. The Celestial Seasonings Tea company is located on aptly-named Sleepytime Drive (map) in northeast Boulder. Call (303) 581-1202 for information.

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