Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO

#7. Boulder

If you can’t take the heat this summer, take to Boulder, Colo., for a mountainous Midwestern getaway. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder sits 5,430 feet above sea level and offers plenty both indoors and out.

Award-winning restaurants and trendy shops lure visitors to Boulder’s pedestrian-friendly downtown. Street performers delight young spectators at the Pearl Street Mall, while the Boulder Fish Observatory lets kids observe and feed fish in a natural environment. The Wonder of Science at Twenty Ninth Street offers an interactive learning area with large-scale models of planets and a rocket.

Did we mention there’s plenty to do outdoors? In fact, Outside Magazine, recognizing the city as a prime destination for cyclists, runners, rock climbers and all-around adrenaline junkies, recently named Boulder the No. 1 Sports Town in America. Kayaking, fly fishing, biking and golfing also are favorite pastimes in Boulder. Taking a bike tour through Boulder is a great way see the city.

Head indoors and experience the exquisite sounds of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, which offers $5 kids tickets with the purchase of an adult ticket. Families also can purchase four tickets for $40. And admission is free (although small donations are encouraged) to the Museum of Natural History, located on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Hotels: 26

Restaurants: 358

Other Attractions: Boulder Falls, Fiske Planetarium, Gateway Park Fun Center


See where Boulder ranks on our other lists:

Top 10 Foodie Cities

Top 10 Farmers Markets

Top 10 College Towns 

Explore other cities like Boulder, CO, that have great food and drink scenes: 

Franklin, TN

Tyler, TX

Midlothian, TX

Abingdon, VA

La Plata, MD

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