Boulder is a youthful, vibrant city, home to CU-Boulder, the flagship university of the state of Colorado, which features well-respected programs in the sciences, engineering, business, law, the humanities and other disciplines. But it’s best known as a paradise for the outdoor-sports enthusiast – a place to enjoy everything Mother Nature offers.
The year-round recreation opportunities begin with hundreds of miles of walking, hiking and biking trails. More adventurous souls can go skiing, snowboarding or whitewater rafting, or take advantage of some of the best rock climbing opportunities in the country. And don’t forget BolderBoulder, the 10K road race held each year on Memorial Day.
Arts lovers have choices too, beginning with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, which performs in the historic Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre, as well as the renovated indoor University Theatre. For its part, the critically acclaimed Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra performs a mix a masterpieces and promising new works at historic Macky Auditorium. Also popular: Boulder’s Dinner Theatre, which stages four plays a year, and the Dairy Center for the Arts, which features dramatic theater, comedy, live music, dance and independent cinema, all under one roof.
The Boulder History Museum – which collects, preserves and showcases Boulder’s illustrious history – deserves a visit, as does the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, which offers programs for art lovers, young people and educators alike.
There’s plenty to do in downtown Boulder, which is home to 140 stores and more than 100 restaurants. At the center of it all is the beautiful Pearl Street Mall, a four-block pedestrian mall that hosts Bands on the Bricks, the city’s 10-week outdoor summer concert series. And for foodies there's the Boulder County Farmers Markets, which offer locally grown meat, cheese, wine, fruits and vegetables.